SHIT. I hadn’t consciously made the connection between the fact that Loki is always overlooked and ignored when he speaks and the fact that he’s put in that muzzle at the end of Avengers. I always thought that bit was a link to the bit from Norse mythology where he had his mouth sewn up as punishment for teasing some dude (details elude me right now).
This makes sense.
And makes so many more feels.
It’s like the ultimate insult to him.
I feel like this entire phenomenon of “SHUT UP LOKI NOBODY WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOU”, besides the sort of mean chuckle at his expense that makes me feel guilty, is fascinating. With giant angst potential that explains a lot about how Loki looks at himself and why he snaps.
No, seriously. Imagine that this sort of thing has been going on for hundreds or thousands of years. Whenever Loki opens his mouth to speak, or share an opinion, or make a suggestion, or voice an objection, there’s a good chance he’ll basically get told he’s insignificant or irrelevant or reprehensible or just flat out wrong. Stop talking. Yeah, he’s a manipulative little shit, but seriously. His words are his biggest source of power. He’s not an up front fighter—his forte lies through persuasion and the ability to reason people into the decisions that suit him. And he’s perpetually being told “YOUR ABILITIES ARE WORTHLESS, GTFO WE DON’T WANT YOU”. So even the thing he thought he was good at is being undermined.
Extra bonus points if you incorporate canon mythology and the “sew his lips up” punishment. I mean just DAMN. Physical pain and the approval of his father in that sentence aside, that literally, physically denies his right to assert or defend himself. He completely loses his voice. He’s basically having it hammered home that people would rather not hear him at all, would rather pretend he’s not there, and he can’t even count on his family to disagree.
It’s just unbelievably fucked up.
And i’ll explain the mythos portion with his lips being sewn.
What happened was…yes, he cut Sif’s hair (wife of Thor in the myths for those that do not know) as a prank. Although in many ways it was him calling her a slut—ANYWAY.
He cuts Sif’s hair. Thor threatens his life and limb and—not wanting bodily harm done to himself—he tells Thor he shall go to the dwarves and have them make a fine wig for her made of spun gold as it will be better than before and fitting a goddess. Thor agrees.
Well, the dwarves are reluctant at first. Basically going “why the hell should we do this for you/her, what to we get out of it” and Loki, using his charm and wit, reasons with them saying “why…you get the thanks and praise of the Gods and of the Aesir, isn’t that wonderful?” and they agree because damn they want to impress the Gods and make some truly amazing stuff.
So what happens is, they don’t just make Sif a golden wig that will attatch and become natural on her head, they make a fantastic ship for Freyja and Gunginr for Odin. This is amazing shit that Loki has procured for the Gods. not just Sif’s golden hair. Well, he thanks them but before he leaves—thinking he must really make up for it and bring them more awesome stuff—when he happens upon two other dwarves he enters into a wager with them.
Because they claim to make even more amazing stuff than that which he has already procured, he says basically “alright, if your stuff proves more amazing than these gifts, you may have my head. The Gods will decide which gifts are better made.” They agree.
Now, seeing as they are working quite fast and Loki does NOT wish to lose his head, he does try to sabotage it a bit by becoming a fly and stinging one of them in the eye as they forge Mjolnir, which is why it has such a short handle. Well, they do suspect him but follow him back to Asgard to protect their interests.
Unfortunately the Gods, while very impressed and happy with these extra gifts Loki made sure were made, did find Mjolnir the better gift. The dwarves demanded his head, he—using his cunning and not wanting to die—said they could have his head but no part of his neck. Finding they could not take his head without damaging his neck, they demand to sew his mouth shut.
The Gods freaking AGREE, after what he just did for them. And they fucking LAUGH as his mouth gets sewn shut.
Yes, he pulled a prank but he more than made up for it AND THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE WITH HIM BEING BEHEADED AND LAUGH AT HIS PAIN.
More than half the shit Loki did was so he wouldn’t die and because his life was in danger. Without provocation from himself.
Imagine, being in his position.
When you’re smart and cunning—hell it’s your best attribute when everyone around you is all about war and death—you use what you’re given. Hell, in the beginning, when he became Odin’s blood-brother, he constantly helped. And throughout his time, when they did not know what to do in dire situations, Loki was the only damn one who knew what to do because he’s fucking smart.
Giant in disguise trying to deceive the Aesir and working too fast on the wall “LOKI, DO SOMETHING”, becomes a mare and lures away the stallion helping the giant. Not only spares the gods from this monumental problem, brings Odin Sleipnir. Is mocked for his efforts. And it’s a constant theme, even when he is not responsible: LOKI, DO SOMETHING —often threatening his life—and he does it, and is mocked for doing what they asked, despite the rewards he brings them which is more that what they asked for.
Have you ever had that? People asking things from you because you’re smart and you are awesome at what you do…and when you do it you are either chastised for doing it, go unappreciated at all, or are condemned for ‘taking to long’? (i know i have) And this is what Loki’s life is like.
He’s smart…and that fucking scares people. They get after him for being “sly”. People would call him a cunning liar but are all to willing to accept it when it suits them and then condemn him afterward. How frustrating that must be. He’s being used. He becomes a fucking scapegoat.
They hate him for being smart. they hate him for being a frost giant (LOL ALL THE GODS ARE DESCENDED FROM THE GIANTS, ODIN IS HALF GIANT). They threaten and use him. His “treachery” only comes when his life is in danger, or when he is threatened (yes, even by the gods themselves), but in the end he always makes it up to them and they just…turn their noses up at him. He is something to be ignored and used and then mocked. Of course he fucking snapped.
Every single one of the Gods has done terrible things, so during the feast when he confronts them and demands to be seated among them (Odin only gives in because they were blood brothers once). He calls them out on their shit and they don’t like it. They hate to see their ugliness thrown at them, they hate that he’s right.
They punish him by turning one of his sons into a wolf (Odin does this) and FORCES that child to maul his brother and kill him. He uses the entrails of Loki and Sigyn’s son to bind him to rocks and then make a snake drip poison on him. Thank goodness for loyal and loving Sigyn to be there for him.
Can you imagine her strength? To sit there at his side every day, standing in the blood of her sons?
Do you not see how poor his treatment is? Of course he goes against them. He was used and mocked by even someone who had been his friend.
You want more proof of his mistreatment. Let’s go to his children (and i hate seeing this constant sexual deviance joke because of his animal children. Don;t forget he’s a damn shapeshifter. He was a horse when he was with a horse and it saved the entirety of the Aesir, what he did. He was not a snake or a wolf and have these children, nor did he sleep with either. They were the children of another giant Angrboda. no deviance…simply children of a shapeshifter (which makes me think they themselves could as well).
You know what the Aesir did with these? ”MONSTERS, THROW JORMUNGANDR INTO THE SEA, BIND THE MONSTER WOLF, CAST THAT DISGUSTING GIRL DOWN AND MAKE HER RULE THE DEAD BECAUSE SHE LOOKS IT”. His children were condemned, found ugly, cast out, mistreated.
If all you do is mocked and ignored. And your children are shackled and cast out and killed by people you have always helped…yeah…you snap.
And i know some are going to bring up Baldr…and i really get sick of the same damn story. Look, there are 3 separate stories concerning that. One is the one repeated ad nauseum. Loki and the dart and Hodr the blind god of darkness.
But there are 2 other tellings of this story, one of which Loki wasn’t even involved at all, in any shape or form.
Another of which actually seems more likely—to me—given his constant mistreatment.
Now, the Gods know about Ragnarok already, they also know that Baldr is supposed to be the one that is to lead in the new world to come after Ragnarok, that he shall rise and be a king in this peaceful new world (oh look Jesus, parallels). Now, in knowing this, Odin wants to be sure it happens and that Baldr is safe. The only place that is to be safe is Helheim, so he gets into a plot discussion with Loki to make sure Baldr dies and is safe there until after Ragnrok and Loki agrees. Does he know this will inevitably lead to being hated more? (i think so) And if that is the case, Loki is willingly sacrificing himself in this act of treason (much like the lost Gospel of Judas in that Jesus conspired with him to make sure all this came to pass).
So Loki makes sure it is done…and for his doing just as he is asked, like always, he is hated and punished. This led to talks at the feast and that led to his punishment and being bound and tortured and his children killed.
Of course he was angry. Of course he snapped. When all you do is seen as unimportant, or lies, or when asked for help, punished and mocked for your efforts. Hate grows in that. Resentment grows. You lose it.
Keep in mind that his wife is the goddess of Fidelity (Loyalty) and is known for her compassion and love and protection(she created a safe haven during ragnarok for children and other goddesses). Why would such a woman be with such a man. She is not weak. She was known as the one he loved. Loki may be a trickster, he likes his games, but as his mistreatment continued, the darker the tales got. That happens when you’re mistreated.
I know i went off topic and into mythos completely, but it is mirrored here in this Loki…constant mistreatment bred hatred and resentment and desire for revenge. He loves Thor and he loved Odin (when he fell into Odin sleep, you can’t convince me that wasn’t the look of a boy afraid for his father). He was not only mistreated constantly though, having all this knowledge of his heritage (abandoned by one father and seen as political gain by the next) unhinged him. And then—on the scene that SHOULD have remained—he is handed Gunginr, the key to the kingdom, basically. An emotionally unstable boy whose entire life has basically been turned on it’s head…was just given all power to rule. That’s not safe. That’s not smart. i’ve no doubt that Frigga believed in him and loved him, but that was NOT a good idea.
Can you imagine being in his place? You don’t just…shrug off what happened—especially not after hundreds to thousands of years living a certain way. How would YOU like to learn you are actually the monster you were brought up to hate? Even if Odin didn’t teach him that, the rest of his damn society did. Thor sure as hell did. ”I’m going to kill all the monsters”. I mean SHIT. How that must have felt to Loki. remembering that. He remembers that, he saw how his brother fought against the Jotun, saw the hatred and desire to kill. That would fuck anyone up. Imagine the HATE he must feel for himself. That’s internalized racism. He hates every damn thing about himself.
He wasn’t just mistreated. He’s come to internalize and believe this shit and it’s made WORSE by how he was raised in the society he was raised. He HATES everything that he is. That’s why he decided to destroy Jotunheim, why he lured Laufey into Asgard to destroy him in front of his mother. That’s basically him saying “See? I AM Aesir. I am NOT one of these monsters. I will kill ALL the monsters to prove that i am not one.” Irrational maybe, but he’s already fucking snapped. he hates what he is and he’s trying to prove himself worthy to be an Aesir.
And then the fight with Thor. This is a lot of internalized aggression. He thinks Thor must hate him for what he is, that they can never be equal “all i ever wanted was to be your equal” and he never can be. He is the damn golden son. He was never meant to have the throne, though he never wanted it “i never wanted the throne” but he was raised to try and get it. But no matter how brash Thor was and how intelligent Loki was, no matter WHAT he did, he could NEVER sit on the throne of Asgard. Because he was a monster and he resented that treatment and he threw it at Thor because he was angry and frustrated and broken.
Then there was Odin. WHEN YOUR FUCKING CHILD IS HAVING AN EMOTIONAL CRISIS, IS UNSTABLE AND IS HANGING OVER THE GREAT ABYSS OF NOTHINGNESS, ONLY HANGING ON TO THE HANDLE OF MJOLNIR BEGGING THAT YOU UNDERSTAND “I COULD HAVE DONE IT FOR ALL OF US” YOU DO NOT FUCKING SAY “NO”. THAT IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT SOMEONE GOING THOUGH SHIT LIKE THAT, ESPECIALLY DANGLING OVER THE BIFROST. YOU PULL UP YOUR SONS, YOU HOLD YOUR SON, AND THEN YOU SAY NO AND LEAD HIM BACK AND TALK WITH HIM AND REA-FUCKING-SSURE HIM THAT HE IS STILL LOVED AND THAT HE IS NOT A MONSTER.
Loki was unstable, he needed fucking support and help and to fucking know that he was not alone. That’s how you treat someone who is suffering like that.
But no. That’s not what fucking happened. And Loki fucking let go. THAT WAS A SUICIDE ATTEMPT. Do you not understand that???????
Because of the constant mistreatment and the internalized self hatred and the obvious fucking neglect and wrong move done by his father Loki snapped fucking completely. He didn’t intend to fucking live. But because he did he was truly broken now. It is obvious to him that he wasn’t wanted or loved because of this. And while he still hates what he is, he has decided that “FINE, i’m a monster then. I’ll carve out my own fucking destiny as the monster i am, that they obviously all know me to be. They always hated me, they won’t fucking mourn. It was clear to me when Odin said ‘no’ that i am not needed or wanted or valuable enough to them.”
Even if they did mourn. Yes it’s true, Vikings feast for the dead. But that does not excuse the mistreatment shown him, or the lack of understanding, or what Odin said. It doesn’t make up for those words causing him to basically let go and attempt suicide. And i Guara-fucking-tee you that hardly anybody at that fucking feast (outside of his “family”) actually gave a shit about him being gone when it is clear that he was never treated right. Probably said ‘it’s a shame, he went crazy, oh well’, and didn’t actually give a fuck about him being dead. Tradition to feast, yes, but it doesn’t mean they actually fucking have to care.
You want to know why i stay at his side and fucking support even the awful things he did? This is why. i understand how all that feels. i understand that neglect and mistreatment and self hatred and believing the awful things said about me. i understand it. I broke several times, only i was damn lucky to have someone to pull me out of that. He was not.
(Sorry, that got long, touching on Myth and Marvel both. i have feeling on all that is Loki in all forms.)