WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, now in theaters.
The Guardians of the Galaxy welcomed a familiar face to the team in Avengers: Endgame. Following the epic battle for the fate of the universe, Thor changes course and heads into space with the team instead of remaining behind to rule over New Asgard, established in Norway.
Of all the Avengers, Thor is perhaps the most tragic. From his mother's death in Thor: The Dark World to the destruction of Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok, the god of thunder had already lost much going into Avengers: Infinity War, in which Thanos slaughters half the Asgardian refugees. Worse, half of the survivors disappeared in the Decimation, leaving Asgard's dwindling population that much smaller.
So, when Thanos informs the Avengers in Endgame that he destroyed the Infinity Stones, Thor lashes out. Taking Thanos' advice, he goes for the head this time, using Stormbreaker to decapitate the Mad Titan. With next to nothing left, Thor retires to Norway with what's left of his people, recedes from the life of a hero, and goes to seed.
Thor is in rough shape when the Avengers found him, and returning to the team doesn't help him much. However, his trip to the past plants a seed that blooms into a new life path for him. Returning to Asgard during the events of The Dark World, he encounters his mother, who quickly realizes her son is in the wrong time. During a quiet moment, she tells him to be the person he is, rather than the person he's supposed to be.
As the events of Endgame wind down, Thor takes Frigga's advice to heart. He hands the Asgardian kingship to Valkyrie, telling the warrior she is a natural leader. When she says she will make some changes, he tells her he expected as much. Thor explains he has chosen to be his own person from now on. With that, he joins Rocket Raccoon on the Guardians' ship.
Of course, Star-Lord is less than pleased to have Thor join them. The two have a back-and-forth about who is the "true" leader of the group, with everyone else insisting they fight to assert their dominance. Thor eventually acquiesces to Star-Lord, but certainly not enough to satisfy the beleaguered Peter Quill. And thus, Thor finds himself a member of the "Asgardians of the Galaxy," as he so eloquently put it.
If that moniker sounds familiar, that's because there is indeed a comic book team that goes by the same name. Asgardians of the Galaxy launched at Marvel Comics in September 2018, with writer Cullen Bunn and artist Matteo Lolli. The team makeup is a little different, as it features Valkyrie, Throg (the frog of thunder), Angela, Thunderstrike, Executioner and Destroyer. However, it seems the Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Asgardians of the Galaxy," as they will likely appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, will include Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax, Mantis and Thor.
By including Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 makes an excellent case for finally bringing Beta Ray Bill into the MCU. Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo had discussed using the character, but never found the right place for him. What's more, he almost appeared in Ragnarok, but he was ultimately cut because the scene "just didn’t do [him] justice." However, seeing as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will likely explore even more of the cinematic universe, this would be a great opportunity to introduce Bill and his significance to Thor's comic book mythology.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.