If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like me, you’re familiar with “Fat Thor.” For those not familiar with the MCU, I’ll sum up. After Thanos wiped out half of all living creatures at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, people were, well, shook. Thor, it seemed, was affected most of all, and with good reason. If anyone had the power to stop Thanos, it was him. He came so close several times but never succeeded. As a result, Thor lost his people, his brother (adopted), and his home. When Thor was finally able to confront and kill Thanos, it was too late. They couldn’t undo what was done. Thor desperately wanted to lead his people as well as Odin, but in his eyes, all he did was fail them.
As time goes by and the Avengers figure out how to fix things, they go find Thor to get the old band back together for one more show. When they do, he looks more like The Dude than the God of Thunder. Thor has let himself go to the point where he won’t take care of himself or even leave his home. His failures weigh on him constantly to the point where he can barely function.
This is depression.
Long story short, time travel is involved, and Thor is able to revisit Asgard in the past. While there, Thor decides to call for Mjolnir (his hammer), which will only come to him if he’s worthy of its power. To his delight, Mjolnir flies into his hand, and he exclaims, “I’m still worthy!” He remembers when he wasn’t so worthy; he knows the hammer can’t just be wielded by anyone. He remembers the feeling of rejection when he couldn’t lift his own weapon. Now that it’s come to him when he called, he has hope.
As if to drive the point home, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) himself tweeted this:
Talented guitar playing aside, I’ve lived this scene more than once. Sitting alone, singing some NIN or Pink Floyd, and just letting the depression wrap itself around me like a warm blanket. I can imagine what he’s thinking:
You failed them.
You weren’t good enough.
You weren’t strong enough.
It’s your fault they’re dead.
You should’ve tried harder.
You should’ve done more.
I wish Marvel/Disney would have addressed this more in Avengers: Endgame. It’s not like Disney is a stranger to depressed characters (Eeyore). To make a character go from being so sure of themselves and confident to the point of arrogance to reduced to the comic relief in a movie misses an opportunity.
Maybe if the Avengers treated Thor more like Eeyore, he wouldn’t have to ask if he’s still worthy. And if you’re struggling with depression, read this sentence aloud as many times as you need to:
You are worthy.