- Alisa Stamps
Loki: And Other Marvels
I’m going to be honest. I am not really a fan of Marvel movies. I became, how shall I put this, a fan by association during Covid because of my daughter. She “forced” my husband and I to watch every Marvel movie in the correct order that she had designed and would not take no for an answer. This took a long time, which actually was fine because, what else did we have to do during lockdown. Truth be told, it did serve as a nice distraction, and it was touching to see her so excited about something in the midst of all of the chaos.
I believe I met the Loki character along the way, but my memory does not totally serve, because what usually happened was that I would start out watching the movie, and then fall asleep mid-way through. I do remember referring to Loki, or maybe Bucky(?), as “Kylo Ren” which would alternatively annoy and amuse my daughter, but not much more about him than that.
My dissatisfaction of Marvel changed a bit recently, starting with the Wanda Vision series. I appreciated the cleverness, the lack of combat and action, and the intricate scenery. I also enjoyed more in-depth character development that at times offered a commentary on human society and social justice.
Enter the Loki series--the perfect show to watch for an Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist who guides folx into getting to know their various parts of Self. Loki is a dark, misunderstood, misanthrope, who is paving the way as Marvel’s first LGBTQ+ leading character. The adopted son of Odin (from Norse mythology), Loki could be viewed as a mix between the “scapegoat and the forgotten child” in the family system. One would definitely describe him as having narcissistic tendencies due to childhood trauma and an abandonment wound, as no one ever told him he was adopted until he was an adult. He is destined to be alone for most of his life.
Loki was raised in the shadow of his brother, Thor, who was seen as the “golden child”. Loki never felt that he measured up to his father’s standards, and though he had a kind and loving mother who believed in him, it was not enough for him to know how to love himself. In the Loki series, we are introduced to “variants” of Loki, or to describe it in IFS terms, Loki’s different parts of Self. At the beginning of the show, Loki seems to be fighting against his parts, and it’s not until he meets a female part of Self, that he really begins to understand the idea of Self-love. Rather than pushing this part away or trying to narcissistically manipulate it, he meets the part with compassion and curiosity. Loki also has the backing of a character named Mobius, who treats him with respect and “like he is really worth something”. Mobius “see’s” Loki and in turn helps him to see others and himself through a less cynical lens.
You might be at the point in this blog where you are asking yourself, where is this going and why am I reading a blog about a fictional TV character, and what does this have to do with me? Believe me, I am just as surprised as anyone to be writing a blog about Loki, but truth be told, there is something about Loki that really resonated with me, and I found myself quite endeared to this character.
So maybe that’s it, that’s the point I am trying to make. That you don’t really know someone’s entire story until they are given a chance to tell it. And that maybe even though someone seems as though they have an impenetrable wall up, they needed to have that wall. That wall saved their life in many ways. And when we find someone who truly and unconditionally sees us, we can begin to take apart that wall, one brick, or variant, at a time.