Editor’s Note: The following contains Thor: Love and Thunder spoilers.Thor: Love and Thunder picks up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) after the events of Avengers: Endgame. He ends his stint with the Guardians of the Galaxy and teams up with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), and his former girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as Mighty Thor. Together, they face up against Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who plans to kill all the gods.
When Thor and the team make a trip to Omnipotence City in disguise to ask Zeus (Russell Crowe) for his help, Zeus demands that Thor remove his disguise. After he refuses, Zeus flicks off Thor’s disguise, taking off Thor’s clothes in the process and revealing Thor’s newly tattooed back. As seen at the beginning of Love and Thunder, Thor gets back in shape, going from sad bod to god bod. Somewhere in that period of time, he also got a few tattoos that hold a lot of meaning for Thor.
What Do Thor’s Tattoos Mean?
The most prominent tattoo on Thor’s back is his tribute to his late brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). A large version of Loki’s classic helmet centers his back with the inscription above that reads “RIP Loki.” Between the phrase and the helmet is a headstone. To the left of the helmet, there’s another phrase that reads “Brothers;” to the right of it, a crescent moon, which could also be a nod to his fallen brother. Located to the left of Loki’s helmet and under the phrase “Brothers” there’s a flower tattoo; its meaning is unknown. Underneath Loki’s helmet is a broken heart. It’s unclear if it’s specifically for Loki or general symbol for the amount of loss Thor’s had over the years, but the tramp stamp banner under it that reads “Rest in Mischief” definitely is for Loki.
Thor’s history with his adopted brother has been complicated to say the least. Loki is the villain of both the first Thor and first Avengers movie. They have fought alongside each other and against each other numerous times, usually with Loki seemingly dying. The last time the brothers were seen together was at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War where Thanos (Josh Brolin) attacked their ship and choked Loki to death in front of Thor. Though there are variant versions of Loki out in the Sacred Timeline, as seen in the Loki series, the version of Loki Thor knew is gone. As he told his brother on Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor thought the world of him and believed he could be more than just the Asgardian God of Mischief. Despite their troublesome history, he loved his brother and at some point chose to use his back as a canvas to memorialize Loki.
Loki Isn’t the Only Fallen Person Represented on Thor’s Toned, Tattooed Back
To the right of the Loki helmet is a scroll with a list of names of people in Thor’s life who have died. The first name on the list is “Mother” in reference to his mother, Frigga (Rene Russo) who died during Thor: The Dark World. The next name is “Father” referring to Odin (Anthony Hopkins) who went to Valhalla in Thor: Ragnarok. Under his parents is Heimdall (Idris Elba), Thor’s best friend who also died at the hands of Thanos in the beginning of Infinity War. In addition to his larger tribute, Loki’s name makes an appearance on the tattooed scroll.
The last two names on the list aren’t Asgardian– they’re Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) both died in Avengers: Endgame in their efforts to bring back everyone Thanos snapped away. Natasha died during her trip with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to Vormir in order to retrieve the Soul Stone; Tony died after snapping Thanos and his army out of existence with a new Infinity Gauntlet from his Iron Man suit. Black Widow and Iron Man fought alongside Thor as part of the original six Avengers for years, so to remember them here shows how important those friendships were to him.
The God of Thunder has lost many people close to him over the course of his long life. The losses continue in Love and Thunder; he loses Jane, the love of his life, after she sacrifices herself to destroy the Necrosword. We can expect Thor planning to add a Jane tribute to his back in the near future. Though they’re gone, these tattoos serve to keep Thor’s loved ones with him wherever he goes.
Thor: Love and Thunder is now streaming on Disney+.