Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Thor The Dark World Adoption Movie Guide
Loki sits in Asgard, imprisoned for war crimes committed against Earth. This is somewhat awkward, because the king of Asgard – and the one who sentenced Loki to life imprisonment – is Loki’s adoptive father, Odin. Odin and his son, Thor, feel that the universe is safer with Loki contained. Frigga (Odin’s wife, Thor’s mother, and Loki’s adoptive mother), seems to have a more hopeful view of Loki. She visits him in prison, and he loves her.
The Adoption Connection
Loki’s adopted status was a plot point in the first Thor movie, and was played for a joke in an Avengers film. In this film, Loki and Thor wrestle with whether adoption truly makes them brothers.
In spite of all that Loki has done wrong, he still loves Frigga, and Frigga is committed to him.
Thor is persistent in giving Loki “new chances” to be accepted.
Thor exhibits decidedly mixed feelings towards Loki. At one point, he tells him that the “glimmer of hope” he had in Loki’s redemption is gone. He threatens to kill Loki. Later, however, Thor is moved by Loki’s apparent selflessness, and promises to rectify Loki’s reputation. Unfortunately, it becomes evident that Loki has tricked Thor.
Thor and Odin seem less than fully-committed to Loki as a member of their family. We are privy to a conversation between Loki and Odin. It’s not pretty. Loki asserts, “the throne is my birthright.” Odin harshly counters, “Your birthright was to die as a child. If I had not taken you in, you wouldn’t be here to argue with me.” Then Odin sentences Loki to life imprisonment, adding, “You’ll never see (your adoptive mom) again, and (my birthson) will be king (rather than you.)” Thor seems to play the, “I’m mom’s favorite” card against Loki. He tells Loki, “you had mother’s (skills,) but I had her trust.”
After being imprisoned, Loki feels disowned and disenchanted. He says that he’s been lied to his whole life. Frigga visits Loki; he declares out of his pain, “Odin is not my father.” Frigga seems to react defensively, “Then am I not your mother?” Loki responds, “you’re not.”
Of all the members of his adoptive family, Loki is closest to his mother, Frigga. Unfortunately, she is killed.
I struggle with Thor. There is definitely some love in the royal family of Asgard, but Loki does seem to get less than his fair share of it, and the film doesn’t really seem to question this. If you see it as a family, be prepared to start some conversations about everyone belonging equally to the family. A recent superhero film that does a better job of handling belonging is Man of Steel.
Questions for After the Movie
Frigga asked Loki, “Then am I not your mother?” How would you have answered? Why did Loki answer the way he did?
How is Odin a good father to Loki? How is he not?
What could Thor do to be a better brother to Loki?
How important was it to Loki that he had been lied to? How does the importance of dependability and honesty show up in the real world for kids who have experienced trauma?