Monday, July 16, 2012
[[ While I've read some Marvel comics, I'm basing my assessment of Loki on Thor and the Avengers, not on the comics. I hope I didn't get to affected in my assessment from what I know about the comic/lore-Loki. ]]
I've been a huge Spike/James Marsters fan for years. The interest fades and returns, and I have to admit, my interest in the actor might never be the same. But they both have a special place in my heart, and I remember fondly meeting James during a week in London with gigs, Q&A's and convention fun.
But now, after watching The Avengers(funny enough, Loki didn't strike me as anything special the first time I watched Thor), after seeing the massmurderer with a broken heart in Joss Whedon's(that man is so brilliant) The Avengers, I find both the character and actor fascinating. And somehow I found Loki and Spike similar, even though they seem so different on paper. Vampire and demi-God? The rebel and The King? One with chipped painted nails, one walking like he's, well, royal(which he is). And their looks, very different as well. But somehow, Loki reminds me of Spike.
And after reading that Joss said this during SDCC Q&A "I'd like to play some parts. Yeah I'd like to be Spike, or as we now call him, Loki" I started to wonder what made me, and apparently Joss, compare Spike & Loki. And it came to me;
Bad guys with broken hearts who are trying to hurt people to get over "childhood" pains. Because let's face it, while souless Spike as we saw him in Buffy, from the first time he showed up, running over the Welcome to Sunnydale sign, seemed very sure of himself, that wasn't who he always had been.
But who Spike became, was largely a part of how he had been as a human, and how he had been treated just after he was turned. Sure, there's a demon in him now, obviously his personality changed since a new being/creature was added, a demon spirit or whatever it was Scott Allie, the Dark Horse(Buffy season 8 & 9) editor called the siring process. But from what I saw, based on the flashback episodes on Buffy and Angel, Spike wanted to get as far away from William the bloody aweful poet as he could. He had been humiliated in life, and until Season 7 of Buffy, for over a hundred years, thought that his mother had never loved him. The woman who he though during his human life loved him, despite that he was a sensitive man and was disliked and mocked by others, seemed to all of a sudden despise him. He didn't get that it was just the demon. Not for a long time.
It's understandable that he didn't get it at first; his demon allowed him to love, so maybe he didn't understand that not every human's love survives being turned. Maybe it depends on the human, maybe the demon, but the strength of the love a human had in life seemed irrelevant; sometimes it just died.
So we see William/Spike change very radically after he's turned. Much like Loki, he's thrown into a big nothingness and need to find himself. And he does. He finds a new family and new rolemodels, changes his name, his accent, dresses more relaxed, and acts, like he says, "like a bloody animal", instead of the gentleman he was in life. Spike also supposedly tortures and kills people who mocked his poetry, and gives himself to a life of evil, completely. Even the killing of slayers seem to be a way for Spike to prove to himself that he's strong, fearless. That's he's a new man. Sorry, monster.
If his mother's demon had been able to feel love, and she had come with him, maybe the Spike we know today wouldn't exist. He'd still be evil, obviously, but maybe less eager to show everyone that he's such a badass.
But what about Loki?
The younger brother of Thor, being smaller, not as strong physically, and being skilled with communication and magic, unlike his rash older brother who everyone seemed to adore and admire. A brother who doesn't seem to appreciate him quite as much as Loki appreciates him.
And like Spike, Loki finds out he's not quite was he thought he was. While Spike is told by his turned mother, that he is nothing, that everything he thought his mother valued meant nothing, Loki finds out that he is a frostgiant, one of Asgardians enemies. As he puts it, a monster parents tell their children about at night. He seem to think he's been treated differently by his father(who he obiously loves) because of this, and like he says, that Odin would never let a frostgiant sit on the throne of Asgard, no matter if Odin loved him.
Later in the movie, we hear him also confront Thor about his treatment as a lesser, and later in the Avengers, when we can hear more of how Loki tells Thor about being forced to be in his shadow. I really loved that scene in the Avengers, when the brothers have a heart to heart. I love that in a movie with so much action, there's also so much love. Tainted love, sure, but love all the same.
Back to the post:
Imagine being told your entire life by your brother that the magic you do is pathetic, even though it's useful, Imagine loving your brother, who's strong, respected, that for some reason, your father looks at differently. You simply feel unequal to your brother. Then you find out, that the enemy of your people, creatures looked down upon and feared, is actually your people. You're adopted. That would make anyone re-evaluate themself.
Of course, Loki seemed to be sadistic before all off this started. He had several guards killed as part of his plan to ruin his brother coronation, he scares a servant, and neither the comics or the original Norse lore speaks of him as a good person. Maybe he, the God of Mischief has earned the comments from his brother in the movie. But like I said, both the comics and the original lore tells of Loki's evil deeds, and in the Avengers, he looks way too happy when scaring and hurting people. So maybe he was born evil. But I think that partly, it was his childhood that made him who he is, and the revelation he was adopted that sent him over the edge and made him a true villain. That made him want to kill Thor, and later enslave Earth. Just like Spike, he wanted to leave his old life behind, and get power though violence. To make himself known, and feared. And boy did they. While walking around like they owned the place and still clearly having issues that makes them three dimensional villains with similar motives(broken hearts, being forced to re-define themselves).
So while I could talk about what makes the characters different(demi-God--vampire, denying love--claimng he's love's bitch and fine with it, etc etc), I think that's fairly obvious. I just wanted to discover why I thought they were similar, which I did, bit for bit while writing this post. I'm sure there's things I'm forgetting. (For example, I just thought of the similarities between William/Spike liking writing petry poetry, then getting mocked for it, and Loki being mocked for his magic).
On top of it all James Marsters and Tom Hiddleston have some similarities. While Tom Hiddleston is new to me, I haven't watched a lot of interviews with him, read almost none, but I can already see similarities. They both like Shapespeare, seem both very giving and kind to fans and interviewers(I've read fan reports who confirm this about Hiddleston, and I've meet James Marsters and hear even more about him from other fans). The fame doesn't seem to have made them full of themselves with. Also, it doesn't seem to be all to rare to hear them make some sort of sex joke during interviews. Yet they seem to have a shyness about them.
So, humble sexy men, confident yet not strutting, comfortable with their sexuality, who are into Shakespeare and play similar roles. I guess my crush on Loki/Tom is explained.
There seems to be differences as well; while they both seem to have humour, I've never heard James be as goofy as Tom. Just listen to this.
I hope you enjoyed the comparison. Longest blog post I've written in forever.