Why Loki Won in The Avengers

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 5 years ago '05        #1
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drama_kiNg 62 heat pts62
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Why Loki Won in The Avengers
 

 

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 Very Good Writing – Why Loki Won in The Avengers « The Mask of Reason

Spoiler Alert! Avoid reading this post if you haven’t seen The Avengers.

No really, look away!

O.k., let’s talk about The Avengers, the highest grossing movie so far this year, and the movie on track to potentially unseat James Cameron’s Avatar as highest grossing movie of all time. Specifically, I want to talk about the writing and Loki, the film’s key villain. More specifically, I want to explain how Joss Whedon managed to write the perfect Xanatos Gambit.

For those who don’t know or didn’t click the link above, a Xanatos Gambit (named for the villain Xanatos from Disney’s Gargoyles cartoon) is a plan that literally cannot fail because win or lose, the villain wins. This is one of those “I wanted you to beat me all along” scenarios, where defeating the villain somehow means the hero still loses. This isn’t changing your plans to compensate or getting lucky, this is planning all along for every possible outcome to lead to what you want. And Loki in the Avengers does so perfectly.

First, let’s get some background on Loki, God of Mischief and Lies. Check out that title – he’s the god of lies. Now in both the Marvel cinematic and comic book universes, being a “god” doesn’t really make you the embodiment of whatever you’re the god of; the comic book universe DOES have those things (death, Eternity, Aeon, etc.) and the cinematic universe may gain those things (based on the Thanos cameo), but generally Thor is not the embodiment of thunder, and Hercules isn’t the embodiment of strength, etc. It’s just what they’re really good at, because they are actually alien beings from another dimension. Loki, then, is not the embodiment of lies and mischief, but he’s really good at it.

Loki really has only one goal in life – take over Asgard. He wants to rule. He feels Thor, his half brother, is not fit to take over for Odin and he wants that power for himself. Loki does not care one wit about Midgard (aka Earth). He’ll put it in peril to distract Thor, but Loki is all about controlling Asgard. Re-read those last two sentences – Loki doesn’t care about Earth! So why, in The Avengers, is he trying to take over? That very question is asked by Tony Stark during the penthouse scene. Tony comes very close to puzzling it out, but Loki distracts him with his villainy goodness (badness?). Why does Loki was to rule Earth? And what Earth would be left to rule with the Chitauri tearing it all up? What throne is he looking for?

The answer, of course, is that Loki doesn’t want to rule Earth. He doesn’t care about it. He never did. He allowed himself to be captured, he allowed himself to be defeated (and yeah, Hulk smashed him good, but he didn’t have to stick around for the big f!ght). It was all part of his plan.

Let’s examine that plan: first, Loki appears and steals the tesseract. Why? Well, to set things in motion. He knew stealing the cube would cause Nick Fury to call in the Avengers. Remember the ending of Thor – he’s been spying on the whole operation for some time now. Then, Loki gets captured. He clearly could have escaped, but instead he let himself be taken. Cap and Tony mention this on the Quinjet just before Thor shows up, and Black Widow eventually gets from Loki what his plan is – to set off the Hulk on the helicarrier. Only Loki is the god of lies…you think he really got played by the Black Widow? Nope, he WANTED them to know what the plan was. Then when it happens, and the Hulk goes berserk, they blame it on Loki and it really brings the team together.

And that’s what Loki wanted.

See, Loki wanted them to defeat the Chitauri. He wanted to lose the battle in New York. Why? So he could be taken back to Asgard. That was his plan all along. He never cared about conquering Earth. He never cared about defeating the Avengers. He just wanted a ride back to his home, the place he DOES want to conquer. And he got it, first class accommodations right back to Asgard. You can even see the smirk at the end when he’s got the gag on. It’s in his eyes. He won, and the heroes all thought they did. What better than to beat your enemies and make them think they won?

Now you may ask why Loki would betray Thanos in such a way. I mean, Big Purple is no one to mess around with. But I think Thanos was the co-architect of this plan. Why? Because he wants Loki back in Asgard too. Just sending him back wouldn’t work – Loki has to be brought back by Thor so that Odin does not suspect he’s still working with Thanos. See, with Loki back in Asgard, and knowing that Odin feels incredibly guilty about Loki in general and usually lets him off with little more than a slap to the wrist, Thanos has the perfect operative within striking distance of the one thing in the whole universe he REALLY wants (well, more than death).

What is it Thanos wants? Did you miss it when you saw Thor? It’s easy to miss, but…


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That’s right…in Odin’t vault is none other than the Infinity Gauntlet. And now Loki is right there, and he broke into it before without much trouble. Loki losing to the Avengers was the best possible outcome for both Loki, who can now try to take over Asgard again, and Thanos, who now has potential access to the Infinity Gauntlet.

The bad guys won this round, and meanwhile the heroes are off eating Shwarma and thinking they won.

And all of this points to one thing – Joss Whedon is a fu-king genius. This is Machiavellian planning at its best, and the payoff clearly won’t come until at least Thor 2 or Avengers 2. It’s a perfect set up, and with luck we’ll eventually see that the “win” in the Avengers was actually a loss. Of course, that’s not to say the heroes didn’t really win anything. They did…because while the battle was nothing more than an elaborate smoke and mirrors to get Loki back to Asgard, the formation of the Avengers is actually the biggest win for the side of good you could hope for.

It’s all about the long game, and writers who understand and can use it.

65 comments for "Why Loki Won in The Avengers"

 5 years ago '10        #2
Agentzer0oo0 209 heat pts209
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Good, good, good sh*t.

I remember at the end of Thor seeing the Loki situation unravel and wondering how it would play out in The Avengers. I shoulda put 2 and 2 together when I was watching The Avengers but damn, that's good writing indeed. Joss really payed attention not only to detail but the big payoff which is something not a lot of writers are able to execute nowadays.

The more I think of it, the more I gotta give Joss credit like wow lol. If you weren't paying attention to Thor, weren't paying attention to the build up of Thor to Avengers, looking at it more from Loki's side, everything would've went over your head. You probably would've thought it was just a really dope comic book movie with great action scenes.

Damn.
 5 years ago '08        #3
Hiero 112 heat pts112
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tl;dr

Someone sum this up.
 5 years ago '10        #4
Agentzer0oo0 209 heat pts209
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 Cooked Brickz said:
tl;dr

Someone sum this up.
It's really not that long bruh but:

-Loki causing havoc on Earth and getting caught was an elaborate scheme for him to get back to Asgard, get the Infinity Gauntlet & possibly hand it over to Thanos.
 5 years ago '05        #5
drama_kiNg 62 heat pts62 OP
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Really not that long of a read man, check it out it's worth it
 5 years ago '10        #6
2113 36 heat pts36
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Wow great read,and never thought about like this....if this is the case then Bravo to Joss Whedon.
 11-08-2012, 04:00 AM         #7
Series 
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lol. reaching. it makes sense but I doubt this is the direction it will go. im sure if Loki wanted back he coulda done so easily.
 5 years ago '06        #8
titanreese 13 heat pts13
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^^Kinda what I was thinking...Op made some good points but wouldnt it have been easier for Loki to just give up at the beginning of the Avengers when Thor showed up Good read though
 5 years ago '06        #9
titanreese 13 heat pts13
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^^ Ill go with the last option Loki strikes me has someone who would enjoy something like that
 5 years ago '07        #10
Bkjj11 3552 heat pts3552
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Nerds....
 11-08-2012, 07:03 PM         #11
Kuchiki_Byakuya 
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If Loki could take the IG, why doesn't he just take it for himself? Why does he need to hand it over to Thanos?
 5 years ago '04        #12
subway series 69 heat pts69
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the gauntlet then would set up the guardians of the galaxy movie
 5 years ago '06        #13
dagreat1_87 8 heat pts
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so if his plan was to go back to asgard the whole time why didnt he just go after thor first appeared in avengers? thor said something about going home and didnt loki decline? why not just say "fine, lets go before iron man and that red,blue, and white guy gets here?"
 5 years ago '04        #14
ImSoBroke 
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In the movie universe im sure if the infinity gauntlet is already a.ssembled in Odin's trophy room he probably thinks its just a shiny cute glove because loki would've just snatched it in Thor if he knew what it was capable of. I think this is where Thanos' genius and deception comes in to play

Like "loki i can make u king of asgard just let me loot the trophy room when u take over nikka"
 5 years ago '04        #15
subway series 69 heat pts69
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adam warlock will make an appearance at the end of iron man 3 or thor 2
 11-08-2012, 08:26 PM         #16
One Gud Cide 
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most of that (old) article is reaching.

and the infinity gauntlet in the vault was just an easter egg like some of the other stuff, because the gauntlet didn't exist until Thanos made it...so if it's in Asgard than Thanos already gathered the gems, made the gauntlet, and lost. ignoring the fact this clearly hasn't happened...the gems don't work together after that, meaning there's literally 0 reason for him to want it. Odin also wouldn't put the must powerful thing in existence in a barely guarded vault
 5 years ago '09        #17
bigscore 1632 heat pts1632
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Excellent read!!!

It has already been confirmed that Loki and Thor will battle again in Thor 2....hopefully this will bring us closer to Thanos possessing the IG...
 5 years ago '05        #18
R4P 11 heat pts11
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I didnt know Xanatos had left such a strong mark on humanity.

Gargoyles was so ahead of its time man
 11-08-2012, 10:30 PM         #19
Khamillitary 
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 5 years ago '04        #20
Cutty Olds 7 heat pts
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Good lil read ....but that n*gga wasn't "laying around" after Hulk fu*ked him up....he was LEGITIMATELY fu*ked up!! lol

But if Thanos gets his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet...then uhmmm....Thanos would more than likely snatch Asgard back
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