I have to add that in MCU canon, there isn’t a real question, because Loki’s options are “Asgard” and “death”.
Odin the unreliable narrator is a fun trope, and I’m totally capable of loving the heck out of all the Jotunheim AU fanfic where people run with that, but when I’m looking juuuust at the MCU it’s inescapable that the deleted scenes and script confirm that Laufey did abandon Loki and has no visible regrets.
I mean, yeah, we obviously discarded healing stones, but no one I’ve seen has tried to discard any of the other characterization scenes — the deleted and scripted scenes with Loki and Frigga, Loki and Thor — yet it’s really really common for people to completely ignore the scenes that vindicate Odin’s version of events.
:( It makes me feel bad for MCU!Odin, who is often used as fic villain, sometimes not even caring about Thor at all. Not AS sad as when Thor is used as fic villain, but still. I would like to see more fics with a neutral or good Odin than I do, especially where Loki is concerned.
I’m often hesitant to get into this discussion, the whole thing with Laufey, because I really do not want to make it seem like I believe this is the intention behind the canon and to assume that it is seems like a genuinely slippery slope to start heading down. So, I want to make it clear that THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY MEANT, but I’m going to talk about it anyway.
The conversation between Loki and Laufey about the reveal of Loki being the baby Odin found on Jotunheim goes as such:
I’ve been thinking about this and wondering about it a little and I think… I keep coming back to the idea that, to me, Loki is a tragedy and the real tragedy is that he didn’t necessarily have to be a tragedy, but that possibly he was weighted towards it.
He lives a very comfortable life on Asgard, but he’s still insecure and envious, because he feels he lives in Thor’s shadow. I’m pretty sure that, setting aside the fluffy ideas of Jotunheim where they spoil him rotten and he’s their precious darling Jewel of Jotunheim (because, if we go down that road, we should also go down the whole Jewel of Asgard road, too!), I think he’d have ended up feeling pretty similar.
He’s small for a Frost Giant baby, he was never going to grow that same height, he was never a physical fighter like the Jotnar seem to be. His envy and feelings of inadequacy would have happened on Jotunheim just as much as they happened on Asgard, I think.
But the thing that’s really the painful part of this is that each side, whether Loki was raised by Asgard or by Jotunheim, the other side would look at the way he turned out and know that it wasn’t intentional, that hew as loved on both sides of this, that his parents cared for him (assuming that this is a world where Jotunheim would have cared for him, of course!) and yet disaster still fell on him.
Of course, he wasn’t born to Asgard, so Odin and Frigga and Thor wouldn’t have the same reaction, but we readers would.
And I just… am really fascinated by that aspect of Loki’s character, that I don’t blame him or think he’s born inherently evil, I will get into an INTERNET FIGHT with someone who says he was born evil or whatever, but that sense of looking at him and seeing all these POSSIBILITIES, if only things had been just a little bit different, that the tragedies that fall on him aren’t inherent, but something that so many versions of Loki face, because he has issues, because I see him as having mental illness and that means facing a lot of shit that I want to see him work through.
I love love love reading fluffy Loki and Jewel of Jotunheim Loki kind of stuff, that HEALS MY HEART AND MAKES ME HAPPY, but when I theorize about stuff, I definitely go for the ouchy stuff like this, because seeing Loki work through that kind of thing, that Farbauti and Helblindi and Byleister might see him and want to go scream at the edge of the world for awhile at what their precious child had become, that I want to see people ache for what’s happened to him (because I ache for what’s happened to him), whether that be Farbauti and Helblindi and Byleister or whether it’s Thor and Odin and Frigga, I just really want to get into that emotional stuff that surrounds Loki and MAKE HIM WORK THROUGH IT.
Laufey: Ah, the bastard son. I thought Odin had killed you. That’s what I would have done. He’s as weak as you are.
Loki: No longer weak. I now rule Asgard, until Odin awakens. Perhaps you should not have so carelessly abandoned me.
Laufey: Or perhaps it was the wisest choice I’ve ever made. I will hear you.
The thing that intrigues me every time is Laufey doesn’t say that’s what he did or tried to do. He says that’s what he WOULD have done. He says he was surprised that Odin didn’t kill the baby, that’s what he would have done—well, if Laufey HAD left him to die, why the “would”?
I interpreted that line as something slightly different—in Odin’s place, if Laufey had come upon the abandoned baby of his enemy, he would have killed that baby dead, which he assume that Odin had done as well.
There’s still absolutely ZERO “holy shit, we thought you were dead, come here precious bb” in this scene, Laufey does not care that Loki is his son, and I personally sometimes think Laufey left him out there on purpose so that he could use it as a rallying cry, “Look what the Asgardians have done! They killed my child!” There is no connection here, the only thing Laufey is interested in is Loki’s position in Asgard, this is not a father who loved his child, he’s not happy to see him alive, he doesn’t care beyond what Loki can do for him. The only thing he has for Loki is “Ah, the bastard son.” and to say that Loki is as weak as Odin was. That’s disdain right there.
But you can make build a case with MCU canon that Laufey put him there for safekeeping, that Odin mistakenly thought he was abandoned (given that there was no one there to protect him), that Loki might have been loved if he’d stayed on his birth planet. Laufey never says that he tried to kill his own baby, he only says that he would have killed Odin’s baby.
It would be possible—if you wanted to do a lot of work on it—to have Laufey go down a similar path that Odin did. Odin tells Loki directly, “You are my son.” and tries to show Loki that that’s true, that’s the first thing out of his mouth when Loki stumbles over his origin. But by TDW, he’s tired and soul weary and so angry at this child he loves that it comes out that he hates Loki—because Jotunheim and Laufey are such blank slates, it’s possible to assume that there was a similar progression for him, too.
All we really know is that Laufey invaded Midgard, that he didn’t seem to give a shit about Loki by the time the movie rolled around. Everything else is pretty blank! (Unless there’s more info on Laufey and Jotunheim in the first artbook, but I don’t have that one, so I can’t check and I’ve never found transcriptions of that stuff.)
Absolutely, the text here is that Jotunheim is a cold place and that Loki was abandoned, just as Odin found him. That’s what we’re meant to take away from it, that’s what’s supported by the text! But you can still make a case for something more twisty and tragic on Jotunheim using just the MCU canon, too. :)
Hitting doesn’t solve everything, brother (x)
sif week, day seven: free-for-all
a showcase in snark starring the lady sif
whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy shall possess the power of thor
The blind prince Helblindi. In the story: Helblindi is Laufeys secondborn child but in the same moment his firstborn with Farbautis sister Angrboda so when Loki is gone he is the crown prince and future king of Jotunheim. He was born blind. But it didn’t matter to him anymore. He has his younger brother Býleistr to be his eyes and light in the darkness. Like mage he is not as tall as other frost giant, but he is still laller then Loki or Thor but not much. Helblindi is very clever and cunning (he would be good friend with Loki ). But also the most calmest of Jotuns. He can speak all Languages in Nine realms, because even though he is blind his mother and later Býleistr read books to him so he learned and memorized everything. He and Býleistr are inseparable. Býleistr is something like his bodyguard XD Helblindi know whole palace and its surroundings so he didn’t need anybody to help him move around. He also lerned how to use his magic in the same manner as a bat uses echolocation. So …no problem there XD He is also an excellent politician and daddys treasure. So.. fear him Odin, fear him XD ( and I want him pair him with Thor…psssst )
Pencil and coffee :D
Comments are welcome
jotun babu sketches because i started reading this and now my heart hurts forever. i just hope to gosh this isn’t an abandoned fic ;;