“Thor: Love and Thunder” brings Thor and his high flying adventures back to the big screen, and as can be imagined, he is not alone on his quest for inner peace. Alongside him are not only his pals Korg (Taika Waititi) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) from some of the more recent Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, but also a face that we haven’t seen for quite some time –- Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).
This time around, Jane — who hasn’t been seen in the MCU since 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” aside from her unexpected cameo return in “Avengers: Endgame” — is not just the earthly astrophysicist she was in the first two “Thor” installments, but is also yielding the hammer herself, as the Mighty Thor.
Her turn into the Jason Aaron comic character was certainly a welcome one, both for fans and for Portman, who agreed to join the cosmic adventure after a single meeting with director Taika Waititi (via CNN). That said, given Portman’s past history with the “Thor” movies and her big character shift in this one (not to mention her fate in the movie), it makes sense that she’d want to take home something to remember her time in the Marvel Universe, and there’s one particular item she deemed worthy enough to keep.
It’s always hammer time in the Portman household
In an interview with BBC Radio, Natalie Portman is asked if she has kept any mementos from either “Thor: Love and Thunder” or any of her previous appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “I didn’t keep anything from the older ones which is a shame. I wish I had,” she commented. “But on this one I did get to keep my practice hammer, which was very useful.” She goes on to describe how the stunt team granted her a padded Mjolnir hammer to practice with at home, which is entertaining enough to imagine on its own.
Portman also mentions that she isn’t the only to get a kick out of the prop. “My kids use it because it’s padded, you know,” she says. “It’s much safer for them to use against each other so it’s the weapon of choice in our house.” It becomes Jane’s primary battle tool within “Thor: Love and Thunder” as well. Years after Thor secretly enchanted the Mjolnir hammer to protect Jane under all costs, the crumbled pieces of the original hammer that were destroyed by Hela in “Thor: Ragnarok” begin to call Jane from New Asgard. The pieces reassemble into the full hammer for her to use as the Mighty Thor and its powers help stall her ailments — at a cost — for some time as well.
And Portman is not the only one to take a prop home from the “Thor” films. Karl Urban, who played Skurge in “Thor: Ragnarok” has “allegedly” taken his battle ax back home. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Chris Hemsworth showed off the original Mjolnir used in the first “Thor,” and the Stormbreaker used in both “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Endgame” as well as the latest “Thor” film.
Jane holds more power than any hammer
Regardless of how Portman uses it at her hammer, she certainly proves an inspiration to young women everywhere in the process. As she says in an interview with ExtraTV, “I think for all kids watching to see a variety of female characters who have their own superpowers, their own personalities, their own styles, it’s such a gift.” And it certainly is a gift to see what Mighty Thor could mean to audiences.
Jane’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed drastically since her original appearances in the first two “Thor” films. While she began as a simpler love interest figure — albeit, one with an undeniable level of strength, determination, and intelligence that aided in Thor’s journey — her evolution into the Mighty Thor shows how far the MCU itself has gone in terms of showcasing more complex female characters.
With her cancer slowly eating away at her, Jane’s turn into the Mighty Thor is very much meant to benefit herself. She knows that there is still life worth living and having the chance to gain this power, while in good taste, is more for herself than anyone. It gives Jane a way to hang on to life a little longer and have something worth living for — ultimately becoming a battle against time.
Read this: What Is The Dark Truth Behind Jane Foster?
Portman’s Mighty Thor is equal parts tough hero and tragic figure who is looking for a spark to keep her going, both physically and emotionally. In an interview with Variety, Portman, who didn’t grow up with many female superheroes to look up to, says that “People think those female superheroes have to be the same as male superheroes, but just in a female form. I feel like they should be able to operate in all different sorts of ways.”