Is Jane Foster really dead? That’s what many ask after watching the post-credits scene in Taika Waitits Thor: Love and Thunder. After Natalie Portman’s astrophysicist-turned-Asgardian perished in battle against the fearsome Gorr the God Butcher, she was seen being met by Idris Elba’s Heimdall at the pearly gates of Valhalla.
The post-credit stinger left many leaving the theater in awe while also wondering if this film was the last time the Mighty Thor would be heard from in the realm of the living. Addressing that very question, Elba said that with “still expanding” Marvel’s world “you just never know.”
But was this version of Valhalla always what the filmmakers intended Love and Thunder had imagined the film? Well, apparently not.
Another look at love and the Valhalla of thunder
Newly revealed concept art from Thor: Love and Thunder pulled back the curtain on another vision of Valhalla that never made it into the film.
Shared by Marvel Studios artist Sung Choi, this concept showed a much more elaborate looking Valhalla than what was ultimately shown in Love and Thunder‘s post-credit stinger.
This version of the Asgardian afterlife was more similar to the elven cities Lord of the Rings or the original Asgard seen in the first three Thor movie than what fans ultimately got.
Other things concept pieces revealed included looks at the Well of Eternity seen in the film’s climax, which shows an actual well surrounded by some sort of mountainous environment.
The well shown in these concept reveals is a small pool of blue water rather than the endless stretch of water that was eventually featured in the film.
The last of these images shows the Guardians of the Galaxy ship, the Benatar, seemingly hovering above the Well of Eternity, a setting that has never shown the intergalactic team in Thor successor.
Love and Thunder gets a new coat of paint
Now, these photos will have some fans wondering what the heck happened to these different looks Love and Thunder placements. Well, they’re concepts, and as such, stuff like this happens all the time.
Sometimes concept art can be done just to show off a certain tone, where the filmmakers have no intention of actually putting that specific moment in the final cut. And that’s probably the case for a few of these, especially the one featuring Benatar.
But the Valhalla rendition feels different. It’s close enough to the version of the location that made it into the movie, but just on a larger scale. Maybe it was the plan to make the afterlife look like it does in the above concept, but logistically it didn’t end up making sense in the production pipeline.
One must remember that creating something like a location such as Valhalla (or any number of other MCU backgrounds) requires countless hours of VFX work. And with the continued pressure on the VFX pipeline, as well as the ongoing COVID pandemic, it may have come down to Marvel making the call to scale back due to these underlying circumstances.
Thor: Love and Thunder now streaming on Disney+.