Love & Thunder Had No Choice But To Kill [SPOILER] Off
Thor: Love and Thunder ends with a major Marvel death, and while it was sad, it was the only way to end that character’s story. Here’s why.
Warning: This article contains Thor: Love and Thunder SPOILERS.
While Thor: Love and Thunder is funny, Jane Foster’s death is a dark, heartbreaking twist that simply had to happen. Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ending is surprisingly uplifting, given the triumph of hope and love over pain and vengeance, the death of Mighty Thor is still a down note. And though the post-credits scene sees Natalie Portman’s hero ascend to Valhalla, it’s clear that her life has not reached a satisfying end.
Before becoming Marvel’s Mighty Thor, Jane is shown desperately trying to get her ideas out, to the point that she attempts to speed up her chemotherapy to get back to the lab. She isn’t a Tony Stark type, obsessed to the point of self-destruction, but rather is working against a fatally quick timer, wanting to further save the world in her own way. That she’s doomed to have her genius cut off is the movie’s true tragedy – far more than the lost love story with Thor – which Love and Thunder‘s post-credits fails to balance out with positivity.
It’s possible that Jane Foster will return after Thor: Love and Thunder, given the hints offered by Marvel Comics and Jason Aaron’s Thor tenure, but Jane had to be killed off by the ending. This wasn’t a valiant death at the hands of a villain, or a brave sacrifice in battle, or even the result of an Infinity Stone poisoning her body; Jane Foster’s death was fated by rules that go well beyond superheroism and fantasy. Even Marvel movies cannot magically cure cancer, because the real-world grip the disease has on the world would make that flippant conclusion deeply insensitive.
Why Jane Foster Had To Die In Thor: Love & Thunder
Jane Foster’s death in Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t the result of a bullet, or a cosmic blast of magic, it is because of a devastatingly real issue: her genetics. Her mother died young, and Jane probably grew up with the fear at the back of her mind that her fate might follow her mother’s. With that context, Jane’s drive, her ambition, her excellence, and even her capacity to love a supposed threat like Thor all completely change. And Love and Thunder would have done Jane a great injustice to miraculously save her.
Had Jane beaten her cancer thanks to her treatment, which she ultimately did in the comics after returning from Valhalla, there would be no injustice, of course, because there are real-world parallels. But it is particularly telling that in both the Marvel comics and the MCU, characters afflicted with cancer tragically die. Mar-Vell was killed and did not simply return in the usual comic book death manner, and Peter Quill’s Star-Lord origin was trimmed with pathos because he witnessed his mother’s death, helplessly from something as painful and human as cancer.
Ultimately, Thor: Love and Thunder‘s ending killing Jane Foster was a brave move, but it was the right one. It also stopped Thor inserting himself further into her story after the MCU had already notoriously underused Portman in the first two Thor movies and gave her something of her own. In the end, Jane Foster’s death is painful and important, but it gives her what Marvel had failed her so badly on before.
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