fangirl challenge: heartbreaking scenes [2/7] » ‘Can I come home?’
Could more people in the “pooooooooorrrrrrrrrr unloved Loki” camp rewatch this scene?
Not to mention how much Thor completely trusts and loves his brother that he doesn’t argue with him. He accepts his fate, even though it breaks his heart.
Yes. And what I didn’t notice the first time is he says, “Couldn’t *we*” like he still believes that he and Loki are on the same side. He believes without a doubt, without hesitation that his brother isn’t stabbing him in the back. More than that, Loki pulls the mom card. “Sorry, Thor, MOM DOESN’T LOVE YOU ANY MORE.”
See, Loki is total catnip for me, but it’s not because I think he’s unloved - Thor and his mother both love him unconditionally and without pause. Nevertheless, having been raised to see ice giants as repulsive monsters, as The Enemy, and then discovering that HE IS ONE, Loki’s insecurity, his pain and anger and self-destructive spite are all totally understandable.
That doesn’t mean he’s an angel; he’s a hot mess - largely due to Odin being The Worst Dad Ever to both boys, sure, but he’s still responsible for his own decisions. It’s classic Shakespearean Tragic Hero stuff, though - his downfall coming from very human character flaws & vulnerabilities. (Okay, yes, and there’s more than a bit of Milton’s Lucifer too - but Loki wants to be loved and admired by Odin more than he craves power - the power’s just a substitute.)
NONE of which Loki sympathy leads to me disparaging or under appreciating Thor: If Loki is a classic Tragic Hero, Thor is a Questing Hero straight out of Joseph Campbell, earning his rite of passage. He does suffer and suffer at Loki’s hands. Hemsworth does a terrific job navigating this in the movies - Thor’s natural state is ebullient and hearty, but his exile and Loki’s treachery both wreck him.
…ultimately I see Loki’s plotline as the story of a cat adopted by a family of big, bouncy, barky dogs - a cat who has been raised to believe that cats are the enemy, and that his own lack of a deep bark, and failure to wag his tail, and his flexibility and penchant for stalking prey rather than bounding loudly towards it, are all proof that he’s a really inadequate dog. When he sets out to become a truly doggy dog, he has to do it using his feline methods because HE’S A GODDAMN CAT.
And, you know, cats are assholes, but I’m still helplessly fond of them. Doesn’t mean I have a heart of stone when faced by a sad puppy.
TL;DR: Thor’s careless arrogant asshole tendencies are the cause of his exile & suffering, and so he learns humility and stops being a careless arrogant asshole. Loki’s crisis is caused by the discovery that he’s a frost giant - and HE CAN’T CHANGE THAT. So he tries his absolute hardest to become the kind of Asgardian king Odin has taught him to aspire to being: ruthless and focused and strategic, a terrifyingly efficient monster.
Thor’s suffering teaches him to be a better person; Loki’s suffering pushes him to be a worse one. Both of them want to be worthy of Odin’s love and respect. IT KILLS ME HOW UNEXPECTEDLY CLEVER AND THOUGHTFUL AND WELL STRUCTURED THIS COMIC BOOK SUPERHERO MOVIE IS.
This is one of the best explanations of why I like Loki while still thinking he’s a villain that I’ve ever read.