A Character Analysis on Loki Odison from Thor
Submitted By angeliawu
We all know who Loki Odison is. Potrayed by Tom Hiddleston, the character has been fenomenal. Most of us have the most common misconception that Loki is the bad guy. Yes, he is, in the traditional movie sense. It is not like he is a good guy in any sense and that his actions are justifiable, but I severely disagree on the label of villain attached to Loki. He may be bad, but he is not pure evil. His actions may have gone too far, but they are not out of his desire to inflict misery to others. He has motives and in fact, if told from his perspective, he might very well be considered as a tragic hero.
Loki was born as the son of Laufey, the king of the Frost Giants, but had been kept hidden because of his diminutive size. A battle broke out between Asgardian gods and the Frost Giants, causing Laufey slain and the giants defeated. It was then Loki was discovered by Odin, the king of Asgrad. Odin took him back and raised him along with his biological son, Thor, in hopes that he would one day bring about a permanent peace between those two eternal enemies. Loki was never told of his origins and was raised to believe he was the blood offspring of Odin and brother of Thor. This is so telling of what it was like for Loki growing up: he’s not like the other Asgardians. Even at his own home, the favoritism was apparent. Odin, who he believed as his own father, blatantly preferred Thor.
Things finally are brought into an out of control careening river of emotions when Loki learnt his true nature. It, of course, didn’t go over very well, being raised thinking that Frost Giants are monsters and turning out to be one. He came to realization that he is essentially what people around him hate. He then took a turn for the worse to prove his worth as a son of Asgard. However, much to my disappointment, Loki didn’t see how he can ever come back to be his true self when he was calmly told by Odin that there’s nothing he could do to prove his worth. So he let himself fall off into closing wormhole, something either count as suicide or giving up.
Sigmund Freud, a psychology expert, believes that early childhood experiences are stored in the unconscious mind and can have a powerful influence on how a person functions in society. This theory is underlining Loki’s behavior. During his life, Loki has a lot of emotional issues, mainly on his struggle for power and attention. Because of the lack of attention he received in his childhood, he acted out to gain recognition. Haven’t we all at some point in our lives done something bad in order to attract attention to ourselves?
Young Loki is a studious quiet character, always watching and saying little. It is perhaps because he is always unacknowledged. In Thor, his talking was often cut off by either Odin or Thor. Despite all those, he loves and cares for his family and is happy to see Thor to be crowned as a King. However, it was not until Loki learn the truth of his adoption. The news has been a crushing blow to him, turning his worldview upside-down.
Anger and confusion were, of course, the first to seep in. To realize everything he held true was a lie, he came to question all acts of kindness towards him. The fear must have been so profound that he lost the core of his identity of his true self. Regardless of the betrayal he felt, he still loved his father and was desperate to impress him. It was shown on how Loki kneelt beside Odin when he collapsed and took his hand. It was pure love and he still cared; he still wanted to be seen capable.
Isn’t it ordinary for a child to gain his father’s respect, even when he was adopted? Loki, in this case, was simply young man destroyed by the turn his life has taken. He struggles to save his father and prove that he’s not one of the Frosts Giants, that he’s a citizen of Asgrad whom his father can be proud of. However, the truth is undeniable, he is what he is, a Frost Giant.
Even in the end, he made a desperate last attempt to see if his father was proud of him. But Odin pulled one of his best moves yet and says, “No, Loki.” No, he said to misguided Loki who lived his life only to prove himself worthy. So he let go, he didn’t even attempt to talk his way out. He learnt that he’s never going to get the approval he longed for, and like that, he finally conceded.
The scene where he rather eliminates himself than to be seen as anything less than a deity is gut wrenching. It is a painful outcome. After all, all he ever wanted was to be equal to his brother, Thor, and not the throne. His actions are not justified, but his emotions and pain are understandable. He is a character rooted in pain and rejection and power. He is a good person to begin with. And to this day I refuse to label Loki as a villain.