At the time of writing, Taika Watiti’s Thor: Love & Thunder is only days away from taking its cinematic bow, but while the trailers have been boasting everything from Jane Foster’s godly return, to Greek Gods, to giant space goats, there’s one other aspect that’s had fans buzzing: Gorr the God Butcher.
Emerging from the cracking arc that opened Jason Aaron’s 2012 Thor run, Gorr the God Butcher has none other that Batman himself, Cristian Bale portraying him and while his look isn’t exactly comics accurate, his Nosferatu meets monk visage still marks him out as devastating a foe as Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has ever faced.
But what about those other foes? Which of Thor’s onscreen gallery of misanthropes has managed to score the biggest wins while scrapping with the Thunder God and how will they rank against a serial killer who murders Gods as a hobby? Only one way to find out…
Authors note, in case you were wondering: Thanos and the Hulk, while causing untold damage to the life and physical being of the Odison are omitted by the simple facts that the former is technically an Avengers villain while Hulk is more of an asshole than an actual bad guy. Enjoy.
5) The Destroyer (Thor – 2011)
Ever wondered why Odin would be so careless to store numerous, ludicrously dangerous, cosmic artifacts in a single vault under his throne room? Because he had the frickin’ Destroyer armour keeping a beady eye on his personak shit, that’s why. While the Destroyer may technically be a mindless guard dog who is sent out to stomp the crap out of whomever irks the current ruler of Asgard, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been responsible for some highly destructive acts that’s given Thor a thunderous headache. Activated by Loki to wipe a de-powered Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three off the face of the earth, Loki sics the armour on the New Mexico town of Puente Antiguo, which soon sees some drastic Asgardian-style remodeling being done on its various buildings. Sifcand the Warriors Three fight valiantly but Thor realises that the only way the Destroyer will stop stomping a mud hole in this town’s ass is for him to sacrifice himself for the good of the people.
After an impassioned plea, Loki thinks it over for a second and then has the hulking titan backhand his brother into utter oblivion, which actually succeeds in killing the temporarily unworthy god – for around three minutes… still, not bad for a mindless metal golem that shoots lasers out of its face.
Damage Count: Destroyed New Mexico Town; “Killed” Thor
4) Kurse (Thor: The Dark World – 2013)
Some of you might be surprised that one of the MCU’s most forgettable henchman made the list at all, let alone ranking so highly, but when you rack up all of Kurse’s (aka. Algrim the Strong) indiscretions, they contain some a surprising about of major body blows he managed to inflict of the God of Thunder – which is certainly a few more than his boss, Maleketh, managed anyway.
Essentially a Dark Elf bruiser mutated into a horned, super strong juggernaut of destruction with an unbreakable carapace, Kurse single handedly smuggled himself into Asgard, triggered his “makeshift crazy” button and stormed through the cells in a kill-crazy rampage that (thanks to Loki) ultimately led him to Asgard’s bizarrely unguarded shield generator, which he destroyed with a minimum of fuss. From then on he caught up with Makekith just in time to stop his best buddy getting hacked up by Thor’s mother, Frigga, and sent quite a sizable message by shish kebabing her with a sword much to the Odinson’s understandable anguish.
Even more impressive, later on, when Thor and Kurse duel in the desolate wastes of Svartalheim, not only does our mighty hero get a sound kicking from his spikey foe, but at one point Kurse even deflects a blow from Mjolnir with a casual backhand and is only stopped after the killing of Loki (kind of not really) reveals that the God of Mischief has pulled the pin out of a handy black hole grenade in an “elfless” act…
Damage Count: Beat the shit out of Thor; “Killed” Loki; Killed Frigga
3) Surtur (Thor: Ragnarok – 2017)
A fire demon who resides in the smokey realm of Muspelheim, Sutur isn’t doing so good when we first meet him. Apparently after having his flaming butt handed to him eons ago by Odin, a weakened Sutur has been biding his time until the prophecy of Ragnarok means he can grow to the size of a mountain and stick his sword deep into Asgard where the sun doesn’t shine.
However, despite having Thor imprisoned, the fiesty blond not only does the demon the dishonor of mistaking his headgear for a giant eyebrow (“It’s a crown!”), but he busts free of his chains, smites Surtur and his army and escapes back to Asgard with his skull while inadvertently decapitating a fire dragon with the Bifrost while making his getaway.
Of course, that’s not the end of the big fiery lug as, in an attempt to neutralise the power of their wannabe despot sister Hela, Thor, Loki and Valkyrie decide to weaponize the prophecy of Ragnarok and deliberately merge Surtur’s skull with something called the Immortal Flame which resulted in the God of Thunder being directly responsible for the obliteration of his homeland.
In other words, a right flaming bastard.
Damage Count: Destroyed Asgard
2) Hela (Thor: Ragnarok – 2017)
While her motives may have been a little simple (rule everything, basically), Hela still proved to be a formidable foe the very second she slinked on screen and crushed Mjolnir one-handed with a derisive sneer etched on her face. Ret-conned from being the ruler of Hel to the Goddess of Death and making her Thor and Loki’s older sister, Hela proved her mettle by taking over the entirety of Asgard in a single afternoon as she slaughtered whole armies and causally bitch-slapped the Warriors Three all the way to Valhalla. Keeping up the Odin family tradition of wearing absurdly ornate head gear and being tougher to kill than curry-related heartburn, Hela was her father’s right hand woman during his bad old days when he was a ruthless conqueror. However after laying claim to the Ten Realms, his mood calmed down a bit and he had Hela imprisoned after it became apparent that her bezerker mindset couldn’t be tempered.
Second only to Thanos when it comes to inflicting long lasting damage to our God of Thunder, Hela not only proved to be near unbeatable in combat, but she helped Thor take after his cycloptic old man in the looks departmenr when she nastily sliced out one of his eyeballs.
In fact, the only way she could ultimately be brought down was to destroy all of Asgard from which she was drawing her immense power with the help of the prophecy of Ragnarok and a mountain-sized fire demon. Now, while this greatly exaggerated version of burning the garden to remove the weed actually worked, it left the surviving Asgardians as directionless as The Littlest Hobo. Simply put, the Goddess of Death had a “hela” lasting effect on our hero.
Damage Count: Destroyed Mjolnir; Killed the Warriors Three; Enslaved Asgard; Cut Out Thor’s eye.
1) Loki (Various – 2011 to 2018)
Of course number one was going to be Loki! Who else could it have been? Until his redemption and then subsequent death-by-crushed-windpipe at the chunky digits of the Mad Titan Thanos, the thought of a Thor movie without Loki would have been as unthinkable as an X-Man movie without Magneto as the two compliment each other as well as salt of fries, thus the horn-helmeted God of Mischief has proven to be a fascinating foil for the blustering thunderer ever since his first appearance back in 2011. But what makes Loki Laufreyson’s capacity for damage so interesting is that the sheer amount of chaos he has wrecked upon his brother’s life has mostly been done passively – if you don’t count the endless stabbings, of course. Loki rarely does anything to Thor, instead causing him maximum amount of pain by passively altering the events around the Odinson which ultimately snowballs into disaster.
While his wrongdoings have subtly changed from movie to movie that’s seen him go from jealous sibling, to scenery-chewing super villain and back again, every mischievous act ends in disastrous consequences that Thor inevitably has to mop up: Loki cheekily smuggling Frost Giants into Odin’s vault during Thor’s coronation eventually ends with Loki trying to steal the throne while unleashing the Destroyer Armour on a small, New Mexico town and attempting to annihilate all of Jotenheim. This in turn leads to the War of New York and his subsequent imprisonment, which then leads to him cheekily directing the Dark Elf, Kurse, to bringing down Asgard’s defences, which leads to the death of Thor and Loki’s mother.
Even his non-violent usurping of Odin ultimately led to Ragnarok itself and his random theft of the Tesseract during that conflagration ended up drawing Thanos to the last surviving Asgardians which is all stuff Thor had to eventually weather as his losses mounted. Utterly charming, yet completely untrustworthy, Loki has constantly danced across the line between hero and villain and as a result has indirectly caused more damage to our hammering hero than we could ever know.
The very definition of a low-key threat.
Damage Count: Has repeatedly stabbed Thor since childhood; Ruined Thor’s coronation; “Kills” Thor with the Destroyer Armour; Killed Agent Coulson; Kickststarted an alien invasion of New York killing hundreds; Inadvertently led Kurse to kill Frigga; Brainwashed Odin; Passively conquered Asgard; Caused untold trauma by repeatedly faking his own death
Honorable Mention: Creepy Old Space Barber (Thor: Ragnarok 2017)
Of all the beings on this list, be they lithe trickster or muscle bound henchmen, every one of them has eventually tasted the metallic tang of uru after Thor has hurled his enchanted mallet directly at their face; however, there is one member of his rogues gallery that inflicted a major slight on his person and managed to get away scott free.
I give to you Stan Lee’s Ragnarok cameo as a bespectacled, sadistic barber who reduces our hero to a screaming wreck after he aims his whirling blades at Thor’s luxurious, blonde mane. Cue a rather fetching buzz cut and a trip to the Grandmaster’s slave pits for Thor as the cackling hairdresser wanders off to shave another victim. Although, to be honest, I’m not sure that Sakaar has much need of guy who cuts the hair of their alien slaves; I mean, it’s not like Korg and Miek originally turned up with the Rachael from Friends look atop their skulls, is it?
Damage Count: Gave Thor a haircut