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[personal profile] ebonlock
It's just that my fannish stuff lately has mostly consisted of reading OMG so much Thor fanfic it's not even funny so I haven't really been in a posting frame of mind.

But a couple of weeks ago [livejournal.com profile] tersa picked up copies of the Thor 2 movie tie-in comics for me and I've been processing the events of the second issue ever since. Even got into some great discussions with a couple of my favorite fanfic authors who'd made at least nodding reference to them. The thing is I think something that happened in issue two was massively important to the characters and plot of the film but am guessing since we got it in the comic we're not going to get it in the movie and it's making me even more intensely curious about the film than I already was.



So the scene I'm referring to is when Thor drags his brother's sullen ass back to Asgard and the gag is removed. Loki stands there glowering as mom throws her arms around his neck and tells him she's so glad to see him. But he tolerates it, which is a pretty big concession for a guy who's always so quick to claim the Asgardians aren't his family. It also goes a long way towards showing us Loki is, in fact, a bit of a mama's boy (no great shock to most of us).

Before she goes she whispers to him, "Be strong."

Then she's gone and it's just Odin and Loki. Now here's where things get interesting. I've read a literal fuck-ton of fanfic and it seems the writers basically fall into one of three camps:

1. Odin's a good guy and a good dad who made some mistakes (hey, who hasn't?) and just really wants his son back.

2. Odin's a massive douchebag who had Machiavellian plans to set Loki up as puppet king of Jotunheim (or for other equally nefarious ends) and he's been emotionally manipulating the kid from day one.

3. Odin's somewhere in between these two extremes. He started out wanting to be a good dad and wanting to be able to love Loki like his own son but due to his own prejudice against Jotuns and the need to be king first and dad second he started fearing his kid more than loving him. He's not proud of it, but he just can't trust the kid and some part of him maybe regrets the whole adoption on a whim thing as he put said kid way, way too close to the throne.

Now me, I've always preferred number three myself. It seems the most realistic, the most nuanced and the most believable explanation for most of what Odin says and does onscreen in the first film. I'll admit I also prefer it because it allows me to actually empathize with the character and adds a certain poignancy to the final scene on the Bifrost.

But, after reading the comic where we get Odin's real feelings about Loki expressed to the character's face and without any other witnesses around I've gotta' say it looks like the Marvel movie-verse is going with Odin the douchebag. This is...puzzling to say the least.

Now mind you in the comics Odin is a class A dick. The kind of thoughtlessly brutal, boorish asshole who probably does have a redeeming quality or two but I'll be damned if I can pin one down. He's a hard man who fought his way to the throne of Asgard, subjugating all the other races, and taking all their cool shit under the auspices of multi-realm peace. He's a dictator in shiny gold armor, and he runs his family in much the same way he does his kingdom. If Thor pisses him off he gets banhammered severely (if he's lucky), not the extended weekend "banishment" he got in the movie.

But movie Odin was pretty tough to pin down. Sure he had a temper, but he seemed a mostly rational guy trying to do right by his family and his kingdom. And if we took the flashback scenes as objective reality, then he was also fairly magnanimous in victory over a pretty brutal enemy. He said he loved his son during the infamous vault scene, but Loki didn't seem to be buying what he was selling. We either had to interpret Loki as bitter and massively insecure or take into consideration that maybe he had reason to believe that dad might not be entirely honest at that point.

Admittedly I've always given Loki the benefit of the doubt...mostly because I'm a big old unapologetic Loki fangirl. But also because his actions subsequently make a helluva lot more sense if he's grown up with plenty of reason to doubt Odin's words over his actions. And, well, Loki learned his cunning and duplicity from somewhere and it sure as shit wasn't the Frigga we see in the movie.

Ok, so back to the tie-in comic, first Loki starts snarking off at dad about how he was considering adopting himself a little Midgardian kid and raising it as his own (just to be a dick) and OMG what I wouldn't pay to see Hiddleston smirk his way through that tasty bit of dialogue. Odin shuts him down pretty quickly and pretty severely. He flat out said his son is dead, and that if Frigga weren't quite so deluded (he likens her to the mother of a drowning child) she'd see that too. Then he said if it weren't for Frigga he'd execute Loki right then and there. Then drops the "you'll never see your mother again" line (and what I wouldn't give for a cut shot of Loki's expression in response to that).

Then there's the real biggie, he calls Loki "Laufeyson". The panel in which he does simply shows Loki's stunned expression. Yeah Loki's done some seriously nasty shit and it's not quite clear just what reception he was expecting but...well that apparently wasn't even on his radar.

So basically Odin has not only kicked Loki out of the family, he's outed him as Laufey's son and given the character no possible path for redemption. This isn't tough love, this is "No love for you", period. Loki is basically dead to him.

Which kind of makes me wonder...when Odin said, "No, Loki" on the Bifrost, did he do it with the intention of getting Loki to commit suicide? Did he see it as the best possible outcome? A way to avoid really having to face the consequences of a) his decision to adopt a Jotun kid and trick him into believing he was Aesir, b) hold said child up to standards he wasn't physically and mentally able to ever attain and withhold pride/affection because of that all too inevitable failure, c) in a fit of pique banishes his heir leaving said unstable Jotun kid as the only one to take the throne, d) said kid's inevitable mental breakdown leads him to try to wipe out his entire biological race so daddy might possibly love him again?

And does he prefer the idea of a dead failure of a son to that of a living one?

I've gotta' say that's the way this whole thing is reading to me. And if that's the case he's basically left Loki no way back, no future except that of an enemy of Asgard. Odin has, in essence, ensured Ragnarok...assuming he's aware of that prophecy and Loki's part in it.

I'm also wondering just how much of this is known to Frigga and Thor...to the Warriors 3 + Sif....and to Asgard in general.

So yeah, I've been...pondering all this. The emotional fall out of Odin's decision and his casual misogyny when it comes to dismissing his wife as basically "hysterical" when it comes to Loki, and how in the hell Loki doesn't end up either dead or imprisoned by the end of the movie. Of course I've also been folding in some spoilers and my own somewhat wacky theories.

Thoughts? Opinions? Am I reading too much into all this?
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August 2013

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