God of War Ragnarok's Controversial Thor Design Defended by Champion Powerlifter

Last week, PlayStation finally unveiled God of War Ragnarok for PS4 and PS5 giving PlayStation fans their first look at Kratos, Atreus, and other characters in the sequel, including Thor -- a hammer-wielding god associated with lightning, strength, the protection of mankind, and fertility -- who isn't in the first game, but is teased. If you haven't seen the game's take on Thor, he looks nothing like Marvel's Thor. In God of War Ragnarok, Thor has shaggy red hair and a large stomach that protrudes. If you're familiar with the mythos of Thor, you'll know this isn't an unusual depiction and it's also probably more representative of Viking culture than somebody like Chris Hemsworth. That said, the design has been met with backlash, with many claiming it's not representative of Thor. There's no basis for this claim, but that hasn't stopped it from making the rounds. 

To this end, Darren McCormac -- a three-time British powerlifting champion who holds two world records in the sport -- has pushed back on the criticism, explaining why it's accurate in the process.

"Like it or not, God of War's Thor is the peak of male performance," said McCormac speaking to The Sixth Axis. "Why do I say that? As a strength athlete, there is a correlation between bulk and strength. In powerlifting, the most competitive classes are the under 100kg and under 110kg - guys who are lifting multiple times their own bodyweight. These are big men. 100kg is 16 stone, 110kg is nearly 18 stone. They won't be tall, they'll be bulky. The guys lifting the biggest weights will often be in the under 125kg class, but not all these guys will have abs, far from it. They'll have a layer of lard over it, a power belly. Any old fool can get abs - yes I am looking at you, Mr Hemsworth - but a power belly and big traps (the muscles either side of your neck) are the sign of a bloody strong man."

McCormac continued: 

"If you're still not convinced, look at any recent World's Strongest Man line up. With the notable exception of Mariusz Pudzianowski, WSM competitors are brick outhouses with power bellies, big ball guts that give them a good centre of gravity. Look at this year's winner, Tom Stoltman, a Dad Bod to end all Dad Bods. He's the strongest man on the planet who excelled in both static events like the squat, and dynamic events like the Atlas Stones.... Would you call Tom Stoltman fat? How about his brother, Luke? Or anyone else in the World's Strongest Man line-up? These men are at the peak of physical condition, they have to be. And so is Thor."

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To be fair to the criticism crowd, many of the men McCormac is mentioning have more definition than God of War Ragnarok's Thor does. But Thor is also a Greek god, which none of those men is, so more definition is kinda irrelevant. 

That said, as always, feel free to hit the comments section with your thoughts or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. What do you think of Thor's design in God of War Ragnarok?