Story Summary: This is a (mostly) canon compliant character study fic that tells the events of Thor (2011) from Loki’s perspective. It’s the first that I am doing in a series called The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phases 1-3 (Loki’s Version). These are prequel fics that I am releasing in advance of my main 2022 NaNoWriMo fic which is an MCU time-travel fix-it featuring Loki but can be read alone.
Author’s Note: Hey hi it’s me I’m writing fic again. This time it’s about my main man Loki. He REALLY needs a hug. And a therapist. Like, my boy needs therapy so bad. BIG CW for this fic for suicidal thoughts & attempt because fam anyone who has seen these movies should know that Loki is NOT in a good place and that’s canon. I recommend anyone who doesn’t already tell people already to give that CW before showing anyone Thor 2011 because whew.
Thor 2011 (Loki’s Version)
Loki’s entire body was tight with anxiety, not that anyone would exactly be able to tell, given his outward appearance of calm. There was Thor, boastful, gloating, waving his hammer around. About to be crowned king. He was looking everywhere but at Loki. No one ever paid attention to Loki unless something had gone wrong, in which case it was always a question of “what did you do?” or “why didn’t you prevent this?”
When they were children, their father had said that both of them were born to be kings. And yet it was Thor who was about to ascend to the throne. Not that it mattered very much. Thor’s coronation was about to be interrupted.
Loki had no doubt that the Destroyer would take care of the intruders he had allowed into the vault. Furthermore, no one would be able to trace it back to him that they had been allowed into the vault in the first place. His plan was multifaceted, but flawless. No, the problem with the best-laid of plans was always how people got in the way. He could never truly account for the actions of others, who could sometimes act unpredictably, and surprise him. His family, the people of the court, were often so predictable. It was like playing a puppet with strings. Occasionally though, they would act out of turn, and that was what delighted and infuriated Loki in equal measure. Predictability is often boring.
In this case though, predictable was as useful as it was infuriating. Thor was an ass. Loki was certain that his brother had a brain. Thor was actually incredibly smart, insightful, and often witty. The two of them could never have gotten along so well otherwise. But he was also an idiot, who acted before thinking, and used his hammer more than his common sense. Thor was both easy and incredibly difficult to manipulate. When he wanted to do something there was almost nothing that could get in his way. Thus Loki did his best to make sure that Thor wanted to do the things that Loki wanted to do, and that Thor did the things he wanted to do in the ways that best served Loki’s interests. Furthermore, when Thor’s actions went against Loki’s best interests and that of everyone around them, Loki counterbalanced as much as possible.
After many years and centuries, however, Loki slowly started to realize his error. After spending so much time cleaning up Thor’s messes and living in Thor’s shadow, he became the only person who saw the true picture. No one else realized that Thor was not truly ready to be king. No one else saw behind the veil, because Loki had spent so much time shielding him. And now it was too late. Thor with untempered power would surely catapult the realms into chaos. While some people said that Loki was the god of mischief, lies, and chaos, the truth was that chaos only worked if there was something to balance it out. Thor had no concept of balance.
Loki had rarely felt like he truly belonged in Asgard, not with how Odin consistently favored Thor, not with how Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg would nine times out of ten take Thor’s side in any argument, or in Sif’s case ten times out of ten. Frigga was the only one who he felt truly valued him, truly accepted him.
Loki believed that with time, Thor could be a good king. But his brother needed to learn some hard lessons, without Loki picking up the pieces. The current plan was to give Thor enough rope to hang himself, and then when things were looking rough prove himself to be the one in the right, once again. When the Allfather saw that Thor was not ready, that it was only because of Loki’s protection that Thor was perceived as such, Loki would get the recognition he deserved. Meanwhile, Thor would finally get the opportunity to grow into the king Loki knew he could become.
The variable that Loki had not accounted for was Heimdall. Of all the people to choose to break out of the mold, of all the people to choose to be unpredictable, Heimdall is the one that Loki truly wishes could stick to the script. Loki had always thought that Heimdall was the most loyal of any citizen of Asgard. The fact that he would betray Odin and allow the five of them passage to Jotunheim was beyond Loki’s imagination. Had he seriously believed that Heimdall would allow them through, he never would have manipulated Thor as he did.
The following hour—and yes it was under an hour, if that—was one of the most shocking and revelatory of Loki’s life. His brother declared unworthy and banished, himself revealed to be a stolen prince from a realm of monsters—because who would leave a baby to die in a temple of all places—and Odin falling into the Odinsleep, with the line of succession falling to himself. Within just moments he went from finding out that he was just another stolen relic, never meant to be king of Asgard, to ascending to said throne.
It was an understatement to say that Loki’s mind broke. As a mage, no small amount of his core strength and ability to do magic was dependent on his sense of self. And who was he now? Did he even know himself anymore? When his very skin was a lie?
In the privacy of his chambers he attempted to see if he could unravel the enchantment that kept him in his Aesir form, that prevented him from showing himself to be a Jötunn. He despaired that even knowing it was there, he could not break whatever spell Odin had placed upon him. He knew it would fall away upon contact with another Jötunn or the casket of ancient winters, but he would risk showing his form to another with either of those methods. He did not ever wish to appear as a Jötunn anyway. He only wanted to know what it was that Odin had done. With the Allfather in the Odinsleep, who knew when, if ever, he would get his answers.
He could always ask Frigga, but he didn’t know if he could bear interacting with his mother at the moment. Was she his mother? He certainly did not think of Odin as his father anymore. But Frigga had shown him nothing but love. But was it real? Was any of it real? His mind was spiraling more and more, deeper cracks appearing. What of Thor?
When I’m king, I’ll hunt the monsters down and slay them all!
He was a monster. Thor would kill him if he knew, just like he had slaughtered hundreds of Jötnar only a few hours ago. Was it only a few hours ago? How long had his brother been gone? He was king now. It was what he wanted, was it not? Yet Loki was the Liesmith. His secrets had secrets. He had never wanted to be king. Had he no fear of reprisal from Odin, he might have made a life for himself on Vanaheim and married Sigyn, becoming the person and parent that he had always wanted to be with her. And yet out of fear he had abandoned her, abandoned their children. He had not spoken to her in centuries.
Did she know that her children were not áss and vanr, but vanr and jötunn? Would she have realized? Would she have told him if she knew? He didn’t dare keep close watch on them, fearful that if someone noted his interest, remembered his connection to her they might discover who he was. He knew she had married another man, that they raised the twins together, that people assumed he was their father. He didn’t know what that man knew.
Loki knew on a certain level it was cowardice. But on another he knew that they did not need anything from him. She had moved on, the twins knew nothing of him, and all he would bring into their lives was turmoil and danger, because his being their parent would bring danger. It was the entire reason that he left in the first place. Oh but he wished he had stayed. He wished he never had to sit on this throne. But who if not him? Certainly not Thor, who had plunged them into war even without the kingship. Who would surely destroy the nine realms in his quest to “protect” them. And now Loki had to try and salvage their relationship with Jotunheim. Who knows whether or not others saw Loki’s skin turn blue. What if other’s knew of Loki’s heritage? How could he possibly prove he was different? He had to be different, he was not like them, he was not a monster.
Though so many people had treated him thus for so long, how could he not… he ruminated on this as he sat on the throne. He was waiting for petitioners, though there were surprisingly few considering that they were on the verge of war. He was surprised to see Sif, Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg approach, and incredibly smug when they bowed to him. He was always lesser to Thor amongst their friends, who never held any regard for title or the fact that he was also a Prince of Asgard and deserved respect. It would not have been so bad, he could have stood for the lack of propriety for his station if they afforded him the same level of kinship that they did Thor. But he was not friends with Sif and the warrior’s three. They were not shield brothers and sisters in the same way that they were with Thor. And so seeing them bow was pleasing. Seeing Sif stand up in defiance, seeing their arms warily drop, seeing the glares… that did not please Loki. That made him wary.
He had known them for centuries. They were, if nothing else, predictable. If treason against Odin was not off the table, then treason against Loki certainly was not either. Considering Heimdall’s track record thus far, Loki would not put it past him either. They needed careful watching, but he was unsure about what he could do at this point.
Troubled, mind still spinning, fracturing, he decided to go speak to mother, though that of course meant visiting Odin’s chambers, where he lay shrouded in golden light, deep in the Odinsleep. Her words did not help.
We kept the truth from you so that you would never feel different.
Loki had never felt anything but different. And as he asked what hope there was for Thor it was not just about his worthiness to wield mjolnir. Loki knew that Thor would get his hammer back one way or another. Odin’s schemes did always have a purpose, and he would not leave his firstborn defenseless. No, Loki was really asking what hope there was for Loki. What hope was there for their reconciliation. What hope was there for Thor to accept that his brother was the monster that they had grown up learning to fear, learning to kill, since they were children.
As Loki’s mind began to fragment even further he decided that there was no hope for Thor. Not yet. First Loki had to prove himself. Loki had never been good enough, never been able to step out of Thor’s shadow. But now, finally, he had the opportunity with Thor gone to make his own path. He would make father and mother proud. He would cut Jotunheim off at its knees. Yes… he would prove that Asgard was his home.
Telling Thor that father was dead on one level hurt, seeing the devastation on his face. It was worse, twisting the knife in saying that mother had forbidden his return. But on another level Loki felt a kind of sinister glee over it all. Thor had spent so long pushing Loki to the side. Ignoring him and his sound advice. Starting a war over being called “princess” as if being a woman is somehow inferior—as if his sibling did not frequently change into a female form and he did not call her princess with just as much reverence and honor as he did when referring to Loki as “prince”.
And perhaps that was part of what made it sting, almost as much as Thor’s sharp “Know your place, brother.” The acknowledgement that on some level Thor privileged his respect for Loki when they were “him” and not when they were “her.” And perhaps it was cruel, but Odin was not actually dead, and Frigga loved Thor. It was only a temporary ruse, and on the scale of their thousands year lifespan it was immaterial.
The ruse would be ruined soon enough when Sif and the Warrior’s Three got to Midgard, because of course Heimdall had decided that committing treason was his newest party trick. If Loki felt perfectly valid in freezing Heimdall in place with the casket of ancient winters which was honestly fairly tame considering the man tried to chop off the head of the reigning monarch.
The moment he felt himself completely snap was when Frigga broke from his embrace to greet Thor. Loki had just murdered his birth father to save her and Odin in particular. He had fully forsaken his birthright in favor of the two of them and she cast him aside for her true son. And when Thor cast aspersions at him she believed him without question, without even pausing to wonder if it was true.
And yes Loki had sent the Destroyer and told it to destroy everything and stop Thor from coming back but honestly? He had seen his brother’s friends fight and he figured that the four of them could take it down well enough. And did Thor or any of them actually expect him to care about some Midgardian town? Midgarians lived for what, a couple decades at most? Some of them died in a matter of single-digit years.
Loki did not consider their lives meaningless exactly, but they were fleeting enough, and unrelated enough to his goals, that the collateral damage was worth it to him if it stopped his brother from returning. In a few years Loki might come to regret this, might come to have a shifted moral stance after meeting Midgardians who shifted his view. But this was the moment where his mind snapped, and so destroying his home world appeared to be the only viable option.
I could have done it, Father! I could have done it! For you! For all of us!
Odin had shaped him to be a weapon, but Loki was always incredibly slippery, and did not like fitting into the mold Odin cast for him. And thus, the weapon was turned in on themself, and everyone within reach.
Although known as the Liesmith, Loki was one to always prefer the truth in his own life. Without knowing the truth at heart, one can become poisoned by believing their own lies.
Loki was not cast into the void. He was not pushed off the rainbow bridge. He did not trip and fall by accident. He did not slip. He let go.