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‘Avengers: Endgame’ Writers on ‘Fat Thor’ and What That Mjolnir Scene Means for Captain America

Some fans have accused "Endgame" of being fat-phobic for the way it draws humor from Thor's larger appearance.

"Avengers: Endgame"

“Avengers: Endgame”

Marvel Studios

[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.”]

One of the biggest surprises in “Avengers: Endgame” is what has become referred to online as “fat Thor.” When the movie jumps ahead five years following Thanos’ beheading, Thor is introduced living as an unhealthy drunk in New Asgard — what appears to be a colony for the Asgardian refugees in Norway. Chris Hemsworth wore a prosthetic stomach so Thor appeared heavier, and the character’s larger look is played for laughs at first (Rocket says Thor looks like melted ice cream) but eventually is used to break down his depressive state in the aftermath of Thanos’ victory. Speaking to Vulture, “Endgame” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discussed their intent for Thor’s new look.

“We were discussing, after this five-year jump, what is the evolution for each character?” Markus said. “Thor had been on a mission of vengeance in the last movie, so we couldn’t put him on that. What is the end result of a guy who has lost so much and just blatantly failed? We wondered, ‘Okay, well, what if he does become a sort of depressive alcoholic?’ And the weight gain was just part and parcel of that state of mind.”

Because of the initial humor that is created out of seeing a larger Thor, some have criticized “Endgame” for being fat-phobic. Markus said the plan was never to make Thor larger in order to be funny. As Markus pointed out, Thor’s arc in the film is about pushing forward emotionally and not obsessing over his weight or even working to lose it.

“We leave him in that state at the end of the movie,” Markus said. “Even though he’s emotionally resolved. We fix his problem, and it’s not his weight. I know some people are sensitive about some of the humor that comes from it, which I understand. But our issue that we wanted him to deal with was his emotional state that his mom addresses. And I think he is the ideal Thor at the end of the movie, and he’s carrying some weight.”

Another huge surprise in “Endgame” is the climactic moment when Captain America wields Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. The twist has led many Marvel fans to wonder why Captain American could finally pick up the hammer after failing to do so during the opening of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” McFeely said there are two possible answers, one of which is that Steve could have been bluffing in “Ultron” as to not upset Thor (this is an answer shared by director Joe Russo). A second answer deals with Captain America’s guilt.

“Another interesting version which we did not really consider, but I’ll go with, which is, at that time, in ‘Ultron,’ he’s holding on to a secret about Tony Stark’s parents,” McFeely said. “He’s withholding this thing from Tony, that his parents were murdered by his friend, Bucky. Or he likely knew that. And so, only when that is released, only when he tells the truth to Tony in ‘Civil War,’ is he worthy to wield the hammer. That comes from the internet. That’s not necessarily what we were thinking, but I kinda like it.”

“Avengers: Endgame” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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