Movie Thor's power and godliness; how Thor limits himself.

#1 Edited by Lux_Sucre (6 posts) - - Show Bio

Teeny tiny spoilers for the Avengers movie if someone hasn't watched it.

So I'm not sure if anyone else has covered this yet (or I'm bad at using the search function) but among Thor fans, not to mention moviegoers, there has been considerable confusion as to what the hell is going on with Thor at parts in the movie. Namely, questions pertaining to the nature of his power, and whether he is holding back or not. Since I still have not met another person who sees it this way, and am still frustrated when I look through and listen to debates over who (in the Avengers movies) is stronger, I'm going to put forth my hypothesis on the nature of movie Thor's power and godliness.

Point One:

Thor's godliness and base level of power is dependent on his armor.

This is because:

When Odin casts Thor out of Asgard, he systematically takes away parts of his armor.

Armor Circle (representing a realm not of the three highest, in my opinion) - "You are unworthy of these realms!"

Cape - "You're unworthy of your title!"

Right Arm armor - "The name of my father!"

Left Arm armor - "And his father before!"

Everything else - "I, Odin All-Father, cast you out!"

As we can see, Thor is systematically de-powered and thus turned "mortal" by the dismantlement of his armor. Mjolnir, his hammer, may have been his "power", but his "godliness", his Asgardian-ness, came from his armor. We know that Thor is still a god in terms of durability and strength in the movie universe, without his hammer. Yet, he was as weak as a mortal (albeit a pretty strong one) and just as durable. (i.e, his fight to get into the SHIELD base, his vulnerability to being hit by vehicles, his one-shot defeat from the Destroyer, the fact that a group of weak mortal doctors were able to restrain him, his vulnerability to the sedative they used) So from this example, we can hypothesize: Thor's godly attributes come from his armor. Incidentally, this also fits in with the movie canon, where the Asgardians are just extremely technologically advanced aliens. The armor is their technology that gives them strength, speed, and durability far beyond a Midgardian.

This brings me to my next point:

What people often overlook in the Avengers is Thor's conversation with Agent Coulson. Each of the Avengers has an "inner struggle" in the movie. Thor's is that he's too damn powerful for Midgard, and when he fights, he ends up causing a lot of collateral damage.

"We come here, battling like Bildschlien (sp?). They are repulsive. And they trample everything in their path."

Thor's struggle is between his necessity for power to bring Loki home, and the potential damage he could wreak on innocents. And as we can see, corroborating this, and taking 1 into account:

2.) Thor is at a GREATLY reduced power level at all points in the movie until the final battle.

Thor arrives on Midgard with no armor for his upper arms. (and I could make the case for a lighter chestplate than his in the Thor movie, but it's more debatable)

Thus, we can say that Thor arrives on Midgard at a fraction of his power. How much is up for debate, but it is a pretty solid assumption to make that he arrives in a weak state. Though, I will make these arguments:

Thor's armor for his arms: the name of Odin's father, and his father before. What makes Thor so much ridiculously stronger than other Asgardians save Odin? Odin's power, due to his bloodline. Also, how does one apply force with Mjolnir? With one's arms. These points stand on less solid ground, but I think a good case can be made for them.

So, even without taking into account that Thor purposefully holds back in his fights against Iron Man, Cap, and Hulk, his baseline power level is already weakened a considerable amount. When you take into account that he does hold back, you see that he is thus using a fraction of a fraction of his true strength and power. He is holding back through conscious will not to kill or cause collateral damage as well as holding back through the limit he put on himself through his armor.

When we see him on the Helicarrier, Thor has changed to a much simpler version of his armor than even when he first arrived on Midgard! His chestplate is a much lighter version, missing a lot of armor as well as two realm-representing circles, his bracers on his arm have dwindled to barely anything, and he has done away with his cape. All of this fits in with his internal struggle in the movie, to limit his collateral damage. It makes sense that on the Helicarrier, an enclosed space where things can get ugly real fast, that he limits himself even further.

From this, we can see that when he fights the Hulk, he is at a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of his true power. His maximum power cap is even less than it was when he first encountered Iron Man and Captain America, and he is STILL consciously holding back against Hulk, not wanting to hurt Banner and instead communicate with him: "We are not your enemies, Banner! Try to think!"

There are debates on whether Thor was truly holding back in the Avengers. While I can't say for how hard he chose to swing, this power cap put on himself through his armor certainly would conclusively answer this question. Yes.

This brings me to my final point, clearing up what happens in the meadow in the Avengers after Thor escapes the containment pod.

At this point in the movie, there is considerable confusion. Some people think he couldn't pick up the hammer because he was suddenly somehow unworthy again, some people were just confused and glossed over the scene in anticipation of the final battle. But:

3.) Thor picking up his hammer in the meadow, and regaining his armor, is both the culmination of his inner struggle, and his return to his full power potential.

Initially, as Thor stares at Mjolnir, he is still conflicted. After his encounter with the Hulk, he realizes he will need more power to fight in Midgard, as he was unable to easily overpower Hulk on the Helicarrier, and prevent Hulk from destroying a good chunk of it and putting lives at risk. However, he still struggles with his fear of doing massive amounts of collateral damage, just like the Hulk did. Now, the reasons why aren't really stated explicitly in the movie, but the choice Thor makes is clear. He needs all of his power. Perhaps rationalizing that if he doesn't go all out, much more damage could be caused by beings like Hulk, and that it might cause less damage to overpower them with all his strength.

Regardless, he picks up his hammer, and summons his armor, returning at last to his full outfit. And thus to full strength.

In short, the scene where Odin banishes Thor, the scene where Thor talks to Coulson in the Avengers, and the constantly changing state of his armor I believe provide three points of strong evidence to the nature of Thor's armor, his power, and the question of whether or not he was holding back in the Avengers, and if so, by how much.

And as a last side note: Thor still never fought in his complete armor. He has never fought with his helmet on. Would this actually strengthen his power even further, or is it simply used by the directors to make Thor's face more visible? (I honestly think it's the latter, but it doesn't mean it couldn't ALSO be the former...)

#2 Posted by sommyt (348 posts) - - Show Bio

@lux_sucre: I see what ur trying to say here .but honestly nothing about this is true .and to answer your question Thor is much stronger because of his bloodline .his father is Odin his mother is not frigga but an elder goddess Gaea ..a Veryy powerful being

#3 Posted by HaveAtThee (543 posts) - - Show Bio

I think you're reading too much into it. His full armor comes on to protect him from lightning. I don't think his armor is the source of his godliness. Yes, he's generally holding back against Iron Man and Hulk because he doesn't really want to hurt them too badly, but it has nothing to do with his armor. Iron Man throws everything at him physically and doesn't do squat. He's mainly trying to restrain Hulk in the Hellicarrier fight but Hulk gets angrier and stronger and starts throwing Thor into the wreckage. But, again, the worst Thor got was a bit of a bloody nose after a nasty Hulk punch.

#4 Posted by Lux_Sucre (6 posts) - - Show Bio

@sommyt: I'm talking about the movie universe Thor, specifically, where you can't take what was canon in the comics for granted in the movie. ie, in the movie, his mother is indeed the goddess Frigga.

#5 Posted by Lux_Sucre (6 posts) - - Show Bio

@haveatthee: Thor has summoned lightning without his full armor, such as when he fights against Iron Man. I don't think Thor's armor is in any way protecting him against his own lightning, nor do I think he needs protection from it since he is the one directing it with Mjolnir. I'm trying to point out, that due to previous evidence in the movie Thor, (see above) it would appear that his armor is an indicator of his max power level; whether or not Thor chooses to consciously hold back the strength of his arm is an entirely different matter. It's like tying a heavy weight to your arm; swinging with all your might with a heavy weight attached to your arm will exert less force than swinging your arm without the heavy weight attached, although you can choose whether to swing with maximum effort or not regardless of whether you are limited by the weight.

#6 Edited by sommyt (348 posts) - - Show Bio

@sommyt: I'm talking about the movie universe Thor, specifically, where you can't take what was canon in the comics for granted in the movie. ie, in the movie, his mother is indeed the goddess Frigga.

There is nothing about movie Thor that suggest that Frigga is his mother yes Thor has this belief but if your are a Thor fan you will know that thor held this beleif in the comics as well and odin had no intentions of telling him however he found out during the celestial arc ...So just because Movie Thor has not touched on that subject does not mean that frigga is his mother it just means he has not been told his true heritage, as really thats the only thing that makes Thor diffrent from his other brothers and why he is that powerful

#7 Edited by Lux_Sucre (6 posts) - - Show Bio


Video one - "I too grieve the loss of our son!" - Odin talking to Frigga.

Video two - Loki: "Your mother has forbidden your return."

Video three - Frigga refers to Loki as her adoptive son. Loki is Thor's adopted brother. Thor is Frigga's son.

In terms of movie canon, where you cannot draw any inferences from any Thor comics, right now it would appear Thor is Odin and Frigga's son.

#8 Posted by Fifthchild (623 posts) - - Show Bio

In brief I sincerely doubt that Joss Whedon's script has notes saying "Thor is in short sleeves here and thus at 30% of power", "Thor is wearing a hoody now and is at 40% power!". While you've obviously put a lot of thought into this to be honest I think you've way overthought it at the end of the day.

I think Thor was just as powerful as we saw him in the movie pretty much. Which puts him a step ahead of Iron Man and makes him one of the two big guns of the Avengers. Anything beyond that is, no doubt, the subject of another big argument.

#9 Edited by Cap10nate (2650 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm pretty sure the ripping off of the armor is just symbolic show the loss of his title and not correlated with his power level. Odin casting him out is what reduces his power level and put all his power into the hammer so he wouldn't get either back until he was 'worthy.'

When he comes to earth in Avengers, he is just here to grab his brother and go back. There is no need for battle armor so he doesn't have the full sleeves. Whenever he realizes he will be in an all out battle, he calls the full armor. It's a good visual cue for the audience to show that this will be a serious fight and it just looks cool.

#10 Posted by sommyt (348 posts) - - Show Bio


Video one - "I too grieve the loss of our son!" - Odin talking to Frigga.

Video two - Loki: "Your mother has forbidden your return."

Video three - Frigga refers to Loki as her adoptive son. Loki is Thor's adopted brother. Thor is Frigga's son.

In terms of movie canon, where you cannot draw any inferences from any Thor comics, right now it would appear Thor is Odin and Frigga's son.

once again in the comics frigga was ordered byOdin to NEVER REVEAL HIS TRUE HERITAGE to him those lines prove nothing

#11 Posted by Fifthchild (623 posts) - - Show Bio

Theres no way movie Thor is descended from Gaea. Marvel already went out of their way to basically establish the Asgardians as an alien race rather than as divine Earth linked beings - they arent going to introduce "the mystical personification of the planet Earth" to the cinematic universe and then have it be Thor's mother of all things.

#12 Posted by THORSON (2511 posts) - - Show Bio






#13 Posted by THORSON (2511 posts) - - Show Bio



#14 Edited by Stefano (350 posts) - - Show Bio

i do not think thor's power he related to his armor. that would be kinda lame. Odin taking away his armor was a symbolic gesture, for example his cape represents his nobility/authority and odin took it away saying thor was unworthy of that title.

#15 Posted by youmessinwithme (1198 posts) - - Show Bio

No the armor had nothing to do with his powers, and although in the comics Gaea is his mother it would seem in the movie they went straight back to the norse myths where frigga is his real mother not adoptive, as Thor belived she was up until meeting the Celestials and his real mother.

#16 Posted by Darthnowell (55 posts) - - Show Bio
#17 Posted by phisigmatau (529 posts) - - Show Bio
#18 Edited by Lux_Sucre (6 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthnowell: Very true. I suppose there is a possibility of Thor's mother being the personified Earth, and Frigga being his stepmother; but I feel we as the audience are supposed to believe Frigga is his mother, at least.

As for my hypothesis, I definitely could be over-thinking just seems to all make sense and fit in very well with the narrative; Asgardians are just aliens with superior technology, Thor's internal struggle. Can anyone actually start poking holes in it using evidence that contradicts mine, instead of just personal opinion? I'm genuinely curious as to whether his armor serves any purpose other than aesthetics.

And @thorson yeah, I realize that. It was just an off-hand "wouldn't it be interesting" remark about his helmet, that wasn't too likely to be true.

#19 Edited by Bezza (3835 posts) - - Show Bio

I kind of think he was just holding back in the Avengers but was all powerful when he had to be. At the end of his own movie, he one shotted the Destroyer, something I think he doesn't do in the comics? (haven't read too many thor comics yet), so he's pretty darn powerful. Against Hulk, he just uses enough force to restrain him. Watch the fight scene again and see how much more power he puts into that initial shoulder charge or whatever it is that deflects Hulk from Black Widow and puts him right through a wall. Then as the fight progresses, he just right hooks hulk, enough to stagger him -no more- then uses Mjolnir to try and headlock him, rather than continue to swing. I guess we should see a fully powered up Thor by the end of Dark World, I hope so!!

#20 Posted by Fallschirmjager (18754 posts) - - Show Bio

I think you're reading too much into this.

Thor is a weakling because Disney owns Marvel studios.

#21 Posted by mk111 (3141 posts) - - Show Bio
#22 Posted by ben_coby (289 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice post, but i think these are your opinions of the events that happend in the movies,I have heard many people have their share of it too. All in all i think yours should be also considered which ever the correct one is, i think we would see evidence of it in other movies to come.

#23 Posted by uugieboogie (2785 posts) - - Show Bio

In the movie they did make him out to just be an alien & DEPOWER him crazy. Because Disney doesn't want to introduce Thor as a god cause they're still showing there is only one "true god" there's a whole article on it. It was a whole religious/business move. A stupid move but it's what they chose. I just wished they used the true Thor in the cinematic universe. & one way to disprove your theory is that the agents of shield show is in the same universe & there was an episode with an asgardian on there & he had no armor on what so ever & he still stopped a knife & bent it with his bare hands. In that universe they made them out to be strong aliens

#24 Edited by HaveAtThee (543 posts) - - Show Bio

Deciding to demystify the Asgardians by designating them as aliens basically neutered the franchise, literally. As soon as Odin uttered the words "we are not gods" I vomited just a bit. I think Marvel and Disney are going to shift their cosmic/fantasy focus more toward the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as their cosmic wing. I can see them having Asgard blown up by Surtur in some crazy Ragnarok storyline in the third Thor film.

#25 Edited by Darthnowell (55 posts) - - Show Bio
This sort of implies the odinforce powers stuff (at least the bifrost) doesn't it? Although it coud be symbolic.

It's not necessarily true that all their magic is technology, what I mean is it could be true but it's not confirmed. For the most part it's just a theory accepted by, like, 90% of the fanbase. A theory that is based on observation, Thor's "one and the same" line, and the brief mention of Arthur C. Clarke's third law. Sure it's likely but it's not necessarily true.

It could be like Niven's law (which niven didn't actually make it's just named after him) "any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technollogy", a form of parallel to Arthur C. Clarke's third law. What if it's a very advanced use of magic? Maybe the Odinforce is used as a powersource or maybe every asgardian has some form of "Force" in them. All asgardian energy shield, blasts, etc are orange for some reason, sure this could be cosmetic, but it could also be because they're all using the same energy, the odinforce. I would prefer it if this was the case but I admit it's not very likely.

I think denouncing the asgardians as gods and "changing" their magic removed their uniqueness. Here we have loads of alien races and it's all very science fiction-y and suddenly there's these norse gods and their magic. They're so out of place that they're in-place, if that makes sense, it made them unique in a way. Although admittedly the olympians had already been introduced.

As for Thor being weak in the avengers, the Thor:TDW prequel comic sort of explains that.

This could be the reason for why he was significantly weaker in the avegners but it might also simply refer to how dangerouos his trip through the void was.
Odin using the dark energy on Thor
Thor travelling through the void while loki holds his speech.

#26 Posted by Sophisticated_Ignorance (552 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthnowell: Wait so does this mean Thor will be back to his powerful self like he was in Thor 1? Sure hope so.

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