SO MANY FEELS
This scene is SOOOOO important and so few people are talking about it.
If you want any proof that he’s not completely in control the whole movie, here it is.
Loki is just a pawn with big plans who has gotten himself into huge shit and can’t get out of it.
And this scene makes it pretty fucking obvious that they’ve been torturing and manipulating him and are threatening to make it a thousand times worse.
I should probably just post my insane 5k essay I’ve written on how fucked up Loki is in this film. Because I’ve just got a lot of feelings.
The look in his eyes says it all. It’s pure fear, which is something he isn’t used to. Whatever the hell they did to him is haunting him, and that’s why he is so desperate to make sure his plan succeeds. Come on, at the start of the film he looks terrible. He looks so sick and like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s desperate.
Sigh. Oh my feels.
YEAH. And this scene pretty much sums up his entire character. He acts like he’s in control, but he’s not, and he’s never been. He has no fucking CLUE what he’s doing. He’s just acting out and pretending he doesn’t care to get back at Thor, which is really ironic because it shows that he DOES care. In fact, that’s all he cares about.
But he’s never had a place, and like Coulson says, he lacks conviction. He doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. He’s just trying to pretend like he has it all together - which he clearly doesn’t. So he ends up doing things for others. Becoming what others want of him or what others think of him.
He’s just searching for an identity he’s never had.
Some of the cats in that box he keeps in his head are nastier than others.
The ~question with Loki is often: how much of what he’s doing is PLANNED. I seem to recall Hiddleston saying they played it both ways—as if he exactly knows what he’s doing AND as if he’s just making everything up on the spot; as if he means what he says AND as if he’s lying through his teeth. I think Loki doesn’t know. He’s chaos! He does enjoy making shit blow up; he likes it when nobody knows what’s going on, but I imagine a side-effect of always striving to increase entropy is that, well, chaos ensues on the inside as well. And Loki really is a sheltered child still. His daddy issues and his lashing out and his posturing: he’s little league in the cosmic bad boy game, and it’s really pretty obvious in The Avengers. He does know how to talk a good game, but this kid is hanging on tooth and nail just to keep it together.
(I bet there’s an awesome mafia AU somewhere in here. If only I didn’t find mafia AUs kinda tedious.)
Tangent: is Loki more like young Snape or Draco Malfoy? I’d say Snape—messed up and hurt and lashing out rather than pressured by ~tradition and then suddenly in over his head.
Snape continued to be an utter bag of dicks even while ~doing the right thing~. Loki probably has even less of a moral compass, and no Dumbledore to nurse obsessive-compulsive loyalty towards, but it’s not a completely unfounded comparison. They even share hair-care regimens!
(When Loki swears, he swears by the moon, th’ inconsistent moon.)
Back to the point, I think: I don’t think Thanos has to torture him to make him do shit. I don’t think Thanos is mind-controlling him. Loki’s not calling all the shots because he’s basically playing catch-up in this crazy magic mindgame. When you’re punching that far above your weight every hit you take is going to cost you. Shady, desperate back-alley deals with the devil come with the highest price. I’m sure Loki knew what the price was, and I think he just didn’t give a fuck. No mind control necessary. I mean, Loki’s self-hatred is fucking EPIC. Whatever pain he’s in, it’s worth it to him; he deserves it.
I dare y’all to make sense of that.
Also - he’s using that scepter to control others, but its also controlling him. This situation is a devil’s bargain, and he knows it.
It’s interesting; I didn’t see fear in his eyes so much as anger. He knows Thanos and company don’t take him all that seriously; the problem with being the problematic (adopted) younger sibling and being a trickster is that everyone underestimates him (except for, perhaps, the Avengers themselves, and that’s arguable). He knows no one takes him seriously; he’s willing to use that to his advantage and bide his time, even putting up with shit like in this scene. Loki is a chess player, one with a long term strategy — but, I think it remains to be seen whether or not he truly has an endgame.
I don’t think he wants to rule. It’s more like he’s the adolescent pushing his boundaries, wondering how far he can take things before the “good” brother and daddy and mommy come smack him down.
The only thing Loki really fears, I think, is Thor. And his fear is more that Thor won’t forgive him this time, that he’ll truly lose his love and attention — so he keeps trying to push him away.