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Status: Or, An Incomplete Look at Some of Loki’s Motivations

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So this is Loki’s general worldview as regarding status, where every lower level takes something away.

Loki’s place before and at the beginning of the first movie is right there at the top, not only an Asgardian, but one of the two princes (Thor is the heir, technically, which places him slightly higher than Loki, but for all intents and purposes Loki’s peer group consists of him and Thor.) Loki is above everyone else (besides his parents) in stature, which is his place—he takes it for granted and it is in a large way an accident of birth. In the competition between him and Thor, however, a competition based on worth, somehow Loki feels he always loses out. And this is a personal failing, whereas his status (though it allows him to feel superior to everyone around him) is not personal. So his worth, status-wise, is high, but his personal sense of himself is that he is still slightly inadequate.

Loki has never had much of an intrinsic sense of self; his worldview, and his view of himself within it, very much depends upon one’s place in the world. Thus, that this structure is recognized and continues is important to him, respect and proper deference to those whom it is owed matters to him to a greater extent—and he is more keenly aware of it—than Thor.