With each movie Marvel releases, there’s always a few scenes that fall to the cutting room floor. Unfortunately for the fans, the deleted scenes are, more often than not, the ones that add depth to a character or storyline. In the case of the first Thor film, it was Loki’s deleted scenes that contained some of the most intricate character building of any Marvel movie to date1)Sooo waiting to get flamed for that statement….
Of course, Thor was ultimately an origin story about Thor. But as much as many Loki-haters will never admit it, it was actually as much an origin story for Loki as for Asgard’s crown prince. And while these cuts were intended to more clearly define Loki as the villain, the loss of them came at the cost of much character-building. Not just to Loki , but to those he shared the scenes with.
So a while ago, I came across an ‘On Set With Tom Hiddleston‘ interview from the first Thor movie. While this interview is by no means new, it is – in Tom’s typically detailed manner – an interesting read for anyone wanting to recap on the psyche of Loki (prior to his psychological meltdown), his fighting style, etc.
Some segments of Tom’s narrative I found particularly interesting, especially as the resulting movie didn’t really expand upon these areas of Loki’s psyche quite as well as they could have.
“Thor and Loki are a 2-man team and they’re both going to run Asgard when Odin steps down.” (Tom Hiddleston, Collider interview)
This notion of Loki running Asgard alongside Thor wasn’t shown to us in the finished movie, however it was hinted at in a removed segment of conversation between Frigga and Odin in the original Thor transcript:
FRIGGA: Thor won't be alone. Loki will be at his side to give him counsel. Have faith in your sons. - Original Thor transcript
This deleted segment between Frigga and Odin showed us that the value Loki’s family held for him was not of a ‘stolen relic’ as Loki believed himself to be, but as a trusted counselor to assist Thor in his rule.
The Collider interview also contained Tom’s description of Loki’s areas of expertise, part of which was his skill as a tactician:
“And Loki’s gifts are different in that he is sharper, he’s cleverer, he’s more interested in tactics and strategy.” (Tom, Collider interview)
Again, the finished movie didn’t reveal Loki to be a skilled tactician so much as a power-hungry plotter, but Loki’s skill for strategy was portrayed in another deleted scene from the original Thor transcript. This time set upon Jotunheim:
LOKI Perhaps we should wait. (Thor turns back to his brother.) THOR For what? LOKI To survey the enemy. To gauge their strengths and weaknesses from a distance.
Thor’s reaction to Loki’s caution in this scene also illuminated the reckless attitude of Asgard’s crown prince, and how very clearly he was not yet ready to rule:
VOLSTAGG I'm liking that. Gauging, surveying. Particularly the distance part. THOR We know all we must. It's time to act. Thor heads on. Reluctantly, the others follow. SIF He's just got to swing his hammer...
Of course, we did eventually get an idea of Loki’s skill as a strategist – in the way that he carried out his plan to ‘fix the mess Thor made’ (a mess which he of course instigated in the first place.) However this only showed us the darker side of his stratagem, during a time where all sense of reason was spiraling out of control for the would-be king.
Interestingly, another scene in the deleted transcripts showed Loki’s delusional reasoning to be inspired by the past deeds of none other than the Allfather himself.
ODIN I've destroyed demons and monsters, devastated whole worlds, laid waste to mighty kingdoms, and still you worry for me? FRIGGA Always.
Gosh, Odin. Hypocrisy much?
It’s understandable that this scene was removed, for had we known that Loki was trying to impress Odin by following in his footsteps, we may have found ourselves sympathising with him. Just a little. 😉
Another important insight into Loki’s persona – both as prince and villain – was in the deleted scene where we see Frigga give Loki the kingship; much to his surprise and disbelief.
Clearly, this scene had to go. To keep Loki in line with his comic counterpart and more easily recognised as the bad guy, claiming the throne needed to be seen as one of his evil inner machinations; not an authority given to him by his very mother.
But this scene was a powerful and integral piece of character-building, even for Loki in his most villainous form. Because for all that he was genuinely baffled when first handed Odin’s staff, the true shape of his villainy began to take form in the moment he accepted it from the steward’s hands.
“Thor is banished. The line of succession falls to you. Until Odin awakens, Asgard is yours. Make your father proud. My King.” Frigga said.
In that moment when Loki turned to her, a very definite shift took place in his psyche. In that instant he knew exactly what needed to be done to ‘fix’ everything and make his father proud. And his very own mother had authorised the exceptionally powerful means by which he could carry out the task.
It was a clear turning point for Loki-as-villain, as it demonstrated how being handed such power – however unexpected – had begun to transform him.
Certainly, the inclusion of this scene would have added more sting to Loki’s opening scene of Thor: The Dark World when he asked his mother, “have I made you proud?”
Of course, these scenes were deleted because they painted Loki too much as a Tragic Villain in a movie where we were supposed to be rooting for the good guy, not the bad-but-it’s-not-completely-his-fault guy. But for most of us though, Loki still came off as an accidental-villain we could kinda sympathise with, so they may as well have left them in.
Removing these scenes only served to sacrifice important character-building. Not just for Loki, but for the entire Asgardian royal family. And given that the first Thor film would be remembered and appreciated more as a Marvel style Shakespearean tragedy than an action flick, that additional character-building would have served it well.
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|1.||↑||Sooo waiting to get flamed for that statement…|