No Marvel Cinematic Universe film ends without some surprise in the credits. Whether it’s as small as the sound of Tony forging his helmet at the end of Avengers: Endgame, or the excessive amount of credits interruptions in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, there’s always something. These additions are even more critical for a film like Thor’s fourth installment, which has zero ties to the main MCU narrative. That makes both the Thor: Love And Thunder mid- and post-credits scenes absolute must-watches.
Warning: Spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder follow. Like Thor: The Dark World before it, Thor: Love and Thunder is currently toward the bottom of the Marvel Cinematic Universe rankings on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s partly an expectations problem. During Marvel’s first two phases, movies that didn’t tie into a larger narrative were more standard entries, but since 2018’s Black Panther, that’s fallen by the wayside. Critics and viewers alike are trained now to anticipate something that contributes to the ongoing evolution of the multiverse storylines that will eventually introduce the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
But Thor: Love and Thunder defies that expectation, giving fans a smaller story that wraps up what might be thought of as “The Thor and Jane Trilogy.” There are no tie-backs to the rest of Phase 4’s films; there aren’t even references to any of the Disney+ series. In fact, until the mid-credits scene, there’s nothing to suggest the events of this film will have any bearing on the ongoing larger narrative.
But the mid- and post-credits scenes are game-changers.
Thor 4’s Mid-Credits Scene: The Introduction Of Hercules
Halfway through Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor, Jane, Valkyrie, and Korg sneak into the Gods’ Annual Meeting. The Chairman of the God Board is Zeus, who arrives complete with Zeusettes and some twisty tricks with his lightning bolt. But when he refuses to aid Thor in taking down Gorr the God Butcher, because he’d rather hang out and have orgies, the Asgardians steal his lightning bolt. Valkyrie stabs him in the chest with it before exiting, leaving him to bleed out in front of a crowd of horrified spectators.
Thor assumes the rest of the God pantheon will be after them for this, but that threat never materializes. In the mid-credits scene, viewers learn that’s because Zeus isn’t dead; the gaping hole in his chest cavity is just a flesh wound. But he’s very displeased at Thor’s disrespect and commands his son, Hercules, to enact revenge.
And the heartthrob playing Hercules? None other than Brett Goldstein, aka Ted Lasso’s Roy Kent, playing the role of Zeus’ son and Thor’s assumed upcoming rival. Fans shouldn’t be too worried, though. If the MCU sticks to the comics, Hercules soon figures out who the good guys are and teams up with the Avengers. If anything, this scene is just more proof the Roy Kent chant was more right than football fans knew.
Thor 4’s Post-Credits Scene: Jane Foster’s Fate, Explained
As for the post-credit scene, fans should stay in their seats to the end for one of the movie’s most moving moments. As the film reveals early on, Jane Foster has Stage 4 cancer. Taking up Mjölnir turns her into the Mighty Thor, and gives her the strength to fight for a little while. But it also prevents her body from fighting cancer. By the film’s end, she’s so far gone that picking up Mjölnir one more time will spell the end of her life. However, when Thor needs her, she grabs the hammer, becomes the Mighty Thor, and joins him in defeating Gorr.
At the end of the fight, Jane passes away in Thor’s arms, as he chooses to spend her last moments holding her rather than ensuring Gorr is vanquished. His love for her convinces Gorr he was wrong to want to slaughter all the gods and saves the universe. However, Thor winds up a grieving single dad, having lost Jane forever.
But the post-credit scene shows viewers that Thor is wrong. Jane may be gone from this life, but her sacrifice in battle has elevated her to permanent god status. She ascends to Valhalla, where Heimdall (Idris Elba) greets her, welcoming her to join them.
One day, Thor will join them both, reunited for all eternity. But for now, he’s got a daughter to raise.
Thor: Love and Thunder is playing in theaters.