Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder (also known as Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr), the mythical goats that draw Thor's sleigh in the trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, nearly made their way into the first movie in the franchise. According to Thor screenwriter Zack Stentz, the writing team had pitched the goats back in 2009, but Kevin Feige and other members of Marvel's management team did not like the idea. Stentz, who doesn't seem to hold any ill will, instead sees this as a clear indication of just how far Marvel has come in terms of being creatively open with the filmmakers behind their blockbusters.
Stentz shared the anecdote on Twitter, where he admitted it was slightly frustrating that the studio did not get the vibe of Thor the first time around. He also noted that in the first few drafts of the script, "Immigrant Song" was intended to be Thor's fight song. That idea, which may have originated with World War Hulk writer Greg Pak, was brought to life in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok years later.
"A big way I know Marvel has loosened up creatively since Phase I is that we proposed Thor riding to battle in his goat chariot pulled by Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr back in 2009, and Feige and company looked at us like we were nuts," Stentz wrote. "Now, there they are in the [Thor: Love & Thunder] trailer!"
The goats first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1976, but had their roots in Norse mythology, like so much else in the Thor canon. Stentz had some fun, somewhat unsettling trivia regarding their role in the myths to go along with his MCU musings.
"A weird thing about Thor's goats from original Norse mythology is that when he's on the road and gets hungry, he kills and eats them in the evening, then they magically resurrect the next day and seem totally fine with that state of affairs and keep pulling his chariot," Stentz wrote.
In terms of Marvel's creative flexibility, here's what he had to say in response to a fan question:
"It was a little frustrating at the time that they didn't embrace the wilder Norse myths meets Walt Simonson vibe we were going for but I totally understood it-- a space Viking with a magic hammer was a hard sell in 2009! But it's nice to see them coming around to that tone now."
Walter and Louise Simonson had cameos in Thor, so there was at least a little of that ol' Simonson magic in the film.
You can see the official synopsis for Thor: Love and Thunder below.
The film finds Thor on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who – to Thor's surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher's vengeance and stop him before it's too late.
Thor: Love and Thunder is due in theaters on July 8.