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Thor: The Dark World

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On the need of princes

The assumption of his princely nature puts Thor in his father’s place. He is now the defender of all things human & divine. The fact that neither he nor his father created the world really forces him to confront the limits of human & divine things. There is chaos that came before & might anytime return. In fact, order goes so far that it can be known with some accuracy that chaos returns constantly.

If instead of civilization we think of order, we realize that humans were aware of gods before they were aware of political freedom or science. The relationship between gods & order is in question here. This is why every 5000 years an alignment occurs which threatens to unmake all human things – the convergence is an attack on order, not only human order, because it puts together what had hitherto been kept apart.

The Norse gods are warlike. The difference between the two stories shows in the beginnings. In the first story, victorious over the frost giants, Odin took a powerful weapon & took it to his fastness, protected from monsters. In the second, victorious over the dark elves, his father could not control a chaos-returning weapon. Loki may be a compromise, being both frost giant & chaotic. This may be why both Odin & Thor wrestle with him. Even personifying chaos, Loki cannot be tamed.

Victorious, Thor decides not to take his father’s throne. Being that he cannot give Odin back his youth, what will come of this rejection? In the first story, he had earned his way to rule. In the second, he rejects it. Thor proposes to be the defender of the realms from a private station. Can heroism be privatized? We must await the sequel.

The woman searches for the chaos, which her father taught to her. His great successes as a scientist have robbed him of his sanity, though he retains his craft somewhat. Science is far less reliable than he knew. They do not believe the world is eternal, & yet they both seek knowledge as if it were good. Is there nothing terrible to learn? They now see the assumptions of nature & science refuted in fact, as London turns into a lifeless planet & back, unpredictably.

The emergence of the political as the alternative to chaos shows as relentless striving. Thor is able to continuously fight because wherever he is, he knows his enemy & his own, which he must defend. Installing order requires this ruthless fighting which is beyond making – notice that his hammer cannot always follow him. War is the teaching by which man faces chaos without madness. Then there is the matter of deceptious Loki enthroned.

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