Love, Thunder, and Fear?

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

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Love, Thunder, and Fear?

By Sarah Komisky

When we get our hearts broken, it’s hard to love again. Isn’t that a common tale? Interestingly, what we connect with film so much is that it mimics real life – even with Asgardian Marvel hero, Thor, and new heroine, Jane. In the latest release, “Love and Thunder,” Marvel fans finally get reunited with a beloved couple romance that we have been waiting for! However, without spoiling it for those who have not yet seen it, the rekindled romance may surprise you.

If anything, this story mimics one we ourselves have experienced as humans – the fear to fall in love when love was lost.

Over time, we have seen our Asgardian champion Thor go on a tumultuous journey where love has taken him from elation to aloof. Think Thor post Endgame. He lost the true love of his life and in turn loses himself by letting himself go to the point where we do not recognize the fit superhero. But we also get a look into his heart as he passes off Jane as an “old flame.”

Sound familiar?

Those of us who have experienced love at some point can easily turn callous when love is lost, grown cold, or not returned. Thor certainly seems to feel this way after his epic love story has slowly unraveled over the years and Jane has been absent from his life.

“Love and Thunder” gives us a little context when we get to see the backstory of the relationship that includes roller-skating, movie watching, and cooking together. Clearly, this was more than just someone he dated in the past. In fact, Thor’s love is so strong, that it connects him to Jane in more profound ways than both are cognizant of as he promises to always protect her.

But in this film, after we get a glimpse of those minimizing the relationship’s end in “Ragnarok”, we find it actually had a bigger impact than Thor or Jane led us to believe (or not). Going back in time, audiences can see what this breakup really meant and why it happened in the first place. The answer – fear.

Thor and Jane are like so many of us who step back from love because we are afraid to lose it and when it is lost we are afraid to love again.

Jane’s appearance and reunion with his true love remind all of us that fear in relationship must be confronted. Some of us might have had an experience like Thor being reunited with the love of our life. Others have not. But what we can take a look at is the time in between and the time we are confronted with the fear itself.

As mentioned, Thor is a little lost in other films. A little lackadaisical. A little heartbroken shall we say? Love that is lost can jolt the human experience and like Thor, cause us to experience a wide range of emotions of grief like denial, sadness, and as we see with Thor, anger. All his experiences and unfinished emotions from the breakup leave Thor to stuff these emotions but he never truly expresses them (although we get glimpses of it here and there).

Jane’s reemergence, almost a decade later forces Thor to confront his fear. So, it is with us. Many of us have unfinished business when it comes to relationships. For a moment, let’s think about it. Who hurt you? Who disappointed you? Who abandoned you? Who disillusioned you? Now, did you process it? Most would say no. I mean how many times have you heard someone say after a breakup, “I’m fine” or, “Yes, it was for the best,” and throw out a couple reasons why they are OK. We push back our true feelings because sometimes it’s too hard or sometimes we don’t know how to process them. Or, like Thor, we move on but never truly recover – even years after the relationship is over.

Jane, in this story is a person who confronts Thor’s fears. In our lives, it doesn’t have to take an ex to come back again to confront that residual fear but what happened when loves shows up again? How do we react to that new person? Run? Pushback? Stay bitter? Sobering, isn’t it?

Thor shows that our past losses with big love cause us to lose in major ways. Although Thor was lining up new ventures with The Avengers and fighting off evil, he still had emotionally unfinished business to tend to even though we are led to believe otherwise in the films when Jane is gone.

As seen in the newest release, Thor goes on to confront his loss, and eventually the two work through those fears together. But, this love story shows us as a takeaway that loss must be faced in order to properly heal. We can’t love again until we mend ourselves. And even if we lose, we must work through the fact that losses will happen but find tools to deal with them. Acknowledging the Jane in your life is also critical. Don’t gloss over that person. There is no judgment. Remember that they mattered, and you were in a relationship with them. So, express how you felt. Even if the loss was recent or years ago, it’s important to work through it, otherwise, your Jane will follow you as it did with Thor and affect you in negative ways as in Thor’s case, neglect of himself.

Additionally, Thor also shows us if we never risk love, we will never experience true love, even if we still experience losses in that (as we see in “Love and Thunder”). Clearly, the takeaway here is our pasts are worth processing to remain open to love again. Additionally, love is worth the new risks we must take to experience it again. Whether it is with a rekindled love (as it is with Thor) or a newly discovered love, these steps are necessary to heal and move forward in a relationship. While no love is without risk or without loss, however long the duration is it us, “Love and Thunder” reminds us that taking the first step towards it is worth it every time.