Through its flashbacks, Thor: Love and Thunder can fix Thor: Ragnarok‘s Jane Foster insult. Released in 2017, the Taika Waititi film was both a massive box office and critical hit. Not only did it set up Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) important arcs in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, but Ragnarok effectively saved the Thor solo franchise, which wasn’t doing particularly well after the middle-of-the-road reception to Thor: The Dark World.
Sending Thor on an adventure of self-discovery, the “threequel” felt and looked different from both its predecessors. The change in the God of Thunder’s personality to a more humorous and lighthearted character reflected on the movie’s aesthetic with its vibrant setting and colorful visuals. For the first time, it felt like Marvel Studios finally knew the right approach when depicting Thor on the screen. But, as well-received as Thor: Ragnarok was, it did have its fair share of critics. Some didn’t like that it had very low regard for what came before it—and admittedly, the movie barely references anything that happened in Thor or Thor 2.
One particular element in Thor: Ragnarok that raised some eyebrows was the film’s flippant mention of Thor and Jane Foster’s split. While traveling to New York with Loki (Tom Hiddleston), a group of Avengers fans reveals that Jane (Natalie Portman) dumped the God of Thunder, prompting Thor to quickly claim that it was a mutual break-up. Since then, the matter has never been broached again. If anything, the reference to Jane was Marvel’s attempt at explaining why she’s not in the film. Still, it’s insulting that the film was able to dismiss the character’s role in Thor’s life with such a throwaway line, divulging their fate almost as a throwaway line. Now, Thor: Love and Thunder‘s alleged Dark World flashbacks can make up for this, as both Hemsworth and Hemsworth and Portman were spotted filming scenes for the upcoming film.
Somehow, answering this lingering MCU mystery has become imperative since Marvel Studios decided to bring Portman back into the franchise. For context, the actress had lost interest in playing Jane Foster because of the lack of personal development for the character. Thor: Ragnarok‘s flippant explanation of her absence could’ve been acceptable, as her romance with the God of Thunder would’ve been dropped altogether. Now that she’s back in Thor 4, the film should address where she’s been in the last few years and why her relationship with the Avenger ultimately failed. This is much more important now that she’s set to become a superhero.
As previously confirmed, Jane will assume the mantle as Mighty Thor in the upcoming Waititi-directed flick. And to be able to properly establish her place in the MCU, Marvel Studios needs to lay out her own hero’s journey—and her romance with Thor is a big part of that. Given her new role, it’s safe to say that Jane Foster will be a key player in the franchise after the events of Thor: Love and Thunder. But while it’s a given that she’ll carry out her new role as Mighty Thor, it’s also curious what dynamic she will have with Hemsworth’s character moving forward. Depending on the reason for their break-up, it’s actually not outside the realm of possibility that they rekindle their romance and get back together.