Thor: Love and Thunder introduced Zeus to the MCU, along with a god butcher, giant screaming goats, Eternity, and the universe’s most tasteless ice cream shoppe. But the film’s most exciting newcomer was a character fans already know and love. The movie brought Thor’s roommate Darryl Jacobson to the big screen, making one of the franchise’s most likable figures canon. And hopefully that means poor Darryl has finally found a roommate who won’t take advantage of him.
While shooting Thor: Ragnarok in Australia, writer-director Taika Waititi filmed a short titled “Team Thor,” which premiered in 2016 at San Diego Comic-Con. It showed what the God of Thunder was doing during and after the events of Captain America: Civil War. (Hence the title “Team Thor,” since neither group of Avengers called him for help during their dispute.) Thor had decided he needed some “me time” on his home-planet-away-from-home after defeating Ultron. To get that, he moved down under to share an apartment with the “average, every day” person. And that person was the unassuming Darryl, played by Daley Pearson.
Living with a superhero who often lacks self-awareness was not easy. Especially when that superhero didn’t have a sense of boundaries or enough hobbies.
It sure was funny to watch, though. Which is why Waititi further explored the pair’s time together in “Team Thor: Part 2.” That came out in early 2017 ahead of Ragnarok‘s premiere and showed the limit of money from another planet.
But little did Mr. Jacobson know how good he had it with Thor. In 2018 the new short “Team Darryl” revealed that the soft-spoken, polite Darryl had relocated to Los Angeles for work. Unfortunately for him the only person who answered his Craigslist ad for a roommate was Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster. Living with the former leader of Sakaar went about as well as you’d imagine. He turned Darryl into his servant, melted one of Darryl’s friends, and made Darryl constantly fear for his life. It was delightful. For us at least. (You can see all of Waitit’s shorts in full on Disney+.)
The only bit of good news Darryl ever had when it came to superheroes was that he survived Thanos’ snap. Unfortunately, since half his co-workers didn’t, he ended up having to work Sundays. And he was also in a ton of debt thanks to years of deadbeat roommates.
But until Thor: Love and Thunder, Darryl’s existence was not canon in the MCU. The shorts exist in a nebulous place in the franchise. They are listed on Disney+ under the Marvel One-Shot collection, and the other five films in that category, released between 2011 and 2014, are unquestionably canon. They all fit within or as extensions of other Marvel projects. But in addition to the silliness of the “Team Thor” collection, the first one can’t simply can’t co-exist alongside Thor: Ragnarok itself. Not unless they came from a parallel world.
In “Team Thor: Part One”, the Asgardian gets together with Bruce Banner for coffee. During their meeting the doctor gets a phone call from Tony Stark. But canonically Banner wasn’t even Banner during this time period. Thor: Ragnarok revealed that following the battle with Ultron Dr. Banner was stuck as Hulk on Sakaar fighting as the Grandmaster’s champion. No other Avengers even saw him for a couple of years. Not until Thor met him in the fighting arena. And Bruce Banner didn’t speak to Tony again until the start of Avengers: Infinity War. There’s no way he ever could have been in Australia when Thor lived there.
For that reason alone Darryl was simply a fun side character rather than an official part of the MCU. Until now.
Thor: Love and Thunder made Darryl Jacobson part of the MCU, as he always should have been. He’s made a life for himself in New Asgard, where we’d like to think he has found a mighty roommate worthy of sharing an apartment with him. But his official entrance into the franchise isn’t even the best thing to come out of his inclusion in the film.
Thor: Love and Thunder established that at times Thor really did live in a normal house on Earth. It also showed just how domestic he can be. So even if the “Team Thor” shorts aren’t canon, it’s easy to imagine that he really did live with someone like Darryl once. And if that’s true then it also means Darryl might have really lived with the Grandmaster. All of which proves what we already knew—the MCU is better when Darryl moves in.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.