Thor: Love and Thunder is in cinemas now, and it’s filled with cameos and easter eggs for casual viewers as well as hardcore fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The following are a few of our favorites. Just beware of SPOILERS AHEAD.
It’s Thor week here at Dexerto. We’ve already posted our review of Thor: Love and Thunder, and followed that up with a ranking of the Thor movies, as well as an article explaining the film’s post-credit stings.
But here, we’re doing a deep dive into the easter eggs in the movie, from a pair of goats and a bunch of gods, to a big-name cameo and a cult classic from the 1980s getting referenced in the most unexpected way.
These were some of our favorites, but as stated above, they are pretty much ALL SPOILERS, so this is your final warning before we get into the nitty-gritty.
Darryl Jacobson returns
This is one for the hardcore fans. Played by Daley Pearson, Daryll Jacobson is an Australian office worker who appeared in a series of hilarious shorts called Team Thor, Team Thor: Part 2, and Team Darryl. And while it looked like the character had served his purpose in the extended MCU, Darryl makes a triumphant return in Love and Thunder, playing a tour guide on New Asgard.
Another of Taika Waititi’s long-time collaborators also makes a brief appearance in the movie. Jonathan Brugh – aka Deacon in What We Do in the Shadows – shows up early in proceedings as a god called Rapu.
Meet the Goats
At the start of Love and Thunder, Thor is gifted a pair of giant goats for services rendered. But this isn’t some weird visual gag that Taika Waititi has thrown in for a laugh. Rather the goats come from the comics, which in turn were inspired by Norse mythology.
In the legend, they are called Tanngrisnir (translates as gap-toothed) and Tanngnjóstr (meaning teeth-grinder) and pull Thor’s chariot. While he also sometimes feasts on their flesh for sustenance, which gets joked about in the movie. In the comics meanwhile, they go by the names Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, and also provide transport.
Love and Thunder and Cocktails and Dreams
The chariot that the goats pull in the comics becomes a tourist ship in the movie. But if you look closely at the deck, there’s a surprising nod to a 1980s movie.
Cocktail stars Tom Cruise as an aspiring Wall Street banker who ends up working behind a bar. He partners with a philosopher-bartender who plans to one day open a chain of bars called Cocktails and Dreams. In the 1988 movie, those words are written in pink neon, just as they are on the deck of Thor’s Goat Boat.
The fall of Falligar
When Thor comes to the rescue of Lady Sif, she’s lying near Falligar the Behemoth, who has also fallen. Thor stands on the peak of a mountain, and takes in the size and scale of the lifeless beast.
This image is ripped directly from the pages of the comics, and more specifically Jason Aaron and Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder series. Indeed much of Love and Thunder’s plot comes from this acclaimed 2012 run.
Melissa McCarthy cameo
Thor Ragnarok features a play detailing the death of Odin. And it’s a star-studded affair, with Sam Neill playing Anthony Hopkins’ Odin, Matt Damon playing Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and Luke Hemsworth playing brother Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
In Love and Thunder, the players are back, though this time they are performing Ragnarok, meaning Cate Blanchett’s Hela takes center stage – with Melissa McCarthy now playing the villain. And the cameos don’t end there, with McCarthy’s husband and long-time collaborator Ben Falcone popping up as a stage-hand.
Speaking of theater, British acting legend Simon Russell Beale makes a brief cameo in Omnipotent City as Dionysus, the God of Wine.
After Thor and his rag-tag crew have stolen Zeus’s bolt of lightning, they make a fast getaway from Omnipotent City. But the eagle-eyed will spot some Celestials on their way out, guarding the gates of the city.
These god-like beings were introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 via Ego, tried to destroy Earth in the Eternals, and will doubtless have a major role to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
Young Hemsworth plays Young Thor
In a sequence where we see Thor age in front of our eyes, also shown in the trailer, that’s Chris Hemsworth’s son Tristan playing the very young Thor. Then later in the movie, his daughter India appears as Gorr’s daughter Love.
"…Taika had his children in there. Christian Bale had his. Natalie had…her kids as well. That's my daughter…as well. She plays the character of Love…"
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) June 27, 2022
Hemsworth also reveals that Christian Bale’s kids appear, as do Natalie Portman’s as well as writer-director Taika Waititi’s, making Love and Thunder a true family affair.
The Living Tribunal
During the film’s climax – when Thor is trying to put a stop to Gorr’s god-butchering by the Gateway to Eternity – a bunch of statues can be seen in the background.
It looks like they depict the three heads of The Living Tribunal, who briefly cameoed in Loki, and more recently Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Uatu the Watcher can also be glimpsed, a god-like being who popped up in What If…?, where he was voiced by Jeffrey Wright.
We’ve covered this in our article on the film’s post-credit scenes, but it’s probably Thor: Love and Thunder’s biggest bit of fan service – namely the introduction of Hercules as a future Thor foe.
Russell Crowe’s Zeus sets the character up, delivering a speech about gods not getting enough respect, and superhero’s receiving too much credit. His solution is to send his son Hercules to take Thor down.
Hercules is then revealed, and he’s played by comedian/actor Brett Goldstein, best-known as stone-faced footballer Roy Kent in hit sitcom Ted Lasso. So expect to see Hercules going toe-to-toe with Thor when the inevitable sequel happens.