For the most part, I’m trying to stay generally positive and I’m definitely trying to not shit all over things people like. And I’m really trying not to pit one thing against another, especially two love interest type characters, because I am so not into that.
But every time I watch this scene, I just want Thor/Sif so badly because Chris and Jaimie have lovely chemistry, because I love the Thor/Sif pairing from the comics, and because I think it makes so much more sense. And I don’t want to dump all over Thor/Jane, because, if you don’t like something, that’s fine with other people, you know? It’s when you keep harping on something you don’t like that the trouble starts.
I want to make clear that, even if I use strong language in this post, I have nothing against Thor/Jane shippers and those who see the pairing differently from me are entirely entitled to their views and neither of us is more right than the other in what we like. (I do think, though, that if you ship Thor/Jane, THIS POST IS NOT FOR YOU. Just skip it, would be my advice.) But that said, this scene just kind of bugs me. I love it and hate it at the same time.
I love it because Thor/Sif and the way it’s presented are lovely, I love Sif so much. I love how much she really, truly loves Thor. But I hate that it’s set up in a way that’s meant to show us that it’s one-sided, that he’s brooding. And part of his emotional distance is because of Loki, I’m sure. But we’re meant to think that Thor broods because of Jane, the woman he has known for THREE DAYS. Out of a thousand years of his life, he’s known her for THREE DAYS and that was TWO YEARS AGO.
I know I’m supposed to find that romantic or that I’m supposed to read into it that they’re idealizing each other, that it’s the distance that keeps the relationship alive more than anything, because that way reality never has to intrude. And I do think that Loki plays a big part of this, that Thor feels like everything in his life has become unmoored, so of course he holds onto the idea of Jane, the anchor he had when he needed one most.
And so that all gets tangled up in this moment, which should just be about Thor and Sif, I want to talk about just them, but I can’t extract it from all this other stuff about Loki and Jane and how much I’m just not at all buying Thor/Jane because, seriously. I don’t feel it. Supposedly, he’s pining over her (after knowing her for three days), two years later, yet every time we see Thor and Jane with someone else in the scene, she practically disappears into the background. Well. At least she does when Loki’s around. She faints or goes quiet or whatever, but Thor’s attention is so easily drawn away from her when she’s RIGHT THERE and yet… I watch this scene and I’m supposed to believe that his feelings for her are huge and epic?
I see them at his mother’s funeral, I see him during their conversation with Odin, I see him after his mother’s funeral even when talking right to her, and there’s none of that CONNECTION necessary for me personally. The closest you get is during the scene on the balcony/bridge where they kiss and you know what one of the big points of that scene is? To compare their relationship to a once-in-five-thousand-years event that lasts for literally a few hours, comparatively. It’s lovely and amazing and then it’s gone. That’s literally what the scene is comparing their relationship to as their hands line up to show the worlds lining up.
And so I get to this scene and I know those other scenes are coming up and part of me is super frustrated that they’re bringing this up at all if they’re just sort of shooting it down, when the other option is just so frustratingly done and doesn’t click with met at all. There are many things I enjoy about TDW and I will always stop on this scene to watch it, just for the look on Sif’s face as she clearly just aches for him, for the heavy heart he carries and for how much she loves him, because I love Sif and I love her feelings for Thor.
And I do love Sif entirely in this scene because she is LOVELY about it. She is never catty to Jane, she is never screeching or demanding about her feelings. She still gives him shit like a friend would, she still watches his back in battle and gives him hilarious looks, she still finds him awesome, she still doesn’t take his shit, she still knows SHE’S awesome too, she doesn’t try to berate him, etc.
Instead, she just tries to connect with him and then lets him go when it’s not working and yet goes right on caring for him and just. SIF, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Who do you think could represent the most bad-ass Hufflepuff antagonist/villain ever?
THIS HAS BEEN SO HARD TO ANSWER.
After rewatching Thor 2: The Dark World, I really felt that Malekith was an excellent Hufflepuff villain, someone who takes loyalty to an idea to an extreme and thinks that what he is doing is the right and just thing.
Do you know what I really loved about this? That nobody in the movie put this on Loki except Loki himself. Sure, the viewers probably had that moment of, “Look what happened because of your words, Loki!” but none of the other characters ever knew about it, there was no one blaming Loki unfairly for this, but instead the movie just let it be what it was.
We all know that Loki never intended this, but it was still a gut-wrenching example of how his actions have consequences. He lashed out because he was angry, he did something petty, and it blew up in his face spectacularly, which is something he has to live with for the rest of his life.
And he does. We see that the loss of Frigga wrecks him, but we’re also pretty damn sure that he knows he unwittingly helped in this. I love that he never tells anyone and the movie never goes out of its way to pile that onto Loki, because that wasn’t the point, that Loki was wholly bad or blaming him for shit that wasn’t his fault. Instead, we see it, we’re shown it, instead of told it, that Loki’s actions have consequences and THAT is why people are so angry at him, because HE DOESN’T STOP AND THINK, he doesn’t CONSIDER OTHER PEOPLE, he doesn’t think about WHAT HAPPENS BECAUSE OF HIS ACTIONS, not because something that was out of his knowledge or control happened.
I love that Loki is the one who beats himself up about it, but we still see that his actions affect other people. And I love that most people I’ve seen in fandom don’t really lay this at Loki’s feet, because we all know he would have stopped it if he’d had any idea and I think the movie makes that clear, too.
I live in the in between places with Loki’s characterization—I think this is something he needed shoved in his face to understand that his actions do have consequences, but that I don’t think he’s horrible scum or inherently evil for it. I see a spoiled child lashing out and causing a tragedy he had no way of knowing was coming.
Personally, I think Loki probably still believed his parents were infallible at this point, that nothing could ever really hurt them, that he could lash out and lash out because your parents are always supposed to be there for you. And then Frigga dies and of course that just sends everything careening off into bad territory.
This is one of my favorite things. The dialogue is great, Loki’s completely unhelpful commentary is such an obnoxious little brother thing to do and the way he says it, he’s so offended by Thor’s supposed ineptitude and how nobody lets him pilot the ship, it makes me laugh every time.
But my favorite favorite thing about this moment is Loki literally popping up all over the place, trying to peer over Thor’s shoulder to get in his face about how NOW THEY’RE FIRING ON US THOR!!!!, literally like a whack-a-mole game.
I love it. I love it so fucking much. Loki being unable to stand still for five minutes, so he just keeps jittering around, constantly popping up to try to get Thor’s attention and try to yell at him, like the most obnoxious of obnoxious little shit baby brothers ever. Fucking bless.
That might possibly be one of my very favorite moments in the entirety of the movie because seriously look at Loki’s face. It’s better in full view, where you can see that that is the face of someone who was often spoiled when they were a child.
That is the face of someone who was entirely precious and precocious when they were young and they knew how to use their adorable “I’m a stinker, but you love me, right? :3” face to melt hearts. And that is exactly how I see Loki as a child and why he has a lot of the problem he has later in life.
Namely, that he was spoiled rotten, that he never had really solid boundaries set up for him in the way he needed, that his parents saw him as such a precious little squish that they couldn’t hardly ever say no to him. Add in that Odin was not a very communicative sort, while Frigga probably had her heart bleeding every time she picked her little snuggle bunny up, remembering that he’d been abandoned and unwanted, she loved him so much and wanted to give him everything.
Thor is spoiled as well, of course, but in a different way. He was also a charmer, someone who was used to getting his way through sheer force of personality, will, and determination. He was like a dog with a bone when he wanted something, completely tunnel-visioned and bull-headed about it. While Loki was the kind who tried attacking from every angle, always a new argument for what he wanted, always a new wheedling tactic, until his parents finally gave in, because they loved that little pumpkin.
I think his parents went the opposite way, they didn’t starve him for affection, but instead overfed him. They praised every little thing (always remembering that he’d been abandoned, unwanted, so they unconsciously made up for that), they built him up and up and up, never really giving him the tools to deal with something major falling apart under his hands.
He still felt overshadowed by Thor, of course, largely because Thor’s strengths seemed effortless to Loki, because Thor’s strengths were ones that won him friends and approval of everyone in Asgard, because Thor was the type who could make friends anywhere, while Loki sniped and snapped and was jealous.
And because of that, because I don’t think Loki dealt with much hardship at all, he was woefully unprepared when real hardship hit him and that mixed together with all the other shit going on with him (ie, I think he has some fucked up brain chemistry going on—possibly depression or bipolar) and you get… everything we see.
But that precocious look, that “I’m a little shit, I’m a cute little shit, right? :3” look remained, because that’s how Loki was used to getting his way and winning people over.
(I’m pretty sure he did it with Thor as well. ”Thor, don’t you want to give me your new hunting knife?” ”No, Loki, you’re just going to break it trying to crush those dragon scales again!” ”But it’s really important to me, Thor, I’ll get you a new one (no he won’t) next month when we go to Nidadvellir. :3 :3 :3” ”……okay, fine.”)
I really love everything about this moment. I love Fandral and Volstagg’s banter, because it’s hilarious and really well-delivered and sharp.
But mostly I love this too cool for school little shit. Because this is not Loki being badass, this is Loki being a sarcastic little shit.
This isn’t Loki being uncaring of what’s going on around him, this is Loki making a point of, “Look at me! I don’t care! I’m above all this!” because that’s what Loki does to show himself superior to those around him. He entirely cares that they see him, that’s why he’s perched right next to the barrier, so he can see what’s going on and they can see him Not Giving A Fuck. Except that he really, really does.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s hilarious and I laughed so hard, because it’s really well timed on Loki’s part and he’s a great performer! But he’s also a little shit about it.
It makes me think of all those times when he and Thor were younger, how often must he have stood back while Thor launched himself into a fight against a troll or a dragon or anything that could put up a good battle, while Loki scoffed and crossed his arms and made rude commentary about Thor’s footwork? ALL THE TIME, I BET.
This is interesting, too. We definitely see that the Kursed ones are very powerful, that Asgard had a hell of a lot of trouble with them in Bor’s time and we see Kurse in TDW mowing through pretty much everything and even Thor doesn’t fare all that well with them.
So, whatever they are, whatever the change is upon them, it must be INCREDIBLY powerful not just in physical strength, but in durability. We see Loki run Kurse through, but it’s not until the black hole bomb that sucks him in does Kurse actually look like he might die.
This is why I think the Kurse blood on the blade that also stabs Loki could potentially be the key to how Loki survived. I laid it out with more complete theorizing here, here, and here, but I wanted to focus on this moment, where the movie does give us a mention that they’re basically indestructible until they’re consumed by it.
Also, is it bad that I kind of really loved this moment and I’m weak to villains showing true loyalty and care towards each other? I know we’re supposed to look at Malekith’s willingness to sacrifice the others’ lives for his escape to be a really evil, horrific thing (and it is), I know this may even just be a manipulative moment, that Malekith only touches Algrim’s forehead to keep him loyal, to make sure he doesn’t stray, but I think there’s some truth in it.
Christopher Eccelston has said that the other dark elves see Malekith as like a god to them, which I think Malekith seems to buy into as well. Not literally, but that these are like his subjects and he cares for them, that this moment is genuine, that Makelith is touched by Algrim’s sacrifice and loyalty, but that it will never be enough to not send Algrim out there with no regrets.
I love this moment. I have to admit, I saw the twist coming a mile away, given that we’d deliberately seen that magic creating real-looking copies in the prison scene not too far back and when they deliberately cut away from a plan, you know they’re cooking up something to be a twisty surprise, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of how great this moment was, when Frigga just casually steals a sword from a passing Einherjar without him even noticing.
YOU CANNOT TELL ME THAT LOKI DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO PICKPOCKET PEOPLE OR LIFT THEIR WEAPONS WHEN THEY’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION AND THAT HE TOTALLY LEARNED IT FROM HIS MOM.
I’m just imagining all the times when Loki was younger and she showed him the best way to lift something off someone who was marching by versus how to pick the pocket of someone standing and talking versus probably even how to snatch something up while you were moving around with either other, whether fighting or walking together.
It was a bit frustrating for him at first, Loki never took to physical things terribly well, but once he’d mastered it, he was truly a master of it. He never took too many things and kept them, because what did he need for shiny things, when his family has like infinity amounts of money, but he liked the challenge and Frigga always approved when he just lifted something off a visiting guest and then laid it out somewhere where they’d later find it.
Loki had the fun of the challenge and the fun of them going WTF WHO STOLE MY FAMILY’S HEIRLOOM SWORD BECAUSE I WILL— oh wait there it is sorry, and he could act indignant on Asgard’s behalf, meanwhile laughing at them the whole time. And Frigga tried to be scolding, but she was just so happy to see her darling little boy causing mostly harmless mischief.
Considering how much other stuff in this movie was fanon-made-canon or continued the running themes, I could believe that this was a direct nod to one of the most important lines of the original movie.
Where most parallels are meant to be a continuation of a theme, this one is instead a direct contrast that initially seems like a comparison. While there’s truth to Loki’s desire to be Thor’s equal (though, it’s more complicated than that, and it ties him up in measuring himself by Thor’s standards and no one can ever measure up to the standards of another person, Thor’s strengths are not Loki’s strengths, trying to be Thor’s equal was doomed from the start, but also he would never be happy being Thor, that’s just not who Loki is), there’s not much truth to how what he only ever wanted was Thor and Odin dead at his feet.
It is, of course, part of the ruse that they’re playing out here, that Loki spits poisonous words like this to sell the idea that he’s turned on Thor, even if the words don’t mean much to Malekith, they mean enough to gather that this prisoner hates Thor and Thor’s family. There’s no use of “mother” or “father” here (even if Loki screamed at Frigga that Odin wasn’t his father, then said she wasn’t his mother, he has also just spent the rest of the movie calling Thor “brother”), only that Thor was a fool to think he cared, but really all Loki wants is them dead as his feet.
The best lies have grains of truth in them, because there probably is part of Loki that wants that, certainly he’s angry enough and childishly lashing out enough that I can believe he believes it. But when I look at that line (and when I compare it to the one from the original movie, as well), all I can think about is Loki telling lies to himself, even if he knows it’s a lie, I think he tries to see it as somewhat true, that he tries not to love any of them, he tries to be the vindictive and vengeful enemy of Asgard, and it’s not so much that he’s lying to himself as that… Loki has no idea who he is or what he wants, he hasn’t since his sense of self completely crumbled at learning of his birth origins.
These supposed “basic truths” (the first one meant to be taken seriously, the second one not so much on repeat viewings) mostly just make me think about how lost Loki is when it comes to what is really, actually true about him.
And, once again, this is how Loki deals with everything—by falling right back into the habit of being a little smirky shit. It’s easy to see the emotion on his face here, that he’s reeling and wobbly, that he cares very much in these moments. That he’s in pain and hurting and upset.
But, having gotten the reaction out of Thor that he’d been needling him, Loki having been more unbalanced by it than he intended, this is right what he goes back to, the spoiled kid who skates out of things by making a funny comment and his best attempt at a, “Aren’t I a little stinker? But you love me anyway.” face.
He doesn’t know how to handle genuine emotion anymore, no matter that he was the one who wanted this, so joke joke joke, smirk smirk smirk, and you’ll ignore the lingering pain and hurt in his face. And this makes him a fascinating character to me and makes me love him dearly and want to pry him apart to see all the messy stuff under the surface, but it also makes me want to smack him upside the head for being such a little shit.
This moment is really, really important to remember context and the sequence of events here—namely, that Loki just goaded Thor into a reaction, because Loki was itching for a fight, he was deliberately trying to spark Thor’s anger by trying to tear down his relationship with Frigga and was blaming Thor for her death and even blaming him for Loki being in prison.
The other thing that strikes me is, whenever I rewatch this scene, Loki’s face is not someone who is cowering or terrified of physical violence, that is not the face of someone who is scared of being hit. He doesn’t even so much as flicker his eyes towards Thor’s hand, his gaze is absolutely glued to Thor’s face, that hand is not even so much as registering with Loki. This scene isn’t about Thor’s raised fist whatsoever.
This is the first time that Loki has gotten an intense reaction from Thor in the entire movie, this is the first time that Thor’s yelled at him or shown the deep well of anger he has at Loki, this is the first time that he’s lost any of that emotional reserve he has going with Loki—and it’s something Loki’s been spoiling for, but it’s not something he’s prepared for. This is a thing that Loki does, it’s best exampled by the reunion on the Quinjet, where he had to know that Thor was likely to come to Midgard, but the look on his face when Thor lands on that plane, that is the face of someone who thought they were prepared and then wasn’t.
This is the face of someone who egged on a fight between them, who needled until he got it, and then wasn’t at all prepared for the sheer storm of Thor’s anger directed at him again. This is the face of someone who is drinking in the undercurrents and emotions of this fight, rather than the physicality of it.
And, oh, Thor, when he says, “She wouldn’t want us to fight.” He’s trying so hard to keep a lid on his emotions to get through this, to save Asgard and Jane and avenge Frigga, but, as always, it’s Loki that brings out all of this in him. It’s always Loki that he has these intense reactions to, it’s always Loki that frays at his control, until even his iron will snaps, just enough to reveal all that’s roiling underneath his surface. Thor handles it better than Loki (so much better) but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still grieve over everything that he’s lost, that he’s not someone who feels his emotions incredibly deeply.
I’m pretty sure it was fairly clear that Loki did this on purpose, that he could have avoided kicking up the spray and he could have avoided speeding towards the mountainside at that clip (as the guards were taken care of by Fandral at that point), but Loki wanted to be a little shit about it.
Thor had just pulled a fast one on him, which Loki was impressed by, but his natural little turd instincts would kick up and he’d want to retaliate, plus, you know, it’d been five seconds since Thor was paying attention to just him. I see it as a continuation of what I was talking about in this post, where Loki is constantly lashing out and needling Thor in an attempt to get attention again, because he is a spoiled child.
Don’t get me wrong, it was hilarious, and Loki is absolutely a showman in the right circumstances, the delivery of that “Ta-daaaaa!” was hilarious and perfect, the exact kind that Loki would find hilarious. He’d find the whole thing hilarious, that they’re two seconds away from crashing right into the mountain and it’s a chance to show off, hey, look what I can do! hey, look how good I am at this! hey, look at me, Thor!, it’s a chance to have the spotlight for a bit.
But it’s also Loki being a ilttle shit because he is a little shit. And I really, really love him for it. Every time I watch that scene, I think WHAT A LITTLE TURD, CHRIST, I LOVE THAT LITTLE SHIT SO MUCH.
OH BOY DO I HAVE A LOT TO SAY ABOUT THIS SCENE. It’s sort of beautifully filmed for ambiguity, where I initially had one reading on it the first time I watched it, but the more I really looked at it, the more I could read multiple things into it! A lot of that, of course, is because we only get a handful of lines, barely any sort of reactions, we don’t know what Odin or Loki did or said next, so of course there are a dozen different things you could say might have happened. But! I still find it’s not terrible for bridging the gap between the events of the movie.
I WOULD be curious to know if this was part of the original film, if it was meant to be Odin’s reaction to Loki’s actual death, because it would work for that, or if it was part of the refilming with Anthony Hopkins, because I could buy it either way?
The thing about this scene that I really love is that I originally came away from it thinking that Odin was blindsided by this, that he had no idea what was coming. But the more I watched it and thought about it, the more I realized that you could watch this scene and come away from it that Odin knew the moment Loki stepped into that room, but didn’t say anything.
He asks about Thor, because, well, Loki, did you finally kill him permanently this time? And Odin’s grief for everything his family has lost would look exactly like this. But then Thor’s not dead yet there was a body… and Odin’s reaction is very unreadable, it could be that he thinks Loki is dead or it could be that he’s going, “Loki, you little shit, what are you getting at here?” The longer I’m in fandom, the more I lean towards this idea, actually.
But oh man. Kudos to the actor playing the Einherjar guard where you can see Loki’s little shit attitude starting to leak through more and more as the scene goes on, he’s just such a gleeful little shit trying to rub all of this in daddy’s face, just ITCHING to see how Odin reacts when he hears the news that Loki’s apparently dead. I can believe that Loki really did intend to fuck on off, but he just HAD to go back and tell Odin the news, to see how he’d take it. I can believe a lot of things of Loki, that maybe he went back with the purpose of taking the throne/killing Odin, maybe he just went back to attend his own funeral because he had to know, maybe a lot of things! But that little shit just doesn’t know how to get out of his own way.
Personally, I don’t think he went back there with the intent of taking the throne or hurting Odin, his attempts to wound his family have always been emotional, he only strikes out physically when his own emotions get out of control, it’s not something he seeks out. I think he went just to gauge Odin’s reactions, but then… well.
I’m actually on the fence about what happened here. Intellectually, I know that Odin’s probably dead or tucked away somewhere, because I get the impression that Anthony Hopkins is just really fucking done with making Marvel movies. Personally, I wish they’d recast the role, as great of an actor as he is, I didn’t feel him bringing his A game to this movie, and I’d rather have someone who wants to be there, because I’m legitimately interested in MCU!Odin, especially as there’s still a ton left to do with him. But I know that most likely they’ll have him be dead because it’s easier, because they don’t want to replace Tony Hopkins, not when Odin isn’t super important to the story, but the actor is too high profile to easily replace.
But IN MY HEART, I want to think that Odin turned to him and said, “Loki. Start talking right this fucking second, you little shit, and tell me what the fuck you think you’re doing.” and then Loki can explain about Thanos and the looming threats Asgard should be aware of and so Odin then says, “All right, you little turd face, you want to be king so badly? HERE, HAVE IT, while I go ACTUALLY GET SOME SHIT DONE and look into this.”
As things stand right now, both are entirely possible with what we have of the movies! I WILL CLING TO THIS VERSION OF THE EVENTS, where Odin knows exactly what that little shit was doing and wiped the fucking floor with him if Loki tried anything, that he let Loki take on his face to keep Asgard busy while Odin was the only one who could actually go investigate the shenanigans going on in the universe. YOU CANNOT TAKE IT FROM ME, NOT UNTIL WE GET SOME KIND OF OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION. (And, no, that rumor about Anthony Hopkins saying Odin was dead was debunked, iirc.)
I know the real answer to this is, “They needed a way to bring Loki into the movie’s plot.” but I still can’t help thinking, “Loki’s path from Asgard to Svartalfheim wasn’t exactly all that difficult, not really. Why wouldn’t anyone else know them? It wasn’t even a magic-based path….”
The commentary on the movie mentioned that the rainbow streaks we see were like the ones from the Rainbow Bridge/Bifrost and how Loki’s pathway was another one similar to that, which I’ve theorized about before here and here (and a little bit here), basically that I think Asgard was put where it was because that’s where a lot of the lines of Yggdrasil cross, that the Bifrost is a way of tapping into those wormholes or what have you, creating (temporarily) steady paths into them, rather than ripping entirely new holes into space each and every time. That there are many, many branches on the “tree”, but the most concentrated of them is where they plopped Asgard and the Bifrost down.
With that headcanon in mind, I think the other pathways are basically known about, but nobody uses them because they’re not very easy to FIND and they’re probably not very stable. The one Loki uses doesn’t seem to actually need a Bifrost to focus it, so there must be a reason they needed the Bifrost at all, possibly because the lines cross there, so you can go MANY places, whereas this one ONLY goes from Asgard to Svartalfheim and I headcanon that it wasn’t very stable.
Loki knows about it because he’s a curious sort and probably went out exploring the lines of Yggdrasil in a way that Thor wouldn’t have been interested in. Thor likes exploring, but he likes PEOPLE and PLACES, not the science behind it. So, it’s less that Loki is the only one who can get them through it and more that, given the short amount of time they have, Loki is the only one (they can ask) who will know where it is specifically.
But also this is an excuse to give Loki some closure and, no matter how angry Thor is with him, I don’t think he’d deny Loki that. He could have tried to get Loki to talk, tried to get Loki to tell him where it was and then leave him behind, but a) they wouldn’t have time for that and b) I think Thor wanted to give Loki this closure.