Lightning strikes twice in Thor: Love and Thunder’s mid- and post-credits scenes. While neither delivers jaw-dropping revelations about the future of the MCU, both have big implications for Thor’s future and could set up his next installment or even some spinoffs.
Mid-Credits Scene: Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!
Turns out Zeus (Russell Crowe) isn’t dead. But he is pissed off after Thor (Chris Hemsworth) impales him with his own weapon, Thunderbolt. He claims the world has become too fixated on superheroes and complains that no one has faith in the gods like they used to. He decides that Thor, a god playing a superhero, needs to be brought down. So he enlists the services of his son Hercules, here portrayed by Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein (a.k.a. Roy Kent) wearing a very comics-accurate costume.
Thor and Hercules’s rivalry stretches all the way back to 1965’s Journey Into Mystery Annual No. 1, while their first meeting is fully detailed in the miniseries Thor: Blood Oath (2005). Hercules became a regular guest star in Thor’s adventures throughout the ’60s, and their rivalry turns into a friendship, though not one without its share of competitiveness. Hercules is boastful, brash, and in love with the attention that accompanies being a superhero; he becomes something of a celebrity and joins numerous iterations of the Avengers and the Defenders and founds the Champions (whose members include Iceman, Angel, Ghost Rider, and Black Widow). Beyond his rivalry with Thor, he butts heads with the Hulk, who is jealous of the god’s charm and people-pleasing persona. It doesn’t help that Hercules shares a romantic relationship with Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk.
It’ll be interesting to see what path Hercules takes in the MCU, though Goldstein’s casting and Love and Thunder’s goofy depiction of Zeus point to a comedic characterization — maybe he’ll be the cocky d-bag to Thor’s himbo. And who knows? Perhaps he’ll reappear in the upcoming She-Hulk series on Disney+, which will star Tatiana Maslany as the jade giantess.
Post-Credits Scene: The Gates of Valhalla
As the Mighty Thor, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) succumbs to cancer at the end of Thor: Love and Thunder after using the last of her life force to aid Thor in his battle against Gorr (Christian Bale). But she may not be gone for good. In the post-credits scene, Jane is greeted at the gates of Valhalla by Heimdall (Idris Elba), who tells her she is welcome to enter if she chooses. Jane smiles, perhaps a little unsure, and the scene cuts to black before Jane answers.
In the comics, Jane dies after a much lengthier tenure as the Mighty Thor and is given the choice to enter Valhalla or return to the world of the living as Valkyrie. She returns and becomes Midgard’s sole Valkyrie, able to see the specter of death hanging over every person and save them if she can, or escort them to Valhalla if she can’t and they are worthy. Even without the Thor mantle, Jane remains a superhero, balancing work at the morgue with cosmic adventures concerning life and death alongside her Pegasus, Mr. Horse.
Love and Thunder leaves the door open for Portman’s return, and she could easily fulfill the role of the new Valkyrie and share a life with Thor and his adoptee, Love. Of course, if Jane does become Valkyrie, the Valkyrie we now know, portrayed by Tessa Thompson, will have to find a new name. But those are concerns for another day.