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Avengers End Game – A Life Coach’s Perspective

Updated: Jan 20

Even if you haven’t watched a single Avengers-related movie up until now, you likely can’t escape the news that the latest release, End Game, topped box office records worldwide.

While I appreciate the “good vs. evil” story lines and CGI theatrics of the Avengers movies I have watched, I’m not the avid fan my husband is. (For those who know him, you know that’s putting it mildly! But that’s another post…)

Leading up to the movie were many, many conversations between my husband and son about various Avengers characters and potential plot lines about how the final movie would end…of which my contributions would mainly be to smile and nod. Honestly, it was more fun watching them geek out than actually trying to keep up with the conversation.

So, when we settled into the movie theater’s reclining seats on opening night of End Game, I felt prepared enough to understand the basic plot line. I was prepared to suspend my disbelief as CGI characters fought one another on the big screen. I was not prepared for the character transformation of two key heroes: Hulk (Bruce Banner) and Thor (God of Thunder.)

Both characters came up against one of the biggest battles of their lives, but it wasn’t a battle against enemy forces or giant metal aliens flying out of the sky. It was an internal battle to definitively answer the questions, “WHO AM I? DO I ACCEPT WHO I AM? DO I KNOW MY PURPOSE BASED ON HOW I WAS UNIQUELY CREATED?”

Both were at different points in their journeys (Thor was pretty much at the beginning; Hulk was further along.)

Whether or not you’ve seen the movies, there is a lot that can be learned from the personal transformation of these two specific characters. Let me share how I see it from a life coach’s perspective…

The Hulk (aka Bruce Banner’s) journey

Early in his career, Bruce Banner was working as a physicist when – BAM – he’s exposed to gamma rays as a result of the detonation of an experimental bomb. Talk about a bad day at the office.

The incident resulted in Banner taking on an unwanted physical transformation – the Hulk – when triggered by emotional stress or being held against his will. When in his Hulk state, he would often go on destructive rampages that would create conflict and tension for “regular” Bruce.

Bruce didn’t feel he could control this side of himself, which only fed into his repressed anger. He didn’t like part of what he was, so he tried to be something he wasn’t. He tried being like everyone else and just “be normal.”

In the Hulk’s appearances in the recent Avengers movies, you see the impact of his repressed anger in the form of Banner/Hulk become more and more isolated and depressed. He hates feeling torn between two very different personalities. He has yet to accept who is really is.

Rather than resisting and suppressing his angry self, which he has rejected for so long, he has finally accepted and made peace with it. The result is that he is permanently his “Hulk” physique, which is very different from Bruce’s human physique. Yet, the transformed Hulk’s personality is that of Bruce Banner – good-natured, intellectual, and introspective. He’s not above anger, but he understands how he can express himself – his true self – in less destructive ways. He’s at peace.

He likely came to a point where he had tried everything he knew to do and it wasn’t working for him anymore. He was ready to make a life change. At that point, he was willing to take a step back and really question his beliefs – especially those that were holding him back. Once he realized that he wasn’t flawed – and that he could help others just by showing up as his authentic self – he was able to accept himself fully. The transformation was complete.

While the movie doesn’t go into detail on exactly what path Bruce took for his ultimate transformation, I do know that life coaching would have been a great option to achieve his outcomes.

Life coaches work with their clients to help achieve goals, overcome obstacles and make changes or shifts in their lives. In Bruce/Hulk’s situation, once he recognized that where he was today today isn’t where he wanted to be, a life coach could help him visualize what success would look like for him, then help him make a plan to get there. He wanted to not be so angry all the time. He wanted to not cause unintended destruction. He wanted to be who he was designed to be, and he needed time and support to create this vision. In the Hulk’s case, it was ultimate wholeness.

Thor, God of Thunder’s Journey

Next up is Thor. A little background…

Son of Oden (the king of Asgard), Thor enjoys a life of relative privilege and comfort as he grows into his future role as king. His “superpower” is the strength to wield a hammer that draws down the force of lightening. Nice.

During a moment of young adult bravado, Thor takes a matter into his own hands and invades another kingdom without the approval of the his father. It turns out the king had been working to build trust and loyalty with this group, and Thor’s actions had set things on a course for potential war. Thor was banished to Earth and stripped of his worthiness to wield the hammer.

Fast forward… Thor ultimately learns the delicate balance between power, humility, and empathy. He gains back his hammer and his honor, and becomes part of a new team – the Avengers – who share a similar purpose for fighting injustice.

At the start of the End Game movie, Thor is in an incredibly emotional state. Over time, he has lost his family, the love of his life, and – most recently – most of Asgard (his rightful kingdom). The devastating loss in Asgard was due to Avengers Enemy #1Thanos. In an opening scene, the remaining Avengers now stand face-to-face with Thanos. Thor, once again, takes matters into his own hands – he ends Thanos’ life.

What should have been a moment of victory is empty, just as Thor is. Though he has the support of the Avengers team, the weight of his past losses is crushing down around him. Thor takes a self-imposed “leave of absence.”

When the Avengers next come upon Thor, they find he has not only taken a leave of absence, he’s completely escaped – from expectations, from responsibility, and from self-regulation. He’s using distractions – primarily alcohol, video games, and justification – to numb out. By this point, Thor has lost his washboard abs and regal presence. He appears… weak. Vulnerable. Washed up. He’s STUCK.

He’d started his life on top of his game. He had a few failures early on and learned from them. So far, so good.

Then, as life does, people and things he loved were taken from him, all of which was out of his control. Being the God of Thunder, and an Avenger, couldn’t stop his loved ones from leaving him. Suddenly, the titles and power didn’t hold the significance they once did.

The tools he’d relied on previously – physical power, authority, and a desire to right injustice – weren’t working anymore. He may not have known how to emotionally process the pain and injustice of real loss, which doesn’t translate to clean answers or victorious battles. Instead, he fell into the trap of distraction; of escape. And that’s where the Avengers now find him.

The Avengers convince Thor to re-engage into the work at hand, even though he’s lost some of his characteristic physical strength and focus. He’s called to go back in time, where he has an encounter with his now-deceased mother. She senses he’s from the future, and asks if he’s all right, to which Thor admits, “I just really need to talk to you right now,” and falls sobbing into her arms.

Anyone who has ever lost someone they looked up to can relate.

His time-travel mother then gives him the advice he needs to move forward: “It’s time to be who you are instead of who you’re supposed to be.”

Can you relate?

Maybe you’ve been living your life according to others’ expectations, which served you for a while, but isn’t working anymore. Maybe you’re so fearful of letting people down, you continue to play your dutiful, now draining, role. Maybe you’ve never known anything else, so you’re apprehensive to explore a new path. The struggle you know is more comforting than the unknown, even if it leads to better outcomes.

You’re stuck, yet you know you’re not where you want to be. Then…you take your first tentative step toward authenticity.

Thor, played by Chris Helmsworth, takes a brave stand at the end of the movie. He steps out of the shadow of “old Thor” and joins the Guardians of the Galaxy on their ship. When asked what his plans are, he replies with a wry smile, “It’s time to be who I am instead of who I’m supposed to be.” Thor is at the very beginning of his new journey toward authentic wholeness.

A life coach could come alongside to help him – or you – top help achieve personal goals, overcome obstacles and create positive outcomes. Sometimes all you need is someone you can trust to walk alongside you on the journey.

What’s your journey?

Hulk and Thor didn’t seek out transformation. Both actually resisted, but both eventually realized the power of leaning into their personal truth beyond what they had learned or what had been expected of them up to that point. Only then they were able to move forward from a position of internal strength and authenticity.

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation to determine the right amount of support for you.


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