The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow with Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, in Theaters July 8. The MCU is known for telling complex, interweaving stories across its many films, and Love and Thunder is no exception. That’s why we’ve made a list of all of the movies to watch before Thor: Love and Thunder on Disney Plus to get you ready.
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The fourth Thor film, Love and Thunder sees the God of Thunder (played once again by Chris Hemsworth) adrift, trying to find his purpose following tremendous loss and a new will to fight for what he believes in following the events of Avengers: Endgame. It sees the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, now also donning the Thor mantle and wielding the divine hammer Mjölnir, as well as many other familiar faces.
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What to watch before Thor: Love and Thunder
This one’s pretty obvious. Thor: Love and Thunder continues the story started in the original Thor, the character’s first introduction within the MCU. Kenneth Branaugh directs this pre-Avengers origin story, in which Odin banishes Thor to Earth, stripping him of his powers to prove that he is actually worthy of wielding his mythic hammer Mjölnir. On Earth, Thor meets and falls for astrophysicist Jane Foster. All the while, Thor’s brother Loki sows the seeds of mischief in Asgard, plotting to claim his adoptive father’s throne in Thor’s absence.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
The first Thor sequel gets a lot of grief in MCU rankings, but it’s pretty decent, all things considered. Granted, the central foes, a group of Dark Elves, are a bit underwhelming, but that’s pretty standard in early MCU titles. When Jane becomes host to an ancient, parasitic weapon, Thor has to bring her to Asgard to find a way to save her. The scene-stealing Darcy also returns, as does everyone’s favorite Trickster Loki. With Jane returning as the new Thor in Love and Thunder, The Dark World is sure to be a good place to start for anyone needing a brief recap of her relationship with Thor and Asgard,
Guardians of the Galaxy (2013)
With Star-Lord and the other Guardians soon appearing and teaming up with Thor, the original Guardians of the Galaxy is an essential entry among films to watch before Thor: Love and Thunder. The 2013 film feels pretty detached from the larger MCU, providing the origin of the intergalactic superteam as they come together (reluctantly) to save the universe from a major threat.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
If you want to understand the dynamics between the Guardians of the Galaxy, this sequel is a great place to get that. The film explores Peter’s backstory and reveals his alien father’s identity, but its also shows the teammates working together, settling into their groove as they kick butt to more great tunes.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok’s Valkyrie appears to play a major role in the new Thor title, so why not check out her introduction to the MCU among movies to watch before Thor: Love and Thunder. This is also the film that set a new tone for the Asgardian Avenger, with Love and Thunder’s Taika Waititi at the helm. On a separate note, it’s also just one of the very best MCU films, and it’s a pleasure to revisit, whether you’re getting pumped for a new Thor movie or not.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Thor’s competitive dynamic with Peter/Star-Lord was first introduced in Avengers: Infinity War. After a brutal attack on his ship by Thanos, Thor is rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor leaves soon after, with Rocket and Groot, who help him in the fight against Thanos in Wakanda, but not before he can establish a funny rivalry with the half-human captain. Peter Quill is visibly threatened by Thor’s musculature and good looks, leading to some inefectual but hilarious chest thumping.
Last but not least, along with Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame is probably one of the most important films to watch before Thor: Love and Thunder. This is the film that sets a lot of the stakes for our hero, and it’s where we last saw him. Thor has been through the ringer. He failed once to stop Thanos. His parents, brother, and best friend are dead. He no longer has a throne, and he’s struggling with some body image issues. Leaving New Asgard to Valkyrie, he leaves Earth behind, joining the Guardians of the Galaxy to explore the cosmos. And that’s where we’ll see him next in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Those are the seven movies you’ll likely want to watch before Thor: Love and Thunder if you’re hoping to have all of the backstory fresh in your memory.
Are you excited for Thor: Love and Thunder? What’s your favorite Thor movie? Let us know in the comments?