WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
The character of Thor may have had one of the more satisfying storylines over the past few Marvel films, but that doesn’t mean that everybody was on board with his new look in Avengers: Endgame. I am, of course, talking about what moviegoers and critics have been affectionally referring to as “Fat Thor.” Many were not pleased with this particular development, arguing that it and the many jokes it inspired throughout the film were a form of fat-shaming. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, however, disagree.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, they explained that despite “fun to be had in the movie with his physical condition, it’s not a gag”:
“It’s a manifestation of where he is on a character level, and we think it’s one of the most relatable aspects of him. I mean, it’s a very common sort of response to depression and pain.”
“What would happen if that character became extremely angry and started to punish himself and didn’t care anymore?” Joe said. “What would happen to him? He’s an alcoholic now, he doesn’t care about anything. He doesn’t care about himself.”
“That’s the reason why we didn’t end up turning him back,” Anthony said. “It’s an experience that stays with him.”
To be fair, the Russos’ explanation of Thor’s weight gain does make sense. After all, it is by no means the only manifestation of the intense regret and remorse that his character displays throughout Endgame. When the Hulk and Rocket find him in New Asgard, he’s shunning his duties as king, instead choosing to sequester himself away from his people and seek solace in food, drink, video games and cable television. It’s not until they convince him to return (and a very moving pep talk from a surprise cameo) that Thor reorients himself.
“How is everyone processing their grief? We wanted them all to process it in very different ways. And Thor is an exceedingly tragic character who was built from the time he was a boy to be a king,” added Joe. “What is the distance that a character like that can travel, a god? Somebody, especially, who looks like Chris Hemsworth?”
(Via Entertainment Weekly)