Below, we'll explain everything you need to know about Gorr the God Butcher, including where he first appeared in the comics, Gorr's powers, ties to other characters, and where he fits within the wider Marvel multiverse.
Who is Gorr the God Butcher?
Gorr officially debuted in Thor: God of Thunder #2 in November 2012, but Thor first mentions his name in the prior issue. He was created by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribić, featuring as the first villain in their Thor: God of Thunder run. This makes Gorr a relatively recent addition to the Marvel multiverse, debuting the year after Thor's first MCU film. His origin was revealed in Thor: God of Thunder #6, which released in March 2013.
Gorr was born into a tribe on an inhospitable, nameless world. This tribe suffered greatly over the years from various threats, including bad weather and vicious predators. During this time, Gorr lost his parents and loved ones in a series of tragic events. Throughout his early life, he continued to pray to the gods for help and protection. However, this protection never came, and he eventually watched his own partner and children die. After all of this suffering, Gorr became disillusioned with the concept of gods. He was subsequently banished from his tribe on this unnamed world and left to wander the wastes alone.
During his exile, he happened across two gods in a fatal duel. This proved that the gods were real and, in Gorr’s eyes, ignorant beings that didn't care to protect innocent people. One of these gods called out to Gorr for aid, the irony of which prompted Gorr to grow angry. Gorr snatched a black blade from the ground and murdered these gods. However, Gorr unknowingly left one of these gods, Knull, alive.
After his first kill, Gorr became obsessed with hunting down and destroying the gods of various pantheons. This crusade eventually brought him into contact with Thor, God of Thunder, who became Gorr’s main opponent in the Marvel universe. This dedication to slaying gods earned Gorr the moniker of the God Butcher, though he has also been known by other similar titles, such as Killer or Slaver of Gods.
What are Gorr the God Butcher’s powers?
Before his fatal encounter with the duelling Gods, Gorr had no powers. This all changed when Gorr found his weapon: All-Black the Necrosword. The Necrosword was the blade of Knull, creator of the symbiotes such as Venom and Carnage, and is imbued with symbiotes itself.
While wielding All-Black the Necrosword, Gorr morphs into a being of devastating strength and gains superhuman abilities like flight and regeneration. Gorr must have the Necrosword to possess these powers, as they will drain if he loses this weapon. Shadrak, a being that Thor finds in Gorr's cave while investigating the God Butcher’s killings, states that the Necrosword even keeps Gorr alive. This becomes especially true after Thor severed Gorr's arm in a battle, causing the Necrosword to bind with his body.
Gorr has used the Necrosword to train for thousands of years and is now a skilled warrior. In Thor: God of Thunder #4, Gorr also states that he is proficient in torture, even having tortured the God of Torture himself.
How does Gorr the God Butcher fit within the Marvel multiverse/MCU?
Gods are very common in the MCU. Norse and Egyptian gods have already been established, and the recent Thor: Love and Thunder teaser trailer gave us our first glimpse of Zeus and the Greek pantheon. With an abundance of deities performing countless godly feats, the arrival of Gorr the God Butcher was inevitable.
Gorr’s immediate goal in the MCU is clear. Christian Bale will portray Gorr as he rampages across the Marvel universe, laying waste to countless gods. The trailer gives us a brief glimpse of Zeus, so we expect to see Gorr unleash hell in Mount Olympus, but Thor is clearly going to be his main adversary.
With Thor recently killing Thanos and helping the Avengers save the universe, it’s no surprise that he is now on Gorr’s radar. It’s unclear how long Gorr has been hunting gods until this point, but we know that he will inevitably encounter Thor during the movie.
However, it’s also clear that Thor is not the only god present in Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman is set to reprise her role as Jane Foster, but things will be quite different from her last appearance in Thor: The Dark World. Jane will wield Mjolnir and become the Mighty Thor, which will probably put her in Gorr’s sights as well. It’s also clear that Gorr is being used as a means to introduce more gods into the MCU, with Zeus (Russell Crowe) appearing in the teaser. While we can expect many of the Greek pantheon to die at Gorr’s hand, many expect Love and Thunder to introduce Hercules, who may continue as one of the MCU’s main heroes in Phase 4 and beyond.
However, it’s important to note that Gorr’s introduction to the MCU doesn’t just spell doom for the gods. It also indicates the potential arrival of a much greater villain, and a possible merger between universes.
As mentioned above, Gorr is closely tied to Knull, who is a key figure in the Venom storyline. Knull created the symbiotes, and All-Black the Necrosword is of symbiotic origin. However, Sony currently holds the rights to Venom and any related symbiotes, including Knull. One of the more recent installments in the Sony Marvel franchise, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, saw Venom briefly transported to the MCU. While this visit was only short, a small trace of Venom’s symbiote was left behind, potentially setting up future stories with symbiotes in the MCU.
Neither Gorr nor Knull have previously appeared in any Marvel movies, but Gorr’s upcoming appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder and the existence of the symbiotes in the MCU certainly indicates that we may finally see Knull. For now, his MCU origin remains unclear, but if Marvel Studios aim to follow the comic storyline, then any appearances from Knull or All-Black the Necrosword will also give us our first proper look at symbiotes in the MCU.
That wraps up everything you need to know about Gorr the God Butcher. We'll be able to see how Gorr's story plays out in the MCU when Thor: Love and Thunder releases in theaters on July 8.
Interested in reading Thor comics, but don't know where to start? Check out Popverse's guide to the 10 most essential Thor comics of all time.