Every Major Cameo In Thor: Love And Thunder, Ranked

In the age of the interconnected movie universe, there are few concepts more enticing than a cameo. Marvel has built a billion-dollar franchise on this phenomenon alone, training its fans to anticipate appearances from their favorite heroes to an almost Pavlovian degree. Of course, the cameos have only increased in number with each installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the deeper we get, the more each film feels like a springboard for another character down the line.

That's definitely the case for "Thor: Love and Thunder," the latest outing for the Norse god played by Chris Hemsworth. The film is bursting with new and old faces, and it's also focusing one of the most tragically underwritten characters in the MCU, Natalie Portman's Jane Foster. With so many characters to reunite with, it can be hard to get proper time with each of them. Let's break down each cameo in "Thor: Love and Thunder," and whether each character gets their deserved time in the sun.

Warning: spoilers below for "Thor: Love and Thunder."

Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard)

It's hard to imagine a Thor film without the characters that have been there from the very beginning. With the reintroduction of Jane Foster, it only makes sense that "Love and Thunder" gets Jane's old trio back together, however briefly. This means that Jane's former mentor, Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) appears in the new film to counsel Jane on her cancer diagnosis.

It's always great to see Skarsgard in the MCU, but not every Marvel film uses him to the best of his ability. After the first installment of "Thor" and an interesting turn in "The Avengers," Selvig's characterization has been spotty. He's similarly underutilized in "Love and Thunder," relegated to a video message that lasts all of three seconds. Still, it's a nice nod to the early days of Marvel's Cinematic Universe — and an even nicer confirmation that Selvig is still alive and kicking somewhere.

Dionysus (Simon Russell Beale)

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is all about the gods and their respective foibles. While one or two deities have been enough for the first few phases of Marvel films, Phase 4 is slowly lifting the veil on the more cosmic side of things — and "Love and Thunder" made a giant leap in that direction as well. The film introduces us to Omnipotence City, a realm where all manner of gods get to chill and revel together in harmony. Zeus (Russell Crowe) is the ringleader of this operation, but he's not the only Greek god in town. Veteran actor Simon Russell Beale ("The Outfit," "The Death of Stalin") appears as Dionysus, the god of wine and wild parties.

Unfortunately, Beale isn't given very much to do in "Love and Thunder" either. With so much ground to cover — and so many other gods to reference — we don't get to spend much time with him. In fact, Beale's cameo is very much a blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair. But Marvel finally seems ready to set up a larger vehicle for its pantheon of gods, so there's a chance we could see Dionysus again very soon.

Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)

It's been a rough couple of years for any fan of Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (sometimes Josh Dallas, sometimes Zachary Levi), and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) were fan faves from the very first "Thor" film, though their appearance in the sequel was dubious at best. "Thor: Ragnarok" made quick work of killing off each of the Warriors Three, earning ire from fans who hoped the characters would finally get their due. That left Lady Sif to fend for herself, and though she's since returned to the fold with a cameo in "Loki," "Love and Thunder" makes the mistake of wasting her yet again.

Sif essentially shows up to inform Thor about what Gorr the God Butcher has been up to of late. Though she and Thor share a pretty humorous exchange, she doesn't appear again until the very end of "Love and Thunder." It's great that she's managed to survive each "Thor" film she's appeared in, but can we get a little more love for the franchise's female characters, please?

Heimdall (Idris Elba)

Speaking of fan favorites: Idris Elba is also back as Heimdall, everyone's favorite glowy-eyed portal opener. Heimdall makes an appearance in the post-credits stinger for "Love and Thunder," but his cameo is similarly brief. He's pretty much there to welcome Jane to Valhalla and thank her for protecting the son we knew nothing about until this film. That said, it's great that Elba has managed to appear in every "Thor" film from the very beginning. His appearance — as well as Jane's presence in Valhalla — has already kicked up theories of a possible return for his character. Knowing what we know about Marvel, nothing is set in stone, not even death, apparently. If Jane somehow finds her way back to the land of the living, could Heimdall do the same?

Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings)

Many of Marvel's Disney+ series, while setting up the arrival of new characters, have also allowed some OG Marvel players to reprise their roles here and there. We saw it with Sif's appearance in "Loki," but Kat Dennings's return as Darcy Lewis was also teased in "WandaVision." Darcy is, of course, Jane Foster's former intern turned confidant, and she makes another appearance in "Love and Thunder" while Jane undergoes chemo treatment. Her role in the new film is surprisingly heartfelt compared to her streak as comic relief. Watching her relationship with Jane blossom across the films is just as rewarding. Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of her either — I personally wouldn't say no to a buddy comedy with Randall Park's Jimmy Woo.

Rapu (Jonathan Burgh)

Taika Waititi is known to invite some of his frequent collaborators onto multiple projects — bonus points if said collaborators happen to hail from New Zealand as well. The director has also worked with several of his co-stars from the original "What We Do in the Shadows," like Jermaine Clement and Rhys Darby, and "Love and Thunder" continues the streak with Jonathan Brugh.

Brugh appears as Rapu, the god of Gorr's unnamed world. His role in the film is equal parts absurd and profound: Rapu's dismissal of the mortals who worship him is right in line with Waititi's cheeky humor. But it's also juxtaposed against the depth of Gorr's anguish. He's finally face-to-face with the god he's dedicated his entire life to, the god he continued to honor even after the death of his daughter, and he can't be bothered in the least. It's a crucial moment to get right, especially since this catalyzes Gorr's rebirth as the God Butcher, and Brugh definitely nails his part in it.

Wolf Woman (Elsa Pataky)

Chris Hemsworth's wife, Elsa Pataky, is no stranger to a "Thor" set. She stood in as Jane Foster — donning Natalie Portman's wig and costume — for a post-credits scene in "Thor: The Dark World." It makes her return for another, more official cameo in "Love and Thunder" even sweeter. Pataky appears as the wolf woman that Thor smooches on the back of a woman wolf early in the film. It's another brief cameo, but Hemsworth is always so keen to make his projects a family affair (his kids also appear in the film), and that's just so, so heartwarming. Hemsworth even has a cameo of his own in Pataky's latest film, "Interceptor," and it's equally hilarious.

The Guardians of the Galaxy

Now, I'll never say no to any Guardians of the Galaxy content. Starlord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Deisel), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) are all fantastic characters with a fantastic dynamic, and it feels like forever since we've seen them in action. Unfortunately, their cameo in "Love and Thunder" is another case of "Too Many Characters, Not Enough Time to Enjoy Them."

The main interaction between Thor and the Guardians happens in one chaotic go. It's enough to give us a taste of the kooky dynamic — which has only grown in absurdity with Thor around — but it doesn't really do much in the grand scheme. And that's a real shame, because inducting Thor into the group was one of the more inspired developments of the "Avengers" films.

We've been curious about how exactly Thor would fit into the Guardians family since he rode off into the sunset with them in "Endgame," and it seemed like "Love and Thunder" would deliver more than just a taste of that dynamic. Sadly, it was over before it began, making their cameo feel less like a narrative necessity and more like a tease for their return in "Guardians 3." Fortunately, it seems like Thor will have a bit of a role to play in the Guardian's third MCU outing, so there's hope for this group yet.

Darryl (Daley Pearson)

Quite a few years passed between Thor's second solo outing in "The Dark World" and its successor, "Ragnarok." Of course, Thor appeared in an "Avengers" film in that time, but there would be a massive pivot in the tone of the Thor films with Taika Waititi at the helm. To help ease the transition between the dour "Dark World" and the more buoyant, colorful, and kooky "Ragnarok," Hemsworth and Waititi released a trio of short films. The series was essential to flesh out Thor's character, especially since he'd been inexplicably excluded from the events of "Captain America: Civil War." A lot of fans wondered what he could have possibly been up to in the interim. And according to the "Team Thor" shorts, he'd relocated to Australia and moved in with a regular guy named Darryl.

Thor's former roommate hasn't been seen since Thor returned to his galactic hijinks — that is, until "Love and Thunder," which revealed that Darryl is actually living in New Asgard now. Darryl works as a tour guide in the now-bustling tourist attraction, and though he and Thor don't reunite (sadly), it's nice to see him thriving, maybe even living with someone who can actually hold up his end of the rent.

The Asgardian Players

The particular brand of humor in the latest "Thor" films might not be for everyone, but there's definitely nothing funnier than Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth, and Sam Neill's respective cameos in "Thor: Ragnarok." The trio of actors appeared as stage versions of Loki, Thor, and Odin respectively, in a low-budget dramatization of Thor's adventures in "The Dark World." Now, they're back — and they've brought a few more familiar faces into the fold.

Damon, Hemsworth, and Neill resume their roles as Actor Loki, Actor Thor, and Actor Odin, acting out the events of "Ragnarok" for tourists on New Asgard. Their deeply committed troupe is now just a little bigger with the presence of Melissa McCarthy, who joins as the actor playing Hela. McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone also taps in as the director of their little production. It's a hilarious scene and a perfect example of one of the "Ragnarok" bits that worked best in the film.

Hercules (Brett Goldstein)

As mentioned before, Marvel Studios have been putting considerable effort into the cosmic aspect of the MCU. This means the presence of more Marvel gods moving forward — and it's difficult to do that without one of the comics' most popular: Hercules. Thor namedrops the son of Zeus early on in "Love and Thunder," but mid-credits teaser pretty much confirmed that Hercules will be playing a major role in the films moving forward. "Ted Lasso" star Brett Goldstein (who I'm still not 100% sure is actually human) will play the god sent to Earth to kill Thor, after the latter badly humiliated Zeus and stole his precious lightning bolt. There's no telling when Goldstein will return as Hercules, but the introduction of the character has been a long time coming, and it's going to be great to see his rivalry with Thor manifested in live-action ... whenever that eventually happens.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is now in theaters.