God of War’s Thor: More Realistic Than I Expected

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Thor design from GoW. I don’t mind it but I was wondering if it was true that he’s the “peak of male performance” because he looks like a powerlifter. Would being that big make him a better warrior?

So, this was actually more realistic than I expected. My recollection was just the very difficult to make out version that appears in a single cutscene of 2018’s God of War, and Raf Grassetti, the art director for both GoW 2018, and GoW: Ragnarok has published preview art of Thor from the sequel.

The fat isn’t a problem. We tend to associate fat with physical inactivity, but, you will see fat like this develop on people who are highly active, depending on their diet and environment. The overall development is consistent with someone who engages in wild levels of physical activity on a regular basis. My biggest gripe is just hand size, and that’s more of a nitpick, probably informed by game design, (so it makes sense, and is a reasonable concession.)

Mjolnir’s proportions are still a little goofy in comparison to real weapons, but, it is a mythical artifact forged by the Dwarves, so, it’s not like this is a real complaint. Just something to keep in mind if you want to give a warhammer to a mortal character. This is nearly universal with how Mjolnir is presented in visual media, so it’s fair that’s a trait unique to the artifact (even if there’s no mythological support for that interpretation.)

I’m pleasantly surprised that they gave Thor his correct hair color. We tend to get a lot of stuff influenced by Stan Lee’s version of the character, but in Norse myth, Thor’s a redhead, with a massive beard. (Ironically, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla screws up this detail as well, giving Thor a dirty blond beard and hair.) There’s a little irony here, the Marvel version of Thor, actually looks more like his wife, Sif; who was remembered for her golden blonde hair.

The mythical figure is known for his “firm muscles,” but that layer of fat can easily mask a very solid physique. If you’re really wanting a contextual justification, a layer of fat to protect against the cold would have been an easily understandable to the people originally telling these stories.

What you’re looking at is someone who can operate in extremely cold climates. Probably skip meals for days at a time without it seriously affecting them. And, to quote someone from that Twitter thread, “goes up into the mountains and wrestles bears.” Though, given this is Thor we’re talking about, it’s more like he goes up into the mountains and beats giants to death.

This is not the chiseled physique of someone thirty minutes away from fainting because they dropped all their water weight to look good. This is the body of someone who works (or fights) for a living, and built up a lot of mass from that activity.

I don’t know where you’re getting the, “peak of male performance,” line, but, in general, yeah, if he were human, and engaging in the insane feats attributed to Thor, that’s roughly what you would expect him to look like. (If we ignore pesky details like death from alcohol poisoning.) It doesn’t make him a better warrior on its own, but it does mean he’s probably going to arrive in good condition and ready to fight (pretty much) wherever he goes, and that is a massive boon.

I wouldn’t jump to the, “you may not like it, but this is peak performance,” meme but that is a very plausible presentation.


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