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If I Could Start Again is an Avengers Peggy Sue fanfic written by Taaroko centered primarily on Thor and Loki.

Unlike the end of Avengers: Infinity War where Stormbreaker lands at the center of Thanos's chest, it instead lands two inches to the left and renders the Titan's left arm useless. Now unable to use the Infinity Gauntlet, Thor finishes him off, but Vengeance Feels Empty. Without thinking, he takes the Time Stone from the Gauntlet, and his mind is sent back in time to before his coronation, with everyone still alive. Now he has his chance to set everything right, and ensure that everyone he cares for survives what is to come.

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If I Could Start Again provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • Besides his children, nobody likes Thanos. Thor despises him, Loki wants nothing to do with him, and everyone thinks he's insane. After hearing about him just once, Clint and Natasha are on the same boat as Thor. Many of those in Asgard old enough to remember the war with him and its fallout also hold him in contempt.
    • Zig-zagged with Hela. While plenty of Asgardians were happy to do away with her and put their violent past behind them, she also had plenty of followers who were loyal to her that killed Baldur via poison and tried to kill Thor and Loki in infancy, as well as return her from Nifilheim.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Grandmaster displayed no combat abilities in Thor: Ragnarok. In this story, he fights against Ebony Maw and doesn't even flinch when impaled by several spears. It's not a scratch on his canon counterpart, but much more impressive than what was shown in the film.
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    • Loki makes use of his Frost Giant heritage rather than rely solely on his spells and trickery.
    • The gauntlet in Odin's vault was Thanos's prototype Infinity Gauntlet and not just a fake.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Thanks to Thor's actions, he ensures that Loki will never become a villain.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the MCU, the Infinity Gauntlet in Asgard's vault was dismissed as a fake by Hela. Here, it's the prototype of the gauntlet Thanos would later use that Odin took from him in Asgard's war against the Titan's armies thousands of years ago.
  • Age Lift: According to the Russo brothers, Thanos in the MCU is actually somewhat younger than Thor, being roughly 1,000 years old. Here, he's ancient enough to have fought Odin long before Thor and Loki were born.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted. Thor and Loki speak any language thanks to the All-Speak, but they need to purchase translators for Natasha and Clint when they arrive on Sakaar.
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  • Almost Kiss: Loki and Valkyrie almost share a kiss after fending for themselves on Ebony Maw's ship, only for Thor to drop in right before they could close the distance.
  • Anti-Magic: Ebony Maw's ship has a built-in energy signature that causes negative reactions with Asgardian magic, which prevents Loki from properly using his spells when he's captured. The Warriors Three and Thor also feel the draining effects of the ship, with Fandral even feeling "as though there's a curse upon it."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Darcy asks multiple to Fandral when his hatred for the Jotun colors his perception of Loki. It's enough that he's left in stunned silence when she finishes asking him.
    Darcy: Just tell me this. Have you met any Jotnar besides Loki?
    Fandral: Of course not.
    Darcy: Uh-huh. And... how much has Asgard interacted with Jotunheim in your lifetime?
    Fandral: It hasn't.
    Darcy: Okay then. Are you really going to let this stuff dictate what a guy you grew up with should be like? Does any of it weigh more than the centuries of first-hand knowledge you have about him being kind of an asshole but reliable when it counts? Like are you really that shitty of a friend?
  • Ax-Crazy: Ebony Maw is one very disturbed SOB. Besides the atrocities and tortures he commits in Thanos's name, he also took what was left of his people and used them as building materials to make his personal vessel. He was actually pretty insane before Thanos came to his world, as unlike other planets that the Mad Titan visited, Ebony sought him out and begged him to cull his world's population.
  • Big Brother Instinct: After seeing him get killed by Thanos in the original timeline, Thor is very protective when it comes to Loki. After he gets captured by Ebony Maw, Thor goes on the warpath.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Maw has this reaction to when Thor announces himself as the "Son of Odin", aka the son of one of Thanos's greatest enemies.
    • Thor has one when he not only learns that Ebony took his people and turned them into his personal vessel, but that he also sought Thanos out to cull his world rather than the opposite.
    • Valkyrie has one when she learns that Odin revised Asgard's history so that people would believe that the Valkyrior died fighting the Jotun and not against Hela.
  • Blood Knight: Asgardians in general are this due to being a warrior culture. This actually concerns Bruce because he feels more relaxed on Asgard since no one fears the Hulk like everyone back on Earth. This causes him to frequently hold back his enthusiasm on letting the Hulk out to spar with them.
  • Bread and Circuses:
    • The Grandmaster, like in Ragnarok, provides gladiatorial entertainment for the people under his oppression. Thanos also plays into this by allowing him to use Cull Obsidian in his tournaments to entertain the masses in exchange for armies.
    • Thor takes advantage of Sakaar's gladiator games by advertising and staging a fight between him and Cull Obsidian in exchange for Loki's freedom. He also uses this to broadcast to the people of Sakaar and inspire them to rebel against their oppressors.
  • Broken Ace: Valkyrie is this. She was the youngest commander in the Valkyrior's history and proved herself in countless battles that would inspire songs for centuries to come, even being instrumental in the war with the Jotun on Midgard over a thousand years prior. The slaughter of her fellow Valkyries at Hela's hands, with her barely surviving, would lead to her winding up on Sakaar and wallowing away in alcoholism and self-pity.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: One of the first things Thor does after proving his timeline travels is call his father out on hiding the truth about Hela and Asgard's violent history from them.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Ebony Maw subjects Loki to this in a similar manner to how he tortured Doctor Strange in Infinity War.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the comics, Baldur is Thor's brother who lives for thousands of years and his death in mythology signifies the beginning of Ragnarok. In this story, he died before he was even an hour old, well over a thousand years before Ragnarok began.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • Thanos and his armies are regarded as an unstoppable force of nature. While he seeks more armies to continue culling populations, the armies he already has have lain waste to dozens of worlds, and none were able to put up a fight. Odin, Hela, and Asgard in the past were enough that they drove him back and granted him his first defeat. Not to mention that Thor successfully killed him in the previous timeline.
    • Cull Obsidian is considered undefeatable in the Sakaar gladiatorial ring. Many write-off his opponents as already dead after centuries of victory. Thor easily dances around most of his attacks and kills him using his lightning powers.
  • Double Take: Before Thor can argue with his father on why they need to go to Sakaar to stop Thanos from gaining another army, he has to backtrack because Odin agreed with him.
  • Dramatic Irony: After Loki is outed as a Jotun to Asgard, Fandral suspects that he replaced Odin's true son and that he brainwashed Thor into believing his timeline hopping adventure in some bid for Jotunheim to take over Asgard. Of course, the audience knows that Loki's being completely honest (ironically enough), and that Thor's adventures in the previous timeline are true.
  • The Dreaded: Thanos is feared by almost everyone that knows about him. Thor has recurring nightmares of his slaughter of the Asgardian people as well as his killing of his brother, and Loki is completely afraid of him. According to Valkyrie, he's already torn apart dozens of planets with the armies already in his possession and hardly anyone could put up a fight against him. About the only person who doesn't show much fear towards him is Odin, but even that falters when he learns of what Thanos did in the timeline Thor came from. There are also many Asgardians old enough to remember him that still dread the idea of waging war with him again.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Peter makes a brief cameo as a child during the ending events of Iron Man 2 alongside his aunt May and uncle Ben.
    • Captain Marvel makes a brief appearance in chapter 23 when The Warriors Three try to find Thor and Loki, only to find her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Hela is a sadistic Blood Knight who thrives off death and destruction, but in the past, she was genuinely loyal to Asgard and her family. Thanos tried to sway her to his side, but ultimately failed because Hela fights for Asgard and her father, no one else.
    • Even during his bloodthirsty warlord days, Odin was reportedly so against Thanos's ideas for culling the universal population that he kicked him out of Asgard as soon as he discovered his true intentions and waged war with him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: The Grandmaster doesn't blame Valkyrie for supposedly absconding with Loki because he agrees that Loki is extremely attractive.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Odin is willing to go to great lengths to ensure the peace and stability of the Nine Realms, ranging from white-washing Asgard's bloody past to lying to his children about their origins, but the one thing he can never bring himself to do is strike down his own child.
    • Even before Odin changed his ways, the Valkyrior were highly opposed to Hela's ambitions and were the first to speak out against her.
  • Fangirl: Sif is an even bigger fan of the Valkyrior than Thor and Loki. It takes all her willpower not to enter The Knights Who Say "Squee!" territory when she meets Valkyrie for the first time.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • There's a lot directed towards the Jotun. Asgard despises their kind due to prior wars and causing the death of the Valkyrior (actually a cover up by Odin to hide Hela's existence from current Asgard's history).
    • Among the Jotun, the "skamrbarn" (or human-sized Jotun) are considered abominations and weaklings. Laufey sought to get rid of Loki when he saw that his son was born a skamrbarn.
  • Fiction 500: The House of Odin has some rather lucrative investments and has an impressive bank account in the Nova Empire. It's even compared to a bottomless pit at one point.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The story starts because Thor aimed two inches left and cut off Thanos's gauntlet arm, preventing him from wiping out half the universe.
    • Thor is able to successfully avert Loki's Start of Darkness and ensures that his brother won't become a villain.
    • A negative example. It's lamented that because of Thor's actions, a long-term consequence is that some of his friends either won't exist in the future (Vision) or won't become Avengers (Scarlet Witch).
    • Because the Sakaar trip happens earlier, the planet is liberated, Maw and Cull are killed, and Valkyrie returns to Asgard with them
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • The battle between Odin and the forces of Asgard against Thanos and his armies is a legendary one. The fight ended with the Mad Titan retreating and his prototype Infinity Gauntlet now tucked away in Odin's vault.
    • There's also the Aesir-Vanir war, which is the war that led to Odin's change of heart and where he fell in love with Frigga.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Thor mostly holds back in his fight against Cull Obsidian, dancing around his attacks and toying with him to give Widow and Hawkeye enough time to set off the traps. After that's done, he reveals that Odin gave him access to his true potential and proceeds to annihilate his opponent without a shred of effort.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Both Thor and Loki call out how insane Thanos's plans are and how he completely believes they'll work despite the absurdity. Loki even tells Ebony Maw that he might consider Thanos's offers if he was out for revenge or something petty because he can actually understand those types of motives.
  • It's All My Fault: Odin places the death of the Valkyrior squarely on his shoulders, and considers sending them to Nifilheim to fight Hela to be "the greatest tactical error of [his] entire reign." Considering how long lived he and his rule have been, that's saying a lot.
  • It's Personal: Even though he succeeded in killing the Mad Titan, Thor has almost immeasurable hatred for Thanos that persists even when his mind is sent back to when his family and people were alive and well. This sets off a red flag in Black Widow's head, because Thor shouldn't have this much hatred for someone he's logically never met, even if he's an old enemy of Odin. Thor also has a strong hatred for the Children of Thanos, as he takes a lot of delight in mocking and belittling Cull during their battle.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Thor may be good at following plans, but he is terrible at actually coming up with one. When they arrive at Sakaar, he didn't make any preparations at all for the mission and just decided to wing it. He also acknowledges the consequences of this and how it led to Loki almost dying on his watch.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Fandral is convinced that Odin and Frigga taking in an infant Loki and loving him has blinded them to his true nature.
  • Love Redeems: Odin falling in love with Frigga is what led to him changing his ways and becoming the benevolent peacekeeper he is now.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Thor's plan on Sakaar for dealing with Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian amounts to 1.) find them, 2.) learn about the army they were gathering, and 3.) kill them and the army. As Natasha points out, that's not a plan, but a list of objectives.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Valkyrie only ever went by Valkyrie or Scrapper in the MCU. Here, her true name is Brunhilde Sigursdottir.
  • Narnia Time: Like in Ragnarok, Sakaar's flow of time moves very differently from the rest of the universe. By the time chapter 34 comes around, Thor, Loki, Clint, and Natasha have been on the planet for three days while very little time has passed for Asgard. The author also uses this for Hela's initial siege on Asgard in canon, stating that with how time flows differently, she likely took more than two years killing off Asgard's population.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Thor tries to use his lightning to supercharge both Iron Man and War Machine's armor to give them a massive boost for the battle with the Hammer tech drones... only for them to overload and shut down. Whoops.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Thanos talks a big game about committing his atrocities for the sake of balancing the universe, but Thor and Loki call him out (directly and indirectly) on how deluded he is in believing that he's the hero in this scenario.
    • Odin originally conquered other realms under the belief that what he was doing would bring a new age of peace. It wasn't until the Aesir-Vanir war where he invaded what was once his home that he came to realize that what he was doing was for power's sake and not for peace.
  • Off with His Head!: Right after severing his arm and giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Thor executes Thanos by cutting off his head.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: This is averted at first since Thor was sent back before Odin put the worthiness enchantment on Mjölnir. To prove that he is Thor from the future, he asks his father to put the enchantment on his hammer. Since this is Thor post-Character Development, he has no trouble lifting Mjölnir and proving who he is.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Something that signals that something is off with Thor is that he openly admits that he'd rather have the Jotun as his allies. This completely shocks Odin, Frigga, and Loki when they first hear it, as he's usually one of the most openly violent towards Frost Giants.
  • Papa Wolf: Odin is very protective of his children. After Baldur was killed through poisoning, he remained on Asgard to protect the infant Thor and Loki. He even admits that had Hela had anything to do with Baldur's death, he would have lost all care for her and killed her himself.
  • Peggy Sue: Thor is sent back prior to the events of his film, but the fic uses Thor's head-first mentality in regards to how he'd operate in this type of situation. Thor fully intends to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, but his approach to this is rather blunt and he outright tells Loki and the Warriors Three who he is upon first seeing them, and Natasha figures out he's hiding something given how bad he is at subterfuge and gets him to spill the truth.
  • Rational Fic: For the House of Odin, the family members actually sit down and talk out their issues rather than leave them bottled up to stew and eventually cause problems. There's still plenty of family drama, but it's more of the standard family drama and not the "put the Nine Realms in danger" type of drama.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: At the start of the story, Thor gives one to Thanos on how his supposedly noble intentions for the universe are a load of crap and how much of a monster he is.
    Thor: You call it salvation, slaughtering half of my people when they were already but a fraction of Asgard's numbers from mere weeks ago? Wiping out the dwarves and leaving only their king behind to suffer? You think yourself a just god, capable of making the hard choices, but there is nothing in you but cruelty. My brother was right. You will never be a god.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Since Thor was successful in killing Thanos in the past timeline, he never fully rationalized the consequences of being too obsessed with revenge like he did in canon. As a result, he spends a lot of time goading and mocking Cull Obsidian in their fight as payback for what he did in the main timeline, which results in him getting angry enough to fight back and put Thor in a bind.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: It's lampshaded by Jane and Loki that the Norse Mythology built around Asgard doesn't really stack up with the reality of it. Loki states that the mythos Earth came up with is mostly made around prophecies and drunken fancies.
  • Ship Tease: Loki and Valkyrie get a lot of this during the Sakaar portion of the story that also borders on Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Shout-Out: When infiltrating Ebony's ship, Clint disguises himself as Han Solo and acts as a prisoner.
  • Social Darwinist: According to Odin, his father, Bor, was this. His philosophy was that the strongest deserved to rule over the weak, and Odin admits that the allure of this mindset is hard to argue with when you're born stronger than everyone else like he was.
  • Spotting the Thread: Thor is not very good at trying to hide that he's from the future. Natasha's able to pick up on many subtle hints in his behavior (having way more hatred for Thanos than he reasonably should and his reactions to Sakaar and Valkyrie) that he's hiding something from them and convinces him to confess the truth.
  • The Stations of the Canon: Averted. While it does start out with some events from the early MCU films, such as The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2, canon starts getting ditched soon after that as later plot threads from the movies are tied up and altered in different ways.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Cull actually talks during his fight with Thor, something that the Asgardian lampshades, since he thought he was just the dumb brute of Thanos's minions.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Besides Mjölnir's ability to return to its owner, it's also lampshaded that for whatever reason, Thor's enemies always seem to inevitably line up and make it easier for him to take them all out with a simple hammer throw.
  • Trust Password: In order to gain Hawkeye and Black Widow's trust after they learn that he's from the future, Thor tells them about when they went to Clint's house during the Ultron incident and about his family when they first met them. Since the only way Thor would know about Clint's family in the first place would be if he had his absolute trust, he accepts Thor's claims.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Before her exile, Hela was completely loyal to her father and Asgard as a whole. Not even Thanos could sway her to his side.
    • Sif has complete loyalty towards Thor which also overrides her distaste for Loki and her hatred for Frost Giants. While she still doesn't like them, she'll put up with it if Thor is more than willing.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Loki's usually the opposite, but Valkyrie notes that his control over his Frost Giant abilities are rather laughable, despite their immense power.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: After killing Thanos, Thor feels no satisfaction in what he did since it won't bring Loki or any of Asgard back.
  • What If?: The story follows what would have happened had Thor managed to kill Thanos and pick up the time stone, only to be sent back to before his coronation.
  • Willfully Weak:
    • Thor lost to Hulk when they fought because he didn't want to hurt his friend, so he didn't put much force into his attacks. He also handicapped himself by refusing to use Mjölnir during the fight. The author states that had he been going all out, he would have won regardless of whether he had Mjölnir or not.
    • This also plays into the Sakaar arc. Thor could easily handle anything the planet throws at them, barring Ebony and Cull, but with Black Widow and Hawkeye around, he limits himself to avoid too much collateral.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Odin admits to Thor that this is why he went the extra mile to limit his abilities since childhood, as he worried that his eldest son would turn out like Hela, who became The Caligula and had to be imprisoned.

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