Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Dark World and Motifs

One of the weird things about being a mythology nerd?  You note crazy motifs in things. After all, doesn't it make sense, you read up on it over and over, and you see them when they reappear.  Well, if such motifs repeat, I guess.  That could be a matter of opinion, couldn't it?

Having seen Thor: The Dark World, which, after absorbing it in, I think about its mythos and motifs.  I liked it.  It feels like every Marvel movie improves on the prior ones, using Marvel's greatest invention to improve film: contuity.  Thats a essay for another time, though.  Go see it, its great.

So Thor itself plays on a set of classic motifs- you know the kind, you've heard them before.  A wrong, a feud, and the broken trust that spawns from that.  Its the classic "why do we have evil?" and you hear that sort of story, over and over.  In the case of Thor, the main theme, sort of original sin-ish, is the classic Cain and Abel, the two brothers who are destined to war against one another.

The Loki-Thor duality- which the Dark World advances to its next logical step overall- is central to the Thor franchise, regardless of where you read it.  Its not as exactly accurate to the original Norse mythos, but that isn't important- this Thor is our Thor, our own American mythology.  Its a immigrant myth, which feels correct for us- aren't most european american myths immigrants?

Loki and Thor tie into the Cain and Abel myth, but it also touches on the same themes you see in Hamlet, but these are the overarching big plot lines.  In fact, Marvel mythos in the next Captain America movie touches on the brother versus brother motif, too.

I wonder if we Americans have a bipolar mythology here- an echo of our Civil War, really, in a way.  Or maybe it goes back further, to the duality of East v. West in Rome or maybe just some wild curiosity of our culture.

Just musing here, though.

Its not a conflict between us and the other, its a conflict between brothers.  Between trusted siblings.  Between people who've trusted each other all their lives.  Broken trust, with no chance of ever being mended again.  But part of Thor suggests a potential for reconnection, for solving the broken trust.

But this brief chance goes away if arrogance rears its head.  Lies.  Bitterness.  Thats the tragedy of Loki, isn't?  A broken union because of arrogance.  If you have the chance to forgive, to try and redeem yourself, your own arrogrance can take away what you hold dear.

Thor presents the chance to be a better person; Loki is what we know we are in our secret hearts.  We are bitter creatures, and forgiveness isn't easy, and giving up on taking what we think is ours is so very hard.  We want to be better and lie to ourselves about it.  The lies we tell ourselves, and those cause us to become separated from our brothers.

Well, thats enough for now, maybe tomorrow's blog will be more coherent...