Kids, get your popcorn out because we are going to relive the story of the space Viking, Thor Odinson. If you’re just as hyped as we are for Thor’s fourth movie, Thor Love and Thunder, then you may be thinking it’s time to take a trip along the rainbow bridge and revisit some of his best moments.
To be clear, every Marvel movie Chris Hemsworth appears in is worth watching, but we’re just going to stick to the essentials here and give you the four must-see movies before Thor 4.
Look, it’s pretty obvious that Thor’s mainline MCU movies are all essential viewing here.
The first Thor movie directed by Kenneth Branagh is a colourful almost Shakespearean take on the Norse gods. It introduces us to Thor, who is a bit of a royal brat until he’s exiled to Earth and has to find a way to prove he is worthy of his hammer Mjolnir once again.
It also introduces us to many Thor mainstays, including his love interest Jane Foster. It’s a pretty stock-standard fish out of water story, but ultimately a worthy one.
Thor: The Dark World
While it may be one of the more difficult Marvel movies to love, Thor: The Dark World is still an essential piece of Thor’s timeline in the MCU.
Directed by Alan Taylor, The Dark World sees Thor take on the Dark Elf Malekith who is looking to unleash a force known as the Aether (aka the reality stone).
When Jane Foster absorbs the Aether (yeah, it’s a thing) during one of her research missions, they must look for a way to save her from Malekith and stop him from gaining its power.
If nothing else, Thor: The Dark World signals a pretty important chapter in Thor and Loki’s brotherly relationship, which is important for the next film.
If you only watch one film before Thor: Love and Thunder, let it be this one.
Thor: Ragnarok signalled a massive change for the character as Taika Waititi injected his brand of comedy and fun into the movie.
Ragnarok sees Thor attempting to stop the prophecised world-ending event after his long-lost sister Hera breaks free of her prison. Helping him is his brother Loki, Avengers teammate Hulk and new friend Valkyrie.
Thor: Ragnarok gives us the best idea yet of what to come from Thor: Love and Thunder and introduces us to many of the important characters we’ll see in that film.
Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame go hand in hand, but Endgame is particularly important for Thor’s character.
After the Avengers lose to Thanos, Thor goes through a rough patch and ends up hiding out in New Asgard, eating and drinking away his days. When the team recruit him to try and undo their past mistakes, Thor takes the opportunity to make amends with his past, forge a new weapon and remember why he is worthy.
In the end, we see Thor team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for more spacefaring adventures.
This is where we’ll catch up with him in Thor: Love and Thunder, so it’s a must-see if you want the full picture.
If you really want to get as much context as possible before Thor: Love and Thunder we’d also recommend watching the Avengers movies (Avengers, Age of Ultron and Infinity War).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and Vol 2 are also worthy additions to the list if you want to become familiar with Thor’s new teammates in Love and Thunder.
Lastly, if you really want to go the extra mile, you can check out Team Thor parts 1 and 2 and Team Darryl, which are short mockumentaries featuring Thor that are directed by Taika Watiti. They’re a good time; you won’t regret it.
Once you’re ready for Thor: Love and Thunder you’ll be able to watch it in Australian cinemas on July 6.