Check out (self-confessed fellow Loki-obsessed) “LimebirdLaura’s” blog post “The Right Kind of Villain,” which examines Loki as a villain, and his multi-dimensionality that makes him work so well as a villain. Here’s an excerpt:
Loki is a perfect villain. There’s as much meat to his story as there is the hero’s story. I love it when the bad guy makes the film more interesting and gives it more depth, and does more than just stalk the good guy down. It keeps the story on a constant motion for me, no scene of the film is boring or “fluff” when you have both the good guy and the bad guy pushing the story along. A script shouldn’t focus solely on the hero, when the villain’s story is just as important most of the time. Having a cookie-cutter, mustache twirling, cackling-at-the-top-of-his-lungs villain doesn’t add as much depth to a script or keep the action as interesting as a villain who has a clearly defined motive and personality.
Right on! There’s also some thought-provoking comparison discussion of Star Wars villains that worked and didn’t work. If you write you’ll particularly enjoy this blog post, because Loki truly is a great example of “how to write a villain” or antagonist that has depth and engages readers instead of just being a flat plot device to create problems for the hero or protagonist.
In fact, Loki has so *much* depth…I wonder if you can even really call him purely an antagonist. I guess so, he is to Thor anyway — but he has his own fairly well-defined agenda and goals and they aren’t just “stopping Thor” although that’s a big part of it. Maybe in a way he could be considered a protagonist himself — okay, Loki desires to destroy Jotunheim (for what what I would argue to be deep, dark psychological reasons — not just proving himself to his father in what has become a rather twisted need for love and respect but also symbolically destroying himself in his own self-hatred), so can he be considered a protagonist here, and Thor his antagonist? Loki isn’t trying to stop anyone from doing anything here, although his antagonist function I suppose is that this tests Thor’s change — will Thor try to protect the people he himself has recently started a war against? Loki as protagonist in The Avengers, the Avengers as his antagonists trying to stop him from world domination…hmmm… Well, I’m probably straying from the literary definitions…but I haven’t studied those since high school so I essentially have no idea what I’m talking about. That rarely stops me but I’m always happy to confess my ignorance. 😉
Ah well I am rambling, Loki has the power to make me do that.