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In 965 A.D., the bitter war between the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and the Norse Gods of Asgard comes to an end on the world of Midgard where Odin, King of Asgard was victorious in seizing the Casket of Winters from the Giants. Deprived of their dreaded main weapon, the Giants were forced to surrender and accept banishment to Jotunheim. Since that day, there has existed a stable but wary state of peace in the Nine Realms. The Asgardians would subsequently withdraw to their own world and ultimately become the stuff of myths and legends to the primitive Norse inhabitants of Midgard.
In the present day, Odin seeks to step down and elevate his son, Thor to the throne. But during the inauguration ceremony, a small band of Frost Giants try to break into the armory and retake the Casket. Thanks to the presence of the powerful Destroyer, a mighty armored robot; their attempt fails but Thor demands retaliation only for Odin to balk him.
Determined to teach the Frost Giants a stern lesson, Thor secretly goes with his friends; Sif, the Warrior Three, and his brother Loki to Jotunheim against his father's wishes. Thor arrogantly insults Laufey the King of the Frost Giants and a battle breaks out. During the battle, Loki is touched by one of the Giants. But unlike the other Asgardians who suffer painful frost burns, he is unharmed much to his confusion. The six Asgardians soon find themselves overwhelmed and have to be rescued by Odin himself. Odin attempts to apologize to Laufey but his diplomacy fails, resulting in the war between the Jotunheim and Asgard beginning anew.
A crestfallen Odin takes Thor and the others back to Asgard and furiously strips Thor of his power and Mjolnir, declaring that he is unworthy and unready of the responsibility of ruling Asgard before casting him and Mjolnir out to Midgard, the home of humans.
Both Thor and his hammer, Mjolnir land in the desert outside of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico. Thor is nearly run over by a car being driven by Dr. Jane Foster; an astrophysicist, her assistant, Darcy Lewis, and her mentor Dr. Erik Selvig. The trio are investigating the strange aurora borelias effects from the Bifrost, an interdimensional portal from Asgard. Even though Jane is extremely attracted to him, she and the others dismiss him as a belligerent and irrational drunk and take him to a hospital.
The enchanted hammer is soon found by S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Phil Coulson and the alien artifact swiftly becomes the subject of an intensive scientific study.
Reexamining her data, Jane Foster becomes convinced that the strange effect that they were witness to the other night was an Einstein-Rosen Bridge, a wormhole into another galaxy. Her grad student Darcy Lewis however has an even bigger piece to the puzzle when she shows Foster and Selvig a series of photographs she had taken of the wormhole and it shows a man-like shape in the midst of the effect and Foster realizes that the "crazy man" from the other night was actually "inside" the wormhole itself. They rush to the hospital and find that Thor has already escaped custody and proffer him clothing and food in exchange for his testimony.
However Thor's remarks about Asgard and the Bifrost results in Selvig dismissing him as delusional and he convinces Jane that Thor's testimony isn't credible and they leave. Thor soon overhears a conversation which convinces him of the presence of Mjolnir nearby and immediately sets out to reclaim it.
In Asgard, Loki realizes that he is not actually an Asgardian but a Frost Giant and angrily confronts his "father" Odin. Odin admits that he found the infant Loki in Jotunheim on a battlefield and took pity on the child and adopted him. An enraged Loki realizes that this is why he has never really felt like he belonged in Asgard, why his father has always favored Thor, his true son over him. Odin protests that but is unable to convince Loki of this and collapses soon afterwards, falling into the "Odinsleep", a form of enchanted sleep which he must enter periodically to recharge his godly power. Loki immediately seizes this as his chance and assumes the role of acting king of Asgard.
Meanwhile on Midgard, Agent Phil Coulson exercises his government powers to confiscate all of Foster's data and equipment for study. Foster is outraged at this and when she inadvertently runs into Thor who is seeking and failing to find a horse at a petshop, she bargains with him that she will take him to the crash site if he'll retrieve her data. Thor agrees and sneaks into the temporary S.H.I.E.L.D facility. Forced to fight several agents before finding Mjolnir, Thor eagerly tries to lift his hammer only to discover that he is unable to. In despair, he quietly surrenders to S.H.I.E.L.D.
While in custody, Thor is visited by an astral projection of Loki who claims that Odin was unable to handle the stress of the new Jotunheim War plus exiling Thor and has died. Loki proclaims that he has been forced to accept the throne and part of the truce between Asgard and Jotunheim is conditional that Thor is forbidden to ever return. A brokenhearted Thor declares that he has accepted his exile, resigning himself to life on Midgard.
Loki proceeds to approach Laufey, his biological father and reveals that he had covertly aided the trio of Jotun Giants to invade Asgard to derail Thor's inauguration, believing his brother was unfit to be King. He makes a deal that he will give the Jotunheim Giants the Casket of Winters if they slay the helpless Odin. Laufey grins and agrees.
Selvig arrives at the S.H.I.E.L.D facility, spinning a story that Thor is actually an associate of theirs who became enraged at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s heavy handiness at stealing their research and went on a drunken bender. Agent Coulson doesn't believe him but decides to let Thor go with Selvig so that they can follow them and maybe learn the truth. Thor and Jane begin to develop a romantic relationship while in Asgard; Sif and the Warrior Three are increasingly suspicious of Loki and decide to find Thor and bring him home. Their departure however is noticed by Loki who sends the Destroyer to find and kill Thor.
Sif and the Warrior Three are able to find Thor and reveal the truth to him shortly before the destructive arrival of the Destroyer who easily annihilates S.H.I.E.L.D. forces and proceeds to go on a rampage throughout Puente Antiguo. Despite the best efforts of the Asgard contingent, they are no match for the Destroyer and Thor rushes forward, begging Loki to take his life and let the innocents in the town go unharmed.
Loki hesitates and then accepts the offer, remote controlling the Destroyer to casually backhands Thor, sending him flying dozens of feet before landing in a crumpled heap. Jane runs out only for the dying Thor to tell her that it's finished and that she's safe now. Seconds later, before Jane's tearful eyes, a sudden thunderstorm forms and Mjolnir comes hurtling through the skies to return to Thor's hand as his heroic sacrifice was deemed worthy enough of restoring his godhood.
Empowered once more, Thor is able to overcome the Destroyer in a pitched battle. After kissing Jane goodbye, he vows to return and rushes to Asgard via the Bifrost.
Back in Asgard, Loki has secretly allowed Laufey and several Frost Giants into the realm. Laufey is preparing to kill Odin when he is doublecrossed by Loki who "heroically" rescues the helpless Odin by slaying the would-be assassin. He is confronted by an angry Thor who demands an explanation from him. Loki proclaims that he did this all to be seen as a worthy son to Odin, to be as good as Thor ever was. Angrily, Loki flees to the Bifrost where he turns the interdimensional transporter into a genocidal weapon by bypassing the safety measures and leaving the portal locked open. He then turns it on Jotunheim which begins to tear the Frost Giants' planet apart.
To save the Jotunheim, Thor is forced to destroy the Bifrost, stranding himself in Asgard. As both he and Loki begin to fall into the abyss, they are rescued by their awakened father, Odin. He grabs Thor who is holding onto Loki's staff. A tearful Loki claims that he did it all to make Odin proud, that it was all for his sake. Odin sorrowfully shakes his head and rejects Loki's desperate plea for approval. A mournful Loki relinquishes his grip and allows himself to fall into the abyss.
Afterwards, Thor pines for Jane as he makes amends with his father, admitting that he is not ready to be king. On Midgard, Jane and the others are busy at work to create their own Einstein-Rosen Bridge to Asgard with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s backing.
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor
- Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki
- Stellan Skarsgard as Dr. Erik Selvig
- Colm Feore as Laufey
- Ray Stevenson as Volstagg
- Idris Elba as Heimdall
- Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis
- Rene Russo as Frigga
- Anthony Hopkins as Odin
- Tadanobu Asano as Hogun
- Josh Dallas as Fandral
- Jaimie Alexander as Sif
- Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson
- Adriana Barraza as Isabella Alvarez
- Maximiliano Hernandez as Jasper Sitwell
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
- Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton
- Dakota Goyo as Young Thor
- Ted Allpress as Young Loki
Thor debuted on May 6, 2011 in 3,693 theaters nationwide and immediately jumped to the 1st place, earning a gross of $65,723,338 that weekend and remained at the number one slot for another week before dropping to 3rd place in the third weekend and subsequently to 5th place in the fourth weekend.
In total, it earned a gross of $181,030,624 nationwide and $268,295,994 in the foreign markets; making Thor the highest grossing comic-book movie adaptation of 2011 with a combined total of $449.3 million worldwide, beating out other competitors such as The Green Hornet; X-Men: First Class; Green Lantern; and Captain America: The First Avenger. Although financially successful, as it easily repaid the original budget of $150 million, it was expected that Thor would significantly surpass records set by other Marvel adaptations such as Iron Man but failed to do so.
The film earned a 77% "Fresh" approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes but it possessed mixed reviews by critics some of whom praised it for its special effects and performances by Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Sir Anthony Hopkins (Odin) while others called it derivative and overly commercial.
It was subsequently released on September 18, 2011 on both DVD and Blu-Ray and earned a combined total of $72,510,412 domestically. The popularity of Thor ultimately spawned a sequel, Thor: The Dark World.
- Thor was also released as The Mighty Thor worldwide and Mighty Thor in Japan.