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The biggest mistakes Thor has made in the MCU

Ah, Thor. The saber-rattling god of thunder has stirred up drama from one side of Marvel's cinematic universe to the other. Brought to mesmerizing life by Chris Hemsworth, Thor has come to embody a very specific set of character traits — not all of which are entirely admirable. He's charming, heroic, and true, but he is also stubborn, pig-headed, and obstinate. But isn't that why we love him? Whether he's tussling with the Hulk in a helicarrier, electrifying Vision into existence, or demanding more coffee in a diner, Thor's over-the-top brash behavior has driven the plot, saved the day, and entertained millions. He can be a bit of a fool, sure — but darn it, he's our fool.

This foolishness, however, has gotten the Asgardian into no small amount of trouble. In fact, there are quite a few moments in which Thor has made some outright bone-headed choices. While many of these slip-ups have been resolved, it doesn't change the fact that they happened. From falling for his brother's tricks to outright laziness, here are Thor's worst mistakes.

That time Thor deliberately started a war

One need look no further than the opening moments of the first Thor film to see the god of thunder start things off on the wrong foot. Thor's story begins with his coronation, an event that is interrupted at the last possible second by a secret invasion of Frost Giants. Egged on by his brother Loki, Thor decides to directly disobey his father's orders and pay the Frost Giants a revenge-minded visit. The prince takes the Warriors Three, Lady Sif, and his conniving brother along with him on his journey to Jotunheim, each of them eager for payback.

Once there, Thor stirs up a hornet's nest of trouble: He kills innumerable Frost Giant warriors, upsets Laufey, the Frost Giant king, and otherwise tramples the fragile peace established between Asgard and Jotunheim. This vicious act of revenge sparks a war between the two realms, and Odin exiles Thor to Earth for his crimes. While this banishment eventually leads to Thor learning some pretty critical lessons about leadership and heroism, there's no doubt that the entire chaotic situation is sparked by his selfishness. 

Thor the cocky jerk

Thor might be royal, but his story gets off to a rough start. After he is banished to Earth, he wanders, stripped of his powers. Asgard is all he's ever known, and he is desperate to return. Who is he without power, glory, and Mjolnir, the hammer who finds him suddenly unworthy?

His early efforts to reach Asgard are fruitless, of course, as he is still his entitled, braggadocious self at that point in the story. He has yet to realize his might-makes-right attitude causes more trouble than good, and is even further from understanding it as the reason he's been exiled in the first place. How far he has to go is brought into sharp focus when he breaks into a S.H.I.E.L.D. installation and attempts to recover Mjolnir under the watchful eyes of an impressed Hawkeye. He can't — and he is devastated. But to the audience, it's obvious why he is unworthy: He spends much of the first half of Thor being a jerk. Sure, it's hilarious to watch him go to a pet store and demand something large enough to ride, smash coffee cups on the floors of diners, and utterly fail to thank Jane Foster for her hospitality — but it's also why he can't wield his hammer. Along with perpetuating his exile, Thor's presumptuous behavior enables his brother to push their father into the Odinsleep before usurping the throne in his older brother's absence.

Thor failing to contain Loki early in Avengers

In The Avengers, Thor officially hooks up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. He shows up suddenly — heralded by a storm and a few lightning bolts — while Natasha Romanoff, Tony Stark, and Steve Rogers are ferrying a captured Loki back to the helicarrier. Though he comes to recover his brother and bring him back to face Asgardian justice, Thor quickly becomes side-tracked in a tussle with Stark. This occurs after Thor has reclaimed Loki and decided to stop not far from the jailbreak to have a strained chat with his little brother — only to be interrupted by Stark, who comes to reclaim his stuff.

The scene is superhero cinema gold, with the two characters taking out acres of forest and tossing Shakespearean insults as they spar. Eventually, the showdown is brought to a swift conclusion when Cap uses his diplomatic skills to calm everyone down and bring the situation to a simmer. However, the fact still stands that if Thor hadn't stopped to talk things over with his brother, he could have safely brought him back to Asgard and likely prevented the entire Battle of New York debacle from ever taking place. 

Thor, the bad boyfriend

Thor is a busy dude. At various times throughout his 1,500 year career, the son of Odin has been a prince, a king, a warrior, a peacekeeper, and an Avenger. He's also a family man, putting in time as a son, a brother ... and a boyfriend.

Thor falls in love with Jane Foster in his first film, and though the two characters are a fun match — one Asgardian royalty, the other a brilliant scientist — it turns out that "Thor the star-struck lover" doesn't quite have the legs to go the distance. Sure, he cares about Jane, and he's seen pining for his love from Asgard as she feverishly searches for him. But at a certain point, the wheels come off.

When Thor helps to save the Earth in Avengers, he doesn't even stop in to say hi. While the duo patch things up in Thor: The Dark World, he fails to pay a visit yet again when he's on Earth in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Finally, early in Thor: Ragnarok, their entire relationship is dismissed with a curt line about who dumped who. Their relationship will likely be addressed yet again in Thor: Love and Thunder, where Foster will likely be a hero in her own right. Perhaps we'll finally be able to see her give Thor the talking-to he deserves for being a lousy boyfriend.

Every single time Thor trusted Loki

Truth be told, a lot of Thor's worst scrapes have revolved around his brother. Whether Loki is the instigator or simply taking advantage of an unfolding situation, he cooks up all sorts of nasty surprises for his brother, who never stops falling for it.

To a certain degree, Thor is blameless — Loki is the one causing harm here. But still, so many of Thor's problems spring from the fact that, despite everything, he still trusts his brother. How many times do you need to be stabbed in the back — quite literally, sometimes — to learn not to trust someone? Every single time Loki has betrayed his brother, Thor has somehow come around again to putting nearly unrestricted trust in the mischief-maker.

He buys into Loki's indirect advice to attack Jotunheim, believes him when he says his parents have disowned him, and tries to save him multiple times, in spite of Loki's treacherous behavior in their duel on the Rainbow Bridge. In Ragnarok Thor even recalls a time Loki stabbed him as an eight-year-old. While brotherly devotion is admirable, Thor's inability to wise up and stop trusting Loki plagues him over and over again throughout his MCU experience. 

Side-questing at the wrong time

Thor is one of the most easily distracted characters in the MCU — a fact that causes no end of trouble. One of his biggest and most random side-quests takes place in Avengers: Age of Ultron when the guy just up and heads off in the middle of an existential crisis.

With Ultron on the loose and the team trying to recuperate and figure out a new plan of attack, Thor decides that it's the perfect time to ditch the group. Of course, he does this with the admirable goal of answering the questions from his vision from Scarlet Witch, and he ends up coming back with some valuable information in the nick of time. Nevertheless, it doesn't change the fact that he heads off on a solo mission right when the group needs to stick together the most.

And then there's his story in Avengers: Infinity War. With all hands on deck to stop Thanos, the freshly minted King of Asgard decides to spend the bulk of his time convincing the Guardians of the Galaxy to join him on a mission to forge a new super-weapon. Again, he comes back with a valuable tool. It is all, technically, worth it. But using up so much time and manpower without consulting his teammates ultimately leaves them scrambling.

Giving up on finding the Infinity Stones

Thor's quest to find the Infinity Stones is noble. But, once again, we see Thor coming up short. While he sets out to learn more about the legendary Stones and the threat that they pose, once we get to the opening scene of Thor: Ragnarok, we discover that he has failed in his mission.

The line is easy to skip over in the moment, especially once the raucous duel with Surtur takes place. But when the Infinity Stone narrative kicks off in earnest in Thor: Ragnarok's mid-credits scene, it becomes obvious how important it was for Thor to get a handle on the Infinity Stone situation before the Mad Titan showed up on the scene. If he hadn't shrugged off the quest and had actually tracked down all, or at least some, of the Stones, the Avengers wouldn't have had to scramble to contain the Thanos threat in the eleventh hour — and ultimately fail to stop him from snapping those darned fingers as a result.

Surrendering an Infinity Stone to the Collector

How did Thor fail to discover any of the Infinity Stones when three of them were right under his nose the whole time? The Tesseract was in safekeeping on Asgard, Vision had the Mind Stone sticking out of his face, and Thor had already come into close contact with the Aether during Dark World. Sure, it was more of an angry sludge at that point, but one would think he could put two and two together.

Even if you excuse that point, what Thor and his companions end up doing with the Reality Stone is absolutely inexcusable. At the end of Dark World, the Asgardian leadership reasonably takes a look around and concludes that, with the Tesseract already on Asgard, it would be unwise to keep two Infinity Stones in the same place. However, their subsequent conclusion boggles the mind.

Instead of keeping it somewhere safe under lock and key — perhaps in their legendarily enormous and magically-empowered palace — they deliver it to the Collector on Knowhere. The folly of this move immediately becomes obvious when The Collector exclaims to himself that he has "one down, five to go" — clearly referring to the other five Infinity Stones. While the Collector miserably fails in his mission to collect all six, the presence of the Aether on Knowhere certainly makes it an easy target for Thanos in Infinity War.

Not going for the head

Regardless of all the good Thor has done within within the MCU, few will ever forget the time he failed to go for the head. The line has become synonymous with Thor and Thanos' relationship, reverberating into the opening act of Avengers: Endgame, when Thor finally does go for the head — but to no avail, as Thanos' damage has already been done. While Thor's Infinity War side-quest to forge a new weapon to defeat Thanos already left his teammates reeling, it could have been excused if he had shown up in the nick of time and ended the entire Thanos threat right there and then. But Thor wastes the opportunity he had, and in so doing, allows Thanos to tear apart the universe. If he had aimed a foot higher, Endgame wouldn't have had to happen at all and Thanos could have been a big purple trophy, stuffed and mounted over an Asgardian fireplace.

Thor neglecting his people

Thor's laziness in the first half of Avengers: Endgame is played for laughs — no one will forget the god of thunder yelling at a kid in Fortnite any time soon. But those personal struggles overshadowed a much bigger concern during that five year post-Infinity War stretch: the recovery of his people.

To recap, by the time Endgame rolls around, the people of Asgard have lost their long-time king Odin, were devastated by Hela's brief rule, and watched their home planet go down in a fiery apocalypse. Even then, they were nowhere near out of the woods. On the way to relocate to Earth, they are intercepted by Thanos, an encounter that leaves half of them alive at the most. After that, they likely lose half of their numbers again in the snap, somehow survive being scattered through space, and then manage to create a colony on Earth.

And their fearless new king? He's off forging a new weapon, taking on Thanos, and then sinking into a horrible depressive spiral when he fails to go for the head. While Thor is understandably also shaken by all of these experiences, when you boil it down, the buck should have stopped with him. Instead, he shrugs his responsibilities off like any average Joe. At least he ends up having the good sense to appoint Valkyrie to lead — but Asgardians won't forget his abandonment in their hour of need any time soon.