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.
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?”
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.”)
As we are now three weeks away from the release of Thor: Ragnarok (at least where I live), I’ve decided to do a rewatch of Thor, The Avengers, and The Dark World! I’m dedicating a week to each, in chronological order, so keep an eye out in the near future!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The “What help were you in your cell?” line actually hurts me a lot, because I see it as another instance of Thor’s sorrow at Loki being so distant from them, that he’s angry and sad that Loki wasn’t there to help them, that Loki has kept himself in this role so that they can’t trust him anymore, he’s angry that Loki was gone when they could have used his help, all because Loki’s decided that he’s going to be whatever this is.
But the follow up to that, “Who put me there!?” and “You know damn well who!”, holy shit. Honestly my favorite moment in the entirety of the movie, because that’s it, right in a nutshell right there. Loki blames other people for his incarceration, that he was put in a cell because he did things because of other people’s actions, that all of this is someone else’s fault. It’s not his fault that he was in jail for doing bad things, it’s not his fault that he tried to take over Midgard, it’s not his fault for any of it! It’s Thor and Odin and Asgard’s fault that Loki was there!
And Thor just straight up says IT WAS YOUR OWN GODDAMNED FAULT. Bless and thank. It is Loki’s own fault that he was in that prison when Frigga was killed, that it’s not his fault Frigga died, but it was his fault that he was in that cell, because of all the shit he chose to do, despite that Thor reached out to him, like, three separate times before finally hauling his ass back home. It was Loki’s fault that he continued to deny his family and what he’d done, it was Loki’s own fault that he wouldn’t take responsibility for his actions.
I love every single millisecond of this because that’s the heart of the issue between these two—they love each other, Thor loves Loki very much, Loki obviously still intensely cares, but Loki won’t take responsibility for his actions and Thor is done with trying to reach out to him when Loki won’t let himself be helped or work to make himself better. I love it because Loki tries, yet again, to fall back on the same old habit of denying his culpability here, but Thor just shuts him down on that because, no, it was indeed Loki’s fault that he was in prison.
Loki’s own actions led him there and I’m absolutely convinced that this is what Loki needed to hear, that he needed this anger from Thor (both because Loki’s such a grieving mess that he needed other people to be chaotic and messy with him, but also because he needs to see real consequences of the shit he does to other people) and that’s why he can calm the fuck down after this. He gets what he needs in this moment, attention from Thor, a reaction from Thor, the evidence that Thor still feels strongly about this, but also Thor cutting through his bullshit and attempts to spin the story. This is why Loki comes around a bit by the end (setting aside the ending), because he has to look a little more honestly at himself, given how clearly Thor sees him. It’s a moment where Loki was ready to hear a little bit of it, one small step on a long journey, and I will always and forever see it that way.
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.
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.
ABOUT A MILLION TIMES WHEN THEY WERE KIDS, I’M PRETTY SURE THAT’S HOW OFTEN THAT HAPPENED.