demeter918: blue doraemon cat (Default)
[personal profile] demeter918
Or, how it's been a year since I fell into this new fandom and I still have not written fic for it.

So this is incredibly late (wow, I've been doing that a lot lately) to the game, because I started obsessing about this back in... May? June? Of 2012? It was a few weeks after the Avengers movie had come out. Let me make a deep, dark confession: I was not a huge fan of the new Cinematic Avenger's universe until the actual Avengers movie came along.

Oh, I liked them well enough, but surprise surprise, I actually didn't see Thor until after Avengers. I didn't even see Avengers until a couple weeks after its release. No, seriously. I didn't even bother to go see it in London, though it had debuted before the North American release. I saw a friend there who was raving about it, and I was just like sounds cool, I'll see it when I get back. Part of the reason was that though I liked the other movies well-enough, they never really made a dent in my head.

I'm not saying the other movies (Iron Man, Captain America) were bad; I'd consider them top-notch for most superhero movies. But then, dude, Avengers.

I went with a friend, whose boyfriend wouldn't go see it (he hates superheroes). After the movie finished, I sat there, somewhat stunned. My first thought was: what the heck just happened. The second was, holy bejeezus, I need to watch Thor right now. Because, if you'll remember, I hadn't seen Thor yet. The only reason that happened was because I was overseas when it came out and by the time I got back, most people had seen it already. And I just kind of, well, forgot.

But now that I'd seen Avengers? Hoo boy.

And coincidentally, I just so happened to have the Thor DVD sitting pretty in my bag. So I watched it that night. (double feature, whoohoo!)

I'll be honest. At first, I was a little bored. The same way I was a teeny bit bored by Captain America and Iron Man 2. Like I said, they're not bad... just that it was, I don't know, a little bland? It's hard to explain. Thor was kind of playing out the same way, and I was a little disappointed. And these characters who were derived from Norse mythology? Kinda typical psuedo-Vikings. (Growing up, I was much more of an X-Men girl, rather than an Avenger's gal) And there was none of the magic of mythology, really, so less interesting.

But then, we got to Jotunheim, and we see Loki and his discovery of who he really is.

(At this point in the movie, I realize I hadn't been paying attention to the fight, so I rewind and watch it again. I told you I thought it was a little boring at first.)

When it gets to the part where he is touched by the Jotun, we see him blanch and look stricken.

From that point on, hoo-boy, a bunch of things go down. We see Thor cause a war between two realms. We see Odin indescribably angry, Loki attempting to intervene, Thor pissing his father off so more, and then the Allfather (who has some anger management issues) banishes one of his sons in front of the other. The one who just discovered he's a Frost Giant. Then Loki slips into the Weapon's Vault.

We see him touch the Casket of Ancient Winters.

And then the next part kind of kills me.

(Disclaimer: I am very familiar with Norse mythology, but I view the Marvel Universe and Norse mythology as two wholly different entities. I don't mind one mining the other for details where fic is concerned, but the one thing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (also different from the comic universe... but I digress) is that I think Odin tried. He tried to be a good father; he failed, obviously, in many ways. But to make him a one-faceted villain because of personal feelings for Loki? Is also a failure to understand that parents make bad choices and mistakes as well. More on this later, but needed to get that off my chest first because while Odin-being-a-dick stories are often still excellent, Odin-being-a-dick-for-no-reason make me sad)

We see Odin try to tell him the truth and failing. He falls into a rather convenient (plot-wise) Odinsleep, where he can't support Loki in any way. We see Loki spiraling down into this mad fury and grief, while keeping calm and rational on the surface; no wonder Frigga doesn't realize what's going on. Though, it can also be argued that by not trying and not realizing that your kid is going off the deep end? A failure in itself. And then it can argued that Loki should have trusted someone. I think, for me, there were a lot of 'shoulds' in the story.

This is somewhat brushed over, but something I found fascinating. Consider this: everyone around you thinks of the Frost Giants as these kinds of boogeymen, monsters under the bed. Once that childhood time of fear passes, everyone views them as vanquished foes, dangerous to the other realms, utterly incapable of being with all the 'civilized folk'. Yeah. That? Gross. Reeks of First World arrogance.

So, great, Loki finds out he's adopted and a member of a race that most of Asgard seems to hate? That's, um, well.

I think they do things different on Asgard, you know, with things like feelings.

At the same time (oh, Branagh, you. Always with those parallel themes) we see Thor mortal and learning humility. Realizing what 'true' strength means, being kind of stupid, but loving him anyways. He loses his powers, gets hit by a car, makes new friends, gets hammered (haha, puns) with the knowledge that he's not worthy (by some strange, WTF definition his father set down), gets all emo, restores self by sacrificing his life for his friends, and heads back to Asgard just in time to save the realm from his crazy little brother. How long did this take? Oh, right.

Three days.

Concurrently, everything falls apart around Loki, we watch Heimdall and Thor's friends commit treason (more on this later as well) and he goes further down the thorny path to right things the only way he knows how.

By attempting to destroy Jotunheim.

This is where the movie actually gets me. Physically punches me in the face. I'm watching this happen and in my head, I'm thinking, holy shit. He's trying to wipe out his race. That's so fucked up.

I know a lot of focus is on the fact that he attempted genocide on another realm, and rightly so. Don't let anyone argue around the fact that he turned the Bifrost upon Jotunheim for any other reason than to destroy it. But what made a huge and profound impact on me was the fact that from the moment Loki discovered his true origins, to the moment he turns the Bifrost on Jotunheim - less than three days have elapsed. The same amount of time where Thor seems to change his very core? The same amount of time for Loki to go crazy.

He literally goes from someone who tries to talk Thor down from the brink of war with another realm, to destroying that same realm.

Loki brings Laufey in and kills him in the King's chambers, while saying And YOUR death came by the son of Odin!

Dude.

Yo, that is some heavy stuff.

It's impossible for me to set aside the fact that Loki killed Laufey under some misguided idea that this would be something to prove his loyalty to Asgard.

I'm astonished that this is never mentioned in the movie: Loki killed his own birth father to prove his worth to his adopted father. That, there, is something CLASSIC. This is classic tragic trope, how the heck did the director think he could do this with a villain in a classic Hollywood superhero blockbuster?

Ah. Right. The director was Kenneth Branagh.

So, we get this guy who's kind of a tricky dick, who no one seems to like very much, we watch him discover that he's adopted, that the big brother everyone loves (including him) is their parent's true son and he's some hideous cuckoo bird who got added in on some whim of an all-powerful king. We're literally watching the descent of him into madness and we watch him make choices that seem to make sense to him, but to no one else.

And then we see him hanging on by a thread of sanity, only to have his dad tell him, no, Loki.

Well. There goes my heart.

I have a thing about wayward children. I have a thing about children who try, over and over, to prove themselves to their parents, because they want so very much to be loved. It's the the sort of thing that chokes me up, because it's personal and I'll pretty much never get over it. I honestly believe you have to understand that feeling, of wanting to please your parents to the point that you'd sacrifice everything to make sure they're proud. I do understand that feeling.

Of course, I'm also not going to kill hundreds of people, so there's also that. Loki did make his choice. And he has to answer for it, in one way or another.

But it doesn't mean I like him less as a character.

Also, I do not think Odin was refuting Loki per se. He said something that could be seen that way at the worst possible time, but honestly? In the Cinematic Universe, I think Odin was just trying to reconcile everything that had happened. And it slipped out. Do I think that in Thor 2, there'll be some sort of reconciliation? Oh yeah. There were little things in the Avengers movie that makes me suspect as much. I don't think it was just me being too sentimental when we got things like Loki asking Thor if 'he mourned' or him shedding a tear on the roof of Stark tower after stabbing Thor. (Poor form Loki. What's with the tiny dagger that wouldn't even kill Tony or Clint?)

Things that Bother Me:

Heimdall, Sif and the Warriors Three committed treason. They specifically went against Odin's edict of Thor's banishment, and Loki, who was the King of Asgard at the time. Now, they actually did it because they felt suspicious of Loki, which is actually fine in of itself. He did let those Jotun into Asgard. They did disrupt the coronation and kill a couple of guards. But they really went about it the wrong way; to me, they were only fanning the flames of paranoia for Loki and made things way worse. I have to wonder whether things would have gone such a drastic route if they'd kept quiet and Loki had time and space to really think things through. But the past is another country.

For all we know, Loki could have planned something even worse and actually executed it to the letter rather than putting together a haphazard plan full of holes, in some misguided hope to prove that he truly was a son of Asgard.

Which brings us to Frigga and Odin: I actually understand the not-wanting-to-tell-Loki about his adoption. The general idea, now, is to tell adopted kids at one point, while reassuring them that they are wholly loved and wanted. I'm guessing, since this is Asgard, land-of-not-speaking-of-your-feelings, they never got around to it. From Odin's actions, I'm assuming he tried to show that Jotunheim was a nation and that its people had its own strengths and powers, and that Thor should always try diplomacy first. But from the rest of Asgard's attitude, I'm assuming he kind of failed. No wonder Loki went a little crazy.

If you've been told, your whole life, that Jotun are murderous assholes who don't deserve to live, and then you discover that you're that same Jotun, and that your brother (who you love and who Asgard loves) has said over and over, When I am King, I’ll hunt the monsters down and slay them all!.

Well. What do you do?

So what I'm saying, after all that blather and tl;dr, is that I have a new fandom that I've been wallowing in for the last ten months or so. Yeah.

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Date: 2017-01-09 12:16 am (UTC)
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