Thor: Love and Thunder end with the death of a central Marvel character. It was sad, but it was the only way to end that character’s story. The death of Jane Foster, while tragic, was an inevitable and necessary contrast to the lighthearted nature of Thor: Love and Thunder.
Even though the death of Mighty Thor is a sad note, the ending of Thor: Love and Thunder are pleasantly upbeat because hope and love ultimately win over grief and revenge. Even though Natalie Portman’s hero makes it to Valhalla in the post-credits scene, it is clear that her life has not come to a satisfying conclusion.
Before she becomes Marvel’s Mighty Thor, Jane is shown desperately trying to get her ideas out, even trying to speed up her chemotherapy to get back to the lab as soon as possible. She is not consumed to the point of self-destruction like Tony Stark was, but she is racing against the clock to save the world in her unique way.
It is possible that Jane Foster will return after Thor: Love and Thunder, given the hints offered by Marvel Comics and Jason Aaron‘s Thor tenure, but Jane had to be killed off by the ending.
The fact that she is doomed to have her genius cut off is the movie’s true tragedy – far more than the lost love story with Thor. Jane Foster’s death was predetermined by rules that extend far beyond superheroes and fiction; it was not a heroic sacrifice at the hands of a villain nor the result of an Infinity Stone poisoning her body in a fight.
The real-world hold that cancer has on the world makes the casual inference that even Marvel movies can magically cure cancer deeply inappropriate.
Why Jane Foster Had to Die in Thor: Love & Thunder?
In Thor: Love and Thunder, Jane Foster does not meet her end due to a gunshot or a cosmic blast of magic, but rather due to a heartbreakingly real problem: her genetics. Jane always felt a nagging worry that she would meet the same untimely death as her mother.
When put in that light, Jane’s determination, ambition, excellence, and even her ability to love a supposed menace like Thor are transformed. There is no unfairness, of course, because there are real-world analogies if Jane had defeated her disease thanks to her treatment, as she ultimately did in the comics after returning from Valhalla.
It is instructive that characters with cancer always meet a horrible end in the Marvel comics and the MCU. Peter Quill’s Star-Lord origin was cut with tragedy because he observed his mother’s death hopelessly from something as terrible and human as cancer. Marvel was killed and did not simply return in the customary comic book death method.
The decision to have Jane Foster die at the end of Thor: Love and Thunder were bold but ultimately justified. Since Portman had been so underutilized in the prior two Thor films, this allowed her a chance to shine in her own right and prevented Thor from imposing even harder on her story. Jane Foster’s death is tragic and consequential, but it ultimately provides her with what Marvel had failed to deliver.