Who Is The Main Thor: Love And Thunder Villain? Gorr The God Butcher Explained

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is heading to theaters in 2022 and Oscar winner Christian Bale has signed on to star as the movie's villain, continuing Marvel Studios' unrivaled dominance in casting. Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman (who is playing The Mighty Thor in this sequel) will have their hands full with Bale's character: he's playing a terrifying baddie known as Gorr the God Butcher. Here's what you need to know about Gorr.

Gorr's God Butchering Origins

In the pages of Marvel Comics, Gorr grew up on an unnamed planet in a society that worshipped unseen gods in order to keep their families safe. Gorr's parents die when he is young, sowing doubt in his mind about the value of the gods. Years later, when he has a family of his own, his pregnant wife dies in an earthquake and his children die of illness, leaving him emotionally devastated. Fed up, Gorr loses faith in all of the gods, lashing out and committing blasphemous acts that get him banished from his homeland. 

As he wanders across the wasteland, two armored beings — one clad in gold, the other in black — fly through the sky and crash nearby, with one stabbing the other. Gorr assumes they are gods and blames them for his troubles, and when the gold one asks for help, Gorr refuses. Instead, a black ooze rises up from the creature clad in black and forms a spearhead in Gorr's hand, which he uses to slay the living god. The ooze morphs into a winged armor that forms around Gorr's body, and he takes to the skies looking for more gods to murder.

Gorr's Deadly Mission

That black ooze that gave Gorr his powers is known as All-Black, the very first symbiote. (Many of you will recognize that word: the alien species responsible for characters like Venom and Carnage are also symbiotes.) All-Black bonds with Gorr and bestows him the powers of flight, super strength, increased durability, regeneration, and the ability to produce weapons with his mind, including one called the Necrosword, which is "made from living darkness." Talk about hardcore. 

Whether or not that symbiote aspect is retained in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen. The movie rights to certain elements of Marvel Comics are complicated right now since Sony currently owns the rights to Venom and Carnage, so it's possible that Disney/Marvel will need to tweak that aspect of Gorr's power set in order to avoid using the name "symbiote" in "Thor: Love and Thunder."

After a few skirmishes with Thor in the comics, Gorr decides to redouble his efforts to kill all of the gods in the entire universe, and spends thousands of years torturing and butchering them, even entering a time portal and slaying gods from the distant past and the far-flung future — including an older version of Thor known as "King Thor." (Evidently the dude really does not like gods.)

Gorr's Ultimate Defeat

Gaining more power with every god he kills, Gorr eventually creates symbiote constructs of his dead wife and son. When he activates a weapon called the Godbomb, his fake wife calls him a god — which, considering how much the dude hates deities, is one of the worst things you could say to him. He lashes out and murders his fake wife, inspiring his fake son to team up with Thor and take Gorr down. But since Gorr had bonded with All-Black for such an extended period of time, his consciousness was preserved inside the symbiote, which attached itself to other hosts — including, eventually, Loki. Naturally, Gorr betrays Loki (tsk tsk, there's no honor among villains anymore) and imprisons Loki and Thor, who are ultimately saved by the Goddess of Thunder, who helps to separate Gorr from the symbiote once and for all. Reduced to a mere mortal again, Gorr is allowed to slink off to a distant realm overseen by a race called the Sky Lords of Indigarr, who take him in and let him live his life in peace.

As you've seen in previous MCU movies, Marvel Studios almost never repeats comic storylines beat for beat. Instead, they take inspiration from the comics and come up with something that feels fresh while retaining the essence of the stories they're inspired by. I can definitely see Christian Bale being interested in playing a character who resorts to violence after his faith is eviscerated, and while I sometimes roll my eyes at A-list actors getting sucked into the Marvel machine, I'm hopeful that Bale brings an intensity and complexity to this performance (or, at the very least, a Cate Blanchett-level of scenery chewing) that makes his Gorr a god butcher to remember.