That’s the simple explanation for why Jane Foster, as played by Natalie Portman, is not in Thor: Ragnarok. We learned this in an exclusive from EW, out just today. In speaking with Chris Hemsworth, the God of Thunder himself, he said, “He’s off exploring the universe, still trying to police it and control the mayhem. But he’s certainly enjoying being a drifter, being a solo cowboy out there.”
However, that doesn’t mean he’ll be without a love interest for the entire film as he eventually ends up on Sakaar and meets Valkyrie, as played by Tessa Thompson. However, this is not an immediate attraction and it’s unclear if there will ever be anything between them. As Kevin Feige says of their interactions, “We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal and that his relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior.”
As a human, or a dweller of Midgard, it makes sense that Jane Foster may not be up to the challenge of buttoning down an Asgardian prince to be her man, but an elite warrior woman like the Valkyrie could be perfect for him. Though, even that is in question, as Feige says, “Valkyrie is trying to not embrace any sort of Asgardian heritage that she has. Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.”
So, in one corner we have a philandering thunder god, who loves his home realm of Asgard, bouncing around the universe looking for love. In the other corner, we have a hard-drinking warrior woman who just wants to be forgotten and hide from all things Asgard.
What could go wrong?