because each of these might be useful someday
This scene is one of my favourite bits about the Avengers. Loki is a fairly intelligent guy. He’d have to be to do what he does, and we even see bits of that. But the amount of times and the levels to which he just completely derps out can be fairly telling, especially during the Battle of Manhattan.
Right here, for instance, Tony is clearly up to something. He /is/ stalling Loki, despite what he claims, and Loki sees right through that. But in the end, he lets his temper get to him and chucks Tony out the window, only to immediately get his crazy ass run the fuck right over by the Mark VII. He was too busy being the tough guy to even notice Tony talking to JARVIS. He could have avoided this just by listening to Tony, but he doesn’t.
Then there’s the arrow that Clint fires at him. He catches it and gives his best bitch please face, only to get blown up. The god of deception was deceived, and quite spectacularly.
While we’re on the god of deception being deceived, there was his talk with Natasha. He’s so arrogant that he doesn’t listen to a fucking thing Clint apparently told him. Natasha has a very specific skill set. It’s what she does. Surely, Clint told him this. So what does he do? He plays right into it and gives her everything.
Which leads us back to the Hulk. He knows what the Hulk is and what he’s capable of doing. That’s why Loki worked him into his plans. And his plan of action there? He taunts and insults him. He should have known what would happen, and instead, he gets left whimpering in a crater.
Madness and stupidity aren’t the same thing. But Loki does some amazingly stupid things. I think it all ties back to the first scene. You look at him there, and he looks very unwell. This is a man who does not expect to survive this chain of events he’s set in motion. It’s possible he doesn’t even want to. All his life, he’s been living in Thor’s shadow. Everything he does gets compared to Thor. During his big grand entrance, he’s not recognised as Loki the trickster god. He’s recognised as Loki, brother of Thor. The only way to break away from Thor’s shadow is to do something Thor would not do. He becomes the villain. This is the only way to show that he is his own person.
It can be argued, I think, that he may not even necessarily want to. I’m drawing a bit from Marvel’s Loki (a four-part mini-series in which he overthrows Odin. Very good read if you can get over the wtf-y art style) for this, but I think it applies. In Loki, he goes to a seer for the reasons people go to seers. He’s being tormented by all of Asgard, has Baldur and Sif in chains, and has plans to kill Thor at dawn. The seer tells him that while the course of actions may have varied, Loki is no different from the myriad other Lokis. There are thousands of Lokis, each doing as fate dictates and each being punished for their sins while those who wrong him are simply fulfilling the roles fate has for them. So why should only Loki be punished? Why is it always Loki’s job to be the scapegoat? This disturbs Loki, and he goes to see Baldur, who in this continuity, survived Loki’s attempt on his life when he had Hodur through the mistletoe spear at him. Baldur tells Loki that for a short time, he was dead, and in that time, he visited Hel, where he saw things. And then he proceeds to confirm what the seer told Loki.
After a long, hard think, Loki greets the dawn, which is to see Thor’s death. By this point, he realises that none of this — none — had actually been what he wanted. He had been tempted and lured by the throne, but he hated every minute of his rule. He hated Odin, but he never wished to see him dead or imprisoned. And Thor… Thor was his brother, and the only one who ever loved him. He wanted Thor dead least of all. So why had he done any of this? Fate? Because he had been led to believe that he did want it? He realises that he has no idea why he did any of it.
The thing I do like about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that they do a good job at pulling little things from the comics. Even without the deleted scenes in Thor, the fact that Loki loves his adoptive family, even after finding out his parentage, is plain. He sits by Odin’s side with Frigga, and he’s angry, yes. But he’s not the little raging ball of emotions he is in the Avengers. He just wants answers. When he later kills Laufey, he does something very telling and he runs to Frigga. He still calls her and Odin Mother and Father, and he still wants their approval.
So what changed? Well, he did fall through an abyss, which he later claims to be thrown through. By this point, he doesn’t know the truth from his own lies. He’s seen so many things and it’s driven him mad. What, I wonder, might he have seen during this fall of his? Could it possibly, given the nature of the abyss he fell through, have been all those other Lokis? Does he now know with certainty that he is not special, he is not unique? Moreover, does he know that nothing he does will ever be rewarded? Which takes me back to the beginning of all of this. He may not know where his actions will lead, but he must surely know that he will not come out the victor. So why does he do it in the first place?
A case can be made either way for either the insanity he’s clearly suffering, or even brainwash by the Chitauri. It’s possible that maybe he just wants to die, and if the universe is going to make him suffer, why shouldn’t others suffer along with him? Go out with the biggest possible bang he can manage.
I’m not going to pretend that any of this is right, but it’s something to think about.
Well, damn, these are some beautiful Loki feels. I have to say, watching the film and later looking at gifs on Tumblr, I got the feeling that he isn’t really enjoying himself as much as it first seems. The two biggest clues for me were 1) how ill he looks when he first arrives and when he has that flashback to the Chitauri and 2) his face when he gouges the German guy’s eye out.
The first one is pretty straight forward but I’ll elaborate on the second. Here are some gifs which aren’t actually mine:
That expression. That expression is so important to me. This is not something he’s looking forward to. This is not something he’s enjoying. He braces himself, aims, and then looks away when he finally brings the tool down. This is necessary for his plan but I think if he could have avoided it, he would have.
Now, he does smile rather gleefully in this scene.
But note that this isn’t until everyone has started screaming and freaking out. Because that’s the thing, the distinction which lots of people miss. Nick Fury says “You kill because it’s fun,” which leads us to believe that Loki just really enjoys death and hurting people. But I don’t think that’s strictly true.
I don’t think he actually enjoys violence. Even when he threatens to have Clint kill Natasha, it doesn’t sound like something he wants to do because he’ll enjoy it. He’s furious. He’s displaying dominance and power in any way he can.
What Loki does enjoy is mischief. He likes scaring people. He also craves power and respect, for however long he can hold onto it. I think that his search for an identity separate from Thor and a place in the universe has caused him to take that love of mischief and that desire for respect to a completely different level.
I feel like I have to clarify that I don’t think this justifies the horrible things he’s done, just that it might help to explain them. Loki is lost and he’s gone so mad with pain, anger, and whatever the hell happened to him in that abyss, that he’s just spiraling out of control.