rewatching the dark world

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

I have an extreme, extreme weakness for dynamics where one person laughs at the other and it makes me want to laugh with them, where I don’t feel like it’s making the other person feel like dirt, but instead they just simply seem to have great affection for that person and find it amusing when they land flat on their face.

It’s interesting, because Fandral and Loki share pretty much no other scenes, not even in this moment does Loki seem to so much as heard his comment, nor do they interact in the rest of the scene.  Yet, this one moment, the way Zach Levi delivers that line, the way it doesn’t feel malicious to me, like he’s fond of Loki in that moment, boy, did that light a shipping fire within me.  I am definitely willing to play around with that!

But, at the same time, seriously tho.  Loki is realizing that Thor tricked him, which has apparently blown his mind enough that NOBODY ELSE EXISTS EXCEPT FOR THOR.


ok dude this may not be exactly what you ordered but yeah

Naturally, Alex had noticed first.

She was perceptive about things – feelings in general. She was (albeit surprisingly) the most perceptive of their group.

Sam got it second, and told Amir. Even by that point, it was poorly hidden, if there was an attempt to conceal it at all.

It took the rest of Floor Nineteen a little longer to catch on, but they eventually did, even Halfborn – who was arguably the most insensitive being in at least four of the nine worlds.

Magnus, on the other hand, was completely oblivious.

Nobody had bothered to tell the poor soul, possibly because they imagined he had been informed previously, and possibly because they assumed that he was perceptive enough to realize what was happening.

Hearth figured that PSA were fine in front of Alex. Alex had figured it out right off the bat. She’d confronted Blitz and him.

“I know,” she said, as way of  opening the conversation.

Blitz had blinked, stunned. “I – what?” he’d said.

Hearth hadn’t signed anything. He had been motionless.

Alex grinned. She had a cheshire-cat grin, like she was playing with them, like she was hunting. “Don’t be silly,” she’d purred. “You’re so fucking gay I have to avert my eyes to avoid rainbows permanently imprinted on the inside of my eyelids.”

And there it was, blunt as a policeman’s nightstick. Blitz had visibly flinched, and Hearth had placed a steady hand on his back, as though it were a reflex. It was a reflex, he realized. No wonder Alex had figured them out.

Movie night.

Magnus was half-passed out on the patch of carpet by the arm of the couch, leaning against Alex’s legs as she wrestled for the remote with Sam. Hearth had draped his long, lanky body over the couch, his head resting on Blitz’s knee, tracing lazy circles on the back of the dwarf’s hand. 

They were rewatching Thor: The Dark World for possibly the thousandth time, because Amir swore there was something entertaining about Loki playing for the right side. Sam swore he wanted to watch it because he had an enormous celebrity crush on Tom Hiddleston, which he denied in the kind of way that made them all assume it was true.

The movie was just finishing up – Loki’s disguise melted away, revealing his true, widely smirking figure perched atop the throne of the kind of Asgard – when Magnus saw Blitz lean down and plant a quick kiss on Hearth’s lips before standing up and excusing himself.

He was almost asleep by that point, and the comforting folds of unconsciousness took him into their arms. He drifted off to sleep, unaware of anything out of the ordinary. To his half-conscious mind, kissing was perfectly normal for Hearth and Blitz.

The next day, Hearth was greeted by an outraged “You’re dating and you didn’t tell me?” 

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]


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.”)

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

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.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

This moment.  Thisssss momenttttttt.  Where Thor backs away from the fight that Loki goaded him into, where he says something so heartfelt and true, something that wasn’t said in anger or was anything but completely genuine, that said everything about how much Thor missed him, but realized the distance between them, was deeply sad about it, but recognized it as the way things were now.

And in that moment, that’s when Loki just stares at Thor, where he looks like he got punched in the gut, because he realized in a very immediate and visceral sort of way just what he’s lost.  I think there’s always some part of Loki that believed his family would endlessly be there for him, no matter what he threw at them.  That Thor would always be just as wrapped up in Loki’s pain as Loki is, that his parents would always be there for him, that nothing he did would ever really push people away.

Then his mother dies and now he’s seeing just how far Thor is from him, that it’s not said in anger or something that will pass in a few moments. This is something that’s entirely real and I think it just hit Loki like a ton of bricks in that moment.

It’s one thing to fight with Loki, but it’s entirely another to choose walk away from him out of Thor just being done and the realization that nothing’s going to work like this, rather than the heat of the moment. I will forever think this is why Loki opened up again, just a little bit, on Svartalfheim, because he pushes and pushes and pushes, but he doesn’t actually want Thor to go away.  The second it becomes real that Thor starts pulling away, that’s when he reaches out—in his own, still twisted way—and asks Thor to trust some part of him, that’s when he helps Thor on Svartalfheim, that’s when he has to work to regain what he’d lost, even just a little bit, and I can absolutely see hope for Loki’s future.  Maybe the ending of the movie fucked that up a lot, but the point is that it’s still, this moment still happened, Loki still reached out, just a little bit, Loki still wants all of what he had before, you’ll never convince me otherwise!

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

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.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

It’s been, like, six months (and now longer) and I am still not over this moment, it is too beautiful and perfect to me.  Thor asks if Jane is ready and the look on Loki’s face is the most beautiful I AM OFFENDED OVER HERE HOW DARE YOU NOT PAY ATTENTION TO ME THOR look I have ever seen.

It’s not even reaching for it, that is literally what is going on in this scene, Thor paid attention to Jane for three seconds and Loki was like WHAT HOW DARE YOU.  He is ready!!! Pay attention to him, Thor!!!!

I laugh my ass off every single time.

But the great thing is that Thor does turn to Loki and they’re right back in synch, they rise up at the same time, Jane fades back into the background as soon as Loki pops up, that gorgeous shot of them on Svartalfheim as they’re about to approach the Ark, puts your focus right on Thor and Loki.  These are the important characters of this scene, these are the characters important to each other, these are the characters that draw your eye.

Also, I just really enjoy thinking about how many times Loki must have done that as a kid, that any time Thor asked if Sif or Hogun or Fandral or Volstagg were ready, and Loki pops up with this utter sour lemon sucking face and says I’M READY, THOR.  While Thor just turns to Loki and beams at him, everyone else entirely forgotten and Loki slowly comes out of his hissy mood as Thor pays attention to him.


Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

It’s hard to cap well, of course, but rewatching the fights on Svartalfheim was really fun because their fighting styles were so interesting to see! With Loki, you have him practically elegant and fighting like a dancer, it really is very like how Frigga fought.  They’re constantly whirling and in motion, speed is prioritized over power, but that makes them no less deadly, as you can see the way Loki just whips through those Dark Elves so quickly, twisting their necks or knifing them and shoving them away.

In contrast, Thor’s fight with Kurse (even as Thor’s in trouble in that fight) and later with Malekith is all about pure raw power.  It’s not that Thor is unskilled in a fight, we see that he’s really good at it, even when he’s made mortal, he knows how to use his weight and power.  He’s a heavy hitter and he’s a fucking tank, holy shit.  Kurse can punch him and punch him, can practically punch Thor through a mountain, can bring a giant boulder down on him, and Thor barely seems dazed by it, he still gets up and is able to keep fighting.  Like, goddamn.

And I love that they’re both really dangerous in a fight, but that they’re different.  Loki is not at all about strength (for an Asgardian, it’s a factor when interacting with humans, but not with Dark Elves or other Asgardians), whereas Thor is like an unstoppable avalanche when he’s coming down on you.  Loki, though, is all about speed and precision. Loki’s strength is like Frigga’s—they’re not physically that powerful (relatively) but they’re difficult as fuck to pin down in the first place.  And I LOVE THAT WE SEE THAT HERE.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

First of all, HILARIOUS.  Loki deserved that, for real.

Second, I love this moment because, as you can see, Thor doesn’t actually think slight of hand or playing tricks on people is such a terrible thing here.  Part of it is revenge for all the times that Loki’s done similar things, I imagine, but I see Thor as someone who grew up a lot and recognize the usefulness of slyer strategies.

Hell, his entire plan for getting Jane out of Asgard and to use Loki’s magic to make Malekith think Loki would betray them, to let his guard down, was one big trick.

My headcanon is that Thor spent a lot of time between The Avengers and TDW (or even between Thor and The Avengers, too) thinking about Loki, trying to understand him, trying to understand why he felt so overshadowed, trying to figure out where all the anger came from, trying to figure out where it all went wrong.  He doesn’t really have the answers for that (I don’t think he has the tools to understand what’s wrong with Loki, because I don’t think mental illness is a thing on Asgard), but that time spent contemplating Loki is a large part of what helped him to mature into the person we see in TDW (well, that’s not headcanon, I legitimately believe that two and a half days on Earth is not enough to change a person, but that losing your brother to the madness of war certainly is) as well as slowly staring to see the value in “tricks”.

This is another example of how Thor “tricked” Loki in this movie, how Thor has given enough thought and care to Loki’s methods to use them, when the time is necessary—here, it’s a little jest in the vein that Loki’s been dishing out the entire time (and Loki’s a prisoner, he didn’t have to agree to come out for this, but it’s reasonable to restrain someone who’s been broken out of jail), but later because they’re valid strategies.  And you can’t take that headcanon away from meeeee.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

ANOTHER OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS.  I love absolutely everything about this scene and going through it in slower time and pausing every half second reveals some of the greatest things about it.


And then there’s the guy on the right in the later caps who is like, “….REALLY?” at all this and it’s HILARIOUS.  EVERYONE IS A DELIGHT.

But I also love Thor being this giant Asgardian in a subway, I am forever delighted at showing Thor being at odds with Midgardian stuff, like, LOOK HOW GIANT THAT DUDE IS, this is one of my favorite things!

Though, my absolute favorite.  Is the woman who accidentally bumps into him and apologizes for it and I honestly cannot get through this scene without wanting those two to bone, like, super hard.  If this had been my movie, if there had been time, Thor totally would have fucked that lady and it would have been amazing for both of them.  THOR FIGHTING AND FUCKING HIS WAY ACROSS THE REALMS, THAT’S ALL I WANT.

I love the look on his face, too, that “Hey, how you doin’?” look, HE WOULD TOTALLY HAVE FUCKED HER.  YOU WILL NOT TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

This is a good line just for being a good line, it says a lot about Loki and I love it because he’s appealing to the one thing that Thor can definitely still trust—that Loki is fucking furious about everything, that whatever else is crumbling or broken or messy or in flux about him, the one thing you cannot deny is that he is mad as fuck.

His rage over Frigga’s death, that’s one thing that Thor can count on even when everything else is possibly a lie or a trick, that Thor can trust him to do what’s right to avenge their mother.

I love it for all of that.  But I also love it because Loki’s way of offering as much of an olive branch as he is capable of, the one thing that they can still connect on, because Loki wants this.  Some part of him wants to keep that connection with Thor, no matter how much Loki has (forced himself to) deliberately hacked away at that connection before. Trust him in at least this much, this is something you can still recognize in me, this is something that’s still between us, even if everything else might be gone or hidden.

This is why, no matter what other shit is wedged between them or how far Loki sinks in his madness and self-destructive spirals, I still have hope, because the instant Loki was faced with Thor’s trust in him having been dissolved, Loki reaches out and gives Thor something real to hold onto.  Because Loki might work to scheme and con and push people away, but he doesn’t actually want it, not at heart.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

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.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

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.

Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]

First of all, this smug little shit’s face is a beautiful thing.  And, in a way, it reminds me a lot of the scene where Loki is reading in the dungeon, that his reactions here are a performance rather than what he legitimately feels.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, he thrills in the way they point their swords at him or lay a heavy hand on his shoulder, he fucking loves to get under their skin by goading them with his lack of care.

But this is not the behavior of a badass, this is the behavior of a goading little shit who wants them to notice him, to see how much he Doesn’t Care No Really He Doesn’t Care At All.  Except that he does care and he does want to deliver the perfect barbed response and he does want them to snarl at him because, ha!, look what Loki can do to them! Watch him dance gleefully around their attempts to intimidate him, but he’s so very far beyond caring about that now!  He’s no longer chained by politeness, he’s dangerous, he’s a wildcard, he’s wicked!  Look at him being all these things!!  That’s what Loki wants people to see.

Loki fucking loves it because he loves the attention of it.  He loves goading them until they point their weapons at him and threaten him, because, oh, look what Loki can do to them.  If Loki is manipulative, then this is how he does it, by smirking and grinning and being smug until the others can’t stand him anymore.  Loki is a master at a perfect look of mocking, so you just want to smack him, he gets under your skin like an irritating sliver.

Loki’s brilliance is not in being a grand chessmaster.  He’s not untalented at it, but his real skill is in being an irritating little shit until you’re not looking at his greater plans or until you just give in to make him go away or until you want to smack him so badly you’re not thinking clearly or until you simply lose your cool and that enough is a prize for him.

And that is why I love him so ridiculously.