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Scene 8: Jotunheim

“We shouldn’t be here.” Such a small line from Hogun but it really captures what it seems everyone but Thor is thinking. As in, “How exactly did you talk us into this, Thor?” There’s also something slightly odd in the inflection in the line. I don’t think it’s attributable to Tadanobu Asano‘s accent, rather just a great reading of the line that somehow gives it more gravity. Actually, even Thor looks a little daunted at first! Lots of fun to rally around an adventure to Jotunheim from the comfort of a palace in Asgard…sobering to step foot onto that frozen wreck of a wasteland with giants lying in wait somewhere out there.

The Jotunheim set is dark, shadowy — it’s hard to tell what you’re looking at. Is Jotunheim supposed to look like that? Or are there no shining cities because of their defeat and the loss of the Ice Casket? I sort of get the feeling it’s meant to be the latter, but maybe not. A thousand years or so (based on the dated battle in Norway) is a very long time not to have made things look at least a little nicer! What would a Jotunheim with an Ice Casket look like? What is a good-looking landscape, good-looking village or city, to a Frost Giant? Jotunheim looks more real than (CGI) Asgard to me, on the whole I think the sets are pretty good even if they do raise the question of why it looks the way it does.

Why has Thor come here? To ask “How did your people get into Asgard?” But he is also primed/poised/smarting for a fight. This is more or less Thor’s inherent nature with adversaries.

Laufey helpfully tells us (interesting that he chose to tell Thor, hm?), “The House of Odin is full of traitors.” And yet, hold on. We learn later from Laufey himself that he did not know Loki provided the means to reach Asgard. So…is he guessing? How did Loki communicate with them before? Perhaps he went to Jotunheim disguised? He could have told Laufey that he was from Odin’s court. But doesn’t “House of X” indicate from X’s family? Well, interesting. I’m stumped so if you’ve got any ideas let me know.

Laufey is actually kind of an interesting character, I’ve only recently begun thinking more about him. He’s had a thousand years to marinate in his hatred of Odin, and jumps at any opportunity to go after him. In that sense, then, it’s a bit surprising that he doesn’t immediately decide to kill Thor and the others. Talk about hurting your enemy, kill his two kids, that’ll make him hurt. Maybe he’s thinking things through here and knows that if he does that Odin will destroy Jotunheim and they would have little to fight back with.

Laufey’s been around over a thousand years too. He sees right through Thor. “You long for battle. You crave it.” (“We’re just going there to ask questions, really!” Uh-huh.) “You’re nothing but a boy trying to prove himself a man.”

Loki tries to talk good sense into Thor and is surely being 100% sincere now. He has never meant for things to go this far — his tail is on the line now too. And he gets the old “Know your place, Brother.” Gargantuan smackdown. Much as you believe these two brothers truly love each other (especially if you’ve seen the first deleted scene), a logical question is how many times has Thor said that to Loki without the slightest idea of how it makes Loki feel. Right there is enough to point to some “issues” Loki must have, such as of feelings of lack self-worth and inadequacy. Loki is back in that same position as in Scene 7, to Thor’s right and a 1/2 step behind him.

“You know not what your actions would unleash. I do.” Laufey is pressing Thor’s buttons but it seems he is trying to keep things under control and avoid unleashing a new war.

“We will accept your most gracious offer.” What character contrast! Thor would never say those words. Ever. Much less in such a submissive or subordinate tone. Loki definitely has the diplomatic/negotiating skills in the family.

I’ve noticed that in these shots Loki’s eyes look very moist. I wonder if that’s intentional. Is it supposed to be a reaction to the cold? Did Tom Hiddleston get fake snow in his eyes? It certainly doesn’t seem likely it’s supposed to be tears.

“Come on, Brother,” Loki says in an almost scolding tone. He’s already turned around. Thor is still trying to win the “who’s-the-man” contest with Laufey — he really doesn’t want to leave. You can imagine that this too is not a new dynamic. Loki has probably talked Thor down from taking his aggression too far on countless occasions. And this is a moment of triumph for Loki in a sense. They were in a pretty frightening situation, and Loki has re-asserted control and helped defuse it.

So he thinks.

[To previous scene.]