A substantial number of the events that have shaped the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far have stemmed from the Asgardians. One Asgardian in particular has constantly found himself at the center of those events: Thor. At 1,500 years old, it's safe to assume that he has been through a lot in his lifetime yet, evidently, the young prince has only really been able to grow in recent years.
We've seen him change dramatically throughout his seven appearances, and we're not just talking about his hairstyle. We've seen him transform from the spoiled and reckless prince of Asgard to a noble God of Thunder.
It hasn't been easy for him. With what is likely to be his last appearance fast approaching in Avengers: Endgame, now seems like the perfect time to look back on Thor's journey and see how the once impetuous prince has shaped the MCU.
There was a time when Thor seemed to only place value in strength, honor and courage. These were the qualities he admired in his father, who had brought peace to the Nine Realms through conquest in ancient times.
Despite Odin's attempts to teach his son about the value of peace and diplomacy, Thor continued to seek out war with his faithful companions, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, eventually going so far as to disobey his father's orders in Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh) and attack the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, bringing the threat of war to Asgard. For his reckless actions, Thor was banished from Asgard and sent to Midgard to live as a human until he could prove himself worthy of his powers.
During his time on Earth, he was unable to simply battle his way out of difficult situation, forcing him to build bonds with the people he met, like Jane Foster, Erik Selvig and Darcy. Through them, he learned how precious each one of the Nine Realms were and, for the first time, saw how great of a responsibility it was to protect them all.
He finally proved himself worthy in the end, not just by defeating the Destroyer sent by Loki, but by saving Frost Giants of Jotunheim who, as Loki stated, Thor would have readily slaughtered before.
Thor had finally become a worthy prince of Asgard, but his journey had only just begun.
With his understanding of the world, coupled with his newfound humility, Thor was ready to rule in the eyes of Odin. However, unlike his brother Loki, Thor understood that the crown was not a privilege, but a burden... and not a burden he wanted to take on.
He revealed as much to Loki -- who was disguised as Odin at the time -- in Thor: The Dark World (directed by Alan Taylor). He believed it was his duty to protect the Nine Realms on the front lines, not from a throne in Asgard.
That's where we found him in Avengers: Age of Ultron (directed by Joss Whedon) -- back on Earth, protecting the realm from the Mind Stone and Tony Stark's egregious error in judgement. With Mjolnir in his hands and his Asgardian powers, there was no enemy he could not overcome.
Despite the chaos around the world, things were looking up for him, and that was apparent in his change in attitude. He became more lighthearted as time went on, seemingly happy with how things were. It wasn't until Thor: Ragnarok (directed by Taika Waititi) that Thor discovered he still had a way to go in reaching his full potential.