– by Nick Doll

Jane Foster, as played by Natalie Portman in the first two Thor films, is an important character tied to Thor’s legacy. In the films, she has served as Thor’s girlfriend and his guide to Earth, aka Midgard. In the comics, Jane’s role has expanded to her becoming the current Thor (it’s a confusing comics deal, trust me), wielding the hammer Mjolnir as part of the current roster of Avengers. Natalie Portman, though absent from both Avengers films, played a major role in both 2011’s Thor and the sequel, Thor: The Dark World. It has already been confirmed that we may not be seeing any more of Jane Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and now we know why.

Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in the trilogy, is introducing a load of characters including Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Cate Blanchett as Hela, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, all of whom we saw in official photos from EW last week. This is in addition to returning favorites including Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleson as Loki, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Idris Elba as Heimdall, and even Mark Ruffalo returning as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Benedict Cumberbatch’s second appearance as Dr. Stephen Strange. For a movie without Avengers or Civil War in the title, that is a lot of characters to juggle! Besides, Natalie Portman doesn’t come cheap. 

It’s not so surprising then that Jane Foster will not appear in Thor: Ragnarok, but aside from all these real world details, EW has the scoop on why we haven’t seen Jane since Thor: The Dark World from a storytelling perspective. Like many couples, Thor and Jane broke up. It looks like Tony Stark isn’t the only hero in the MCU with relationship issues!

Chris Hemsworth explained to EW where Thor is at when we catch up with him in Ragnarok:

“He’s off exploring the universe, still trying to police it and control the mayhem. But he’s certainly enjoying being a drifter, being a solo cowboy out there.”

It appears that Thor won’t be a lone Asgardian “cowboy” for long. As previously mentioned, the film will be introducing comic favorite Valkyrie, leaving the potential for extraterrestrial romance. If Valkyrie is even interested in a relationship, that is.

Marvel Studios President and all around genius Kevin Feige told EW:

“We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal and that his relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior. Valkyrie is trying to not embrace any sort of Asgardian heritage that she has. Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.”

Ouch. Burned by an Earthling and possibly rejected by a fellow Asgardian? Life is tough in the MCU. Maybe Thor should have taken Dr. Helen Cho (Claudia Kim) more seriously when she hit on him in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Are you disappointed Natalie Portman won’t be around to close out the trilogy of Thor films? Would you want to see Jane Foster return as Thor in Phase 4? 

Thor: Ragnarok is set to be released November 3, 2017.

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