Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Excitement for Avengers: Endgame
I was SO excited for Avengers: Endgame. It was perhaps the most anticipated movie of the year. Avengers: Infinity War was so bleak that it honestly wasn’t fun. But Endgame was going to make all of the pain worth it. So I thought.
Endgame had some lovely character moments, and those were wonderful. But the plot was sloppy and had a lot of continuity errors. Time travel dismissed by Bruce saying simply, “That’s not how time travel works”. That could have been overlooked. But I will never watch the movie again because of what they did to Thor.
Thor Was Still Worthy
There are many well written articles both for and against “Fat Thor”. Both sides have some good points. But in my opinion, this was brutal treatment of a beloved character. And more importantly than that, it turned depression into a joke.
Thor being depressed, fat, and an alcoholic was not a problem. But, if Marvel was going to take that route, they should have explored Thor’s condition with a lot more sensitivity. Instead, he was reduced to a running punch line through the whole movie. It was sad and cringeworthy.
Iron Man 3 had no problem looking at Tony’s PTSD in a relevant and sensitive manner. So, why did they feel the need to make Thor a joke? Perhaps in such a dark movie, they wanted to inject some humor. This…was not the way.
The Most Tragic Avenger
Thor lost the most of any of The Avengers. He lost his mother, father, brother, and several close friends. He also lost Mjolnir, his eye, and finally his world. Additionally, he felt overwhelming guilt because he was unable to kill Thanos. Everyone has their breaking point. That was his.
Evidently none of the other Avengers bothered to check on Thor for FIVE YEARS! If they had, they would have seen that he desperately needed friendship and support. When they finally did see him, after five years…they laughed at him!
A Personal Stake
Now, I know what you may be thinking. “Come on, this is just a comic book movie. It’s not real. Lighten up!” But if representation is important, then it’s important for everyone. Doesn’t that include sensitive treatment of characters with mental illness? It should.
I have struggled for a lifetime with depression and anxiety, and this hurt. People were laughing. At Thor, and by proxy…me. I could feel myself shrinking down into my seat as I heard laugher in the theater. But hey, depression is hysterical, don’t you know? It’s funny when depressed people withdraw from society, overeat, and become alcoholics. And of course fat jokes are funny too!
Thankfully, Thor wasn’t magically “fixed” at the end of the movie. That’s the one thing this arc got right. Thor wasn’t instantly cut, happy, and powerful again. The repercussions of his trauma didn’t magically disappear when they killed Thanos. That would have been an even worse disservice to the character. Depression recovery is a brutal uphill climb, not for the faint of heart.
You Are Still Worthy
It matters that Thor was treated like a joke. Depression and anxiety are crippling. Mental illness requires a lot of support, and the last thing you need is for your friends to laugh at you. What a pity that Marvel decided to go for cheap laughs. This decision hurt a lot of viewers.
If you struggle with depression or anxiety, please know that it is not your fault. Mental illness is no different than diabetes, high blood pressure, or anything else. Please seek out the professional support you need, as well as friends and employers who will understand. Depression does not mean you are broken. You don’t somehow have less to offer. You, like Thor, are still worthy.