Thor: Love & Thunder introduced the God of Thunder to the Shadow Realm, the seat of power of Gorr the God-Butcher – and that’s coming from the comics.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder introduces the Shadow Realm, a separate plane of existence that appears to be tied to the powers of Gorr the Butcher God. Marvel’s Phase 4 embraces the supernatural on a scale never seen before, with Thor: Love and Thunder confirming that the Asgardians and the Egyptian pantheon aren’t the only gods in the cosmos. The film sees Thor Odinson leading a group to Omnipotence City, where they interrupt a Council of Deities presided over by Russell Crowe’s Zeus.
Unfortunately, not all gods are heroes, as Thor quickly learns. He’s not the first to realize this, as the film’s villain is Gorr the Butcher God, a tragic and twisted being who burns with hatred for the gods after choosing not to intervene and save life. of his daughter. Gorr came into possession of the Necrosword, an ancient weapon from the dawn of time that has the power to kill gods. Using the Necrosword, Gorr cut a bloody swath across the cosmos, prompting the pantheons to retreat to Omnipotence City, hoping they would be safe there.
Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher operates from a mysterious dimension known as the Shadow Realm, a dimension where all color is washed out of the world. The Shadow Realm has never been explored before in the MCU, but it’s actually a well-established concept in comics dating back to 1960. Here’s everything viewers need to know about Thor: Love and Thunderis the realm of shadows.
The Shadow Realm in Marvel Comics Explained
In the comics, the Shadow Realm is traditionally depicted as a two-dimensional realm that exists below our own. It was invaded long ago by a race known as the Soul Masters, who consumed the beings that lived there. These Soul Masters aspire to extinguish all life and light on all planes of existence, and they have frequently attempted to invade higher dimensions. One of the most notable Soul Masters is Warlord Kaa, who launched several invasions of Earth and became something of a nemesis to the Hulk; he used to possess Hulk’s shadow, allowing him to gain Hulk’s physical strength and invulnerability. The shadow dimension is so named because the soul masters who manifest from this realm are flat, two-dimensional beings capable of possessing shadows and dispelled by light.
More recent comics have reestablished a connection between the Soul Masters and the symbiotes associated with Venom, both created by the ancient god Knull. Knull was a god of darkness who predated all of creation; he was angry when the Celestials began to create light and life across the universe and dedicated themselves to waging war on both. This is the comic book origin of the Necrosword used by Gorr, and Knull later created the symbiotes as his agents. The so-called Soul Masters are essentially an evolutionary offshoot of the symbiotes.
How The MCU’s Shadow Realm Is Different From The Comics
The comic book version of Shadow Realm is a two-dimensional plane, and it’s relatively inaccessible. On the other hand, in Thor: Love and Thunder the realm of shadows is simply a plane of existence cleared of all light. Gorr the God Butcher is able to manipulate the Shadow Realm with the Necrosword, drawing monsters from it that are conceptually similar to Soul Masters – shadow-like beings that have physical mass. Unfortunately, Thor and Jane Foster quickly learn that Gorr is more powerful in the Shadow Realm than anywhere else, with the Necrosword clearly giving him the ability to manipulate the entire environment. Gorr is able to capture Thor Odinson, Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor, and Valkyrie with apparent ease.
Why is Gorr more powerful in the Shadow Realm?
As noted, in the comics, the Shadow Realm and the Necrosword, the weapon Gorr wields, are tied to Knull, who would have preferred to snuff out all life in the cosmos before it developed. The comics never directly tie Gorr’s mighty weapon to the Shadow Realm, but they’re only one degree apart, meaning it’s easy enough to imagine a storyline where they’re linked. The MCU has followed this chain of logic, suggesting that the owner of the Necrosword essentially controls the substance of the Shadow Realm.
Thor: Love and Thunder eschews any explicit origin for the Necrosword, contenting itself with merely confirming that it’s been around since the dawn of time. Assuming its creator was Knull, like in the comics, it’s likely that the MCU’s Shadow Realm was also created by this monstrous being. Knull burns with a hatred of life and light, explaining why the Shadow Realm is bleached with all colors and seems completely uninhabited. If the Shadow Realm is Knull’s seat of power, then the Necrosword is an extension of it, and its champions serve his in-universe purpose. It is interesting to note Thor: Love and Thunder associates the Celestials with the gods of Omnipotence City, meaning that a quest to kill the gods would also mean the slaughter of the Celestials – consistent with the Necrosword’s purpose in the comics. Thor: Love and Thunder clearly builds on comic book lore in a surprisingly consistent way, and Gorr’s power points the way for even more dangerous villains in the future.
More: Thor: Love & Thunder Post-Credits Scenes Explained: New Heroes & Return
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