Thor: The Dark World (liveblog) [x]
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.
I might be alone in this, but I always felt that in this scene, it does not actually matter what Loki says to Kurse. Telling him to take the stairs to the left doesn’t seem to matter at all- do we even see Kurse take his advice? I thought it was a nice parallel that what Loki actually takes to heart, what makes him face some consequences, is a lie, him lying to himself that he sent Kurse on the path to kill his mother.
I agree that Loki is spoiled still in a way that Thor mostly had to give up, too. He does think his parents are not only immortal but probably that they will continue to keep him from really feeling the pain he has caused. They say that spoiled children deep down crave to have someone set boundaries for their behavior and Loki seems like that to me; his parents and to an extent Thor have always been playthings for him but at the same time they keep his messes from getting too out of hand. I even think he’s satisfied when Thor shows up to stop him in Avengers, whether he realizes it or not, because it means Odin cares enough to stop him and so does Thor. He blames his mother’s death on some errant remark he made because he’s a manipulative narcissist so OF COURSE he caused it and possibly on some level because he feels he deserves to be punished. Thor 2 has taken a beating narratively for fridging Frigga (not unfairly) but I thought it fit right in because Loki is exactly the sort of character who would see his mother’s death as part of his own narrative arc (not that I don’t think he has genuine love and grief for her, but Loki always thinks he’s pulling the strings).
I think this is also why he lashes out at Thor on the boat, saying that Thor let her die. He wasn’t there, of course, and consciously he’s pushing Thor’s buttons, but I tend to believe in the films that if you get Loki worked up, he starts spilling truth (Now you see me, brother…) and this is part of it. Thor should have stopped what Loki started; at some level Loki trusted that Thor would always stop him before it got too bad and this time he couldn’t. Kurse and the prison break were nothing to do with Loki, only that offhand sentence links him to anything that happened, and he always redirects blame, so why take Frigga’s death as his fault when no one else does? I don’t think Loki can deal with the idea that it just happened, that Thor and Odin and Frigga herself could meet something they couldn’t handle and die, so he works out a way to add it to his pile of self loathing while simultaneously blaming other people for it.