When the MCU first got started, there was some doubt about who the strongest Avenger really was. Before Earth's Mightiest Heroes met in Marvel's The Avengers, Hulk and Thor had yet to meet in battle, and the title of "Strongest Avenger" could have gone to either. When the Avengers finally did assemble in 2012, the brief clash between Hulk and Thor definitely favored the big green giant, although not by much. Today, however, the MCU is 20 movies strong, and there's a clear victor in the powerhouse hero category, and it's not the Hulk. The title of "Strongest Avenger" clearly belongs to the God of Thunder.
Since his first appearance in 2011, Thor has protected Asgard, Midgard, and all the Nine Realms with a magic hammer, an overpowered ax, and sometimes just his bare hands. As one of the MCU's greatest heavy hitters, we seldom see him without stopping and thinking "damn, is he strong!" And not only does Goldilocks always pack a punch, but his displays of might have steadily increased over the years, to the point where it would be hard for him to be any more impressive. Thor's done it all: slew a giant beast with a single blow, survived an explosion designed to take out small country, and landed a critical hit on the most powerful being in the universe -- and that's just a sampling of all the crazy things he's done. Here are 15 of Thor's most awesome moments of strength in the MCU.
15 DESTROYED THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
We don't know a lot about the Rainbow Bridge and the Bifrost in the MCU. Not a lot is said about how they were made, but as they're the gateway to the Nine Realms, we assume they were very hard to make and very sturdy. And despite their implied durability, they were no match for the God of Thunder in his first movie.
To save Jotunheim and to keep Loki from harming Jane Foster, Thor broke the Rainbow Bridge and destroyed the Bifrost with a few blows from his hammer. It took less than a minute for him to do so, although the damage he caused was so great that it took an Infinity Stone to repair it all.
14 DENTED IRON MAN'S ARMOR WITHOUT TRYING
Thor's first encounter with the other Avengers makes the list not because it was a show-stopping display of power, but rather because he wasn't even trying do anything impressive. Thor's first meeting with Iron Man in Avengers, turned hostile pretty quickly. At one point in the skirmish, Thor grabbed both of Iron Man's arms and squeezes them in frustration.
Iron Man's armor just caved under the force of his grip, and it's one of the few moments in the fight where the suit suffers lasting damage. No lighting, no uru hammer, just Thor getting upset and bending some gold-titanium alloy with his fingers.
13 ENDED THE BATTLE ON VANAHEIM WITH ONE BLOW
In The Dark World, Thor traveled to Vanaheim to defend the world against a group of pillagers called the Marauders. When the Asgardians started to gain the upper hand in battle, the Marauders brought out their champion: a giant Kronan (like Korg, bus about twice the size and no manners).
Thor gave the champion a chance to surrender, and when the creature declined, Thor attacked. The God of Thunder only needed to hit the champion once to reduce the creature to a pile of rocks (and he wasn't even trying that hard). With their champion defeated, the rest of the Marauders quickly surrendered.
12 DEFEATED A FROST BEAST
Thor has this habit of slaying giant alien beasts. The trend started in his first MCU appearance, during his raid on Jotunheim. Once the fighting started, Thor, the Warriors Three, Lady Sif, and Loki managed to keep the Frost Giant hordes at bay without too much difficulty.
At least, everything's fine until a giant Frost Beast gets thrown into the mix. The Frost Beast nearly eats several of the Asgardians, and Thor tries to stop the animal by breaking the ice underneath the creature's feet. When that doesn't work, Thor flew straight through the beast's mouth and out the back on its head.
11 DESTROYED A LEVIATHAN
Thor's had a pretty great track record for downing giant beasts, whether it's frost beasts, rock monsters, or giant flying ship-sized creatures. One of his earlier feats of strength was during the Battle of New York in the first Avengers movie when he helped take down some of the Chitauri's Leviathan.
As the Leviathan were the largest and most heavily armored creatures in Loki's army, only a few Avengers could even take a stab at them. Iron Man dropped one from the inside to avoid the heavy armor Hulk KO'd one when he first joined the fight. And Thor? He beat a wedge straight through one of the creatures, because what's a giant armored Leviathan against the Prince of Asgard?
10 DEFEATED SURTUR
When someone's species has the word "demon" in it, they are obviously bad news. Even before Surtur had the power of the Eternal Flame, he was still the King of the Fire Demons when we saw him in Thor: Ragnarok.
And despite all the power a giant made of fire should have with a smoldering sword, Thor not only matched blows with the Fire Demon but also ended him with only a few blows when he finally got close enough to him. And just in case that wasn't impressive enough, he mowed through a few dozen of the normal Fire Demons for good measure.
9 SURVIVED HELA
Granted, Thor didn't end Hela either of the times he went up against her. However, he also fought her twice and lived to tell about it, which is more than we can say for almost the entirety of the Asgardian army, who dropped like an army of flies as soon as Hela reached Asgard.
Even Surtur, who actually managed to stop her, didn't live to tell anyone about his feat. On the other hand, Thor crossed blades with Hela twice, and all he did was lose a hammer (that was holding him back big time) and one of his eyes. Not many warriors in the MCU can say that.
8 DEFEATED MALEKITH AND THE AETHER
As we learned all too painfully in Infinity War, the Infinity Stones are fiercely powerful objects. Possessing just one Stone can give a being the strength to beat the Hulk, the ability to control minds, or the power to destroy the Nine Realms altogether.
The latter nearly happened in Thor: Dark World, when the Dark Elf Malekith controlled the Aether/Reality Stone. The only way to stop the Reality Stone from destroying the Nine Realms was some scientific device, but in order to use it, Thor first had to fight a Dark Elf who had the power of an Infinity Stone.
7 SURVIVED THE DESTRUCTION OF SOKOVIA
Most superheroes can take a punch without too much trouble, but not everyone's strong enough to survive an exploding country. During Age of Ultron, Thor was in charge of detonating the vibranium bomb in Sokovia before the country fell back down to earth. The bomb was poised to end billions with its impact, and the Avengers evacuated everyone off the floating island to everyone safe.
Except for Thor. Apparently, when you're a God of Thunder, an explosion that can vaporize a small country isn't anything to be afraid of. He stood directly on top of the bomb when it went off and was none the worse for it.
6 SURVIVED A COLLISION WITH A SPACESHIP
Thor's a pretty durable guy. Over the years, he's survived everything from fights with the Hulk to exploding countries and beyond. He even lived through Thanos' attack on his people. While the God of Thunder sustained some injuries when Thanos attacked his ship, Thor still managed to survive the encounter, as well as chill out in space until help came.
And when help finally arrived, they drove right into him with their spaceship before they realized he was still alive. Judging by their reaction, most bodies floating through space don't survive the harsh environment, let alone a collision with a ship.
5 BESTED HULK WITHOUT MJOLNIR
We hear it all the time: Hulk's the strongest. And after the first Avengers movie hit theaters, it looked like that was true. While Thor could hold his own in battle with Hulk, he needed Mjolnir to match blows with him, and Hulk still had the advantage (Iron Man certainly thought so, anyway).
During Ragnarok though, Thor didn't have his hammer to rely on, and he found out he was much more powerful than he realized. When they faced off on Saakar, Thor gained a clear victory over Hulk before the match was cut short, putting an end to the who's stronger debate. For now, anyway.
4 RESTARTED THE FORGES OF NIDAVELLIR
Forging Stormbreaker was one of the many amazing parts of Infinity War, thanks in part to Thor's impressive display of might. When Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrived at Nidevellir, the forges were dark and covered with ice. To get the furnaces going again, Thor had to restart them manually.
He had a little help from Rocket in the small pod that they came in, but for the most part, he just used his hands. That's right, an entire array of ring-like machines bigger than a star and blocked with ice, and mostly he just pushed really, really hard... while in space.
3 WITHSTOOD THE FORCE OF A NEUTRON STAR
As if getting Nidavellir up and running again wasn't impressive enough, Thor upped his game right after he restarted the furnaces. The mechanism on the furnace's iris was damaged, so Thor had to hold it open while the heat from the furnace melted the uru for his new weapon.
It kind of reminded us of that time Captain America held onto a building and a helicopter, only instead it was Thor with part of a star-sized furnace, and directly in the concentrated blast of a neutron star, and for way longer. It was one of the God of Thunder's strongest feats, and for that matter, one of the strongest in the entire MCU.
2 TURNED THE TIDE OF THE BATTLE OF WAKANDA
Thor earned a lot of cheers in Infinity War, especially during the battle in Wakanda. By the time he showed up with Rocket and Groot, most of the heroes were either overrun by enemy forces, or ready to make their last stand.
But when the Thor came out of the Bifrost, the battle instantly turned in favor of the heroes. And while Groot and Rocket were certainly happy to help, there's no debate about who felled more of Thanos' minions. Thor was untouchable when he entered battle, and the sheer amount of foes he stopped in such a short time puts him in a class all his own.
1 MORTALLY WOUNDED THANOS
Despite all the heat he received for it, Thor was the only character strong enough in Infinity War to even come close to dropping Thanos. When Thanos had assembled all of the Infinity Stones and was literally the most powerful being in the universe, the God of Thunder still managed to drive an ax through the Mad Titan's chest.
Should Thor have aimed for Thanos' head or hand? Yeah, probably. Still, Goldilocks proved he was strong enough to end the most powerful being in the MCU. And landing a death blow to a being with omnipotence is no small feat.