EW has your exclusive first look at this week's episode 7 "What If ... Thor Was an Only Child?" that head writer AC Bradley tells EW is "fun and silly" — no world-ending events or murdered Avengers in sight. "I love the Thor-Jane relationship and we wanted to play around with that part of the love story without the framework of tragedy," Bradley says. "The story took root from a love of '80s and '90s rom-coms and party films. After so many serious episodes, what's the most fun we could possibly have? And the answer to that is: Let Thor throw a party."
Director Bryan Andrews laughs as he admits that "some of the stuff has already been a little bit leaked because of merchandising, there's like shirts that say 'Party Thor!' so it lets you know a certain degree of the attitude behind this episode." But he's excited for fans to see the "complete 180 from the couple episodes that came before that were more serious, more dramatic, tragedy and shock. It's going to be a really great palate cleanser from the stuff that came before and it will set you up for the stuff that will come after."
Marvel Studios Jane and Thor in Marvel's 'What If...?'
The episode's "What If...?" question explores how Thor (voiced by Chris Hemsworth) would be different if he was never raised with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as his brother. "Anyone who has siblings knows that that relationship affects us greatly growing up," Bradley says. "So in the MCU, Thor grew up with Loki, literally the god of mischief, always running into trouble so Thor became the good prince, the good son. Without his brother dragging him into trouble Thor had to find it on his own and so he grew up a bit differently — still our lovable hero, but his interests are less about becoming king of Asgard, and more about becoming perhaps the party prince."
Andrews explains that this comedic and light version of Thor is extremely different from what fans have seen in Thor: Ragnarok and even post-Blip in Avengers: Endgame. "We get to reinvent him because his entire life from the beginning to this point is totally different so we got to create a brand new version of Thor, truly," he says. "We push that comedy. It does take place in the timeframe roughly of what we think of as Thor so there are some other characters that we do get to see from that movie — Jane Foster makes an appearance as well as Darcy and Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings did such a fantastic job."
Bradley also reveals that "this episode is chock full of cameos" because it was recorded later in the process of making season 1 after many of the MCU actors experienced earlier What If...? episodes and had fun with it. "A lot of the lines are improvised by the actors," she adds. "It should be Easter egg heaven. I hope people have fun with the one this week because it's not as bombastic world-ending as other episodes. The mandate for me when I was writing it was, I just want to have fun, I just want to be silly. It's a lot sillier than anything you'd see in the MCU. It should be an episode to watch with a beer."
That's the atmosphere that Hemsworth brought into the recording booth with him for this episode. "He ate it up," Andrews says. "We started finding the voice and Chris has got such natural comic instincts — they've started bringing that out in Ragnarok but we got to lean into that even more so in this. There's some stuff that got particularly goofy and he was laughing and the guys in the recording booth over there in Australia were laughing, and he was just like, 'I really like this Thor!' He gets to cut loose more than he ever has in the Marvel Universe."
Andrews laughs before adding, "I get a sense that maybe there's a little bit of actual Chris in 'Party Thor' which might be one reason why he gravitated towards it so easily and had so much fun with it."
And Bradley even had her own comedic moment when this episode was being recorded — but not because of anything that happens in the episode. "Seth Green [makes a] cameo and he came in to record as Howard the Duck," she says. "I was walking him through the episode like, 'It's really fun and zany and it's kind of like a throwback to Can't Hardly Wait.' And the man very politely nodded and went, 'Yeah, I've seen it.' And it wasn't until the drive home that I was like, 'Oh frick, he was in it! I just pitched him his own movie.'"
Check out the sneak peek at this week's episode above now. New episodes of What If…? debut Wednesdays on Disney+.