The Marvel Cinematic Universe has at times made wild departures from its source material. In the comics the Eternals are an engineered offshoot of the human race, given their powers by the Celestials as a part of an elaborate million-year experiment. Chloe Zhao’s probing and soulful treatise on human exceptionalism when weighed against trillions of lives yet unborn, modified these pretender gods into alien androids unknowingly tasked with cultivating humanity toward their ultimate destruction in the name of Celestial procreation. The film cobbled together pieces of Eternals lore and developed something entirely new and unique.
Gorr the God Butcher has been attached to Thor: Love and Thunder almost since the movie was initially announced. With the recent release of the first trailer after months and months of waiting, it seems that the film will indeed pull heavily from Thor: God of Thunder, written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Esad Ribic and Butch Guice. In that context, the trailer hints at the identity of certain entities and locales, and like Eternals there will more than likely be some radical alterations, but it would benefit from holding true to one character in particular.
In the comic, Thor’s conflicts with Gorr take place over three distinct eras of his multi millennia lifespan. First in Iceland during the 9th century, then again as what serves as the present on a planet in the deepest space known as Indigarr, and finally in the unspecified far future among the ruins of Asgard. The beginning of the trailer hearkens to this format displaying Thor at three different stages of growth, in a metaphor that invokes him running towards his future. In Aaron’s narrative, Thor was once broken by Gorr during his time in Iceland and narrowly escaped with his life. Haunted by the experience, he never speaks of it again and carries the trauma of it like a silent scar.
On Indigarr he answered the prayers of a child whose own gods have vanished and discovered that they were killed ages ago. A dark immortal remnant of the slaughter laid in wait and attacked Thor, its taint reminiscent of his battle with Gorr centuries past. This led the god of thunder to track down the God Butcher’s whereabouts by seeking the universal nexus of divinity. Omnipotence City was twelve billion years old and hewn from the flames of nascent stars and the stone left over from the bedrock of creation itself. Designed as an embassy for deities across reality and time to congregate in kindred communion, every lesser, or elder god, demigod or godling was welcome.
In its great Halls of All-Knowing there are tomes dedicated to the chronicles of every god that ever was, and its Hall of the Lost was a tomb of pages dedicated to those gods whose names have been forgotten or who no longer answer prayers. Thor sought those names to see if Gorr’s butchery extended beyond the carnage in the heavens above Indigarr. The Lord Librarian remembered Thor from a visit in the distant path when both he and Loki were children at their father’s side. The ancient scholar spares the Odinson no insult as he recounts his brattish behavior in the past and expresses surprise at his interest in words in the present.
The Lord Librarian is omniscient and irascible, a potent combination that could be the winning formula for a fan favorite. His mockery of the Asgardian prince is piercing and his attention to detail is pivotal in Thor’s quest for Gorr. The two become partners in this endeavor to bring about the truth of Gorr’s slow moving deicide as it accelerates to an unimaginable fruition. At the moment there is no direct evidence that the majestic city in the trailer is indeed Omnipotence City, but there are clues that carry heavy suggestion. For one, Russell Crowe is listed in the IMDB cast information as Zeus, so the Olympian figure holding a thunderbolt does appear to be exactly as one might imagine.
However, it seems unlikely that the city in question would be Olympus, given the proximity of Eternals and their fictitious birthplace of Olympia in the MCU as well as their similarity to Roman and Greek pantheon naming conventions. Tying the two together fairly overtly would seem to overcomplicate their relationship or Arishem’s choice of designation. There is also the matter of scope, as Gorr slew gods across all of space and time and limiting the focus of the story to Terran matters would diminish his atrocities, making them feel more local. The film’s casting also provides other potential affirmations that make Olympus a less likely location.
Akosia Sabet will be portraying the role of Bast, the panther goddess of Wakanda, in the upcoming film. Her inclusion suggests that there will be an assembly of gods from different traditions, as well as Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor, and hopefully many from other alien worlds. While it is entirely possible that Thor and his party may come across various deities in a myriad of locations throughout the length of the film, it seems more efficient to center the story around one amazing vista. Much like the mysteries of Knowhere from Guardians of the Galaxythat comes with its own rich history and can serve as the backdrop for the godly feats in store, Omnipotence City is a place yet to be explored and ripe for adaptation.
Some scenes from the film are strikingly similar to the panels from the comic, including one of a dead god lying among the snows of an unknown world known as Falligar the Behemoth, patron of the galactic frontier. The tone of the film, akin to Thor: Ragnarok, seems light-hearted in stark contrast to the edge carried in the comic. Gorr the God Butcher does not make an appearance in this teaser and its mirth may not capture the film’s emotive engine in its entirety. The Lord Librarian is especially useful in bridging that gap because although he is a pensive academic, his scalding wit can balance the needs of gravitas and bemusement nimbly. Considering that the Guardians play a major role in this film it will not be a buddy movie where the scholar and the warrior embark on a cosmic procedural, but hopefully he is included in the cast and receives plenty of screen time.
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