Loki Have I Loved, But Thor Have I Hated

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Thousands of moviegoers left the 2012 blockbuster The Avengers demanding more of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and Thor: the Dark World has not disappointed these fans. Loki steals every scene in which he appears. I think there’s a pun in that last sentence.

The family dynamic between Thor and Loki reminds me of another famous sibling rivalry, Jacob and Esau. Esau and Thor are the older brothers, Jacob and Loki the younger. Thor and Esau enjoy the love of their fathers, while their mothers favor Loki and Jacob. Thor is a hairy brute. Esau is a hairy brute. Loki is a trickster attempting to steal his brother’s birthright. Jacob is a trickster who steals his brother’s birthright. Esau marries a woman that his parents don’t approve of. Thor spends his time chasing a woman Odin disapproves of. Jacob impersonates his brother. Loki impersonates everyone.

Whom should we pull for as we watch Thor: the Dark World? The Bible endorses Jacob, so I guess that means that we ought to embrace Loki. But isn’t he a bad guy? Well, yeah, but even Thor admits that he’s got more of a head for governing than Thor does. Let everyone do what they’re good at.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the Thor character. But when he’s at odds with his little brother, I can’t help but pull for Loki. Hiddleston’s portrayal of the trickster “fascinates” in the archaic sense of the word.

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The Enchantment of Superheroes

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My colleague, Randy Wilson, is disenchanted with the superhero movie. He’s concerned that the overblown CGI robs us of our imagination. He’s worried that the genre lacks moral depth. And he’s afraid that we, as a society, aren’t using our gifts to say anything meaningful, to say anything true.

I would encourage him to look for the baby in the bathwater.

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