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Thor: The Dark World Concept Art Gives Good Look at Rejected Marvel Character

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The immediate family of Asgardian god Thor has been well established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: his parents Odin and Frigga, his brother by adoption Loki, and their evil sister Hela. Plans to introduce another sibling in 2013's Thor: the Dark World were rejected in the early stages of the film's production -- but it turns out that the absent character went through some changes even in the short time the idea for him lasted.

Visual development artist Charlie Wen has posted his earliest concept art for Balder, the brother of Thor and Loki that might have been. However, the portrait is incomplete, apparently due to Wen's own dissatisfaction with it.

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"I never finished this because it wasn't really working for me," Wen wrote. "To get to the good designs, you have to be prepared to wade through some uglies." While the character and the art is far from what most fans would describe as an "ugly," it's clear that the design evolved as Wen continued to work on it.

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Balder is a long-running fixture in the Thor comics, and like many of Marvel's Asgardian characters, was inspired by a counterpart in Norse mythology. How he would have factored into the plot of The Dark World, however, is unknown, as is the actor who would have played him.

It's unlikely that Balder the Brave will be brought in for any future films, as the story of a long-lost child of Odin was used already in Thor: Ragnarok, the sequel to The Dark World. Thor and Loki are sure to be seen again, though, and their family history may still have secrets to be uncovered.

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