While we were all buzzing about PlayStation’s incredible September showcase, Sony Santa Monica Art Director Raf Grassetti caused a bit of a debate on Twitter when he shared the first full, official image of Thor as he appears in God of War: Ragnarok.
To get a portion of the editorial portion of this program out of the way early, I think that design is awesome. Aside from a few scenes in Avengers: Endgame that were mostly played for laughs, we typically don’t see Thor depicted in this way despite the fact that there is quite a bit of text that absolutely supports the “validity” of this design.
Part of the reason Norse mythology is so interesting is that many of its mythical characters have an almost “blue-collar” nature compared to some of their counterparts. 2018’s God of War did a fantastic job of capitalizing on that element of the lore, and Thor’s Ragnarok design very much captures that same spirit. They managed to make Thor look like an intimidating warrior without relying on the usual flowing hair, chiseled muscles, and “traditional good looks”(due respect to Chris Hemsworth, of course). It’s hard not to love this design for pretty much everything it is and how it so perfectly fits everything this franchise is going for.
In fact, as some Twitter users are already pointing out, this design is clearly true to the few descriptions of Thor that we got in the previous God of War game.
Of course, that brings us to the main controversy at the moment: the divide between those who love this design and those who look at it and simply see “Fat Thor” (a label also applied to Chris Hemsworth’s aforementioned look in Avengers: Endgame).
Look, you probably already know what the dissenters are saying. In their mind, Thor should be a muscular warrior with abs that cut diamonds and biceps that would have gotten him kicked out of the WWF in the early ’90s. That’s certainly how we’re used to seeing such characters portrayed in most modern forms of entertainment, despite the fact that some of the strongest, toughest, and most athletically impressive people in the real world look nothing like on-screen superheroes. Not only are there various body types in the world, but the popular perception of what kinds of people have what body types and how we perceive their abilities based on a quick look at those body types has become warped to the point of absurdity.
While some are saying that they’re not going to buy God of War: Ragnarok due to their belief that this design is somehow mocking Thor, Vikings, and (in some especially sad cases), human males everywhere, we highly doubt that PlayStation Studios is sweating the heat. Actually, the majority of people seem to be rushing to the defense of Thor’s design via hilarious and accurate observations.
That really is the best thing about this design. Whereas Hemsworth’s look in Endgame was mostly played for laughs (which is honestly pretty much how many body types are still treated in mainstream media when they’re portrayed at all), it’s pretty clear that this point that Ragnarok‘s Thor is no laughing matter. He looks like he’s going to be one of Kratos’ toughest challenges yet, and we can’t wait to see these two face off in what should be a truly epic battle.
It’s a shame that such a logical, consistent, well-done, yet still different character design still seems to be a lightning rod of controversy, but since this is becoming a bit of a talking point at the moment, let our final word on the matter be that God of War: Ragnarok‘s Thor looks amazing and that we can’t wait to see more of him whenever the game is eventually released for PS4 and PS5.