Thor: The Dark World (2013)

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Thor The Dark World (2013) annotations

Release date: 8th November 2013

Director: Alan Taylor
Screenwriters: Christopher Yost, Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus

00:00-05:00

Marvel titles

Then a voice. It’s Anthony Hopkins, who plays Odin. We will see more of him later.

We are told about the Dark Elves. There are all sorts of Elves in Norse mythology. The story of the Dark Elves were simplified to be an antagonistic race in the comics, often battling Thor. Svartalfheim is their home.

They first appeared in Thor #344 (March 1987). They were created by Walt Simonson (with influences).

We then see Malekith The Accused. He’s played by Christopher Eccleston.

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thor_vol_1_344 Malekith was created for the comics, where he is also the leader of the Dark Elves. He has fought Thor many times over the decades.

He first appeared in Thor #344 (March 1987), along with the Dark Elves. He was created by Walt Simonson.

Christopher Eccleston will always be loved for his work as the 9th Doctor in Doctor Who. He started his memorable film career in Shallow Grave, leading to roles in The Others, Heroes, The Leftovers and much more. Eccleston wanted to work on the film because of Alan Taylor. He told Hero Complex:

You’re playing very broad strokes characters, particularly myself, the bad guy. What Alan can do is he can help you, and he understands your desire to — within the confines of a popcorn film — give it some complexity. We’re trying as hard as we can to give it some humor and some irony. Obviously people are coming to see how heroic Chris can be as Thor and you will make him more heroic if his antagonists are more complex.

We then see the Aether. By now Marvel had changed tracks and the Tesseract is no longer a nod to a cosmic cube but an Infinity Gem. The Aether would be revealed to be the Reality gem. But it also shows us that these gems can be just about anything, even a weird liquid splashy thing.

Malekith talks to Algrim. He’s played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim in Thor: The Dark World.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim in Thor: The Dark World.

thor_vol_1_347 Algrim appears in the comics, known as Algrim The Strong. He is also a Dark Elf, known for his size, loyal to Malekith and hates Thor. But we will talk about him more a little later, when he his story develops, and becomes the Kurse.

He was created by Walt Simonson. He first appeared in Thor #347 (September 1984).

Akinnuoye-Agbaje is probably best known for his role in the TV series Lost and Game Of Thrones. He also appeared in films like GI Joe: Rise Of Cobra. He talked about his dual role with Cinemablend:

Kurse, I’ve known about because, you know, he’s quite a figure in the Marvel world. But Algrim and the Elves, it was still somewhat vague to me and that was the joy of coming in. I did the research and discovered who they were. And I think what they did is allowed me not to have the preconceived notions and come up with something that was a little more unique.

And then a big fight between the Elves and the Asgardians.

This entire fight and the fighters is all CGI, except for Malekith, Algrim and then later Bor. The set is also a CGI creation.

Leading the fight for the Asgardians is Bor, Odin’s father. He is played by Tony Curran.

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journey_into_mystery_vol_1_97 Bor is also Odin’s father in Norse mythology, and a role that was carried over to the comics.

Bor is Odin’s father in Marvel mythology as well. He has appeared in the comics, with a similar horned helmet, going through the comic book rollercoaster of being revived a few few times.

He first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #97 (October 1963). Jack Kirby and Stan Lee are credited with his creation.

Tony Curran appeared in films such as Gladiator and League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He was particularly brilliant as Vincent Van Gogh in Doctor Who. He will go on to have another role in the MCU, in Daredevil.

After the fight is over, and the Asgardian are deeply irresponsible with an infinity stone by simply burying (with no guard), the fight is over.

Then Thor The Dark World titles.

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Then we see, in chains, Loki. He’s played by Tom Hiddleston.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

We last saw Tom Hiddleston play Thor in the Avengers (2012), where he was captured at the end. This is his 3rd appearance in the MCU. Apparently Loki was not going to be included in this film, but he had become so popular that the filmmakers rewrote the film to include him. Hiddleston told MovieWeb:

Loki has a very complicated relationship with Thor. He is an agent of chaos without equal in the world he inhabits. He knows his true nature. He knows he doesn’t belong in the family of Asgard, and he’s locked away in the beginning of the film in the deepest, darkest recesses of the dungeon as public enemy number one. Lo and behold, Asgard needs his help. That’s going to be a very complicated allegiance.

We are in Asgard, and it looks like the royal palace, like we saw in Thor (2011). It is also a set.

As he’s being marched to the throne, in the distance is Odin. Played by Anthony Hopkins. Although the direction isn’t terribly clear about it.

Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

This is Hopkins 2nd appearance in the MCU as Odin. We last saw him in Thor (2011). Hopkins told Hero Complex at the time of release:

It’s a terrific movie, action-packed, full of digital effects, extraordinary, great cast, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman. I was very happy to be there.

Although shortly after he said he forgot about the film already.

Loki also talks to his mother, Frigga, played by Rene Russo.

Rene Russo as Frigga in Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Rene Russo as Frigga in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

This is Russo’s 2nd appearance in the MCU portraying Frigga. We last saw her in Thor (2011). Russo spoke to Screenrant about her role and return:

You know they cut me [down] in the first film. [Director] Kenneth Branagh sent me a nice note, because he understood, he’s an actor. You move on, what are you going to do? But I think they’re going to need a good mom in the next film. Loki needs his mom. What the hell?

05:00-10:00

“Give or take 5000 years.”

Interesting comment about the lifespan of Asgardians. How old is Loki? Also, to be put in the dungeon for the rest of his life – that’s a long time isn’t it?

Then to Vanaheim. One of the nine world in Norse mythology (along with Asgard and Midgard, aka Earth). It’s actually Bourne Woods, in Surrey, UK.

There’s a battle going on.

First warrior we see if Sif. She’s played by Jamie Alexander.

Jamie Alexander as Sif in Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Jamie Alexander as Sif in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

This is Alexander’s 2nd appearance as Sif in the MCU. We last saw her in Thor (2011). On her character, Alexander told Sun Sentinel:

My character in this film is more serious than I am. I am more of a prankster and smart aleck than she is,” Alexander said. “This character is very selfless and she’s always standing up for the underdog. I’m like that too. But I really look up to this character and aspire to be more like her.

Next is Volstagg, played by Ray Stevenson.

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Ray Stevenson as Volstagg in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

This is also Stevenson’s 2nd appearance in the MCU, playing Volstagg. We last saw him in, you guessed it, Thor (2011). Stevenson told Wall Street Journal (via lrmonline):

In this one, the realms are being whipped up into various rebellions. There is a darker malignant force out there and we are in the process of engaging in long protracted skirmishes and battles. The luster and shine of the city has been taken off and it all leads to a huge assault, an attack at the heart of Asgard. It could be completely wiped out, the stakes are a lot higher.

And here’s Thor. Played by Chris Hemsworth.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: The Dark World (2013).
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: The Dark World (2013).

This is Hemsworth 3rd appearance in the MCU as Thor. We last saw him in The Avengers (2012). Hemsworth talked about the expanding of Thor’s world with Screenrant:

We certainly see more of Asgard and more of the nine realms in this film than we did in Thor. Thor was kind of, we were just on Asgard whereas this is… there’s a bigger universe out there which we get to explore.

Then the other Warriors Three. Fandral, played by Zachary Levi.

Zachary Levi as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Zachary Levi as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Levi replaced Josh Dallas, who previously played the role in Thor (2011), because he was starring in the TV series Once Upon A Time. Levi was up for the role in that first film, but was unable to commit due to his starring role in the utterly fantastic TV show Chuck. Levi will always be Chuck to us, a very under-rated show.

Levi insisted on having his hair dyed blonde, despite having dark brown hair. He didn’t want it to just be a lighter brown.

And finally, Hogun, played by Tadanobu Asano.

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Tadanobu Asano as Hogun in Thor: The Dark World (2013)

This is Asano’s 2nd appearance in the MCU as Hogun. He last appeared in Thor (2011).

Who are they fighting? The Marauders, although they don’t make it terribly clear do they?

There’s more Fandrall and Hogun in this fight that was deleted.

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_83 Then the massive rock creature. It is not named, but it seems to be a nod to the rock monsters, called Stone Men From Saturn, that Thor battled in his very appearance in Journey Into Mystery #83.

Hogun thanks Thor for helping. It turns out it’s Hogun’s people who were attacked. Again, so vague.

And here we are at Asgard, according to the titles. Hold on, we were here just a few minutes earlier with Loki, weren’t we?

A deleted scene here features Loki imagining his coronation as the ruler of Asgard. Cut from the film, and with Loki’s banishment scene put in earlier, it just serves to confuse things.

Odin and his raven. Odin had a pair of ravens in Norse Mythology. It was alluded to in The Avengers (2012), but we see them properly here.

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