The Hero Complex

May 18, 2012

A few thoughts on the god of mischief.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — theherocomplex @ 9:18 PM


Was anyone else disappointed that the really sickly/hungry appearance Loki had when he first showed up in The Avengers didn’t last for the whole movie? It was obviously, from the start, that he’s been through the wringer — just from what happened in Thor, not to mention what went on after he fell into the abyss.

He looks sick, like he’s suffered for a long time (which, duh), and I wish they had played up that aspect of the character. In Thor, Loki was manipulative, mischievous, jealous, greedy, and heartbroken, usually all at once, but he was still capable of love (especially for Thor, however jealous and uncertain he was of his brother). When we see him next in The Avengers, he’s seen whole worlds — probably worlds he never wanted to see — and it’s sickened him, on a physical level.

None of what he’s experienced is an excuse for his behavior, but I don’t think of Loki as a villain. He’s an antagonist, driven to these acts by betrayal, lies, and manipulation — some of them his own, some of them his family’s. No one is going to convince me that the Master/Thanos didn’t see this horrible need in him and then exploit it, but because Loki is so clever (probably the cleverest person in Asgard, in the movies or comics), no one can convince me that he didn’t know he was being played by his so-called allies. And yet, he still went along with it— he hates himself so much he’s fully complicit in his own destruction (this is the guy who is totally willing to commit genocide on his own race).

I pity Loki, but because he so often consciously chooses to reinforce his own worst aspects, it’s hard to sympathize with him.

Loki and Thor

The most telling moment in the whole movie, as far as Loki’s character goes, is when he’s faced with all the Avengers after the climactic battle, and lets himself be captured. I say “lets himself” because it’s already been demonstrated, time and again, that Loki is a master of magic (remember the battle on Jutonheim in Thor? “You’ve got me! Oh wait —illusions, Frost Giant.”) and specifically, a master of evasive magic (why else was he gagged and bound for that last scene in The Avengers? He’s a danger even without an army). Loki is only ever caught because he wants to be. He surrenders because, for once, Thor’s entire attention is focused on him — Loki isn’t a party to one of Thor’s stunts, but Thor’s entire world. And that’s all Loki wants. He got what he wanted — not a world, not vengeance, just Thor’s attention. And so, after getting what he wants, he does exactly what Thor asked him to do.

He gives up. And he comes home.

NOTE: I originally posted this to my Tumblr, but now that I’m moving this blog away from just knitting to general nerdery, I’m cross-posting it here.


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