Warning: The following article contains SPOILERS for Loki season 2 episode 3
- Loki season 2 episode 3 reveals Thor has another sibling who has never been mentioned in the MCU before.
- The confirmation comes as Loki and Mobius travel back in time on Earth and meet Victor Timely.
- The same Asgardian hero was supposed to appear in multiple MCU Thor movies as well as Doctor Strange 2, but was repeatedly abandoned and has not yet made an appearance.
Loki season 2 episode 3 sees the return of Jonathan Majors as Kang variant Victor Timely, but there’s an even more explosive character reveal that’s been set up since an MCU Phase 1 movie released 12 years ago. Given its sprawling scale, it should come as no surprise that the Marvel movie franchise has a list almost as long as its number of releases of plans that didn’t happen. And despite Loki’s MCU return looking ahead to the upcoming Avengers: Kang Dynasty and the death of the Sacred Timeline, one of those repeatedly missed opportunities has finally been paid off and could impact future Marvel movies.
Since his debut in 2011, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor family has expanded in a couple of notable ways: first, Thor: Ragnarok introduced his vengeful sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett), and then Thor: Love & Thunder gave him a daughter, Love (India Hemsworth) after the death of her real father, Christian Bale’s terrifying Gorr. That last development was a rare win for Thor’s loved ones, given the deaths of both of his parents, his brother Loki (at least from Thor’s perspective), Hela’s reveal and quick-fire death, and then the tragedy of Jane Foster’s death. But it turns out the MCU’s God of Thunder possibly wasn’t quite as alone in the world as he believes, with Loki season 2 setting up a world-changing reveal for Thor.
Loki Finally Confirms Thor’s Other Forgotten Brother
Thor’s MCU family tree already sprouted one surprise new branch in Thor: Ragnarok when Hela escaped the magical imprisonment Odin condemned her to after his change of heart completely transformed how he ruled Marvel’s Nine Realms. Up to that point, it made sense that Hela would be a dirty little secret, lest her memory shamed Odin’s good name. Less logical, though, is Loki season 2 episode 3’s reveal that Thor seems to have another sibling, Balder the Brave, who the God of Thunder has to have known.
When Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Owen Wilson’s Mobius travel to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair to confront Ravonna Renslayer and Miss Minutes (and meet Victor Timely), they find statues of Odin, Thor, and Balder the Brave. The statues confirm something the MCU has always teased – the idea that Thor and Odin’s mythological legend in Earth’s history was thanks to pre-MCU trips to their favored Midgard, where their exploits became legendary. The addition of Balder to that set-up is more surprising, especially since him standing side-by-side with Thor and Odin suggests he was involved in those celebrated adventures, and yet Thor has never mentioned his existence once in the MCU.
Who Is Balder the Brave?
In the Marvel comics, Balder is the Asgardian half-brother of Thor, as close a companion to him as the Warriors Three, and an Odin loyalist. He is also the God Of Light, and a renowned warrior who surpasses Thor at least in terms of speed and agility. In the Marvel Comics version of Ragnarok, he’s also the catalyst for the fall of Asgard. More empathetic than typical Asgardians, and a softer character than Thor (despite his prowess in battle), he is notably loved by all who encounter him, explaining his legend on the MCU’s Earth, despite the franchise’s lack of set-up. But then, that wasn’t for the lack of trying.
The MCU Has Tried & Failed To Use Balder The Brave FOUR Times
Balder the Brave holds the inauspicious record of being the most abandoned character in the history of the MCU. Most recently, Balder almost appeared as the missing seventh member of the Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (as confirmed by the movie’s costume designer), but was cut late in the process. Particularly stubborn rumors suggested that Daniel Craig was set to play the Asgardian, which he denied, but Elizabeth Olsen suggested was, in fact true (or at least that the cast expected it to happen). But long before that sequel, Balder was supposed to appear in all 3 of the first MCU Thor movies, as Graham Churchyard the costume designer confirmed:
“We got very far designing Balder the Brave, and then we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting on casting. I took it to a prototype stage, we were kind of in that design thing, getting fabrics together and ideas and waiting for an actor. Poor Balder the Brave, he almost made Thor 1, and Thor 2, and Thor 3, if I can simplify that. Then, it’s just like, ‘Yay! He’s gonna get an appearance!’ Poor guy. I’ve seen designs Marvel’s archive book of Balder’s helmet going back to Kenneth Branagh’s Thor. So, he’s been a long time waiting, and I don’t think he’s gonna make an appearance any time soon.
Because of this stupid thing called COVID there was a travel ban, and I was unable to go to the States. I live in the UK here on the south coast. Basically, it got to a point where they… They had another couple of characters that were back in the design stage in the UK like Balder the Brave and because oof just the way that we couldn’t bring a lot of these actors over because of travel ban in reverse and sort of constraints…”
So while Asgard’s destruction makes Balder’s appearance in the MCU’s future feel a little unlikely, we at least who for certain that he exists. And maybe that’s something Thor 5 can explore now that Loki season 2 has set it up?
New episodes of Loki season 2 release every Wednesday on Disney+