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Fat Thor Is Better Suited To The Guardians Of The Galaxy Than The Avengers

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Fat Thor was one of the more memorable character arcs in Avengers: Endgame, but the story is actually better suited for another MCU series: Guardians of the Galaxy. "Fat Thor" — as the internet has dubbed him — has been a divisive element of the MCU, with some embracing Fat Thor as an honest look at superheroes and others criticizing him an example of body shaming (as a dumb joke at best, a mockery of PTSD at worst). Regardless, the storyline is powerful — but in terms of tone, would have resonated better in a strictly Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Chris Hemsworth debuted the new look for his character after the time jump in Endgame, which reflected the psychological toll that the events of Avengers: Infinity War had on the God of Thunder. Emotionally devastated from his failure to stop Thanos, Thor had become an over-weight recluse, spending his days playing video games and eating pizza in the company of Korg and Miek (characters introduced in Thor: Ragnarok). He is discovered in this state by Smart Hulk and Rocket Raccoon, who convince the former Avenger to help them try and undo Thanos' snap.

Fat Thor's arc in Endgame is better suited to a Guardians of the Galaxy movie because the latter has dealt with that sort of story before. The Avengers series was ambitious — particularly the Russo Brothers' final two chapters — but that meant audience attention was necessarily divided between several (competing) storylines. Conversely, the Guardians of the Galaxy movies have mainly been focused on the titular core team. Its main characters have all been through significant personal loss, and are arguably better suited to accompany Fat Thor during his most difficult personal struggles. It was fitting that Rocket was present to recruit Thor initially in Endgame (with the promise of beer no less), but it was a missed opportunity for Thor's storyline to not involve the ragtag team more.

In that Endgame scene, Smart Hulk utterly fails to appeal to Thor, yet Rocket succeeds. Although the moment is largely played for laughs, it reflects how fundamentally different Smart Hulk and Rocket are as characters — and how uniquely suited the latter is to deal with people going through what Thor was. James Gunn's 2014 space-trotting adventure Guardians of the Galaxy was a departure from the rest of the MCU: Guardians was adapted from a lesser-known comics property, was set in space, and featured a misfit group of less-than-glorious heroes. The tone is fun and wacky, but there is an underlying sadness throughout the story that motivates the characters' actions. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Star-Lord may be outwardly cocky, but audiences recognize part of that is Peter Quill masking his insecurity. He, Rocket, Gamora, Groot, and Drax all have dark backstories steeped in loss; the collective trauma balances out the often silly plot, adding depth to the overall narrative. Given what's happened to Thor in the MCU, The Guardians is the most fitting home for him — not the Avengers.

Avengers: Endgame ends with a husky Thor deciding not to take his place on the Asgard throne, instead joining the Guardians (much to Star-Lord's chagrin). Although this sets up plenty of storytelling potential, audiences are not likely to see Thor getting back into shape (both physically and mentally) onboard the Benatar. Thor learns to become a hero again after walking away from that life in Endgame, but there was limited screentime dedicated to his recovery. The Thor: Love and Thunder set photos suggest that the Fat Thor storyline won't be continued in the next Thor-centric movie, and all evidence points to the Guardians having a limited role. Currently, it's unknown if Thor will be a core part of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, which has yet to even be given a set release date. Still, the MCU would be smart to show Fat Thor as a part of the Guardians — and prove, in the process, that the storyline was never just a body-shaming joke.

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