Sunday 10 September 2023

Nerd Church - To Love A Loki


(Warning: this post discusses low self-esteem and self-hatred. It also briefly mentions self-harm.)

With series 2 of Loki creeping ever-closer (eep!), I thought I'd discuss something about series 1 that tends to get missed in the online talky-talks (aka 'The Discourse™.')

Title: To Love A Loki. Background: green

Before we go any further though - this post is gonna have SPOILERS for series 1 of Loki.


OK, you can't say I didn't warn you, let's talk Loki -

In the series, Loki falls in love with Sylvie - a female alternate version of himself from a different timeline.

And honestly - who can blame him? She's... *fans self, only partly because it's freaking hot here*

Anyway, a lot of people were... irrationally angry about this. 

For a variety of reasons - some valid, some not-so-valid.

Amongst all the valid and not-so-valid opinions, though, one thing gets missed out, time and time again.

And that thing is so blaringly obvious to me that I honestly don't understand why more people haven't noticed this -

It's a freaking metaphor!

Everyone's maybe been distracted by the self-cest...

(Fandom notes: 

Self-cest is fanfiction where someone's in a romantic and/or sexual relationship with an alternate or clone version of themselves. Like incest with yourself, hence the name.

It's actually a really popular niche of fanfiction and fandom roleplay (...which is something I'm not explaining here cos it would take all day,) and I think a lot of people who really dislike the Loki/Sylvie relationship are deflecting from their own reading habits, if you catch my drift.)

...or else the debate around the Queer representation...

(which is a valid debate, although some of the points against Bi erasure are unintentionally promoting Bi erasure by insisting that in order to be Bi (or Queer generally,) you have to be in an M/M or F/F relationship at some point.

You don't. If you're a Bisexual person in an M/F relationship, you're still Bisexual.

While there are valid arguments to be had about media labelling characters as Bi, and then continuing to write the characters as a straight character with no multi-gender attraction, the fact remains that not allowing Bi characters to enter M/F relationships is just as much erasure as not letting them enter M/M or F/F relationships.)

...but a lot of people miss the big-a** metaphor going on with Loki and Sylvie:

It's about learning to love yourself.

Maybe it's more obvious to me because self-esteem issues, self-loathing issues, etc. are hardly a stranger to me, but honestly - I don't know how people aren't seeing this.

At the beginning of series 1, Loki is a goddamn mess.

And, putting it frankly, he hates himself. He is not OK. (Which is part of the reason I love him so much, but we're gonna gloss over that...)

Oh, he covers it over with what the series somewhat-problematically refers to as narcissism, but is probably more accurately described as bluster - but no, he hates himself.

This timeline's Loki is a Loki fresh outta Thor 1 and The Avengers. 

This is not a happy man who's comfortable in his own skin - this isn't even a somewhat-stable man who's reached a truce with himself.

This is someone whose entire identity has been ripped into tiny pieces and then stomped on. Someone who very recently was lashing out with the level of cry-for-help that only a god can achieve.

Loki in TVA uniform flipping daggers
Via Giphy

And then he meets Sylvie - Sylvie who is the-same-but-different to him.

Sylvie, who he admires for the traits no-one ever notices or values in him - her cleverness, her resilience, her determination, even her vulnerability.

Sylvie, who has been through so much and is still surviving, still fighting.

Through Sylvie, and later, through the other Lokis, Loki starts to grapple with the Big Stuff™ -

...all these different aspects of himself - the feminine, the masculine, the sneaky and duplicitous, the troubled and/or homicidal child who's older than his years, the coward, the... uh... crocodile...

And who gets to say which one of these is him? 

They are all him - and none of them are him. And apparently there's a cosmic conspiracy (...*coughs* Society *coughs*) that decides which person he has to be.

That he should look a certain way, dress a certain way, express himself a certain way.

And now he sees all the people he could be, and could have been - all the different aspects of himself.

(...Some people never have an existential crisis and honestly, I can't relate 😅)

Via Giphy

And he starts, little by little,  to fall in love with Sylvie.

Because sometimes it's easier to recognise admirable qualities in other people - to see them as strengths - than to recognise them in yourself, where they feel like weaknesses.

Sylvie both is and is not him - she's the perfect bridge between self-and-other to help him literally learn to love and appreciate himself.

...She's also, unfortunately, a great metaphor for self-sabotage, and self-doubt, and self-criticism.

And even self-harm, honestly. (How else would you categorise that fight?!)

Getting to know yourself, sadly, isn't always easy.

So yes, of course I would love to see a romance between Loki and Mobius - but the romance between Sylvie and Loki is vital.

Because some people are so damn stubborn, that they need to learn to love themselves in the most extremely comic-book way possible.

And Loki is 100% that b**ch.

Whatcha think?

Did you get the metaphor?

Or do you disagree?

Talk to me! 💚💬

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  1. I 100% understand this metaphor. TBH when Loki and Sylvie first kissed, I forgot that Sylvie was Loki so I didn't see the initial "ick" of it. But then afterwards after consulting the Twitter mess lol I saw one person say that it would be the most Loki thing ever to fall in love with himself. And then that made sense in simple terms... but I think your explanation hits the nail on the head even more.

    1. Lol, thanks!

      I'm not sure it would be the most Loki thing ever - Mobius certainly thought so, though. But nah, the most Loki thing ever isn't the falling-in-love-with-yourself part, it's the cosmic-forces-having-to-coalesce-to-make-you-love-yourself part! Lol.


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