We all know how Odin the All-Father found the Frost Giant Laufey’s son Loki, abandoned and left to die on the frost-bitten battlefield of Jotunheim. The little blue babe melted Odin’s heart and so along with the Casket of Ancient Winters, he absconded with Loki to raise him as his own alongside his own like his biological son Thor. This latest episode of What If… images a world where Odin returned Loki to his people and the kind of person the Odinson would become if Thor were an only child.
It seems without his adopted brother, Thor has become known as the “Party Prince” of Asgard. While his father Odin enters the rejuvenating Odinsleep, Thor’s mother Frigga (voiced by Josette Eales) departs to celebrate the solstice with her sisters. But before she does she tells her wayward son Thor to focus on his studies and forbids him from partying as Heimdall will be watching. This doesn’t deter Thor for he knows the most backwood backwater planet that not even Heimdall pays attention to…Earth! Specifically Las Vegas.
Thor’s arrival, accompanied by a who’s who of the MCU as teased by What If… head writer A.C. Bradley, is tracked by astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). Jane makes first contact with the Horse Norse God to inquire with him if his previous party at Alpha Star Icarus is what led to the planet’s destruction. But it quickly turns into a meet-cute moment as just like in the “sacred timeline,” Jane and Thor fall for each other even going so far as to get tattoos!
Quickly Jane joins in the revelry along with Darcy who ties the knot with Howard the Duck (Seth Green)! The next morning after a night straight out of the Hangover movies, Jane and Darcy are summoned to the S.H.I.E.L.D Hellicarrier by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). It appears Hill is now Acting Director after Nick Fury was accidentally knocked unconscious by everyone’s favorite Kronan, Korg (Taika Waititi). With the party atmosphere spreading throughout the world, Hill has no choice but to use the “last resort,” Fury’s pager to summon Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.
Meanwhile, in France, the Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who was raised as a Frost Giant in this reality joins the party with his “ice bros” to hang out with Thor, his “brother from another mother.” Soon though, party pooper Captain Marvel (Alexandra Daniels) crashes the shindig to try to put an end to Thor’s fun. Carol and Thor battle across the globe with Thor eventually beating her by pulling the same trick with Mjolnir he used on Loki in the final battle of the first Thor film. Apparently, Carol was holding back her full power due to the devastation it would cause if she unleashed everything she had.
As the party grows bigger with more guests and destruction (most notably Surtur putting the moves on the Statue of Liberty) Danvers abducts Thor to Siberia where she doesn’t have to worry about any civilian causalities, unaware that Maria Hill has a backup plan to launch a nuclear strike on Thor in hopes of finally ending his antics. Opting for more peaceful tactics, Jane and Darcy hijack satellites (with some assistance from Erik Selvig offscreen) to contact Heimdall. Jane is transported to Asgard where she “sells out” Thor to Frigga. Just in time luckily because Frigga messages Thor that she is cutting her trip short to check in on his “study group” on Earth.
Fearing his mother’s wrath, the Party Prince finally puts an end to his shenanigans and manages to convince his intergalactic guests to help in the planetary cleanup so Frigga is none the wiser. Following the classic Wild Teen Party sitcom trope, Thor and his friends proceed to clean up the havoc wrought by the party. By the time Frigga arrives, it seems Thor has his mother fooled with his “educational and cultural exchange study group” until she gets a look at his vandalized hammer Mjolnir.
Before departing Midgard, Thor pays one last visit Jane Foster to formally ask her on a date. Before The Watcher can say, “They lived happily ever after,” he is cut off when a mysterious portal heralding an army of Ultron robots led by an Ultron/Vision fusion wearing the all six Infinity Stones embedded into his armor.
“What If Thor…Were an Only Child” is a Where’s Waldo of MCU cameos. By no means a complete list, I’m going to attempt to do my best to identify the characters I spotted. Feel free to put any I missed in the comments!
Warriors Three (Volstagg, Fandrall, Hogun)
Contraxian Love Bots
Various members of Sakaaran Rebellion
I was not aware that the various Sakaaran rebels had names. This particular one standing next to Yondu is named Biff.
Goose the cat (in actually a Flerken alien) gets mentioned and Darcy is quick to get the Top Gun reference.
Darcy and Howard got their marriage annulled so technically Darcy is still Mrs. the Duck!
Though he’s not in the “What If Thor were an Only Child” episode, Erik Selvig played by Stellan Skarsgård in the films is briefly mentioned.
At least Selvig isn’t running around naked at Stonehenge!
I would not be surprised if the Frost Giant Loki or the Ultron Vision eventually get their own Funko figures.
We’re all pumped to see Natalie Portman wield the hammer when Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters next year. Back in 2019 when they first announced that Portman would be returning as Jane Foster, many fans were genuinely surprised especially since Portman herself said she was “done with Thor” in a Vanity Fair interview. This was mostly due to her dissatisfaction with Thor: The Dark World and the departure of original director Patty Jenkins. It’s safe to say that Portman’s relationship with Marvel Studios improved for her to reprise Jane Foster in both film and animation.
New episodes of What If…? are available for streaming Wednesdays on Disney+.