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First row: Loki is taught from a very young age that being a Jotun was the equivalent of being a monster. He is socialized to believe that they are a thing of nightmares, a thing to be hated and feared. So when he realizes what he is, when he realizes that he is that outcast, this abominable figure, that he is a part of the hated race of Jotuns, he breaks. In the first gif in the set, Thor, (barely twelve years old, max?), is already proclaiming his hate for the Jotun race and vowing to ‘hunt them down and slay them all,’ Aside from how honestly sad that is to hear from someone as young as Thor, it also must be really painful for Loki, not in that moment, but much later, when Odin reveals who he truly is.
Second row: Loki’s spent a lot of time being told that his craft is silly, spent a lot of time in brother’s shadow, spent a lot of time being told to shut the fuck up. The one thing that he’s good at—being a wordsmith, of sorts, is something that he never gets to utilize, because he is constantly being mocked or shut down. It’s heartbreaking. Another thing about Loki, I genuinely believe he loves his brother. Loki doesn’t think Thor is fit for the crown, yet when Thor complains that this was ‘supposed to be his day of triumph’ Loki says, ‘It will come’ and I believe that Loki believes that. I believe that as Loki later states, that he never wanted the throne, he legitimately only wanted to be Thor’s equal. But, Loki, in doing this, in setting up this little charade, has managed to get his brother, the only person who really knew Loki, and still loved him, banished from Asgard. Yes, Loki wanted Thor’s coronation delayed, but I doubt he ever meant for it to get as bad as it did. There’s a point right before Odin’s sentenced Thor when Loki tries to intercede, and Odin shuts him up. I am convinced beyond a doubt that had he let Loki finish his sentence, he would have confessed. But that doesn’t happen, so what does? Thor gets banished, and for once, Loki isn’t second best, no one’s telling Loki to shut up and sit down (because he’ll never be as good as Thor, anyways). It’s a nice change. Is it awful on Loki’s behalf? Fuck yes it is. Is it understandable? To a degree. After that everything gets fucked up. Loki’s revealed to be Laufey’s son—something that he says with what I saw as an incredibly large amount of shame and sadness—and Odin falls into the Odin-Sleep, Loki is told that he is to be the ruler of Asgard until his father awake, Thor has been banished, you are the sole heir, etc. He looks confused, and a little hesitant, but he accepts. The thing here is that Loki went from having almost no authority to having literally, all possible authority. It’s like giving someone who can’t ride a bicycle without training wheels a Ferrari. It’s stupid, and he lets it get to his head.
Third row: Loki has literally lost it. He’s vowing to annihilate the Jotuns, in some weird show of power for his father’s sake, as if to tell him that he can be a warrior, he can be Thor. Loki hates his race, and I think it’s fair to say that he hates himself at this point. He’s fucking crying as he goads Thor into a fight. Loki is riddled with self-esteem issues, loneliness, and that emptiness that comes with feeling out of place and underappreciated all of your life. Loki is tragic, not because he falls into a starry abyss and is assumed to have been swallowed up in darkness just as he loses everything he’s ever had—but because even in “death”, he fails to realize that he is wrong. The Jotuns aren’t monsters because they have blue skin and red eyes, the Jotuns are monsters because of what they chose to do. Loki wanted so badly to dissociate from something that is intrinsic to his nature, that he nearly loses himself in the process.
Loki is the single most sympathetic villain I have ever come across. He is a product of how he was raised, how he was treated, how he was socialized, and a victim of who he is from birth, a Jotun. He never stood a chance.
“Monsters are real…they live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” –Stephen King
Loki is the single most fully developed villain of a popular comic book action film series. What a brilliantly realized character in every way. I’ve got serious problems with Brannaugh’s film but DAMN was Loki handled perfectly. AH SO GOOD.