'Thor' Concept Artist Reveals Balder Almost Appeared

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has long known that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) had an on-screen adoptive brother in Loki (Tom Hiddleston). According one concept artist, however, another Odinson brother nearly appeared in the first Thor.

According to Charlie Wen — the head of visual development for big-time Marvel Studios hits like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy — the initial script for Kenneth Branagh's Thor (2011) included none other than Balder the Brave, a half brother of Thor Odinson.

"Thor almost had Balder!! We were so close. Balder, Thor’s half brother, was in the script at one point, and had a pretty crucial role," Wen posted with three pictures on his Instagram profile. "I painted this preliminary keyframe of him before finding out that he would be taken out of the film."

"Balder does add another layer of complexity to Thor’s relationships with Loki, and it was probably a good idea to have him taken out of the first film, but if there was more time to weave out a longer story arc, and Thor had an HBO or Netflix saga, Balder would be a must!"

First appearing in Journey Into Mystery #85 (October 1962), Balder made his Marvel Comics debut alongside all of Asgard including Odin, Loki, and another Odinson brother named Tyr. Like his Norse mythology counterpart, Balder has the ability to trigger Ragnarok and end Asgard as we know it — and it's something that Odin himself has cast a spell on to prevent.

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Now that Ragnarok has happened within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, it might be too late to add Balder in the ever-growing cinematic universe from Marvel Studios. Unless that is, of course, they alter that character's origins like they did to Cate Blancett's Hela in Thor: Ragnarok.

The next movie on the Marvel Studios slate is Captain Marvel with March 8, 2019 release date. Other upcoming movies for the powerhouse movie studio include the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019; and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.