Minor spoilers follow, so in case you haven’t seen Avengers: Age of Ultron yet, then you might want to skip this story.
One of the most confusing subplots in Avengers: Age of Ultron was when Thor went looking for answers to figure out what Scarlet Witch’s hex meant to him. With the help of Erik Selvig, his search lead him to a mystical pool that is said to reveal the answers he was seeking, and he soon learns more about what the hex meant, and that the Mind Stone that lied within Loki’s specter.
The entire subplot felt forced and didn’t feel organic to the narrative. It turns out that there was so much more to it than what the press and audiences saw. In fact Joss Whedon reveals that the entire sequence was cut out thanks in part to how test audiences reacted to the scene. More on the story below.
Whedon revealed that part of Thor’s subplot was cut to the Empire Film Podcast, and elaborated how much of it actually served a larger purpose to the story.
“There was a 195-minute cut of this movie. The original scene was that Thor went to speak to the Norn and how it would work was that he’d go in the pool and the Norn possess him, basically, and Erik Selvig asks all the questions, and the Norn, speaking through Thor, give the answers. So Chris [Hemsworth] got to do something different, and he really threw himself into it, and he did a beautiful job, but it wasn’t well regarded by the test audiences and I feel it’s probably largely because it was a rough cut with no effects, but also because it’s something that in a Thor movie would work brilliantly, but in this movie is just a little too left of center.”
The director then explained why we got to see an extension of Thor’s sequence, and talked about how we were suppose to see Loki in it.
“I do feel like they threw out the baby with the pond water, because I tried to set it up so people would accept it when it happens. Instead, we split the dream up, and then we had Loki in the second part of the dream, but then they were like, “˜That doesn’t work, do we want to introduce Loki now, this late?'”
I’m guessing that Thor somehow learned that not only was Loki not dead, but that he was actually impersonating Odin during this sequence.
The next bit would also reveal how difficult the entire filmmaking process has been between him and Marvel, and would probably explain why he isn’t returning to direct Avengers: Infinity War,
“The dreams were not an executive favourite. The dreams, the farmhouse, these were things I fought [for]. With the cave, they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and “˜Give us the cave’. They got the farm. In a civilised way – I respect these guys, but that’s when it got really unpleasant. There was a point when there was going to be no cave, and Thor was going to leave and come back and say, “˜I figured some stuff out.’ And at that point I was so beaten down, I was like, “˜Sure, okay”¦ what movie is this?’ The editors were like, “˜No no, you have to show the thing, you just can’t say it.’ I was like, “˜Okay, thank you, we can figure this out!’ You can tell it was beaten down, but it was hard won.”
I’m sure, looking at all of it now, some of the editors would like to take a few things back, the Thor scene most of all. That being said, it is still a very fun, but also flawed, film.