Despite his jovial demeanor, Thor has had a tougher time than many of the other heroes in the MCU. Most of his family is dead, his homeland of Asgard has been destroyed, his people are reduced to nomads and he failed to stop Thanos’ snap. On top of all that, he lost his eye during the events of Thor: Ragnarok.
In Avengers: Infinity War, we saw him get a new prosthetic eye courtesy of Rocket Raccoon, restoring his binocular vision, but this concept art from Avengers: Endgame by Wesley Burt (from Avengers: Endgame – The Art of the Movie) indicates that this wasn’t always the case.
Two of the designs show different takes on ‘Bro Thor,’ one which looks like Asgardian nightware and the other which is pretty much exactly the Dude’s outfit from The Big Lebowski. The other, meanwhile, is a familiar regular brand Thor. These pictures tell us though that, at least for a while, Marvel Studios were considering making the loss of Thor’s eye a permanent feature. We can even get an idea about where in the creative process this change took place.
In the book, Burt says the following:
“He didn’t have the cyborg eye at this point in the script that he gets in Infinity War, so I was still giving him eye patches or giving him the sunglasses with one dark lens.”
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In addition, the trailers for Infinity War varied on whether the patch was present. In the very first preview at the D23 Expo in 2017, Thor mysteriously had both eyes intact, while in the first official trailer released online, he had the eyepatch (given that it was CGI though, this may simply have been because they didn’t have time to add it). Perhaps the decision was made to keep Thor binocular as it’s a lot easier for an actor to emote when they have two eyes? Clearly they didn’t make this choice purely for cosmetic reasons, as Avengers: Endgame saw Thor become a wonderfully slobby bum (who could still kick an enormous amount of ass).
Maybe we’ll never know the exact reasons, but however he looks, I can’t wait to see him return in Thor: Love and Thunder. Whether it’s the classic or ‘Bro’ version of the character, Hemsworth has consistently proven himself as one of the funniest actors in the MCU and I’m stoked to see what Marvel has planned for him post-Avengers: Endgame.