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"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."
— Odin's Enchantment on Mjölnir
Thor is a Live-Action Adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero The Mighty Thor, released on May 6th 2011 in the U.S. and on April 22nd in Australia, and one week later elsewhere. It is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was followed by the 2012 Cross Over film The Avengers, and the 2013 sequel Thor: The Dark World.When Thor's headstrong and arrogant actions bring war to once peaceful Asgard, his father, Odin, casts him from Asgard as punishment. Banished to live among mere mortals, he must learn what it means to be a true hero if he is to stop the threat from his realm invading Earth. Meanwhile, his brother Loki discovers his true origins and sets him on a campaign to steal his brother's place in his parents' eyes.
Tropes present in the movie:
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Ability Over Appearance: In the comics, Heimdall is pretty covered up, but still visibly Caucasian. For the film, however, Kenneth Branagh chose to cast Idris Elba. Fan controversy over his choice led to this quote:
"If you have a chance to have a great actor in the part, everything else is irrelevant. "
Action Mom: Frigga, Thor's mom, proves that a strong son can come from a strong mother. She kills the Jötunn king's lackey with one hit before being taken out by the king himself.
Adaptational Attractiveness: Loki is far more attractive than his comic book counterpart, who is often depicted as being hideous. Incidentally, this is more accurate to the original version of Loki, who was described in the myths as "pleasing and handsome".
616: Thor and Loki are brothers with a complicated relationship. Odin also has to undergo the Odinsleep to restore his strength. Thor's costume is also clearly based on the modern 616 design, the sleeves especially.
Ultimate: Thor's ramblings about being the god of thunder are thought to be delusional but turn out to be Real After All. Although some people think Thor's crazy in 616 as well. All the Ultimate version did was keep the readers wondering as well as the characters. Also Hawkeye's status as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, Loki is infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D's infrastructure like his Ultimate counterpart. Thor himself is also a separate character from his 616 secret identity, Donald Blake.
Likewise, his suit's design bears a resemblance to the Ultimate Universe design (the circles, black chain-mail and silver arm and legpieces) and the 616 Universe (he wears his winged silver helmet as a ceremonial piece.)
Aliens Speaking English: All of the Asgardians speak pretty good English, and one (Hogun) even has a Japanese accent. Somewhat justified in that it's hinted they visit Earth occasionally, although why it seems to be their default language is anyone's guess. Those lucky people who got their hands on the script will likely remember a wonderful exchange between Darcy and Fandral that sort of lampshades this. She asks how the Asgardians can speak "our language." Fandral replies something to the effect of "Your language...? My dear, you're speaking our language."
Even Hogun's different accent is justified. Unlike the rest of the Asgardians, Hogun's backstory shows that he is not an Aesir, but rathers comes from another world later in life.
Alien Sky: It was not seen, but Jane pointed that, during the weird effect that brought this guy, the stars in the sky were not the right ones.
Anti-Villain: Loki flip-flops between a Nominal Hero and a type II Anti-Villain throughout most of the film. His intentions are good, he had a valid point about Thor not being ready to be king, he tried to speak up for him before finding out his true heritage, and it's implied that finding out he was a Frost Giant is what drove him over the edge and really turned him against Thor. Thor's attitude towards him through most of the movie also makes his behavior all the more justified. He DOES initially attempt to murder Odin, but it's then revealed that it was a ruse anyways. His use of the Bifröst on Jötunheim is still a clear-cut attempt at genocide.
Apocalypse How: Loki attempts somewhere between a Class 2 - 5, but mostly amounts to either a Class 0 or Class 1. Hard to tell since we never see the full extent of the damage done to Jötunheim.
Loki threatening Jane is what finally pushes Thor over the edge and makes him fight.
Thor is grudgingly willing to leave Jötunheim without a fight, until one of the Frost Giants calls him "Princess". Then it's on. This is the Wolverine of the Norse Pantheon. He was the embodiment of the rowdiest, strongest, most fearsome Norse warriors - berserkers. It's carried through in the adaptations.
Becomes funnier when you see the look on Thor's companions' faces when it happens. Loki puts it best: "Damn".
Pretty much any insult will push Thor to a towering rage, at least before he learns humility in his banishment to Earth.
Heimdall can turn his gaze upon anyone, allowing him to see people in other realms. Volstagg lampshades this, that they can't go against Loki's orders, because Heimdall might be watching. Cue a guard promptly showing up and informing them that Heimdall has summoned them.
On Earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. takes this role. They found out about Jane's research and were on site very quickly.
Odin shows up just in time to save Thor and his friends from the Frost Giants near the beginning. Granted, it is only one hero, but he is on a horse at the time. A horse with eight legs no less. Then he does it a second time to save Thor and Loki from falling into a wormhole.
Loki invokes this trope to gain favor with his parents, intentionally setting up the Frost Giant assassination plot just so he could foil it. Fortunately, Thor shows up to immediately spoil the moment for Loki.
Thor eats an entire plate of food and asks for more. Darcy remarks that he had already eaten an entire box of Pop-tarts before that.
Volstagg, even by Asgardian standards, as Lampshaded by Fandral in one scene.
Fandral: Our dearest friend banished, Loki on the throne, Asgard on the brink of war, and yet you've managed to consume four wild boars, six pheasants, a side of beef, and two casks of ale. Shame on you! Don't you care?! [Fandral knocks Volstagg's plate off] Volstagg: Do not mistake my Appetite For Apathy!
Big Screwed-Up Family: Odin, Thor, and Loki are just as dysfunctional as many mortal families. Despite their actions and their words, they still love each other. Poor Frigga just tries to keep the peace.
Bilingual Bonus: The very first scene takes place at a location called "Puente Antiguo," Spanish for "ancient bridge".
Birds of a Feather: When fighting breaks out at the crater site, Jane calls Selvig to confess she did exactly what he told her not to do, paralleling Thor's confrontation with Odin in the first act.
Bittersweet Ending: In the end, Thor puts a stop to Loki's Evil Plan and makes amends with his father. However, he has lost his brother to The Dark Side and with the destruction of the Bifröst Bridge, he remains separated from Jane and the others indefinitely. Oh, and Loki is alive and well on Earth, and about to grab a hold of the Cosmic Cube.
Black Sheep: Loki's not as physically powerful as his father or brother, so he relies on his wits and illusions in battle. He's also an adopted Frost Giant as well, although this doesn't affect his family's love for him at all.
Blatant Lies: Erik's explanation as to how Thor beat up a half-dozen or so S.H.I.E.L.D. men. "Steroids!" Agent Coulson lets it slide but only so he can see where they'll go if released. Followed immediately by the following dialog.
Coulson: Dr. Selvig? Keep him away from the bars. Selvig: I will! (beat) Thor: Where are we going? Selvig:To get a drink.
Bling of War: Loki's green-and-gold armour is magnificent to behold. It's more stylish than Thor's or Odin's, which is not surprising considering that Loki is a master of deception, so appearances are important to him.
Blood Knight: Thor, at first. Sif and The Warriors Three also enjoy a good fight. Fandral, in particular, seems to have the time of his life fighting Frost Giants.
Bloodless Carnage: When shown the view through the Frost-monster's now-aerated head, the hole has little to no discernible dripping blood. Likewise, Thor is surprisingly clean for having flown through there hammer-first. Inexplicably, when he flies through, you see a giant gush of gore out the exit wound.
Blue Blood: All of the prominent Asgard characters are members of its aristocracy, or at least nobility. Thor and Loki are the blue-bloodiest of all, being first and second in line to the throne, respectively.
Boisterous Bruiser: Volstagg. Thor himself is a milder version. Both of them are rowdy, fight happy guys.
Boomerang Bigot / You Are What You Hate: Loki, after finding out he's a Frost Giant, then wants to destroy all Frost Giants, but he was raised as an Asgardian and taught to fear and hate Frost Giants all his life.
Boom Head Shot: Thor flying through the ice-monster's head. Also his method of vanquishing The Destroyer.
Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: Thor and Loki—the first hint you really get toward Loki's nature is that he's using spells and trickery during the first big battle, while Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three are all in the melee. Although he does toss magic bolts that break the Frost Giants ice weapons.
Break the Haughty: Thor's banishment to earth serves as one of these. Thor is a 'vain and greedy boy' before it and a noble prince after it.
Brought Down to Badass: Thor is cast out of Asgard and stripped of Mjölnir and his powers, leaving him mortal... but a mortal built like a linebacker with the combat experience to match the most hardened soldier.
Agent Coulson: It's not easy to do what you did. You made my men—some of the most highly trained professionals in the world—look like a bunch of minimum-wage mall cops. That's hurtful. In my experience, it takes someone who's received similar training to do what you did to them.
Buffy Speak: Darcy has a tendency to do this. For instance, she constantly refers to Mjölnir as "Mew-Mew". It's lampshaded when Selvig wonders what her scientific qualifications are, leading Jane to admit it's in political science, but she hired her because she was the only applicant they had.
Butt Monkey: Thor, for the first five minutes after he comes to Earth. He gets hit by a car, tazed, dosed, then hit by a car again.
The series possibly sets a record for writers of the comics doing cameos: Stan Lee gets his traditional cameo, of course. J. Michael Straczynski as the first guy who finds Mjölnir in the crater, and Walt Simonson is an Asgardian. His wife and fellow writer Louise Simonson, and Marvel editor Ralph Macchionote not the Karate Kid! are also present as extras.
Darcy's picture of Thor is later used on a falsified ID card. Also, remember Loki taunting Heimdall over making use of secret passages that he wasn't aware of? Take a guess how Loki makes it to earth even though Thor destroyed the bridge.
The Bifröst Bridge remaining open and causing destruction upon the world it links to is mentioned by Heimdall in the beginning of the film.
Chekhov's Gunman: The Destroyer vaporizes frost giant thieves in the first Asgard scene. It provides the opportunity for Thor to prove himself worthy of his hammer.
Jane's area of research is the creation of an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. The film ends with Asgard's Bifröst destroyed and Jane attempting to create a bridge from Earth in order to reach Asgard, doubling as a Sequel Hook.
Loki's ability to create illusionary duplicates of himself and his inability to lift Mjölnir.
Chew Out Fake Out: Sif and the Warriors Three are clearly expecting to be reamed out by Heimdall for planning to retrieve Thor and overthrow Loki. Instead, Heimdall totally approves of their idea and helps them do it.
First, he goes behind his father's back to aid the Frost Giants in order to "ruin his brother's big day"- indirectly resulting in the death of two innocent guards and Thor's banishment, which Loki didn't want based on his fuller arc in the deleted scenes, but he nevertheless uses to his advantage.
He probably also didn't intend to send Odin into a coma, but he took full advantage of the situation to take the throne and keep Thor banished, lying to his brother about Odin being dead and a treaty with the frost giants stipulating that Thor stay gone.
Then, he approached the king of the frost giants with a deal: kill Odin in his sleep, and Loki would return their lost MacGuffin.
Finally, when said King of the Frost Giants approached Odin's bedside, Loki blew him away in order to try to appear as a hero before his father. Unfortunately for him, Thor showed up and spilled the beans moments later, but that didn't stop Loki from going on to try to annihilate the entire Frost Giant realm.
Cold Archer: Hawkeye has his arrow trained on Thor the entire time he's fighting the large S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He's constantly checking in with Coulson on whether or not he should release his draw, as apparently he could have had a shot at any time. Ultimately he doesn't, but he definitely has the detachment and focus of your average sniper until the very end.
Combat Pragmatist: Loki is a big fan of distracting his foes with illusions of himself and then shooting at them from a safe distance. And his magic-knife-things are the only ranged weapons used by the group. Everyone else had to get up close and personal with the giants to hit them, which was a bad thing after Volstagg found out that Jötunn could freeze by touch. This means that when the Frost Giant who speared Fandral is moving in to finish the job, Loki is able to take him out before he reaches him.
Comically Missing the Point: S.H.I.E.L.D. took everything, including, oh, horror of horrors, Darcy's iPod after she just downloaded 30 new songs.
Consummate Liar: Loki, natch. He's so good at it you really do have to wonder about some of his more sympathetic aspects; maybe that's just how he wants you to feel about him.
Continuity Editing: Blink and you'll miss it, but the movie shows Thor's a Big Eater in the diner by cutting to him taking in a huge mouthful of food every time they cut away from Darcy or Jane. Three huge mouthfuls in as many seconds (eggs and pancakes) followed by a mug of coffee.
Deadpan Snarker: Hawkeye, Darcy, Coulson, and Loki after almost getting Thor to leave Jötunheim.
Hawkeye: You want me to slow him down, sir? Or are you sending in more guys for him to beat up? Coulson: I'll let you know. (After Thor gets his powers back)Coulson: Donald? I don't think you've been completely honest with me.
Death Glare: Loki gives a menacing one to Sif in the throne room while he leans slightly forward in her direction. His eyes and body language seem to say, "I dare you to talk back to your king."
Despair Event Horizon: Odin's "No, Loki" seems to have had this effect on his son. Loki allowed himself to be sucked into the void of space... making it a LITERAL despair event horizon.
Deus ex Machina: Thor comes back to life just as his father's "worthiness" decree comes true. Justified as this is a film about actual gods (or at least aliens called gods) and it fits the tone.
Thor: YOU DARE TO THREATEN THE MIGHTY THOR WITH SO PUNY A WEAP— *thud*
Disc One Final Boss: Laufey has elements of this since he's played up as the Big Bad, disappears for much of the movie, and comes back for a few scenes before dying.
Disney Villain Death: Loki is presumed dead after falling off of the ruined Bifröst and into the void of space, but The Stinger shows him alive and well on Earth.
Distracted by the Sexy: Darcy constantly gets distracted by Thor. To a lesser extent, Jane displays this as well.
Doing In the Wizard: While the comics kept it ambiguous over if the Asgardians were actually gods, they, at the very least, were magical in nature, and all had some degree of magic powers (though reliance on magic was seen as 'weak' by their culture). In the film, Asgardians are explicitly aliens, with their more magical abilities being the result of their super-powerful magic-like science. The sequel even depicts the Nine Realms as akin to a sci-fi adventure setting.
Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: To defeat the Destroyer, Thor creates a tornado to throw it off-balance. Only what is directly touching the funnel cloud gets caught within its grasp—most of the surrounding area is just fine during and after. Justified in that the tornado is under Thor's complete control via Mjölnir. Normal rules may not apply.
Double Entendre: In a deleted scene, Fandral, the Robin Hood-esque Warrior Three is surrounded by attractive young women in Asgard. He draws his sword and asks "Who wants to polish my sword?"
Dutch Angle: Done a lot, presumably to further emphasize the Asgardians' heights or that being on Midgard is just so darn weird for Thor. According to Kenneth Branagh's DVD commentary, this was done to create a look similar to comic book panel layouts.
In one of the deleted scenes on the DVD, the camera angle becomes very tilted after Erik gets drunk.
The Dutiful Son: Played with. Both sons have their own idea of how to impress Odin, but both involve defying him in some way. In fact, trying to prove themselves as this is the driving factor in the plot. Towards the end of the movie, however, Thor more or less begins playing this straight.
Early-Bird Cameo: Hawkeye has a minor role here and does not come into prominence until The Avengers.
The huge statues spread throughout Asgard are revealed in the sequel to be modeled after Bor, Odin's father, who fought against Malekith and the Dark Elves millennia ago.
It's pretty obvious just how much Darcy appreciated Thor's physical attributes.
Darcy:[staring] You know, for a crazy, homeless person... he's pretty cut.
Jaimie Alexander, the actress who played Sif, talked in an interview about this kind of thing going on behind the scenes. People on set agreed it was in character for Sif, but Jaimie did it because... well, just look at Chris Hemsworth.
Interviewer: Yeah...so how hard was it not to just touch what Kenneth Branagh aptly describes as that "awe inspiring" chest every so often? Jaimie Alexander: Oh no, I would always go up to him like, "Hey what's up how you doing?" slapping him on the chest. Sometimes my hand would linger a little too long, or I would stare at him and they were like, "That's okay, you’re just in character." And I was like, "Yeah...that’s why I'm doing it."
Engineered Heroics: Loki's plan toward the end is to allow Laufey to get close the sleeping Odin and then kill him to look like a hero in front of his father.
Ermine Cape Effect: Everyone in Asgard walks around wearing Full Viking Mess Dress all the time.
Establishing Character Moment: A deleted scene before Thor's coronation introduces Sif and the Warriors Three. Volstagg, The Big Guy Viking, is seen pining after food and complaining of being hungry. Hogun, the Japanese-esque, is grimly hiding a blade in his gauntlet and not talking. Fandral, the "Robin Hood", is admiring himself in a mirror and flirting with attractive women. Sif, the Action Girl, is seen removing several weapons and placing them on a table.
Everyone Went to School Together: When talking about Thor, Loki, Sif and the Warriors Three's backstory in the DVD commentary Kenneth Branagh mentions that "they'd been to the ‘Asgardian Academy’" and had been on several adventures together in the past.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In Old Norse, at least. "Mjölnir" means "crusher". Odin's spear is unnamed in the film, but traditionally was called "Gungnir", "unswaying one".
Then there's the Rainbow Bridge. Three guesses as to what it looks like.
Exact Words/Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: Heimdall employs this when he sends Sif and the Warriors Three to search for Thor. He loves this trope - he waits for Loki to announce that he's banished from Asgard to turn on him (since he no longer owes him loyalty). His mastery of this to say or hear things that aren't explicit is lampshaded by Fandral the first time he does it; "He's a complicated fellow, isn't he?" It overlaps with Rules Lawyer.
Loki engineers the Frost Giant's attempt to retake one of their ancient weapons from Asgard, thus ruining Thor's coronation into becoming king because he felt he was unfit to rule. He totally was, but his banishment was unforeseen and unwanted. In the course of his adventures, Thor drops his hot-headed Boisterous Bruiser ways, allowing his native empathy, intelligence and leadership ability to come to the fore.
Nearly everything that Odin does. He makes it very clear that Thor's brazen and reckless actions threatened all the realms and that just because the Asgardians won the War does not mean that the Frost-Giants were defeated. His dialogue with Laufey implies there is a very tentative peace barely held between the two and they are effectively in a Cold War.
Eye Scream: There are few shots of Odin with a gaping, bloodied hole where his right eye should be. The moment he loses an eye is also shown on screen although it is not graphic (he appears to lose it in a battle, which does not correspond to mythological origins where he willingly gives it up to gain knowledge and wisdom).
Facepalm: Loki does this at points in the movie due to Thor's shenanigans. It's a ruse as things go according to his plan.
Famed in Story: Discussed. Sif is willing to go down fighting to the Destroyer, content that tales of her bravery would be told in Asgard for generations to come. The mortal Thor talks her out of it, saying that she should instead fight to live, so that she herself can tell said stories.
Played with. While there is no little amount of bad blood between Asgardians and Frost Giants, Odin adopts Loki, a Frost Giant by birth, raises him as one of his own, and has no prejudice against him. Oddly enough, Loki thinks that destroying the entire Jötunn race would please his adoptive father.
Thor's attitude towards the Frost Giants at first and Loki's comment below hint that racism and unacceptance are still present in Asgard.
Odin: I wanted only to protect you from the truth. Loki: What, because I... I... I'm the monster parents tell their children about at night?
Darcy: You know, for a crazy homeless guy, he's pretty cut.
Final Solution: Loki attempts to use the Bifröst to destroy the frost giants, which for most of the movie had been portrayed as savage and violent. Thor stops him by destroying the Bifröst.
Fish out of Water: Thor. The writers said they wanted to avoid the usual trope of a character coming to Earth and instantly becoming an idiot. To that end, they have Thor be easily capable of understanding Midgard once he cares to try. It makes sense, he's been there before. Though he was primarily interacting with a culture that was basically his own. This could also be why he gets along well enough with the Scandinavian Erik Selvig.
Flat World: Asgard. The Bifröst sits at the very edge.
Foil: Thor and Loki, obviously; brawn prince and brains prince; Asgardian and Frost Giant, etc.
Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Played with. The Bifröst gate has the potential to destroy entire dimensional planes if not used properly. Loki's Evil Plan involves using it to eradicate the Frost Giants world and Thor stops it only by destroying the gate entirely, cutting them off from dimensional travel.
Foregone Conclusion: If you know anything about Norse mythology, then you know well in advance that Loki is a Frost Giant, not Odin's son, and that none of the Asgard characters can die, until they make a movie taking place during Ragnarok.
Heimdall pointed that, if he left the Bifröst open (instead of opening it to make a transport and then close it again), he would destroy Jötunheim. It you stop to think in that line, it shouldn't have been any surprise that later in the film someone would attempt to actually use the Bifröst as a weapon doing exactly that.
"Allfather, you look... weary."
Loki's hand and lower arm turn blue when a Frost Giant attempts to "freeze-burn" him.
Also, according to Odin, both Thor and Loki "were meant to be king"; Loki is the son of the Jötunn King
Blink-and-you'll-miss-it: The Infinity Gauntlet is stored in the Weapons Vault... and The Avengers showed us Thanos.
If you're unfamiliar with Loki's inferiority complex from the comics, just watch the first half hour of the film set in Asgard and Jötunheim and watch his face every time someone talks over him or shuts him down (which happens a lot).
Loki's little trick during his fight with Thor. You see him roll off the edge of the bridge, but you also see him rolling further down the bridge.
When Thor can't lift Mjölnir, he collapses in despair. The symbol of the enchantment Odin placed on it shows briefly as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents lead him away.
Functional Magic: The enchantment "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor" on Mjölnir is used as a Secret Test of Character. It can also be used to imprison anyone who isn't worthy, simply by putting the hammer down on them, which is how Thor beats Loki.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Loki, when he discovers that he's a Frost Giant. He was unstable to begin with, demonstrated when he allowed a few Frost Giants into Asgard for "a bit of fun" (a plan to discredit Thor), but this tips him over the edge. Word of God says that, when he fell into the wormhole unprotected, he 'saw things' that contribute to his mental instability in The Avengers movie
Coulson agrees to let Thor go, then immediately gives the order to follow them once they are out of earshot.
Sif, Heimdall and the Warriors Three quickly figure out that Loki was behind the Frost Giant incursion.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Odin gets an Eyepatch of Power from the last war with the Frost Giants, while their leader, Laufey, now sports a nasty series of claw marks raked across his face like a cougar swiped at him.
Gray Eyes: Loki's eyes might be light enough in some scenes to qualify for a Type 2.
Happily Adopted: Despite Loki's many transgressions and schemes, he genuinely loves his adoptive father, mother, and brother as well as his adoptive homeland of Asgard. He's even willing to destroy Jötunheim and his biological father to gain their acceptance. This makes his descent into darkness all the more tragic.
Harmless Freezing: Heimdall takes the full brunt of the Casket of Ancient Winters, and is still capable of busting himself out. Justified as he's a senior Asgardian, but downplayed because he's shown to be hurt after he breaks out: he's barely able to get to the bridge to open it, and afterwards collapses and needs to be treated.
He Cleans Up Nicely: Thor, after reclaiming Mjölnir, goes from jeans, t-shirt and flannel to his standard armor-and-cape.
Jane: This is how you normally look? Thor: More or less. Jane: It's a good look.
Heel Realization: Thor getting banished wasn't enough; learning that he couldn't wield Mjölnir is what did it.
Held Gaze: When Jane and Thor meet after she crashes into him with her van.
Thor only wears his signature winged helmet once near the beginning of the movie. (In case you forget about it, it's in the toyline.) Loki, on the other hand, wears an incredibly ornate one in the final showdown.
Thor's helmet features in a deleted scene, just prior to the coronation, where he is handed it by a servant, and both he and Loki have a cheerful sibling chuckle about all the pomp.
Despite being part of Thor's normal 616 costume (which the movie one is heavily based on), it was left out other than the above scene's quick call-out because it was heavy, and Chris Hemsworth had trouble wearing it. Fortunately, he has always been helmetless in the Ultimate series, and all the Marvel movies have been a mix of both universes.
Thor goes into one when he discovers that he can no longer lift Mjölnir. Then, when Loki visits him to tell him that their father has passed on, which is a lie, he nearly goes catatonic.
Odin as well, since Loki's discovery of his ancestry and consequent outburst are the final push into Odinsleep. Frigga points out that he's been putting off the Odinsleep longer than he should have, and several days’ worth of... extreme stress and high power expenditure finally pushed him past his limits.
Hero Antagonist: S.H.I.E.L.D. is only making things difficult for the protagonists (stealing Jane's equipment, sending guys to beat up Thor as he tries getting Mjölnir and then arresting him), but the audience knows that they're the good guys.
Heroic Sacrifice: Depowered Thor offers himself to the Destroyer to spare the human town.
Heroic Vow: Thor makes one of these as part of his coronation ceremony. Later, he pledges himself as an ally to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Played with. Asgardians share some, but not all Viking clichés, and it is stated outright that Viking culture evolved under Asgardian influence, not the other way round.
Also, in the brief moments where we see Vikings, there are no horned helmets to be found.
The horns on most Asgardian helmets happen to be on the front (like an antelope's) rather than to the sides like cow-horns, averting the typical placement for horned helmets. This is a nice bit of set-up for Loki's donning of his own classic horned headpiece.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Natalie Portman is a tiny girl (5'3/160cm) compared to most guys, but next to Chris Hemsworth (6'3/191cm), she looks pocket-sized! It's not just the height; having bulked up so much, he probably has more than 100 pounds on her as well.
Human Aliens: The Asgardians look like very tall and muscular humans. The Frost Giants are less human looking, with the blue skin, red eyes, sharp teeth, etc, but still more humanoid than not. Wild Mass Guessing would say that the nature of the World Tree has something to do with all the races (that we've seen) being so similar.
Humans Are Bastards: Averted. While Thor is arrogant at the start, he develops a certain rapport with both Jane Foster and Erik Selvig. Also surprisingly averted by Loki; he doesn't seem to care either way about humanity (for now, at least, other than not worrying about collateral damage from The Destroyer), and instead seems to want to annihilate the Frost Giants for different reasons.
Humiliation Conga: Rare heroic example: Thor. He gets hit by cars twice, tasered, and he's a Badass Normal, which is a drastic reduction from the nigh-invincible badass he's used to being.
Erik: I don't know if you're delusional or if you're pulling some kinda con; I don't care. Just care about her. I've seen the way she looks at you. Thor: ...I swear to you, I mean her no harm. Erik: Good. In that case, I'll buy you another round, and you leave town tonight. Thor:[nods]
I Made Copies: Jane did. Unfortunately, this doesn't help her when S.H.I.E.L.D. takes her research.
Jane: They took our back-ups. They took the back-ups of our back-ups. They were extremely thorough.
Immortal Immaturity: Thor and Loki are hundreds of years old and both show traces of this. Possibly justified, as we don't know how long Asgardians take to mature physically or psychologically and they seem to be the equivalent of young adults.
Fandral is skewered by a Frost Giant's ice spike during the raid on Jötunheim. Don't worry, he lives.
The Destroyer is also impaled by a double-bladed sword and gets better as well.
Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Destroyer misses Thor and his pals every time it shoots on Earth, despite quickly taking out three Jötunns in seconds upon its introduction. (In fairness, it was shooting at much closer range and in a hallway. Also, being ice giants, the Jötunns were likely weak against fire, hence why they went down in one shot while Volstagg survived an explosion caused by the blast.
Inadequate Inheritor: Thor doesn't start out this way, but his brash attack on Jötunheim makes him this in Odin's eyes and earns him banishment until he can once again prove worthy.
In Medias Res: The movie opens with Jane driving into a strange tornado-ish storm and hitting a random individual (Thor). The movie then spends another half-hour or so telling how Thor ended up in that situation.
Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: According to director Kenneth Branagh's DVD commentary, he based the scene of Odin ripping the circles off of Thor's armor from "The Life of Emile Zola" where French officer Dreyfus is found guilty of treason and ceremonially deprived of his rank and the insignias ripped off his sleeves.
Insistent Terminology: Anytime a character references SHIELD 'taking' Jane's equipment, she insists they stole it.
Thor: You need to return the equipment that you took. Jane: That you stole. Coulson: Borrowed.
Interspecies Adoption: Loki eventually finds out that he's a Frost Giant who was adopted by Odin during a raid on his homeworld. Odin couldn't bear to let the child die after he'd just killed everyone else in the area.
Invincible Hero: Hardly anyone in this movie presents a real threat to Thor. The only exception is Odin, who can take away Thor's powers at will. Given that Odin takes away Thor's power about 20 minutes into the movie and he only gets them back 20 minutes from the end, he isn't invincible most of the time we see him. See Humiliation Conga above.
Jerkass Has a Point: Loki is a jerk, but putting Thor on the throne of Asgard at the beginning of the film wouldn't have ended well for anyone. He also accuses Odin of adopting him for purely political reasons. Although Odin clearly loves him, his expression suggests that this accusation hit home rather hard.
Thor may have been a cocky jerk in the beginning, but he was completely right about the Jötunns when they broke into the weapons vault. It was a serious security breach and was an ordered mission and not an act of a few.
Laufey was technically truthful when he said that there were traitors in the house of Odin, since whatever supposed intentions Loki might have had, letting your mortal enemy into the WMD storage of your country is treason any way you spin it
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's in Thor's nature to be naturally boisterous and conceited, but he means well. And by the end of the film, he's learned that being either wasn't doing him or his friends any favors, so he knocks it off.
Kick the Dog: Loki's petty threat to 'pay Jane a visit' when he learns that Thor cares deeply about her. In the scope of things, this is highly unnecessary and inconsequential to his schemes, and serves no purpose but to enrage both Thor and the audience. In this case the trope was exploited: Loki was trying to enrage Thor because he didn't like Thor pretending to be left-handed.
Killed Off for Real: Laufey is killed by Loki, so that Loki would become Odin's favorite son, and be able to be the true heir to the throne.
Kill It with Ice: The Frost Giants' method of death, when they don't form ice blades in their hands.
Kill Sat/Wave Motion Gun: What the overloaded Bifröst essentially acts as, except it can hit anywhere in the universe...
Kirk Summation: Thor to Loki in the finale by pointing out the inconsitencies and evilness in his plan.
Lady of War: Lady Sif, verily, as one of Thor's warrior friends. Queen Frigga, too. She killed Laufey's mook in one hit before being knocked out by Laufey.
Large Ham: This film is directed by Kenneth Branagh, and it shows in the performances. It's the costumes. The way Chris Hemsworth tells it, the first time he and Anthony Hopkins were suited up in a scene together, they took one look at each other, registered the gleam in each other's eye, and started chewing the scenery.
Last Chance to Quit: Laufey warns Thor at the beginning to return to Asgard. It almost works, but one of the onlooking Jötunns cracks wise, and off they go...
Layman's Terms: Invoked when Jane tells Selvig that she thinks the phenomenon they witnessed was an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. Darcy doesn't get it, so Selvig begins a long, scientific explanation before Jane quickly cuts him off and says "a wormhole."
Longing Look: Sif did this for Thor on a couple of occasions, hinting at her secret feelings for him and the upcoming love triangle of the sequel.
Love Makes You Evil / Crazy: Throughout the film, you get the sense that Loki really did love his adoptive father. The belief that he would never be accepted, especially after discovering his true parentage, was what tipped him over the edge. Even in the end, in his Motive Rant, Loki declares that everything he did was for his father. The only way in which that is not is the stuff he did so Thor, his brother, would see him as an equal.
Love Triangle: Averted in the film. In the comics, there's been one between Thor, Jane, and Sif in the past. Here, Sif seems to be just a friend. Though Word of God has said it was hinted at in scenes that were later cut, and Sif's actress Jaimie Alexander has stated in interviews she played Sif as having feelings for Thor. It's most obvious during their last interaction at the banquet near the end of the movie.
MacGuffin: The Frost Giants' Casket is the cause of the conflict. Frost Giants attempting to steal it back starts the plot. Loki offers to return it to Laufey in exchange for assistance.
Made of Iron: Part of the physiology of Asgardians and Jötunns. The explosion of the Bifröst Bridge that hurled Thor and Loki hundreds of feet into the air didn't seem to make a scratch on them.
Look closely at the scene where Odin rips off Thor's emblems. There's something that looks like glowing-hot circuit lines underneath.
Magical Boy Kingliness Test: Thor's exile to Midgard is a (narrative, if not intentional by Odin) test for him to prove his maturity, heroism and selflessness before he can regain his powers and return to Asgard.
Man Child: Invoked whenever someone berates Thor for his "boyish" attitude.
Manly Tears: Thor, Loki, and even Odin have their moments.
Meaningful Background Event: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment at the end, during the final fight between the two brothers, the two are thrown from the sphere at the base of the Bifröst, and one tumbles over the edge of the bridge. Look carefully and you'll see that, just beyond him, he's tumbling further, and what's dangling over the edge is an illusion.
Meaningful Name: Crossed with Bilingual Bonus. Puente Antiguo means 'Old Bridge' in Spanish, a reference to the Bifröst. It's also the place where Jane begins researching a way to build a new bridge to Asgard after the Bifröst is destroyed.
The Men in Black: S.H.I.E.L.D. provides a benign version of this trope. They're just so obsessed with keeping dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands that they don't have time to be nice about it. Agent Coulson is polite, however, and literally hands Jane a blank check to cover the expense of replacing her equipment.
Misapplied Phlebotinum: Averted: Everyone knows Bifröst, a wormhole generator that can reach anywhere in the universe, can be used as a superweapon. But they also know that Odin refuses to use it as such. Loki, on the other hand...
Motive Rant: Near the end of the film, Loki lays something akin to this on Thor.
Mr. Fanservice: Thor is a tall, broad, linebacker type that in-universe girls appreciate.
Mundane Utility: Mjölnir, the source of Thor's power and one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, is used at one point as a restraining device on Loki. And no, it's not that it's too heavy; Loki is also unworthy of wielding it, so of course he can't lift it. See Functional Magic.
Dr. Donald Blake was Thor's secret identity in his early Marvel comics, and is used here as a fake ID to get him out of S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Not to mention that was the name on the "Hello my name is..." tag on the first shirt Jane gave him. She says he was her ex-boyfriend.
A tourism poster talks about "Journey Into Mystery," the book where Thor first appeared for Marvel.
Thor's line about having words with his brother is a reference to a very excellent moment in comic book history when he and the other Avengers pull off a Big Damn Heroes against Ultron. Said line has become something of a Catch Phrase for Thor, although it's only used once in the movie.
A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent calls Sif, Hogun and Fandral Xena, Jackie Chan and Robin Hood". While already a multiple Shout-Out, in the comics Fandral once claimed to have spent time on Earth during the Middle Ages and married to a woman named Marian - so he may be Robin Hood.
The scene where Loki speaks to the imprisoned Thor is extremely similar to a scene in The Ultimates 2.
Necessarily Evil: The ultimate goal of Loki's plans is destroying Asgard's enemies and making his father proud. For him, lying, scheming and slaughter on a massive scale are just means of accomplishing this goal.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Loki hadn't tried to ruin Thor's big day, then tried to get him banished, Thor would've ended up being kind of a dick, instead of maturing like he did. In fact, his visit to Thor's cell is specifically what changes him into a better man. Also, Loki's plan to make himself the hero inadvertently informed Odin that Loki was the traitor, which makes the whole ending even more tragic when you realize that, raging jealousy for his brother aside, it might be what Loki intended all along.
Loki did explicitly state that he didn't think Thor was ready for the throne, and that is why he interrupted the ceremony. It seems that Loki sort of changed his plans about halfway through the movie, but his previous actions had already screwed him over.
Also, had Loki not panicked and sent the Destroyer to kill Thor, its unlikely Thor would have found the means to prove his worthiness. Yeah, Loki would have still been ousted as a traitor, but Thor wouldn't have stopped his plan to eliminate Jötunheim.
Noodle Incident: Thor and Loki's adventure in Nornheim, mentioned in a deleted scene.
No One Could Survive That: Basically the assumption of every Asgardian present as Loki commits 'suicide' at the end of the movie.
In The Avengers, Loki lampshades that it must have taken a lot of Dark Energy for Odin to send Thor to Earth, making it essentially a one way trip. Indeed, only by using the Cosmic Cube is Thor able to return home at the end. Trailers for the sequel indicate it's been repaired, which would suggest that they simply lacked an adequate power source.
The movie seems to go out of its way to avoid calling it Norse mythology: Selvig calls it "tales he heard as a child", and the book he checks out of the library is called "Myths and Legends of the World".
Nothing Can Stop Us Now: What Loki tells Thor as he tries to stop the Bifröst, making Thor decide to smash the bridge instead.
Not So Different: Loki and Thor. Both threaten to spark another war with the Jötunn and claim they are doing so for the good of Asgard, when really it is more about satisfying their own ego.
Not That Kind of Doctor: Discussed when Dr. Selvig and Coulson talk about "Dr. Donald Blake", Selvig claims that "Donald" is physicist, but Son of Coul points out that "Donald" is M.D. in his ID.
Not Using the Z Word: None of the Asgardians ever claim to be a "god"—and all the modern-day humans seem to immediately categorize them as Sufficiently Advanced Aliens—though Odin and Volstagg do reference the fact that at one time humans had identified Asgardians as gods.
Oblivious Adoption: Loki discovers he is a Frost Giant adopted by Odin after the war. It all goes downhill from there.
In The Stinger, Selvig mentions the Foster theory. Looks like Jane finally got her work officially recognized.
Once More with Clarity: Interestingly, The Stinger from Iron Man 2 isn't just a tease but is integrated into the narrative in this film. While in IM it looks like maybe a bunch of scientists trying to study Mjölnir it turns out it was an overnight tourist trap and Running Gag.
The Patient Has Left the Building: Thor is exiled to Earth, where he is hit by a van and hospitalized. When he wakes up, he doesn't know where he is, so he flees the hospital, beating up everyone who tries to restrain him.
Patricide: Double subverted. Loki appears at one point to be plotting Odin's murder, but it turns out it's all part of a ploy to impress Odin by apparently saving his life. At the same time, this involves killing Laufey — whom he has just discovered to be his biological father! While Loki isn't Laufey's son in any meaningful sense of the word, it seems likely that he wants Laufey dead precisely so as to permanently abjure any potential relationship between them.
Puppy-Dog Eyes: Loki, as he tells Odin in their last interaction that he did it for Asgard and the family. The combined effect is tear-jerking.
Also in his vault scene, again with Odin and again really sad to watch.
The Queen's Latin: All of the actors playing Asgardians speak with some form of an Received Pronunciation accent, regardless of their nationality. Hogun, however, speaks with a Japanese accent, but this can be explained as being due to Hogun not being a native Asgardian in the comics. Heimdall is another exception, as Idris Elba's lower class British accent seems to be largely unmodified in the film. For example, whenever Elba uses a "th," it sounds more like an "f."
Heimdall is now played by a black actor, Idris Elba. The film's version of Heimdall was carried over into the Thor: The Mighty Avenger comic which was made to be closer to the film than the regular comics. note Hilariously, Heimdall was described in myth as "the whitest of the gods."
Hogun, whose look in the comics was partially inspired by actor Charles Bronson, is played by Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano. This isn't necessarily a major change, as the character has always been depicted as a non-Aesir from a vaguely Asiatic realm (though one that looks more Mongolian than Japanese). note Hilariously, Tadanobu Asano had played Genghis Khan in the film Mongol a few years earlier.
Really 700 Years Old: All of the Asgardians would have to be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old. Based on the dates given in the film, Loki would be 1046-1047 years old.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Odin, who prefers diplomacy over war. Laufey is a rare villainous example, who also wishes to avoid violence and does not attack Thor and his friends until after they kill one of his warriors.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Thor and Loki, respectively. The colours of their costumes (a red cape for Thor, green for Loki) reinforce this. Somewhat reversed come the climax — Loki is deep in the throes of a Villainous Breakdown and is yelling for Thor to fight him, while Thor is refusing and trying to talk him down.
The agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tend to get this treatment.
Averted in the case of the Asgardian army which is capable of fighting Frost Giants perfectly well.
Though Hawkeye works for S.H.I.E.L.D. in this continuity, and it's implied he could have easily put an arrow through Thor's head had Coulson ordered him to do so.
Regent for Life: What Loki intends to become. Or rather, what it looks like he intends to become for 3/4 of the movie, before it's revealed that he's more like an evil Cincinnatus - he intended to step down after Odin reawakened all along, using his handling of the Jötunn crisis he arranged in the first place to create the impression of himself as a heroic, dutiful, and above all better-than-Thor son.
The Resenter: Loki's resentment for his brother drives his inferiority complex and thus his part of the plot.
Revenge: Although this is not explicitly stated in the movie, it's quite obvious that part of the reason why Loki wanted to kill Laufey is to get back at his biological father for leaving him to die as an infant.
In the extended scene from the DVD/Blu-Ray release, it's strongly hinted that Loki's "slip of the tongue" was a test to see if Thor would take the bait (which he did). It proved that Thor wasn't ready for the throne after all since "a wise king never seeks out war," though the junior novelization (which tells this scene from Loki's point of view) makes it clear that he didn't want them to go to Jötunheim. Loki's terrified of the place and its inhabitants.
Coulson also uses a bit of this after releasing Thor into Selvig's care. He tells Selvig to keep Thor "away from the bars." Selvig promptly invites Thor for a drink after leaving his company. This is later revealed to have made it easier for his men to track their movements.
Thor (while mortal) getting hit by a car, and by extension, Jane's driving skills. (Technically, Darcy was driving the first time, but Jane had grabbed the wheel and was steering into the cloud.)
In-Universe Meta-example- Poor Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. He never gets to debrief anybody...
Coulson:[as Thor flies away] Wait! I need to debrief you!
Sadistic Choice: Thor must choose between the genocide of the Frost Giants or never seeing Jane again.
Sadly Mythtaken: Taken as an adaptation of Norse Mythology, it's actually easier to list the movies' accuracies than their inaccuracies. Handwaved and lampshaded with the beginning narration, stating that actual Norse myths are inaccurate in their representation of Asgardian history. See the Analysis page for details.
Interestingly, Marvel's interpretation of Loki is one of the few not to associate him with fire. Which makes it, in this respect alone, more mythologically accurate than many other modern takes on the character.
Save the Villain: A key sign of Thor's growth as a hero. After all, an ordinary person would want to save their friends, but to fight with everything you have to save your deadly enemies (in this case, the Frost Giants) from an unjust death for no other reason than it being the right thing to do takes a special kind of nobility.
Shapeshifter Default Form: Loki is revealed to be unknowingly using his illusion powers to create a glamour that hides his true form - a blue-skinned Frost Giant. Since he thinks of himself as Asgardian and hates his true species, he keeps the glamour on afterward.
Alternatively, some fans speculate that it was actually Odin or Frigga that placed the glamour on Loki, so that their son wouldn't feel out-of-place by seeing his Frost Giant form.
The battle between the Aesir and the Jötunn in the beginning of the film is stated to take place in Tønsberg, Norway. The author that first mentioned Tønsberg? Snorri Sturluson, the author of the Prose Edda. The representation of Tønsberg, however, is highly incorrect, and makes it look more like a western Norwegian fjord-end village. The real Tønsberg is located in a fairly flat region. Many Norwegians found this amusing.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. seizes Jane's work, they give her a check, so they're seizing her work and materials under the Fifth Amendment, the right of eminent domain (i.e. the government can take private property for their use, but they have to pay for it). Seizure under eminent domain can be challenged in court, although the results depend on whether a) the government can claim its necessity for "public use" and b) whether a "fair price" for the materials was offerednote In other words, Jane would lose such a challenge, as S.H.I.E.L.D. is essentially saying, "Tell us how much money you want for it," and they could also claim national security issues.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents around the Mjölnir crater have assault weapons but don't engage Thor with lethal force because he has not escalated to the point that lethal force would be permitted based on the usual US military rules on force escalation.
After the Destroyer has been defeated, Coulson comes in. Thor addresses him as "Son of Coul", which follows old naming conventions and is essentially the meaning of his name: Someone who is the son of a man by the name of Coul.
The Smurfette Principle: Sif is the only Action Girl in Thor's gang of warriors. This is lampshaded in the film, where it is noted that Sif is the only girl in Asgard to want to become a warrior, and must do so in the face of entrenched sexism. Anyone who knows about Norse history or mythology will find this odd, since Scandinavian women enjoyed more freedom than women almost anywhere else in the world during the medieval period, and Norse Mythology features several Action Girls.
Heimdall definitely counts as well, as does Coulson, just like in all of his other appearances. Neither of them loses their cool.
Storming the Castle: Thor, who was a mortal man at that moment, sneaks into the military base buit around the Mjölnir and takes down all the soldiers that get in his way. He was successful, he did get to Mjölnir. They captured him simply because, as he could not raise the hammer, he had lost the will to fight. If there was no "must be worthy" clause, it would have been a clean victory.
Swiss Army Weapon: Mjölnir can smash like a typical hammer, it can summon lightning bolts, it can be used as a Precision-Guided Boomerang, it can make you flynote Thor never flies, but rather throws the hammer and holds on, it can deflect energy blasts from other Asgardian weaponry, and it can simply be used as an immovable weight. Odin also suggests it can be used to build things, but Thor never uses it for that purpose.
Sword and Sorcerer: Thor prefers smashing things. Loki likes to use magic and illusions as his weapons.
Take My Hand: Thor and Odin during the climax to Loki. He doesn't take it because Odin doesn't condone genocide in his name.
Loki thinks he's just ensured he and his friends can leave Jötunheim without getting killed, then one of the Jötunn decides to push Thor too far.
Jötunn: Run back home, little princess. Loki: ...Damn.
Agent Coulson, when the Destroyer opens up.
Coulson: Here it comes.
This Is Unforgivable!: Not in so many words, but Thor's banishment. It's implied Odin has forgiven Thor for cocky transgressions and rule breaking in the past, but inciting a new war with the Frost Giants was the absolute last straw. Except Odin isn't completely ready to give up on his son without secretly adding a Redemption Quest loophole, and enchants Mjölnir with: Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor!
Invoked early on in the movie between Odin and Laufey; Thor invaded the latter's kingdom and killed his subjects. There is no recourse but war.
Also, this is what Thor's Catch Phrase tends to mean. In the film, said Catch Phrase doubles as a Let's Get Dangerous moment in the POV of Jane and the other humans who had doubted Thor's mental reasoning up until that point.
Thor: I would have words with my brother.
Threshold Guardians: Played with in the form of Heimdall, who is a character with his own motivations instead of just a plot device.
Trailers Always Lie: A positive example; the trailers for the film were regarded by many as somewhat underwhelming, but the scale and acting and dialogue have turned out to be closer to the comics than many feared. Also, some of the trailers imply that the line "You can't kill an entire race" refers to humanity. This isn't the case, as the Frost Giants and Jötunheim end up as Loki's target. In particular, except for a few brief shots, very little of the first act appears in the trailer. It is a good half an hour before Thor even reaches Earth.
Also, Loki was featured in only one or two shots in all of the trailers, and when he does appear, he seems a bit like the tag-along younger brother, which he is until he descends into villainy, or like the generic Big Bad. This may have helped create the strong audience reaction to Loki—non-comics fans probably didn't expect him to have a major part, and comics fans probably didn't expect him to be portrayed as sympathetically as he was.
Travel Cool: The Asgardians get around the Realms via the Bifröst Bridge, which shoots them through rainbow wormholes.
True Companions: The Warriors Three, Sif, and Thor. The first four were willing to defy their king and reverse Thor's banishment on their own.
Loki, of course. Unlike most other examples of the trope, he not only does that to sabotage others, but also has it ingrained so deeply in his character that he always believes the worst in people. Also Invoked by him. When he says that Thor cannot go to Jötunheim without defying Odin, Thor interprets that as a recommendation rather than a warning. Which is exactly what Loki wanted.
When Odin explains that he saved Loki as a child because he hoped that one day Loki can serve as an example that Frost Giants and Asgardians can peacefully co-exist, Loki instead believes that Odin saved him only because he wanted an extra war trophy. Odin even reacts by asking, "Why do you twist my words?"
The Unfavorite: Loki views himself as this, believing that Odin and Frigga favor the older and more physically powerful Thor over him. Finding out that he's an adopted Frost Giant just makes things worse, which furthers his descent into villainy and furthers the plot.
The Unmasqued World: The events of this film start a black ops arms race within S.H.I.E.L.D. to develop weapons that can combat threats from beyond Earth like the Destroyer. This is followed up on in The Avengers.
Unreliable Narrator: In a flashback at the beginning of the film, we see Odin telling young Thor and Loki about the war with Jötunheim. He leaves out the part in which he finds the Jötunn king's abandoned baby and adopts him.
Intentionally used by the writers for Sif and Thor, as the people who worked on the film wanted to be able to have the option of writing Thor/Sif into the sequels, should they later want to.
Jaimie Alexander:[about Thor and Sif] But there is a reason that we sort of subtly hinted to it in the first film. Just so that there is a door. If we want to go through that door, we can. They like to cover all their bases at Marvel.
During an interview, Chris Hemsworth referenced this when speaking about their relationship in the sequel, as well as what it was throughout the first movie.
Chris Hemsworth: In the comic books there’s obviously an attraction with Thor and Sif, or what have you. And there was little peppering of that, I think, in the first one. Little hints at it. There [in the sequel] may be...might be more indication...
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Loki. Judging from just the flashback scene and how most of the other characters treat him, he and Thor used to have a very good relationship, and he used to be just a sweet kid who had a penchant for mischief before jealousy set in.
Use Your Head: Severe headbutts happen a few times in the first act. For example, a Frost Giant grabs and burns Volstagg's arm, and Volstagg uses his head.
Villainous Breakdown: Many of Loki's actions in the second half of the movie, and thus the plot for that portion, can be attributed to a very steep downward spiral that starts from the moment he discovers that he is a Frost Giant. It's clear some of the more extreme actions he takes later are not what he had originally planned to take, and even as he keeps his trademark composure he appears increasingly harried over the course of the movie. By the climax he's lost all veneer of composure.
Visible Boom Mic: You can see it hovering over the pet shop owner for a few seconds.
War Is Hell: After having lived through the war between Asgard and the Frost Giants, which is repeatedly described as destructive and terrible, Odin is very dedicated to ensuring that sort of thing never happens again. Laufey, to an extent, feels the same, but in contrast to Odin, he's very vindictive and thus not shy about starting another one should the situation arise, and even then he tries to prevent such a situation from occurring.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: Thor and Loki, in his own way. The relationship between fathers and their sons is a theme in this movie.
Wham Episode: With the appearance of Thor and the Destroyer in New Mexico, the existence of other worlds is known to the people of Earth. The movie also introduces the Tesseract, the MacGuffin of The Avengers and an Infinity Stone, as well as Loki, one of the universe's biggest villains.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The ultimate fate of the The Destroyer and the Casket of Ancient Winters remains unexplored. Presumably S.H.I.E.L.D. took custody of the former while the latter is last seen in the Bifröst before it was destroyed. In The Avengers it is revealed S.H.I.E.L.D. recovered the remains of the Destroyer and reverse engineered it.
What happened to the S.H.I.E.L.D. guys spying on Thor from the rooftop? Volstagg knocks them out in one of the deleted scenes, but they don't try to evacuate the town or fight the Destroyer in the actual film.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Averted, but definitely worth mentioning partly because Thor's Weapon of Choiceis a hammer and partly because it's part of Thor's Character Development. Mjölnir is a fine example of a Swiss Army Weapon, able to shoot lightning, return to its wielder's hand when thrown, and grant flight, just for starters. The trick is thinking of nonviolent uses for it, which doesn't occur to Thor at the start of the movie.
Why Didn't They Just Smash Him?: Two Frost Giants stand next to a frozen Heimdall and neglect smashing him to smithereens when they have the chance. Possibly justified considering how quickly Heimdall breaks out. Smashing him could have freed him sooner, and they were only there to prevent anyone from helping him.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Loki, almost literally. He bears no more hatred to the Frost Giants than the average Asgardian. Then he discovers he is one. His smoldering jealousy bursts into a bonfire, his self-hatred sky-rockets, and he attempts genocide to prove without a doubt that he is Asgardian.
World of Badass: Both Asgard and Jötunheim are filled with badass warriors with mystical weapons and powers. Also Earth (this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after all), though the full scope of badasses down there is merely glimpsed this time...
World of Ham: Asgard is one. Which results in major Ham-to-Ham Combat. Which is exactly the reason why Ken Branagh was the perfect director for this movie.
World of Snark: Earth's other hat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seriously, try to find a part in the film where the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents don't take a moment to snark in the face of otherworldly beings.
Xanatos Speed Chess: What Loki's doing for most of the movie. At first he simply seems to have been planning on discrediting Thor and starting a war with the Jötunns. Then Thor is banished, he finds out he is a Jötunn himself, goes berserk, and Odin enters his sleep. Everything else seems to have been very well orchestrated improvisation.
Thor: Loki, this is madness! Loki: Is it madness?! Is it?! IS IT?!
He's practically hissing the lines, making his break from reality/sanity so much more believable. If you look closely, there are tears pooling in Loki's eyes as he says this, and his breathing is ragged. It might come off as hammy to some, but he's trying not to completely break down before he fights his brother.
You're Not My Father: An indirect version—since only one of the characters is aware of the relation—takes place when Loki shoots Laufey with Gungnir while making it very clear who he considers to be his true parent: