So in this post, I will be talking about Lebowski Thor from Avengers End Game. While some of you who have seen the movie may be a little offended by some of the “fat jokes” that were thrown at him and the “movie makes fun of mental health part.” I’m here to explain some context of what I believe the situation is among the Avengers. This post will contain some spoilers.
All of the Avengers have been through a lot of crap and turmoil through their lives and Thor is no exception.
Starting off arrogant in the first Thor movie, finding love at the same time, understanding the power of responsibility and what it means to be self-sacrificing, regaining his worthiness of Mjolnir. Losing his mother in Thor: The Dark World, losing his girlfriend. Losing Odin in Ragnarok plus Asgard and then the constant up and downs with Loki, his adopted Frost-Giant brother.
Then add that he couldn’t stop Thanos in the first scene of Infinity War only for him to not aim for the head at the end of the film and allowing Thanos to snap half the universe into dust. While everybody involved in Infinity War share the blame and all of our main characters take it to heart. This time, we get to see some psychological damage done to Thor, which we haven’t really seen before. Couple that with the one hope they had after the snap only to find that Thanos destroyed the stones leads Thor down a much a rougher road. He couldn’t stop it or reverse it. He failed. So what else is left? He was lost after that moment. Understandably.
Every character we see in End Game after the five-year time jump is still coming to terms with what happened. Captain America is in a support group. Black Widow has thrown herself into work to hunt down bad guys and Rhodey assists in her search for Hawkeye. Hawkeye has become Ronin and is now a hitman except it seems he does it for free. Rocket, Captain Marvel and Nebula investigate things all around the galaxy while Nakia keeps Black Widow informed of what’s happening on the Wakanda side, Bruce Banner has spent most of his time figuring out how to become Professor Hulk and Tony Stark has settled down with Pepper Pots, has a daughter and is living his life and Ant-Man is still stuck in the quantum-realm.
Now Thor is dealing with it in a different way. Having no other friends besides the Avengers and Kork from Ragnarok, what is Thor supposed to do on this foreign planet? His home was destroyed. He has no family. Luckily, the surviving Asgardians found a place on Earth to live with Thor as their King although he doesn’t do much King-ing. He has nothing to live for, nothing that interests him, he has given up. He drinks, he eats and looks like he plays video games and watches t.v, not necessarily in that order.
It’s no surprise that when Hulk and Rocket find him, he’s gained weight. He doesn’t look after himself anymore and it seems like there were no big villains that he was aware of at that time to swing his axe at. Remember, he feels like a failure and with a list of pretty heavy failures to add he is just not motivated enough to start the fixing.
Now to the meat of this and some people upset that his friends were “fat-shaming” him. I’m all for not fat-shaming if someone has a disability or something but I think it’s crucial to understand that his friends know him. They know who Thor was and is now. They know most of his trials and tribulations and they know that he is an Asgardian with all mighty electric power, wielding a hammer that can only be lifted by who it deems worthy. So they would also know that he definitely didn’t have a beer belly and the fact that he does, leads to concern and sarcastic comments. Which by the way is normal in any friendship.
The first comment comes from Rocket who states, “you look like melted ice-cream.” Honestly, I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean but the way Bradley Cooper delivers the line is hilarious. Thor shrugs it off and you know why. Because Rocket is his friend. Friends will make fun of friends. It’s the nature of friendship.
Then, Tony Stark while walking to assist Rocket building the time machine, says, “Move aside Lebowski.” which is a reference to Jeff Bridges portrayal of the dude in The Big Lebowski which is also one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s accurate, Thor wearing sunglasses, drinking a beer, wearing slacks, and is just whatever. He did look like Lebowski.
Just to add something else to the mix here regarding anxiety, depression and PTSD. There have also been complaints about the film making fun of these elements with Thor but I’m here to tell you that context matters.
This moment is when Prof. Hulk mentions Thanos by name when he goes to get Thor. Thor’s demeanour immediately changes, he gets emotional, put’s his hand on Prof.Hulks collar and says “Don’t say that name.” through clenched teeth and holding back tears. Prof. Hulk is kind and supportive in response to his reaction and asks nicely, “Please take your hands off me.” and then explains the situation. No one was being mean to him. Prof. Hulk handled that situation in a positive and supportive manner.
The next instance was when Captain America asked Thor to explain to the other’s what the elixir or the reality stone was and where it was located during the events of Thor: The Dark World. Thor not being himself mumbles around his wording and starts getting upset at the mention of Jane Foster, his girlfriend at the time but they are now broken up. Then of course due to his psychological state, he proceeds down this negative rabbit hole of failures and losses and brings up his mom who died in Thor: The Dark World.
At this point Tony Stark steps up and encourages him to step down from his speaking, indicating that Thor has done a good job and it’s time to sit down. Tony was being supportive and non-confrontational. He was being a friend.
Moment three, was when he and Rocket were in Asgard during the time of Thor: The Dark World and the realization that he was going to have to face Jane Foster and this sent him into a panic attack. Rocket being the kind of character that likes to get the job done slaps Thor through the face in order to calm him down. Now, this moment could have negative effects for some people but personally, I suffer from anxiety and depression and in my mind Rocket slapping Thor was in the best interest of the mission. They only had one shot at getting the reality stone and he needed Thor’s head to be in the game. If they didn’t succeed in this mission then everything would be for nought. I cannot fault Rocket for his response to Thors panic attack. Keep in mind, that in Infinity War Rocket was the one to listen to Thor when he needed to vent, when Thor was explaining that he really had nothing left to live for if he died. So I think the situation and context should matter in this regard.
Thor still fails to back Rocket up and bumps into his mom of the past and he needed that. He needed the wisdom of his mother, just like most men would need some form of advice from their parents when they are lost and she gives that to him.
He regains his composure and summons Mjolnir before he and Rocket leave to return to their time. He is truly happy and relieved that he is still worthy of wielding the hammer despite the tribulations he is currently facing and that restores hope and faith in himself. I must say that seeing Thor in slacks and a gown or bathrobe as some might call it, holding Mjolnir was inspirational.
The only next remark is when Thor states that because he’s the most powerful Avenger and because he desperately wants to do something right, he should be the one to wear the newly created Infinity Gauntlet, made with Stark tech. While Tony is explaining to Thor that he is in no condition, Thor replies with,” What do you think is coursing through my veins right now?” in which Rhodey replies, “Cheese Wiz?” Yes, it was a joke aimed at his weight and eating habits but it wasn’t intended to hurt Thor’s feelings. It was just a sarcastic comment in the moment. Rhodey would never say something intentionally hurtful to one of his teammates. He has always been sarcastic, just like Rocket.
Friends rag on each other. That is that nature of friendship. There is no harm intended. And if there was it would have been brought up in a more serious note.
This was a really long essay on Thor being fat-shamed and I didn’t think it would go on for so long but hopefully, my explanations will help some of you understand where these comments come from and that there were really only two comments that were aimed at Thor’s weight. The other three instances that I remember was handled in a respectful and understandable manner.
On another personal note, I thought it was awesome to see a slightly “over-weight” super-hero. Everyone loses their minds with skinny women on magazines and how it creates this image that normal people “should” aspire to but hardly anyone moans about the ripped men that those same women perv over and how that creates the exact same image that men “should” aspire to. Just saying.
In short, stop looking for something to complain about and just try to enjoy the movie and understand that not everything needs to be policed. Stop being angry and enjoy life.