Is Gorr the God Butcher Thor’s biggest rival to date?

thor love and thunder Christian Bale Gorr the God Butcher
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has released many films since its inception in 2008, but the heroes therein have one major problem ⏤ a villainous one. Most of the big bads in the MCU are exact counterparts of the heroes who face them, evidenced in films like Iron Man, Ant-Man, and more recently Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Fortunately for Marvel, Thor has never had that problem, as for the most part, the God of Thunder’s foes have been a refreshing mix of dynamic and deadly.

With Thor: Love and Thunder debuting Thor’s creepiest villain yet ⏤ Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale, who has already been hailed by director Taika Waititi as the best Marvel villain to appear in the MCU to date ⏤ one has to wonder where Gorr will stack up. Let’s take a look at all of the villains in the Thor franchise to see where Gorr might ultimately land.

7. The Destroyer

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The Destroyer’s first appearance in Marvel Comics was in Journey into Mystery #118 in 1965, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Destroyer was in the first Thor film, released in 2011 and directed by Kenneth Branagh. The Destroyer was enchanted by Odin to dispatch any threats to Asgard and protect his vault. 

Once Loki assumed control of Asgard, he sent the Destroyer to Midgard to kill Thor once and for all. Unfortunately for Loki, Thor proved his worthiness and managed to destroy the armor. The Destroyer is only last on the list because while it is a classic comic book villain, the armor wasn’t really villainous in the film, as it was being controlled by Loki. 

6. Malekith

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Malekith the Accursed was created by Walter Simonson in Thor #344 in 1984. Malekith was featured in the second Thor film, Thor: The Dark World, which was released in 2013 and directed by Alan Taylor. Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston, was a Dark Elf who battled Thor’s grandfather, King Bor, 5,000 years prior to the events of the film. Malekith used the Reality Stone, also known as the Aether, in an attempt to throw the world back into darkness.

As a villain, Malekith didn’t really do much, using his minions to fight until the final battle. It doesn’t help that the comic counterpart of the character is far richer than the MCU version, and didn’t have to wait 5,000 years to come into power, which is why he sits at number six. 

5. Kurse

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Kurse was originally a Dark Elf named Algrim the Strong before he was transformed into Kurse. Algrim first appeared in Thor #347 and was created, like Malekith, by Walter Simonson. Kurse was also in Thor: The Dark World, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, where he was Malekith’s main minion. Algrim was transformed into Kurse using the power of a Kurse stone, which a Dark Elf can use to increase its power, with the catch that it will ultimately destroy them. 

He ranks a little higher than Malekith because Kurse was featured in more fights and generally felt like more of a physical threat. He also killed Frigga, Odin’s wife and Thor and Loki’s mother, so sadly, he gets more points for that.

4. Surtur

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Surtur first appeared in Journey into Mystery #97 in 1963 and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The character appeared in Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in the Thor series released in 2017 and directed by Taika Waititi. Surtur was the fire giant that ultimately brought upon Ragnarök once Loki resurrected him with the Eternal Flame. 

Surtur once at full power was powerful enough to defeat Hela and destroy Asgard, but he was also barely in the film, showing up at the beginning and the end to bring about the end of Asgard. That’s why he falls in the middle of the list.

3. Gorr

thor love and thunder Christian Bale Gorr the God Butcher
Image via Marvel Studios

Gorr the God Butcher was created by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribić and first appeared in 2012 in the comic book Thor: God of Thunder #2. Gorr will appear in the new film Thor: Love and Thunder, the second film directed by Taika Waititi, and will be inhabited by Christian Bale. Gorr is a being who despises all gods and travels to slaughter them, whoever they may be. 

While the film has yet to be released, it’s likely that Gorr will rank around this position for a few reasons. Bale will likely deliver a memorable performance, but it will take quite a bit of charisma to outdo our top two candidates. Nonetheless, Gorr’s reputation for slaughtering the gods paired with Bale’s talent for deeply inhabiting his roles means that we’re sure to see some chaos come Thor’s way in his fourth solo film.

2. Hela

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Hela, the Goddess of Death, was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Journey into Mystery #102 in 1964. Hela was played by Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok. Hela’s origin in the film was different from her comic book counterpart, as the film introduced her as Odin’s daughter. It turned out that Thor and Loki had a murderous sister, which Thor has no doubt become accustomed to. 

Hela was powerful enough to destroy Mjolnir and ultimately cost Thor an eye. She also had a loyal army which included a giant wolf named Fenris ⏤ one of the coolest beasts to appear in any Marvel film. It also took Thor, Korg, Loki, Valkyrie, Hulk, Heimdall, and an Asgardian army to hold off her forces, and they still could not defeat her, ultimately relying on Surtur to destroy her, which is what brings her all the way to number two.

1. Loki

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Loki’s first appearance as a Thor villain was in Journey into Mystery #85 in 1962, and he was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber. Loki Laufeyson debuted in 2011’s Thor and continued to be in each of the three Thor films as well as other MCU projects including The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.

You shouldn’t need an explanation as to why Loki is the best villain on this list. Not only is Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of him so good that Marvel Studios made Disney Plus series about the character, but Loki manages to be one of the best things about every project he’s in. His journey from wanting to kill his brother to accepting himself and all of his flaws is one of the best Marvel redemption stories in the entire franchise, so Loki has more than earned the number one spot. 

Thor is unmatched when it comes to powerful and interesting villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it’s a safe bet that Gorr the God Butcher will be no different. Be sure to watch Thor: Love and Thunder when it rides into theaters on July 8, 2022 just to be sure.