Thor: Love and Thunder Primer – What You Need to Know and What You Should Watch

Yesterday, 82 days before it hits theaters, the first teaser trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder was finally released, giving us a (short) glimpse of what we can expect when the God of Thunder returns for his fourth solo outing. You can see the teaser below:

As we get closer to Thor’s next big adventure, you might be a little lost as to what these characters have been up to in the previous shows and movies leading up to this film. It’s understandable considering how complex the MCU has gotten with different timelines and variants and multiversal madness. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here is everything you need to know leading up to Thor: Love and Thunder and what you should watch before the film comes out.

What you should know

Thor: Love and Thunder takes place post-snap, meaning after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the rest of the remaining Avengers successfully executed a time heist to steal the infinity stones from different timelines, brought them together to our present and resurrected the half of all life that Thanos (Josh Brolin) killed five years prior. Here’s where all the major players have left off:

  • Thor
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Endgame
    • Last known status: Bro-Thor, the larger, long-haired, and bearded Avenger created a new weapon called Stormbreaker (with the help of Groot); found a new home for his fellow stranded Asgardians in Norway; gave up the throne to former Valkyrie Brunnhilde (Tessa Thompson); and set off with the Guardians of the Galaxy to find new adventures and a new purpose in life.
  • Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt)
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Endgame
    • Last known status: Quill spent the first two Guardians films creating a family for himself with the other guardians and finding love with teammate Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Discovering that Gamora was a casualty to Thanos’ quest to gather all the infinity stones, Quill made quite the fool of himself by thwarting an almost successful plan by the Avengers to remove the infinity gauntlet from Thanos’ hand by attacking the distracted mad titan and snapping him out of a Mantis-induced trance. One of the billions who disappeared due to Thanos’ snap, Quill returned at the end of Avengers: Endgame and helped in the massive group effort to defeat Thanos once and for all. During the battle, he was surprised to find out Gamora was still alive (more on her below), albeit with no memories of their time together. At the end of the film, Quill vows to track her down and help her remember who he and the rest of the Guardians are, with the God of Thunder by his side.
  • Drax/Mantis/Groot (Dave Bautista/Pom Klementieff/Vin Diesel)
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Endgame
    • Last known status: As part of the half of all life that disappeared during Thanos’ snap, Drax, Mantis, and Groot all came back to life and helped in the massive effort to stop Thanos. Drax’ life mission is complete, having avenged his wife and daughter by helping kill Thanos; Mantis will continue her journeys with her new family as a member of the Guardians, and Groot is now growing out of his adolescent phase as he becomes the more mature adult we got to know in the first Guardians film.
  • Nebula and Rocket (Karen Gillan and Bradley Cooper)
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Endgame
    • Last known status: Having the misfortune of not disappearing when Thanos snapped his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War, Nebula and Rocket have had a much harder time than the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They joined the Avengers, helped defeat Thanos, and rejoined the Guardians at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Nebula will most likely help with the search for Gamora, and Rocket will deal with the trauma of losing everyone he loved during the five years that half of all life was missing.
  • Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)
    • Last appearance: Thor: The Dark World (also Avengers: Endgame, but only in archival footage)
    • Last known status: Jane Foster and Thor broke up some time after the events of Thor: The Dark World, which saw Jane get possessed by aether, one of the infinity stones. Her former teammates, Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) have appeared in other MCU adventures, with Darcy having a major role in the show WandaVision. We haven’t heard much of Jane since she and Thor split up, but it appears she now has the power of Thor and can lift the repaired Mjolnir, which was destroyed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok and stolen by Thor during the time heist sequence in Avengers: Endgame.
  • Gamora Prime (Zoe Saldana)
    • Note: Calling her ‘Gamora Prime’ is what I do to help keep track of these characters in my head. That’s not her official name. It just gets messy when variants and time travel gets involved.
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Infinity War
    • Last known status: Deceased. This is the Gamora we have come to know in the first two Guardians films. This is the Gamora who has fallen in love with Peter and befriended her sister, Nebula. She died at the hands of her adoptive father, Thanos, as a sacrifice so that he could obtain the soul stone on Vormir. This version of the character is dead and most likely will never return in the MCU.
  • Gamora 2 (Zoe Saldana)
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Endgame
    • Last known status: During the time travel events in Avengers: Endgame, some of the Avengers traveled back to 2014 to steal infinity stones. While in the past, Thanos from the past finds out that the Avengers have come from the future and are trying to thwart his plan, so he takes 2014 Gamora and Nebula to the future (our present) and launches an all-out assault on the Avengers headquarters. He fails, past Nebula dies, and past Gamora (Gamora 2) runs into Peter Quill, whom she has never met before. This version of Gamora, who has never experienced what Gamora Prime went through in the first two Guardians films and Avengers: Infinity War, is who we will be following for the rest of her appearances in the MCU. It is unknown if she will be in Thor: Love and Thunder (most likely she won’t be), but it is important to remember her story to understand the mindset and motivations of Quill and Nebula in the next Thor outing.
  • Loki Prime (Tom Hiddleston)
    • Last appearance: Avengers: Infinity War
    • Last known status: Deceased. This version of Loki is who we watched through the first three Thor movies, Avengers, and Avengers: Infinity War. He died when Thanos snapped his neck, and most likely will never be seen again in the MCU. When we catch up with Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder, he has lost his mother, father, and brother, and is likely still dealing with failing in his first attempt to defeat Thanos.
  • Loki 2 (Tom Hiddleston)
    • Last appearance: Loki
    • Last known status: During the time heist sequence in Avengers: Endgame, when some of the Avengers go back to 2012 New York to get the mind stone from Loki, their plan fails and this version of Loki (who has only gone through Thor and The Avengers) escapes. This is the version of Loki who was the star of the Disney Plus series of the same name who helped usher in the start of the destruction of the multiverse by the end of that first season and is the version of the character we will continue to follow moving forward in the MCU. He does not have the experiences of the Loki from Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. It is unknown if he will be in Thor: Love and Thunder, but just like with Gamora, it is important to know what Loki has been up to as it might impact Thor throughout the course of the film.

What you should watch

We are 27 movies and 6 tv shows into the MCU, which means if you want to catch up on absolutely everything that has happened so far, you’ve got a lot of work to do. If, however, you just want a refresher course on the main storylines and characters that will feature prominently in Thor: Love and Thunder, here’s a list of what you should watch:

  • Required Viewing:
    • Thor
    • Avengers
    • Thor: The Dark World
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    • Thor: Ragnarok
    • Avengers: Infinity War
    • Avengers: Endgame
  • Suggested Viewing:
    • WandaVision (to see what Thor and Thor: The Dark World supporting character Darcy has been up to)
    • Loki (to catch up on Loki 2 and his redemptive journey through the multiverse)
    • Team Thor (a short film that shows what Thor was up to during the events of Captain America: Civil War. If you want to watch everything in order, watch this after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
    • Team Thor Part 2 (the sequel to Team Thor where you get to spend more time with Thor and his new roommate Darryl)
    • Team Darryl (after Thor moves out following the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Darryl has to find a new roommate. If you want to watch everything in order, watch this after Thor: Ragnarok)
  • Deep Dive Viewing (for those of you who really want to be prepared before Thor: Love and Thunder):
    • Moon Knight (to see how the MCU is handling mythological gods; particularly important for the introduction of Zeus (Russell Crowe) and Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) in Thor: Love and Thunder)
    • Spider-Man: No Way Home (there is a brief scene where a news program is shown on TV. At the bottom of the screen there is a ticker that reads: “Political turmoil continues in New Asgard.” Looks like this easter egg could be continued in Thor: Love and Thunder as we see a shot of Brunnhilde in a suit looking frustrated in the new teaser. Note also that this could be the first confirmation of Zeus coming to the MCU as the ticker seems to cut his name off in the image below)
Source: Reddit user u/I_I_I-illiam

Is there anything we have missed? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned to Boss Rush for more on Thor: Love and Thunder and all things MCU (such as this similar primer on what to watch before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.)

Mark Pereira is a senior writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward SwordSuper Mario 3D World and Batman: Arkham Asylum. You can find him on Twitter where he’s usually talking about Nintendo, video games, movies, and TV shows.

Featured image source: One News Page

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