Scene 6: Asgard banquet hall, bridge; Thor convinces his friends to go to Jotunheim
This scene starts with Thor tossing over a big banquet table, from which we should understand Thor is (a) a touch angry and (b) rather strong. But I remember not entirely getting what was up there (he just found some random big piece of furniture and upended it?) until I saw the deleted scenes version — apparently this would have been the celebratory dinner after Thor’s coronation. (OK, yes, I’m dense sometimes.)
LOVE how Loki appears from behind the column, slowly, smoothly. Clever clever staging that gives us a feel for who Loki is just by how he shows up on screen. Notealso to the very nice contrast with Thor’s entrance — when Thor enters a room everyone around knows it. On the other hand, sometimes I also think…how exactly did Loki get behind that column in the first place? Wasn’t he with Thor? Maybe they didn’t go directly there; we don’t know how much time passed. Maybe Thor stopped along the way to upend a few other pieces of furniture here and there.
OK, Loki’s line: “It’ll come. In time.” True consolation? As in, “It’ll come, and I’ll be fine with it, once you’ve grown up and have learned to respond a bit more calmly to things.”? Or is Loki playing him?
And then one of the key lines, “There’s nothing you can do without defying father.” Oh my. Did Loki know how Thor would respond to this? My answer: Yes. Yes. Yes. Loki had a goal. To keep Thor off the throne (at least for now). He has not yet achieved that goal (unless you assume Odin has already decided there won’t be a coronation any time soon — but he hasn’t said that). Hiddleston as usual keeps Loki’s true intentions close to the vest — he has to of course, what’s he supposed to do, turn to the camera and go “muahahhahahahaha”? If Loki is manipulating (or lying, or whatever) then Hiddleston has to show him doing that. I’ve heard comments, re Loki and re other characters say things like “He looked way too sincere to be lying” — this always baffles me. If Loki is lying, what the heck is Hiddleston doing? He’s got blond curly hair and lives in London. The dude is manipulating/lying/AKA acting every time he pretends to be a dude with straight black hair who lives on Asgard. And we believe him. So I don’t buy the “too sincere to be lying” thing. And yet even along those lines I think Hiddleston gives us a slight sense of something less than 100% sincerity in those moments. Maybe I’m imagining it because I’ve become so convinced Loki is indeed manipulating Thor here.
And, I have to say, like the argument where no one’s really wrong in Scene 5, I also think this works because Thor’s argument isn’t irrational. Again it’s presented as the poorer choice in the film, largely because he messes it up royally later, but Jotuns came to Asgard to steal something that would put Asgard in danger, why shouldn’t Thor go to Jotunheim to demand answers as to how they got there? I don’t think Thor went there in order to start a fight…but I do think he went there fully ready (maybe even eager) to engage in one if that’s where circumstances led. And if his actions were really-really-really wrong…I’m not sure just one question from Thor would have convinced his friends to go with him and defy the king. (I mean really, “I got you a lot of tasty food, Volstagg.” “Yes, Thor, you’re right, okay, I’ll risk the wrath of Odin and go do something I know to be fundamentally wrong. That steak was amazing.”) Of course I do realize that in movie-land one question can get you as much as you need it to when you only have 90 minutes, but I’m trying to treat everything here as though it were intended that way.
Thor: “We’re going to Jotunheim.” Oh, the look on Loki’s face! Well, unfortunately, a deleted scene (just a beat really) is sadly, tragically missing here, that shows Loki reacting — genuinely I think — with surprise and a touch of dismay when Thor says something like “Don’t make my brother and I go alone.” Soooo…Loki wanted to prod Thor into doing something he knew would really anger Odin, but I don’t think he counted on being along for the ride!
Is Loki thinking, “Oh, crap, I may have pushed him too far, this is getting out of control,” or “I can’t believe how perfectly this is going, he’s so easy to manipulate?” I think the former. Thor speaks of Odin’s exploits, and Loki’s head goes down in his hands. He is wincing over this, knows Thor’s going to do something really foolish, but is it “What is he getting himself into here?” or “He’s every bit as foolish as I thought and I’ve done the right thing in pushing him to show it”?
I’ll put up notes eventually on all the deleted scenes as well, but it’s hard to avoid mentioning the longer version of this scene that’s on the DVD. The scene has a bit of a choppy feel to it, the part where the Warriors Three start speaking up. “This isn’t like a journey to Earth” in particular just feels like there’s something missing before it (there is). The “this” doesn’t feel quite right, like the antecedent just isn’t as close to the statement as it should be. “That” would sound more natural but still feel off, I think. But also the progression of reactions just feels a bit choppy to me. Sif’s “It is forbidden” is another one where it feels something is missing before it. What “it”? I believe the deleted line is something like, “Of all the rules this is the one must not break.”
Sif: “I did.” And women everywhere say, “You go, girl!” 😉 Like that moment, Jaimie Alexander delivers the line perfectly, and Hemsworth‘s reaction is also great. Actually, in general Hemsworth is very good in this scene, look at the range he goes through in it, from table-upending anger to kind of depression to renewed confidence and purpose to turning on the charm to his friends to get their buy-in, and the progression is very believable.
As kind of a bridge (pardon the pun) between this scene in the next, I have to go ahead and mention the Rainbow Bridge scene. Wow. They did a great job with the bridge, IMO. It looks real but otherworldly. Love how it lights up under the horses’ hooves, love the music score here. In fact, this is probably my favorite music score in the film. Gives you that sense of grandness and adventure and optimism.