When Does Thor: Love and Thunder Take Place?

How’s it going, guys and geeks? Welcome to Geekritique, my name is Dakota. Today we’re going to dig deep into Thor: Love and Thunder to determine where exactly it fits best on the MCU Timeline. If you’ve been following our channel for a bit, you’ll know that we released a video not too long ago about the surprising timeline connections and ramifications between Love and Thunder and Moon Knight. When the two titles were being written and produced, their timelines were baked into one another’s so that connections to Gorr the god butcher’s murder streak could be felt in Moon Knight. Eventually those connections were scrapped, but I believe both title’s timelines still line up perfectly.

And now that Thor: Love and Thunder has made its way onto Disney+, it’s also been placed on their timeline. And… it doesn’t match up at all with what I mentioned in my previous video. So guess what? We’re gonna go on a little journey to dissect the film frame by frame, and figure out if my timeline is correct, or if Disney+ is correct.

Before we begin, I want to draw your attention to the MCU Timeline V7 Collection, a playlist of videos that we’ve released since our last big timeline. In these videos we’ve corrected some of our mistakes from the timeline, and updated the official timeline graphic multiple times as new titles have been released. While each of these videos stands on its own, I treat each like a chapter in a book, and I do intend for the videos to be watched in order, as new information unearthed from those previous videos will help with our placing Thor: Love and Thunder in this video and future videos down the line. Please be sure to check that out after this which will help flesh out the MCU Timeline even more.

For the life of me, I cannot understand how Disney+ reached the conclusion that Thor: Love and Thunder occurs latest on the timeline, even after Ms. Marvel. In our When Does Ms. Marvel Take Place video, we determined that the best possible placement for Ms. Marvel was during September and October of 2025. Some would argue it’s in June 2025, because of the Eid celebration, but the show thematically doesn’t fit there. So Disney+ is now suggesting that Thor: Love and Thunder takes place in Fall, or Summer, of 2025, depending on whichever timeline indicators they used to place Ms. Marvel. For my timeline I suggested Love and Thunder occurs in late May 2024, a whole year and change earlier, with Moon Knight starting up shortly thereafter in June. It’s worth noting that despite the creators of Moon Knight suggesting the timelines of Moon Knight and Thor: Love and Thunder held connections, Disney+ doesn’t place the film anywhere near the show on their timeline.

But let’s give the Disney+ timeline the benefit of the doubt and test out whether there’s any merit to it’s placement. Perhaps the creators have had some say as to why it’s so late on the list. When does director Taika Waititi claim it occurs? Speaking to CBR.com he claimed “I think probably the number of years since we’ve seen Endgame. It’s probably four years. Is that right?” Uhhh. Well he doesn’t seem too certain, but four years after Endgame would certainly place it last on the Disney+ timeline. Alas, 2027 is several years too late for Thor: Love and Thunder, so we can disregard Waititi’s estimate entirely. Let’s stick to assuming Disney+ wants to place it directly after Ms. Marvel, so Fall 2025. Is there any way to test whether this works? Well yes.

The film gives us an exact timeframe with which we can use to calculate back the date on which Jane Foster broke up with Thor. This breakup would have to occur after Avengers: Age of Ultron in Spring 2015 and prior to Thor: Ragnarok, Fall 2017. Jane says, “What’s it been, like 3? 4 years?” “Eight years, seven months, and six days.” We’re going to call this the 876 Rule. The date Thor gives us is exact. It was clearly a traumatic experience for him, one which he’s still recovering from. And because it’s an exact timeframe, it holds a lot of weight. So hypothetically let’s say Disney+ has decided to place Love and Thunder on October 15th, 2025. All we’d have to do is subtract the 876 Rule and that would bring their breakup to March 2017. That still falls in line with it being before Thor: Ragnarok, but it opens up a new issue.

The breakup not only needs to be before Ragnarok, but Thor’s time off-planet after the breakup needs to also be before Civil War in Spring 2016. “Do you know where Thor and Banner are right now?” It’s heavily implied here that Thor is missing and has been for some time during the events of Captain America: Civil War. And when we examine the flashback scenes of Jane Foster and Thor, it’s clear he was spending a lot of time on earth in the months and years leading up to their breakup. The Avengers would surely know where to find Thor in 2016, if he were still dating Jane Foster. He’s presumably still working with the Avengers during these flashbacks too, as he even gets a call from Nick Furry. So subtracting the 876 Rule from October 2025 simply does not work. The breakup needs to occur before April 2016. In fact, if you place the events in Thor: Love and Thunder anywhere in 2025, the 876 Rule doesn’t line up, as it’ll always place the breakup after Civil War. Using this line of logic immediately throws out any potentiality that the Disney+ timeline placement for Thor: Love and Thunder is correct.

And I’m not the only one who is having trouble wrapping their mind around the fact that this film takes place two years after Endgame. James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, had this to say: “I don’t imagine the Guardians were with Thor for two years, but it does feel like there’s a couple years between Endgame & Vol 3.” So let’s break that logic down. In Endgame Thor joins the Guardians. He stays with them until Love and Thunder. After Love and Thunder comes the forthcoming Guardians Holiday special which will lead into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. James Gunn claims that there is only a couple years between Endgame and Guardians Vol. 3, and a couple almost always refers to 2, in this case 2 years. Can all three projects – Thor 4, the Holiday Special, and Vol. 3 – take place 2 years after Endgame? It isn’t likely, and there’s actually proof that Thor doesn’t spend two years with the Guardians of the Galaxy in Love and Thunder.

Please note Groot’s appearance in Love and Thunder. I spoke a lot about Groot’s growth cycle in my ‘When Does I Am Groot Take Place?’ video, and how quickly he went from a sapling to toddlerhood between the first two films. Those I Am Groot shorts, if canon, are required to take place mere days after Guardians 2, as he doesn’t appear to age at all in them. Now I’m not suggesting that Love and Thunder is required to take place mere days after Endgame, just because Groot hasn’t noticeably aged between films. A friend over at the MCU wiki made a quick graph showing how Groot’s relative age follows a curve, so the growth cycle will have slowed down quite a bit from the time period of Guardians 2, but not entirely. If this scene from Love and Thunder were two years out from Endgame, Groot should appear in his mid teens by now, instead of continuing to appear in his adolescent form. And early concept art leaked from the Guardians Holiday special showcases a much older looking Groot than we see in Love and Thunder. This reiterates that it’s impossible for Thor: Love and Thunder to take place in 2025.

Thankfully, our frame by frame timeline analysis of the film came up with a solid timeframe that works under intense scrutiny.

So if 2025 is too late for Thor: Love and Thunder to occur, when in 2024 does it fit best? There are a number of clues. Firstly, based on the semi-warm climate in New Asgard, formerly Tønsberg Norway, we can surmise its around summer, perhaps a a month earlier or later. The best months to visit Norway for tourism are June, July and August. But we do see that it’s a bit chilly, as many are wearing heavier clothes in a few shots, so this could possibly indicate it’s May or September as well. This narrows the New Asgard scenes to best fit a range of May 2024 through September 2024. Let’s dig deeper.

Jane Foster has cancer. “When did you find out?” “Like 6 months ago”. As tragic as that is, it’s a timeframe we can work with. We know from the Endgame script that Jane Foster was one of the victims of Thanos’ snap, and there’s further evidence in this film that suggests that to be true which we’ll touch on in a bit. We also know that everyone was brought back to life from the Blip in October 2023, a fact confirmed in Ms. Marvel. So if Thor: Love and Thunder is mid-2024, the discovery of her cancer would need to have been shortly after she was returned to life. That’s fine, but that doesn’t narrow it down any – all months between May and September 2024 are at least 6 months after Endgame. We need to dig deeper.

Shortly after we discover Jane has Stage 4 cancer, she takes a sodium citrate anticoagulant test on April 30th. That narrows it down tremendously. We can disregard the date the Sodium Citrate was bottled in February 2020, as we’ve already determined Jane Foster wasn’t alive at this time. The date of her test on 4/30 is significant, because we know she visits New Asgard soon after the fact. Soon enough for tourism season to be in full effect, and early enough for it to still be chilly. This takes us into May 2024. Now we’re getting somewhere.

I can’t imagine Jane would have deliberated long and hard as to whether or not she should go to New Asgard, after she felt Mjolnir calling out to her. So for the sake of the argument, let’s assume she made the trip that week. She attended the play Helas on Earth on a Friday according to this ticket stub where she learned what befell Mjolnir in the events of Thor: Ragnarok. “I broke your hammer!” And then she followed Darryl the tour guide to the remains of Mjolnir, where she eventually brought the pieces back together and became the Mighty Thor. And before anyone asks, no the Team Thor and Team Darryl shorts are still not canon. That’s what we call a cameo. Anywho, Jane likely spent a couple weeks in New Asgard, long enough to develop a number of catchphrases, with the help of Valkyrie, trying to see if her time with Mjolnir would make her any less ill.

At this point in the story we enter the main timeframe of events where Gorr attacks New Asgard and Thor shows up. During this fight we see the moon prominently several times as a waxing gibbous, and using the skills we learned from our ‘When Does Moon Knight Take Place?’ video, the first time we see a waxing gibbous in May 2024 is Monday the 20th. It’s worth noting the moon briefly flips over to a waning gibbous before returning to a waxing gibbous for the remainder of the battle. Coincidentally, May 20th falls in step just before the start of Moon Knight in June 2024, and as we established, the two timelines were at one point intrinsically connected. If this Thor: Love and Thunder placement is true, that’s even more weight that Moon Knight occurred where we believe it does. It fits perfectly, and now if we deduct the 876 Rule from May 20th 2024, the day Thor arrives back on New Asgard, that brings us to October 14, 2015 a date that fits about half a year after Age of Ultron, and about half a year before Civil War. Even during the breakup flashbacks we see a copy of the World Journal of Theoretical Physics with her face on the cover, dated to September and October – a strong indicator that she was becoming too busy at the time for a relationship with someone who was rarely home. By all accounts, May 2024 is the far superior timeline placement over the Fall 2025 placement on Disney+.

I’ve seen the argument that it would take Thor longer than the 7 month timespan between Endgame and Love and Thunder to get back into shape. And to that I’d say, I’d like to see you tow a spaceship and not get ripped. Another possible detraction of it only being 7 months post-Endgame is the apparent tourism and industry boom we see from New Asgard between films. To be fair, a lot can happen to a small town like this in 7 months time. Disneyland was famously built from the ground up in just a year and a day, and this seems to be a significantly smaller feat. That said, it’s possible they already had a tourist industry, but we didn’t see it because when we visit New Asgard in Endgame it’s already past the months where tourism is most popular, so I don’t see this as a major issue.

One hidden timeline treat we can glean from Thor and Jane meeting up again during battle is that, despite having not seen each other for over 8 years, Jane claims it’s only been 3 or 4 years. Knowing, as per the Endgame script, that she was gone during the blip, this may be a subtle nod to that fact. For Jane, she only remembers a bit over 3 years because she was gone over 5 years in that time.

There are a lot of small flashbacks to different periods of Thor’s life, but each occurs fairly quickly. To our best guesstimation, here’s how much time we spend in each year. .23% occurs in indeterminate years. .15% happens circa 965. .24% happens around 1991. Only .03% happens in 2011. .23% in 2013. .87% in 2014. In 2015 we have 1.18%. We get another .15% in 2017. .05% in 2018. .46% in 2023. And the vast majority of the film, 96.41% of it, unequivocally occurs in 2024.

Because this film confirms our placement for Love and Thunder on the timeline, there’s no need to change our timeline graphic at all, so v7.3 will remain our latest version. As always, our amazing Patreon members will get exclusive access to download a massive 30000 x 5000 pixel copy of the timeline, but it will also be made available in a smaller format free on Twitter.

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