Before we begin, the following post will contain Avengers: Endgame spoilers. If you haven’t seen the film yet, then you won’t want to go past the jump. Come back and give this a read at a later date.
Everyone else: let’s do this.
If you know anything about the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, you know that Endgame picks up after the events of Infinity War. So we’re still dealing with The Snap and Thanos’ half-baked plans–those are worthy of a post in and of themselves, but I digress–and the fallout. Remember, after The Snap, half of the living creatures on Earth were eliminated; everyone who was left behind had to deal with the loss of at least one loved one, but probably more.
Which leads us to Thor.
Thor lost half of his people. He watched helplessly as Thanos strangled Loki. He could only watch as Heimdall was murdered in cold blood, simply for spite. Thor lost and lost a lot.
Even worse? His losses come before The Snap. There is literally no amount of Infinity Stones that can undo that sort of damage. Thor is well and truly fucked in this case. So yes, he’s more than a little fucked up in the head, for very obvious reasons.
But he’s treated like comedy relief. Seriously.
Sunflower Punk over at ‘Splain You A Thing has a great post detailing the worst of it; if you have the time, I suggest you read it, as it puts Thor’s character in perspective. Now, I freely admit, I have slightly less of a problem with the fat shaming–my husband and I crack jokes about each other constantly–but there are other components to Thor’s character that do, in fact, bother me.
Thor’s drinking: This is played off as a joke. He’s an alcoholic now, isn’t that hilarious?! He’s a big, fat, beer-swilling pig! It’s so funny!
No, it isn’t. Considering the trauma he’s gone through, Thor is self-medicating, which can be quite dangerous. A lot of people with mental illness and/or trauma go through this and quite a few have done severe damage to their bodies or died of an overdose. It’s not easy, trying to dull that sort of pain in order to attempt to function as though nothing happened and a lot of people have inadvertantly hurt themselves trying.
I lost a cousin to a heart attack back in the 1990s; his biological father was abusive and he’d lived through years of trauma. To cope, he turned to cocaine, which ultimately killed him. My cousin had no intentions of dying; he was an avid weightlifter and was extremely healthy. He just happened to pick the worst coping mechanism available.
But he isn’t the only one; there are a lot of people who are dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental issues, who turn to alcohol and illicit drugs to numb their pain, only to have those substances kill them. These people aren’t stupid, they are desperate; when you live with a mental condition, you have no idea what might trigger it. Which leads us to the other problem.
Thor’s panic attack: What a wuss, right? I mean, what grown adult male would admit to having a panic attack?
Not a lot of them, to be sure. Which is probably why suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. Men have mental health issues. Men deal with trauma. Men have mental breakdowns. Men have emotions and they too, may have difficulty in dealing with those emotions. It does no good to play that sort of thing off as a damned joke; it’s a very real problem!
Let’s be honest here: Thor wasn’t healthy. But he’s being shoved into doing something that’s only going to reopen old wounds and re-trigger his trauma, which will not help him. And no one stops to ask him, “Are you okay with this?” Instead, the group is basically forcing a sick person to perform a task that may in turn, make him a shit-ton sicker and no one seems to give a damn!
Because it’s all in his head. The wounds aren’t physical, only mental and all Thor needed to do was to “man up” and get the fuck over it. That was why he turned into a slovenly, drunken fat pig; he lacked self control. It didn’t have anything to do with a traumatic event or anything.
Hey, what’s a little mental illness among friends, right?