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"I'll find a way to save us all."
"Some believe that before the universe, there was nothing. They're wrong. There was darkness... and it has survived."
Allfather Odin Borson
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Thor: The Dark World is the 2013 sequel to Thor and the eighth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, directed by Alan Taylor of Game of Thrones fame.

Following an assault on Asgard by Malekith the Accursed and his dark forces, The Mighty Thor teams up with his disgraced brother Loki, still imprisoned for his actions in The Avengers, and a possessed Jane Foster to breach the eponymous Dark World (a.k.a. Svartalfheim) and take the fight to their enemy.

Stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Accursed.

Watch the first trailer here, and the second trailer here.

Character tropes go to the Character Sheets.


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Tropes:

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    A to C 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Loki has been tried and convicted for his war crimes on Midgard. No one approves of his actions, not even his mother Frigga. Yet her secret visits to his cell show that she still loves Loki.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Judging by the attendance and the reaction of everyone attending Frigga's funeral, all of Asgard love their Queen. Even Loki.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: A derelict depot in London turns out to contain portals that lead to different worlds as part of the convergence.
  • Ace Pilot: Loki claims he is this and proves it by being able to safely steer through a small crevice in an Asgardian rockface at high speed which is just barely wide enough for the ship—a lesser pilot would've crashed.
  • Action Girl: Lady Sif's first scene is kicking marauder ass. Her second scene is practicing in Asgard.
  • Action Mom: Frigga gets in on the action, too, and easily defeats Malekith in a one-on-one fight. Too bad she didn't account for Kurse showing up to secure her in a headlock, then stab her through the back.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Thor stops himself from punching his brother Loki, he says "[Mother] wouldn't want us to fight." Loki replies, "Well she wouldn't exactly be shocked..." Thor can't help but chuckle at that.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In The Mighty Thor comics, Malekith wasn't an independent villain but a vassal of Surtur, and Kurse was created when the Beyonder revived a dead minor character in Secret Wars II. Needless to say, a backstory involving characters and events not seen onscreennote  would be unnecessarily convoluted, so the stories of Malekith and Kurse have been greatly simplified.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the comics, Algrim/Kurse does work for Malekith for a time, but Malekith betrays him and Algrim—a noble soul—swears loyalty to Thor and Asgard, in fact being the one to kill Malekith himself. In this movie, Malekith does sacrifice his own people but doesn't betray Algrim personally. Algrim has Undying Loyalty towards his master and becomes Kurse as a result.
  • Adoption Diss: Played for Drama. During his trial Loki attempts to appeal to his birthright as a son of the king and Odin retorts that his birthright (as an abandoned child whom Odin adopted) was to die.
  • Adorkable: Jane while she's lying on the examination table in Asgard. She's so delighted by the new tech and asking so many questions that a visibly annoyed Eir has to tell her to be quiet and lie still.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: The secret door to other dimensions Loki knows of is hidden in a tiny mountain crevice. He has to pilot the ship through it.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In the first film, Thor disobeys an order to stay in Asgard, goes to a place he was not supposed to go, and fights a villain he was not supposed to fight. He was cast out as a result, and had to go through a redemption arc because of it. In this film, Thor disobeys an order to stay in Asgard, goes to a place he was not supposed to go, and fights a villain he was not supposed to fight, although now the circumstances are different.
  • Agent Peacock: Loki is a Vain Sorcerer and a Long-Haired Pretty Boy who outsmarts Malekith with his brilliant acting and an illusion, slays several Dark Elves with a single dagger, saves his brother's life by killing Kurse (who was too strong for Thor to handle), and supplants Odin—the most powerful being in the Nine Realms—as the King of Asgard.
  • Alien Invasion: Played with. Although the Dark Elves do attack Greenwich, they're not there to conquer Earth, as the Chitauri were in New York. It just so happens that the perfect spot to amplify the Aether with the energy of the Nine Realms is located near Greenwich.note  Played straight when the Dark Elves invade Asgard.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Dark Elves surely are this for wanting to exterminate all life in the multiverse.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Malekith and his troops invade Asgard destroying Odin's throne and killing Frigga.
  • Almost Kiss: Thanks to Darcy, but Thor and Jane get their kiss in later on Asgard.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Bor treats the Dark Elves this way, hence his mission to exterminate them (letting them live on would only bring strife and conflict into the universe, there was no outcome for peace that would allow the Dark Elves to survive). Thanks to the movie's light exposition on the motives of Malekith and why the fealty of his people remains so devout even when he would use them as expendable pawns with nary a regard for their well-being, it ends up making Bor's decision look like the right one.
  • Ancient Evil: The Dark Elves, and especially their leader Malekith have existed since before the creation of the universe and aimed to destroy all worlds to bring back everything to the state of the dark void.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Thor calls Loki a fool for not following along their plan when he seemingly gets stabbed by Kurse.
  • The Anticipator: This trope is played with straight (Loki) and as an inversion (Thor). Some moments after Frigga's death, Thor visits Loki's cell and the latter acts as cocky as always because he has been expecting Thor. Thor, knowing that their mother is the most important person in Loki's life, doesn't buy his bluff and tells Loki to drop the illusion. Loki then promptly dispels it and reveals a messed-up room and his disheveled state.
  • Anti-Hero: Loki is an example of Nominal Hero; he's a convicted war criminal who's only going along with The Plan to save the world as a result of Frigga's death.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Loki knows how to get under Thor's skin, irritating the heck out of his brother with his shapeshifting pranks and his snarky comments about Thor's piloting skills during their escape from Asgard.
  • Apologetic Attacker: When Fandral takes out the Asgardian guards chasing after Thor and Jane, he quips "Nothing personal, boys!"
  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: When Thor and Loki try to escape Asgard with the crashed Dark Elf ship.
    Loki: I thought you said you knew how to fly this.
    Thor: I said, "How hard could it be?"
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Loki to Frigga, during her visit to his cell.
      Frigga: I've done everything in my power to make you comfortable, Loki.
      Loki: Have you? Does Odin share your concern? Does Thor? It must be so inconvenient them asking after me day and night.
    • Loki refuses to let Frigga win their argument by denying her as his mother after he denied Odin as his father. Frigga asks:
      Frigga: Then am I not your mother?
      Loki: [hesitates for five seconds] You're not.
    • Thor asking Odin if a full-scale war against Malekith makes him any different from his enemy.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • After years waiting for him, when he said he would return in a short time, Jane delivered Thor two of those.
    • Averted when she tries the same with Loki, only to have it bounce off his arrogance.
      Jane: [slap] That was for New York!
      Loki: I like her!
  • Arrow Catch: On Vanaheim, Sif stops an arrow fired at Thor by getting it stuck through her shield.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Loki, Consummate Liar that he is, notes with approval that Thor has successfully lied to him about their method of escape.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Volstagg talking about the previous battle has him listing the things they used to defeat the enemies:
    Volstagg: But with steely courage, intrepid spirit, and... an axe, victory was ours!!!
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • When Thor is at Charing Cross Underground station in Central London and asks how to get to Greenwich, the answer he is given — "Three stops on this train" — is impossible. You can get a mainline train to Greenwich from Charing Cross above ground via Waterloo East and London Bridge, but you certainly can't get there in three stops on an Underground train. Futhermore, the Jubilee line goes across the Thames to Greenwich; the stop is called "North Greenwich". This is not to mention the fact that the stated time limit is eight minutes to the convergence, when it takes roughly 15 minutes to get from Charing Cross to Greenwich.
    • When Selvig is being apprehended by police at Stonehenge, a lot of tourists could also be seen in the background standing right next to the stones. With certain exceptions (summer and winter solstices, spring and autumn equinoxes, special bookings throughout the year), tourists are generally not allowed to even walk near the stones, much less get so close that they could touch them.
  • Artistic License – Physics: During battles on both Earth and on Asgard, multiple stone columns are destroyed without any collapse of the building above. While it's probably an aversion on Asgard (if one assumes the columns in palace are merely there for decorative reasons), their support is definitely required at Greenwich Palace.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Malekith unleashes the Aether during the apex of the Convergence, he becomes about five times taller than Thor. He returns to his normal height when Thor hits him incredibly hard with a an explosive impact.
  • Audible Sharpness:
    • Sif's sword, Volstagg's ax, and many other sharp, pointy things when brandished or wielded.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Mjölnir, which has Audible Bluntness.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • Downplayed with Malekith. He's no pushover, but he starts the film physically weaker than his lieutenant Algrim and during his fight with Frigga, he actually gets the lower hand at one point. Played straight after he gains the Aether.
    • Frigga showing off her swordsmanship is a straight example. She doesn't have any guards because she doesn't need any.
  • Backseat Driver: Loki does this to Thor as they commandeer a Dark Elf ship to escape Asgard:
    Loki: Alright, don't hit it, just press it, gently.
    Thor: [hitting the buttons harder] I am pressing it gently, it is not working!
    [...]
    Loki: Look, why don't you let me take over, I'm clearly the better pilot.
    Thor: Is that so? Of the two of us, which one can actually fly?
    [...]
    Loki: Now they're following us. [shots] Now they're firing at us!
    Thor: Yes, thank you for the commentary, Loki! It's not at all distracting! [fighter crashes through a statue of Bor]
    Loki: Well done! You just decapitated your grandfather.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Playing with a Trope. The Dark Elves, the main villains, are defeated, but Loki exploits the situation to usurp the throne of Asgard. However, whether Loki's a "bad guy" or not is a complicated question. Thor doesn't want the throne anyway, but Odin is mysteriously unaccounted for...
  • Barrier Warrior: When Jane becomes possessed by the Aether, anybody attempting to aggressively manhandle her gets very violently deflected away, as shown first when a constable tries to grab her for trespassing to look at the portal activity, and then when two guards try to grab her to return her to Earth.
    Eir: It's protecting her?
    Thor: No. It's protecting itself.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Loki and Thor in Svartalfheim. Loki's Lovable Traitor status makes it very convincing for everyone — audience included — when he stabs Thor immediately after having his cuffs removed. Then he chases a tumbling Thor down a hillside, with Jane following, and cuts his hand off halfway through recalling Mjölnir as he calls out Thor on his sentimentality. As Malekith approaches, he grabs Jane and tosses her at them, asking for them to let him watch them destroy Asgard. The moment the Aether is out of Jane, Loki removes the illusion, and Thor blasts the Aether with enough lightning to put a Leviathan down. It doesn't quite work, but the effect was there.
    • The entire act of bringing Jane to Malekith so he can extract the Aether and Thor can attempt to destroy it is seen as this by Odin, which is why he wants to stare down Malekith in a frontal assault when Malekith comes to claim it in Asgard. Ultimately, while Odin's own plan is patently pyrrhic, he's proven right when Thor does indeed allow Malekith to leave with the Aether once Thor goes against his father's wishes and fails to destroy the Aether when it's pulled from Jane.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Loki is no longer part of Asgard's elite after being disowned by Odin, but his Luxury Prison Suite and his Simple, yet Opulent prison uniform are visual cues that he was once a member of the royal family.
  • Beneath the Mask: Frigga gives the impression of being an Incorruptible Pure Pureness Queen, but she's actually as devious as her son Loki, who follows in her footsteps. He's the sole person who gets to see her true self—even Odin is ignorant of the fact that his wife has betrayed him by spending time with Loki during the latter's incarceration, which is a flagrant violation of the king's orders.
  • Big Bad: Malekith the Accursed, the Evil Overlord leading the Dark Elves on a path of destruction.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Thor screams "NOOOOO!" when Frigga is slain.
    • And two more when Loki seemingly gets stabbed and then when he seems to die in Thor's arms.
  • Big Sleep: Loki closes his eyes before seemingly dying saving Thor.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Thor is able to defeat Malekith and prevent the universe from being destroyed and ends up staying with Jane on Earth. However, he's lost his mother and his brother, and unbeknownst to him, Loki faked his death and he has usurped the throne from Odin, whose fate isn't revealed.
  • Black Eyes of Evil:
    • Jane has these several times as a result of the Aether possessing her. When on the Dark World she gains these as well as startlingly blue pupils, not unlike the Dark Elves'.
    • When Malekith absorbs the Aether himself, he temporarily gets black eyes before reverting to red eyes with black pupils.
  • Blatant Lies: When Frigga asks, "Am I not your mother?", Loki hesitates for a full five seconds before he unconvincingly replies, "You're not." The sad expression on his face and his reaching out for her hand afterwards prove that he doesn't mean it.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
    • Toned down considerably from the first film, as the stakes are much higher this time around. When Asgardians stop taking joy in battle and are just straight-up battling, you know it's deadly serious.
    • Volstagg, on the other hand, still loves to fight. When fighting against his fellow Asgardians, he's very visibly happy.
  • Boomerang Comeback: Mjölnir received the order to return to Thor's hand in the climactic battle, and come Hel or high water, it's gonna, despite his dimension-hopping! It was even flying up and away from Earth at one point because he ended up on another planet. Eventually, it does right in time to strike the final blow against Malekith.
  • Brick Joke:
    • A literal one. When the gang first discover the portals in London, one of them tosses in a brick, and it doesn't come back. Later, when Jane wakes up from being knocked out, the brick is seen in the background appearing out of nowhere and landing.
    • Later, Thor and Jane find the missing shoes and car keys as well.
    • At one point a pair of RAF jets fly into Vanaheim... and at the end of the big battle sequence, they fly out again.
    • Also, the second stinger shows the Jötunheim beast is still running around Greenwich, chasing birds.
  • Britain Is Only London: Averted. While nearly all of the Earth scenes do take place in London, it's mentioned that Selvig had been going around other places in England, such as Stonehenge.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": In the first scene, before Loki is led to prison, he speaks with Odin.
    Loki: It's not that I don't love our little talks... It's just... I don't love them.
  • Call-Back: Multiple events from previous Marvel Cinematic Universe works are discussed or motivate various characters' actions in Dark World.
    • Upon his return to Earth, Thor tells Jane, "I gave you my word I would return," as he promised near the end of Thor.
    • We open the movie with Loki being thrown in prison for his crimes against Midgard in The Avengers.
    • Jane's reaction upon seeing Loki is to slap him across the face, exclaiming, "That was for New York!" Loki responds with a smile, "I like her."
    • Dr. Selvig's mental state is still a little fragile due to Loki's manipulations, also in The Avengers. He's also relieved when Thor tells him that Loki is dead.
    • There is a very brief scene in Jötunheim in which one of the giant creatures from the previous movie is seen.
    • Loki refers to Thor's "new companions" and taunts him by shapeshifting into Captain America.
    • Odin reminds Loki that if he had not taken him from Jötunheim, he would not be alive today.
    • A sequence in the Battle of Vanaheim, in which Mjölnir hits a Marauder and flies back into Thor's hand mirrors a similar sequence in the Battle on Jötunheim in the first movie.
    • Jane still has issues with SHIELD jurisdiction.
    • Darcy still calls Mjölnir "Mew-mew."
    • Volstagg empties his beer and throws the mug on the ground while shouting "Another!", which Thor did in the first movie. Luckily, Volstagg is in Asgard when this happens, so he doesn't get the stares Thor got. It seems that this is the Asgardian way of ordering seconds.
    • One awesome call back that takes place during the movie; when Thor faces down the rock monster, he tells it, "I accept your surrender." before smashing it into a giant pile of boulders. He later tells Malekith the same thing before defeating him.
    • Heimdall is the only one aware that Loki has knowledge of secret doorways out of Asgard. In Thor, Loki revealed this to Heimdall just before freezing him with the Casket of Ancient Winters.
    • When Thor is holding council with Heimdall, Sif, Volstagg and Fandral, Sif mentions that the Tesseract is under heavy security — at the same time confirming it can still be used for travel between worlds à la Bifröst.
    • Loki appearing to slice off Thor's right hand on Svartalfheim mirrors a similar scene in The Avengers.
    • Loki introduces himself to Malekith as "Loki of Jötunheim." This is a call back to both Thor, where his Jötunn origin was revealed, and The Avengers, where he introduced himself as "Loki of Asgard."
    • One of Loki's last lines in Thor is to Odin, after his failed attempt to destroy Jötunheim: "I could have done it, father! [...] For you!" Fast forward two movies, when Loki is "dying" after saving Thor from Kurse, Thor says that he will tell Odin of what he did, to which Loki replies "I didn't do it for him," showing how much Loki has changed since the first film.
    • When Thor offers to return Mjölnir to Odin, Odin refuses it because "he" is really Loki using an illusion, and Loki knows from the previous film that he wouldn't be able to lift the hammer.
    • When Heimdall runs out of the observatory to stop the Dark Elves' ship, a crack on the Bifröst is visible where the Asgardians had repaired it after it was destroyed in Thor.
  • The Cameo: As Loki considers some disguises, he tries out Captain America — and proceeds to mock him mercilessly. Tom Hiddleston actually wore a Cap suit and did an impression of him while staying in character as Loki, and Chris Evans' performance was based on that.
  • Captain Obvious: Loki, playing backseat driver as he, Thor, and Jane escape Asgard in a stolen Dark Elf craft.
    Loki: Now they're following us. [pursuers open fire] Now they're firing at us!
    Thor: Yes, thank you for the commentary, Loki! It's not at all distracting!
  • Captured on Purpose: Kurse poses as a random criminal that got captured by Asgardian guards and then gets put in their prison. When the other Dark Elves attack the capital, he blows up the prison using a grenade that he put inside himself, causing a prison riot, and then sneaks into the castle's power room and disables Asgardian's city dome, allowing the Dark Elves to assault further in.
  • Car Fu: In the climax, Ian uses a car that has been rendered weightless (but not massless) by the convergence to crush a pack of Dark Elves.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Happens twice between Thor and Lady Sif during the opening battle on Vanaheim.
    • Thor is beamed in by Bifrost just as a Marauder is about to shoot Sif. He then takes a flying leap and throws Mjolnir at the ground, causing a shockwave to knock some Marauders off their feet:
      Sif: I've got this completely under control!
      Thor: Is that why everything's on fire?
    • Plus:
      [a Kronan enters the fray as the Marauders cheer on]
      Sif: All yours.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Discussed during the denouement of the film between Thor and Odin: with Thor witnessing how the challenges Odin were facing for the rest of the film have taken their toll on him (see Not So Different below), Thor seems to have decided to not succeed as Asgard's king, but promises to be an independent protector of the Nine Realms. Which Odin seems to have peacefully accepted, if only because he's actually Loki casting an illusion, having usurped the throne.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Ian losing the car keys by tossing them in the portal and finding that not everything thrown there comes back is funny — and comes back later when Jane finds the keys in the Dark World, showing her where the portal is. Turns into a Chekhov's Gun when she uses them to drive the car they had left behind in order to get to Greenwich.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jane's distinctive gangsta rap ringtone is crucial for Jane and Thor to escape the Dark Elf homeworld through a portal that the reception is going through.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Frigga is a master of illusion, who taught Loki most of what he knows in that regard. She uses these abilities to first visit Loki in his cell, then later to hide Jane from Malekith.
    • Loki's shapeshifting, which is Played for Laughs during the escape from Asgard, as he turns himself into an Einherjar warrior, turns Thor into Lady Sif, and then himself into Steve Rogers. He uses the ability to create illusions and project illusions over others to persuade Malekith to draw the Aether out of Jane. Later, he uses these abilities to infiltrate Asgard and usurp the throne in the guise of Odin, even using the same guard disguise.
  • City Guards: The Einherjar protect Asgard.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Jane unwittingly becomes the host to the Aether, a shapeless mass of energy, and part of the movie is trying to remove it from her while it serves as the MacGuffin for Malekith, who wants to use it for his own reasons.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: While Darcy tries to get into contact with Erik Selvig, a news report comes on the television revealing where he is: locked up in a mental ward for running around Stonehenge completely naked. It's justified by the fact that it's a repeat of the news story reported earlier when Jane provides exposition about his mental breakdown and mentions not being able to contact him earlier.
  • Colony Drop: As a last ditch attempt to defeat Bor's forces, Malekith disables all of the Dark Elf ships hovering above Svartalfheim and tries to drop them on the soldiers.
  • Conlang: A language for the Dark Elves was developed by linguist David J. Peterson.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In Thor, the villain was Loki who was Thor's brother turned to villainy, so they were close and conflicted. Here, Malekith and the Dark Elves were from time thought legend and far less personal. Malekith doesn't even learn Thor's name.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Kurse has Thor on the ropes, and then Loki impales Kurse from behind with his own spear and activates the black hole grenade on his belt.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The movie can best be summed up as alien elves in starships vs. space vikings in flying longboats with lasers.
  • Costume Porn: Like in the first film, the Asgardians' clothes are beautifully detailed.
  • Could Say It, But...: At the end, Thor refuses the throne, believing himself a better guardian if given the freedom to come and go as he pleases. Odin insists that he cannot personally condone Thor's actions, nor can he tell his son how proud he is of him for doing so. Except it's not really Odin...
  • Creator Cameo: Franchise regular and Thor co-creator Stan Lee as a patient in a mental ward (in a surprisingly subtle Credits Gag, Stan the Man is listed as playing himself...).
  • Creepy Doll: Standard uniform for Malekith's armies seems to include a porcelain doll-mask. It helps that the soldiers wearing them never speak and don't communicate anything with their body language.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Dr. Selvig is placed in a mental ward, but his theories about the Convergence are true. He also has legitimate mental problems that justified putting him in a hospital. However, when he realizes he was right all along, he tosses the enormous bag of meds he's been prescribed.
    Selvig: There's nothing more reassuring than realizing that the world is crazier than you are.
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Loki gets to rub his hands together once the cuffs are off on the Dark World right before he apparently stabs Thor.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The marauders in Vanaheim cheer and part when a Kronan steps into the battlefield, dwarfing Thor easily and generally being imposing. One blow from Thor's hammer reduces him to rubble.
    • Frigga defeats Malekith with ease, in a dress, with only one arm. When Kurse shows up, things go in the other direction.
    • For the bad guys, the Dark Elves overrun Asgard's defenses thanks to Kurse sabotaging them, and the only reason they retreat is because Malekith was injured by Thor.
    • Kurse starts off giving one of these to Thor, pummeling his face into the ground and throwing boulders at him.
  • Curse Cut Short: Darcy gets a "sh—", when Malekith's spaceship decloaks and buries itself in the quad of the Royal Naval College.
  • Cypher Language: Downplayed. The movie uses real Futhark runes, but instead of really being Old Norse or a made-up language, the text shown is just English.

    D to K 
  • Darker and Edgier: The color scheme alone is a lot grimmer, there's a full-scale war, and Thor claims this time he's ready to kill Loki if his genocidal sibling steps out of line. Hell, even the title reflects this. On the other hand, there's still a lot of humor, and much of the final battle is a mix of humor and action.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Dark Elves are the antagonists of this film because they want to snuff out the light of the universe and return it to darkness.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Algrim's hair is the same white as the other Dark Elves', although his skin is quite dark.
  • The Dark Times: The Dark Elves are a race from before the current universe who wish to return all that exists to this state of non-existence.
  • Deadly Upgrade: The Kurse power-up works like this. Algrim's transformation into Kurse will eventually consume him, but while it lasts he will be more or less invincible.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone has their moment of snark, but Loki is the most prolific snarker. He's a trickster, you know.
  • Death Wail:
    • Thor lets out when he arrives just seconds after Kurse kills Frigga.
    • There also was a scene where Loki lets out one after being told that his mother died. It was cut though for some reason.
  • Defiant to the End: Frigga is held in a headlock by Kurse while Malekith walks over to Jane. Just as he reaches out to take the Aether from her, Jane disappears, revealing that she's an illusion.
    Malekith: WITCH! Where is the Aether?!
    Frigga: I'll never tell you.
    Malekith: I believe you. [Kurse stabs Frigga through the back]
  • Deflector Shields: Asgard's main citadel is defended with one, until Algrim takes out the main engine and disables it.
  • Demoted to Extra: Hogun the Grim's role is reduced to two brief scenes from the already sparse screentime he had in the prior film, having decided to stay in Vanaheim. In contrast, the rest of the Asgardians receive expanded roles.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Svartalfheim is full of wrecked spaceships, a relic of the Dark Elf-Asgard war millennia ago.
  • Destructive Savior: Sure, Thor intends to save Asgard from Malekith's impending invasion — but he's caused a lot of property damage in the realm during his dashing, "treasonous" escape from Odin's pursuit, including (but not limited to) the humongous monument of his grandfather Bor, King of Asgard before Odin himself.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Loki says something along these lines during his staged betrayal of Thor. To many viewers, this was an Out-of-Character Alert.
    Loki: Did you really think I cared about Frigga? About any of you? All I've ever wanted was you and Odin dead at my feet!
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Loki in Thor's arms. However, it turns out that he was Faking the Dead...
  • Dissonant Serenity: Loki's reaction to the other prisoners getting released by Kurse is basic curiosity, and during the later prison riot he can be seen calmly reading in his cell (and looking mildly annoyed at the racket they're making).
  • Disturbed Doves: Starlings are disturbed and flying in an erratic manner just before the elves invade Earth.
  • Diving Save: Loki pushes Jane out of the way of a black hole grenade, but doesn't have enough time to get out of the danger zone himself and is almost sucked into the black hole. But then Thor comes flying in and pushes him out of the way at the last second.
  • Double Meaning: When an Einherjar "soldier" comes to report Loki's death to Odin, the Allfather looks distressed and says, "Loki!" The in-universe explanation is Odin is upset over the loss of his son, but it's also a hint to the audience, since the soldier is Loki!
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Jane smacks Thor for not returning when he said he would in the last film, though given Jane is a rather small non-combatant and Thor is a very powerful god, it makes it far less serious a matter.
  • The Dragon: Algrim/Kurse is this to Malekith; chief enforcer and most powerful minion.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Justified, due to Thor's powers.
    Policeman: Place your hands on your head, step back!
    Thor: This woman is unwell.
    Police officer: She's dangerous!
    Thor: So am I.
    [distant thunder sounds — policeman backs loff and calls for an armed response team]
  • Drives Like Crazy: Thor isn't used to the Dark Elves' spacecraft.
    Loki: I thought you said you knew how to fly this.
    Thor: I said, "How hard could it be?"
    [several crashes later...]
    Loki: I think you missed a column.
    Thor: Shut up.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Instead of a long, prolonged battle with Malekith's army to get the Aether, Bor elects to just teleport the Aether back to Asgard with the Bifröst before the war even ends.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Collector, from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, shows up in the mid-credits Stinger.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Averted — though much of the action takes place in London, we never see Westminister Palace (home of "Big Ben"), Tower Bridge, or Buckingham Palace. The only landmarks on display are the Greenwich naval college building, and the gherkin-shaped 30 St. Mary Axe tower.
  • Eldritch Starship: The Dark Elf capital spaceships resemble floating towers or skyscrapers, menacingly glow with red lights, and generally look otherworldly and unsettling. The smaller fighter/transport ships appear to mostly consist of a massive blade/battering ram, and have no symmetry axes whatsoever, making it nearly impossible to tell which side up they're supposed to fly.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Played with. While they don't exactly match the respective archetypes, armies of Svartalfheim and Asgard fit the general aesthetics of the conflict (somewhat ironically there was little difference between the Svartalfar and Dwarfs in Norse Mythology). Also inverted in some cases. Technology styles: the "Dwarfish" Asgardians use magicked-up medieval weapons (spears, hammers, skiffs), while the Dark Elves use high tech spacey weapons (beam weapons, grenades, starships).
  • Enemy Mine: Loki and Thor are forced to team up to stop new Big Bad Malekith.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The one time Loki shows any true, sincere emotion in the film was in the solitude of his cell, without any witnesses as he smashes the furniture around him in grief at the news of Frigga's death. Later, when Thor asks him to dispel the illusion, he hasn't bothered to clean it up at all, and appears notably unkempt. In his first scene, Loki puts on a contemptuous façade, but his mask slips when Odin informs him that he will never see Frigga again; he then stumbles as he's being led away by the guards.
  • Evil Is Petty: During the attack on Asgard, Malekith takes the time to destroy Odin's throne.
  • Evil Overlooker: Malekith in one of the posters and when he witnesses his fellow Dark Elves awakening.
  • Evil Overlord: Malekith wants to lead his people in a quest to kill everything.
  • Exact Words: Thor walks into the Dark Elf ship, hits a button... and nothing happens.
    Loki: I thought you said you knew how to fly this thing.
    Thor: I said "How hard could it be?"
  • Eye Recall: An inversion. When the Aether is withdrawn from Jane Foster, we see her eye leading to a vision of space leading up to a planet being destroyed. It turns out to be Jane getting a vision of Malekith's intent to destroy Earth.
  • Eye Scream: When Algrim/Kurse is killed by his own black hole grenade, his eyes get pulled from his skull with an audible POP.
  • Faceless Goons: In a particularly creepy example, the Dark Elf troopers appear to be wearing expressionless, porcelain doll-faces for masks.
  • The Fair Folk: The Dark Elves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are basically a variation of the Unseelie fairies of the Nightmare Courts.
  • Fake Defector: Loki pretends to sell Thor out to the Dark Elves in order to take them by surprise.
  • Fake King: In the end, Loki has usurped the throne of Asgard by impersonating Odin.
  • Faking the Dead: Loki fakes his death in order to enter Asgard undetected.
  • Fan Disservice: All right, you find another word to describe Erik running around Stonehenge naked (as well as in his underpants later on).
  • Fanservice:
    • The camera lingers on Thor's naked torso as he bathes. Why is the scene in the movie? According to Chris Hemsworth, Joss Whedon wrote this scene in as one of comfort after a battle.
    • Minor case in the post-credits stinger. When Jane and Thor embrace and kiss, her back is to the camera, and she's wearing noticeably tight pants. Elsa Pataky (real life wife of Chris Hemsworth) stood in for Natalie Portman during that scene.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The Dark Elves' motivation against all of existence.
  • Final Solution: Bor's answer to the constant threat of the Dark Elves, which Odin grinned about when recounting. Justified in that the Dark Elves were constantly trying to destroy all life in the multiverse. Ironically, Malekith contributed his own fair share to this to cover his escape.
  • Fish out of Water: Last time, Thor struggled to adjust to the world of Earth with Jane as his guide. Now the roles are reversed and it's Jane's turn to adjust to the other worlds of the Nine Realms. Surprisingly, she's quite comfortable with it.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After the attack on Asgard, Thor talks with Heimdall in a bar about how Odin's inactivity endangers Asgard and that they have to do something themselves. For a few seconds, Thor stares intensely at Heimdall's hornet helmet. Cut to Thor revealing his plan to everyone to leave Asgard with the help of Loki (whose infamous helmet has big, bendy horns).
  • Force-Field Door: Asgardian prisons utilize this technology. A similar technology is used as Deflector Shields which cover the main Asgardian citadel. Predictably, they both fall to Kurse.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Loki briefly impersonates an Einherjar warrior during his and Thor's escape from prison. Loki later impersonates the same warrior after his apparent "death" in order to sneak back into Asgard. There's also a telltale green glow during the second instance.
    • In the same instance, the transformation of Thor into Sif shows that he's able to project illusions/shapes onto other people, thus making the Batman Gambit possible.
    • When giving him the Kursed stone, Malekith tells Algrim that no power of their enemies shall be able stop him. Loki kills him by setting off the black hole grenade on his belt.
  • Full-Name Basis: Asgardians almost exclusively address Thor's girlfriend as "Jane Foster", seemingly unfamiliar with Midgardian given names and surnames.
  • Gainaxing: Jane gets some prominent slow-motion jiggle in the library near the climax.
  • Gender Bender: Temporarily done to Thor by Loki's illusions as they are escaping from Asgard, transforming him into Sif as a joke.
  • Gendered Insult: Malekith believes that he's demeaning Frigga when he refers to her as a witch. Her silent retort is to smirk smugly, being very proud of the fact that she's a Trickster sorceress who humiliated him with her illusion of Jane.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Malekith the Accursed is out to destroy the universe and return everything to darkness. Why? Because light annoys him and he wishes it was gone. He's less a character and more a plot device to justify having Thor and Loki team up. Apparently they had intended to flesh out Malekith's character through additional scenes (according to Christopher Eccleston, his actor) but it was excised from the film proper.
  • Genre Shift: With the introduction of Dark Elves, and increased screen time for Asgard, the film drifts towards Science Fantasy in terms of look and feel. At times it verges on Space Opera, with battles between ships and gun batteries full of laser fire and holographic interfaces, and much more travel to other worlds.
  • Get It Over With: Loki to Odin as he's being sentenced in his first scene.
    Loki: If I'm in for the axe, then for mercy's sake, just swing it!
  • Glass Smack and Slide: After one of the random jumps, Thor and Malekith appear above the St Mary Axe tower in London (a.k.a. the Gherkin), land on the top and start sliding down the sloped glass ceiling with the usual sound, under the gazes of some stunned bystanders below.
  • Glassy Prison: Loki ends up in one of these in Asgard's dungeons, with energy fields instead of glass.
  • A God I Am Not: When Loki tries to claim that he merely intended to rule Earth as a benevolent god, Odin counters that they're no more gods than Earthlings are. Loki counter-counters that they live a whole lot longer.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Discussed by Loki, similar to his exchange with Fury in The Avengers.
    Loki: You must be truly desperate to come to me for help.
  • Good Parents: Frigga pleaded with Odin to commute Loki's death sentence to life imprisonment. She supports Thor's relationship with Jane, being happy that he is happy.
  • Good Weapon, Evil Weapon: Boisterous, valiant Thor wields a hammer; treacherous, sneaky Loki wields a dagger.
  • Gravity Screw: The effect of the nine realms aligning themselves. Some things float, some bounce between different points or pop up in unexpected places. This is explained as the borders of the realms blurring.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Both the Asgardians and Dark Elves are okay with exterminating each other to the last. This is explained because the Dark Elves, created before light itself existed, can only really survive in the dark. Since every other race needs light to survive, it makes it an Us Or Them war for both sides. Even Odin and the new, conscientious Thor never really pause and say "There must be a peaceful way...right?"
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Frigga is blonde, and she's kind and respectful towards Jane, unlike Odin, who had rudely equated the human woman's presence in Asgard to that of a goat at a banquet table.
  • Hand Gagging: Thor does this to Loki to shut him up when he notices there are two guards walking by.
  • Have You Come to Gloat?: Loki to Thor. He's actually come to free him.
  • Headbutt of Love: A villain version occurs between Malekith and Algrim, when the latter shows his Undying Loyalty by becoming Kursed.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: According to Darcy, Jane has been in this mode ever since Thor returned to Asgard.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Unsurprisingly, Loki. He switches from a staged betrayal of Thor in front of Malekith, to protecting Jane and seemingly sacrificing himself for Thor, to usurping the throne from Odin behind Thor's back.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Once again, Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three do not wear helmets, and Loki notably never wears his enormous horned helmet from the previous movies where he was the main villain.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Loki pushes Jane out of a grenade's path and nearly dies before Thor saves him. Later, he takes out Kurse at what seems to be the cost of his own life... and then subverted when it turns out he's Faking the Dead.
    • Frigga refuses to reveal Jane Foster's location, even when threatened with certain death. Kurse stabs her in the back for her efforts.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: When Frigga asks Loki, "Am I not your mother?", he hesitates for a full five seconds before he unconvincingly replies "You're not."
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
  • Horseback Heroism: Briefly Sif, in the battle of Vanaheim.
  • Hurting Hero: Thor is kept away from his sweetheart by the long, draining intergalactic war his brother's actions kick-started. Then he watches his mother die right in front of him, as he is seconds too late to save her. Then his father becomes suicidal due to the grief of his recent loss, forcing him to commit treason in order to preserve his homeworld's safety. And then his brother apparently bleeds to death in his arms. It's no small wonder that the poor guy needs a break by the end of the movie.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In a scene from the trailer, Loki tells Thor he can't solve all his problems by hitting things. This from a guy who twice tried to fix his self-image problems by destroying/conquering planets.
  • I Choose to Stay: Thor abdicates from his duties to the throne of Asgard to protect the Nine Realms and live on Earth with Jane.
  • I Have No Son!: Odin makes it pretty clear that he no longer considers Loki his son and would've have had him executed if weren't for Frigga.
  • "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: When Thor decides to go after Malekith, which requires overcoming numerous obstacles starting with the fact that Odin has forbidden him to leave Asgard, the ensuing sequence alternates between Thor explaining his plan to his friends and the plan being carried out.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Thor tells Loki that their previous fights were like this, but they won't be anymore.
    Thor: You should know that when we fought each other in the past, I did so with a glimmer of hope that my brother was still in there somewhere. That hope no longer exists to protect you. You betray me, and I will kill you.
  • I'll Kill You!:
  • I'm Not Hungry: Jane Foster says this word-for-word while rejecting a meal brought by a guard. It turns out it wasn't a guard at all but Lady Sif in disguise, pretending to bring Jane food in order to rescue her.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: At the end of the movie, Thor considers himself as this. While he's demonstrated he's earned the position, he doesn't believe he has the necessary ruthlessness required for the job, and he doesn't want to be like that.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Dark Elves vessels, which Heimdall only notices when they're virtually on top of him. He takes a major hit in his confidence over this.
  • Irony:
    • After Frigga dies, Odin wants to face the Dark Elves on a martial basis, while Thor is proposing a more peaceful solution. This is the exact reverse of their positions at the start of the first film, where Thor wanted to engage in war against Jotunheim and Odin wanted to take a diplomatic and peaceful approach.
    • In the film's prologue, Malekith crashes all of his ships into the surface of the Dark World to destroy as much as of the Asgard army as possible, killing most of his race in the process. In the climax, Malekith is killed by being crushed beneath his own ship on the Dark World, surrounded by the wreckage of his previous war crime.
    • Loki defends his actions in The Avengers (2012) by arguing that Asgardians are essentially gods compared to humans and therefore sees no issue with wanting to conquer and rule them. Odin argues that Asgardians are not gods and that they die just like humans, implying he sees them as equals. However, when Odin meets Jane, he's dismissive of her, ignores Thor's concerns that she's ill because "illness is their defining trait", and compares her presence in Asgard to a goat at a banquet table, seriously offending Jane. When Loki meets Jane he introduces himself politely, appears impressed by her, and later puts his life on the line to protect her from the Dark Elves. However, it's rather ambiguous as to how much he truly appreciates Jane for herself, is only nice because she's his brother's girlfriend, or is just putting on an act to get on Thor's good side.
    • It's mixed with Karmic Death, when Loki is impaled by Kurse almost exactly the same way Loki murdered Coulson in The Avengers. Both victims get better afterwards.
  • It's Personal: Malekith killing Frigga is this for the Asgardian royal family.
    • Odin falls off the Despair Event Horizon and becomes a hateful war-mongerer, desiring only to draw Malekith and his forces close enough to engage in a battle within Asgard, no matter how many lives are lost or destroyed on either side.
    • Thor is driven to commit high treason against his father. Though he disagrees with his father's outrageous plan, he is still determined to destroy Malekith for his deed. To that end he contracts his band of warriors and Heimdall in order to escape Asgard, going so far as to break his brother out of jail despite knowing the risks of a betrayal.
    • Even Loki, for all his posturing, is wounded by the news and agrees to assist Thor's campaign of treason in order to get back at Malekith. He goes so far as to assure his brother to "trust his rage" even if Thor cannot trust the man himself, summarizing how his desire for vengeance overrides any other element of his personality.
  • Jacob and Esau: It seems that Loki was his mother's favorite, while Thor was his father's; each of them gave their favorite their iconic tools, illusions and Mjölnir respectively. Tom Hiddleston confirms this in this interview while promoting the film.
    Hiddleston: Rene Russo and I, always, from the very first film, part of the backstory we created was that Frigga was really the most attentive to Loki when he was a child. And Odin didn't really know how to connect. He connected much more with Thor. They were sort of cut from the same cloth. And Frigga and Loki had this kind of beautiful, sensitive, more artistic relationship. And it was actually her who taught him all his magic.
  • Joker Immunity: In the end, Loki is Faking the Dead and is secretly disguised as Odin.
  • The Juggernaut: Kurse breaks out of prison by smashing shields, tears through the city guards, rips open locked doors, kills Frigga and demonstrates himself to be unstoppable. He could only be taken down with his own black hole grenade.
  • Just Desserts: One Dark Elf gets eaten by a Jötunheim beast accidentally teleported to Earth.
  • Just Hit Him: Averted. Kurse is much stronger than Thor, willing to literally beat him into the ground.
  • Karmic Death: Malekith orders a Colony Drop that kills millions of his own people while trying to escape the Asgardians. He later dies by having a ship dropped on him.
  • Kick the Dog: Malekith and Kurse killing Frigga when she refuses to tell them where Jane is with the Aether.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Marauders on Vanaheim are willing to stand up to Asgard... right up until Thor turns their most powerful warrior into a pile of rubble. They peacefully surrender after that.

    L to P 
  • Lady of War: Both Sif and Frigga are graceful and lethal fighters.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Fandral does that during the feast after the battle on Vanaheim.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the opening sequence, Malekith drops all of his ships on his men. Malekith is then killed by his own ship dropping on him.
  • Last of Their Kind:
    • Malekith and his ship's inhabitants are all that remain of the Dark Elves. By the end, it's safe to say that they've been wiped out altogether, although at least one Dark Elf soldier makes a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Algrim is the final Kursed, be it a lost art/technology or it has some further significance to Malekith.
  • Legacy Character: The Kurse powerset and name is given to dark elves if they've proven worthy in the eyes of Malekith. Algrim is such an elf.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Brian Tyler includes leitmotifs for Asgard and Midgard which are blended and expanded to cross all nine of the realms, having specific parts of the complete melody serve as leitmotifs for Thor, Loki, and Odin when played separately.
    • Hilariously, Steve's turns up when Loki turns into Captain America and proceeds to mock him mercilessly. This makes it the first theme to appear in three MCU movie series, as it also makes a cameo in The Avengers.
  • The Living Dead: As Odin cradles Frigga's body after she was slain by Algrim, you can see her breathing (accentuated by her belt pouches moving up and down).
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Malekith's defeat causes his ship to begin collapsing on Greenwich, due to the teleportation taking a good portion of the bottom of the ship with him.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: During the fight on the Dark World, Loki stabs Kurse through the back with a sword that comes out his chest. Kurse turns around and impales him on the blade that is sticking out of his chest.
  • Logo Joke: In the trailer, the red background in the Marvel logo moves to show Thor's cape.
  • Long-Lived: It turns out that Asgardians aren't immortal gods, according to Odin. They're born, live for at least five thousand years according to Loki, and eventually die. This has some basis in Norse Mythology, as the Aesir were established as capable of dying (in fact, Ragnarok has a pretty detailed list on how some of them will die). The only way the Aesir were able to retain youth was from eating Idunn's apples; since the MCU has Adapted Out these, it stands that the Asgardians would eventually succumb to old age. (Golden apples can briefly be seen in Asgard in the first film, but aren't identified as having any special properties.)
  • Loophole Abuse: Heimdall is bound to report all knowledge of treason to Odin. So he summons Odin and the guards to Bifröst to inform them that he's committing treason, which he is, specifically by not reporting the treason also being carried out at that very minute all the way back at the palace.
  • Love-Obstructing Parents: Although they're technically not yet in-laws themselves, played with Thor's parents:
    • Odin addresses Thor's affection for Jane as impractical, considering he's a nigh-immortal Asgardian (give or take five thousand years) and she's a mortal human. Mark how he likens Jane's presence in Asgard to the presence of a goat at a banquet table, and for that matter, he lets slip he's a Thor×Sif shipper (admonishing Thor that "the one who's right for you is right in front of you", right as they're watching Sif during training/sparring).
    • Frigga, on the other hand, has never shown anything except respect, amicability and concern for Jane, even going to the extent of protecting her with her life from Malekith, although whether that's really for her or for the Aether possessing her is muddy.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Loki's cell is lavishly furnished and quite cozy, but it's as confined as the others. Justified, as Frigga mentions to him that she has done everything she can to make him comfortable.
  • Magic Knight: In battle, Frigga employs illusion spells and is very adept with a sword—Loki definitely takes after his adoptive mother in this regard (albeit with a preference for daggers).
  • Magic Versus Science: A downplayed version with both sides using Magitek. The Dark Elves focus more on beam weapons and artificial black hole grenades, using space ships to travel, but beef up their elite troops with magic. Asgardians focus on using close combat pre-industry weapons and travel by the Bifröst, but have beam batteries and Viking-vessels for defense.
  • Magitek: As always, the line between the Asgardian's magic and their technology is so blurry they don't bother to make the distinction. Jane is able to identify the medical device they put her in. They call it a soul forge, she calls it a quantum field generator.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Dark Elves, save for Malekith and Algrim, all wear creepy, doll-like masks. Word of God is that the masks contain life support for the Elves.
  • Master Actor:
    • Even when Loki is pretending to betray Thor in front of the Dark Elves and denounces his own mother to the person responsible for her death, he sounds completely sincere. The only individual he doesn't seem to be able to lie convincingly to is Frigga, who's a gifted liar in her own right (Loki had apparently learned from the best).
    • Odin never suspects that Frigga has transgressed his command to not visit Loki in prison. His wife isn't as honest, moral or obedient as he believes she is.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Odin and Loki both remark on this concerning Thor's relationship with Jane. A human's one hundred year life span is "a heart beat" compared to Aesir who can live for thousands of years.
  • Medieval Stasis: The Asgardians are an interesting case. They are a society caught in medieval stasis that is advanced far beyond medieval times. They are shown using the same weapons (swords, shields, and spears), technology, and armor 5,000+ years ago as they do in modern times. Horses are a common form of transportation. Yet they can harvest material from stars, have flying machines, and travel between worlds through wormholes. Implied to be a combination of their extremely long lives, emphasis on close combat, use of magic (er, very advanced science), and being at the top of the food chain so long and eliminated all of society's ills that they have no reason to change.
  • Mess of Woe: After Frigga dies, Loki's normally immaculate veneer crumbles; his hair is shaggy, his shirt is tattered, the walls of his prison cell are smeared with dirty hand prints, and all of the furniture are scattered across the floor in pieces.
  • Messy Hair: The only time Loki's hair is less than perfect is when he's mourning for his mother.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Discussed. Odin notes that most objects of power are gems, but the Aether is a fluid.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: The final battle has all of the human characters, all of whom are varying degrees of quirky, band together with Thor and remind the viewers that they're also brilliant scientists (and that Thor is a tactician as well, if a boisterous one) — pushing back the invading forces and executing a plan that ultimately defeats Malekith with science when brute force failed.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Darcy does this to Jane no less than twice.
    • Jane inadvertently ends up doing this to Darcy, warping her in just as she's kissing Ian.
  • Moment of Silence: Comes up after Frigga is killed by Kurse. Thor burns half of Malekith's face as this happens and tries to attack him more as he escapes.
  • Momma's Boy: Frigga seems to be the only member of the family that Loki can tolerate after all that's happened, which makes seeing his reaction to her death even more crushing. He is also shown to be his mother's son, as Frigga is the one who taught him magic, he shares her guile (she defies Odin's orders to not visit Loki behind her husband's back, and she fools Malekith) and her graceful bearing, and his combat style is very similar to hers. After Odin commutes Loki's death sentence to life imprisonment, he knows that the best way to hurt Loki is to deny him visits from Frigga and to bar him from attending her funeral. It's lampshaded by Thor when he asks his brother, "You think you alone were loved of Mother?" After the release of this movie, some fans prefer to call Loki "Friggason" instead of Laufeyson or Odinson. The basis for this stems from Norse Mythology, where Laufey is Loki's mother, and he goes by the matronymic Laufeyjarson.
  • Monumental Damage: The Old Royal Navy College takes the brunt of the Dark Elf attack. Other London landmarks (such as Saint Paul's cathedral and the Gherkin) sustain minor damage. The former was originally scripted to be devastated in the fighting, but this was changed at the explicit request of Saint Paul's. They wanted the cathedral depicted relatively unscathed in the aftermath when much around it was smoking ruins as a callback to it surviving The Blitz.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • A somber Viking Funeral scene is followed by Dr. Selvig's insane lecture in a mental ward.
    • Malekith manages to bring Thor down with the Aether and tries to pummel him. Cue them teleporting above London's St. Mary Axe (also known as the "Gherkin"), cracking it and sliding down the windows with onlookers watching them fall. In addition to this, following a few more random moments of warping that see Thor struggling to summon Mjölnir back to his hand, Thor ends up in a London Underground station. He quickly asks a bystander how to get back to Greenwich. She says by taking the train she's on for three stops, which Thor responds to by calmly boarding the Tube and commuting back to the battle.
    • Not long after Thor is mourning Loki's supposed sacrifice, Jane's phone rings with a rap ringtone.
    • After being reunited with Thor, Dr. Selvig asks (very nervously) about Loki's whereabouts. Thor somberly delivers the news of Loki's apparent death, to which Selvig cheerily replies, "Oh thank god!" To Selvig's credit, he quickly catches himself and offers his condolences after seeing Thor's reaction.
  • Morality Chain: Frigga is this to her husband Odin, to the point where her death causes him to become hellishly bloodthirsty.
  • Mordor: Svartalfheim is a bleak, ash-covered wasteland. It's not clear whether it was this devastated before the Aesir/Svartalfir war, but it's definitely a post-apocalyptic waste now.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Thor, naturally. There's even a hilarious blatant pair of shots devoted to his magnificent chest and equally glorious back, both glistening with water from a sponge bath.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Loki pulls one of these during the Batman Gambit mentioned above.
    Loki: Malekith! I am Loki of Jotenheim, and I give you a gift! [tosses Jane at the ground] I ask only one thing in return: a good seat from which to watch Asgard burn!
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Thor's latest costume is inspired by his 1980s comic book incarnation, the same era that introduced Malekith.
    • Thor hammers a Kronan (or a Stone Man from Saturn as they were dubbed back in the Silver Age, where they served as the first ever villains Thor fought) and reduces him to a giant pile of rocks.
    • Malekith seeks Jane for his own purposes. He used Sif in a similar manner in his first appearance.
    • Odin gives a nod to the actual Norse mythology when he compares Jane being present in Asgard to a goat being present at a banquet table.
    • Malekith getting half his face burnt by Mjolnir makes him look more like the comic book Malekith, whose face was half white and half black.
    • During Selvig's rambling lecture about the Convergence, a circled "616 universe" can be seen in the center of the blackboard. This refers to Marvel's designation for the mainstream comic continuity.
    • Another thing that is written on the blackboard is "The Fault", which was a rift in space-time formed at the end of War of Kings and a major plot point in The Thanos Imperative.
    • Malekith and Kurse had first appeared in comics at The Surtur Saga. There's a point of that story adapted into the film as well: Loki seems to betray the Asgardians for Malekith, but he was actually a Reverse Mole all the time.
    • Odin suggests that Thor should forget Jane Foster and focus on what's "in front of him", while the two are looking at Sif training for battle. Besides the obvious point (Odin would prefer Thor to be with Sif instead of Jane), this could be a subtle nod to the comics, where Thor's romantic relationship with Jane ended a long time ago, and after that he's had an on-again, off-again relationship with Sif for years. Also, in the actual Norse myths, Sif is Thor's wife.
    • When Thor offers to relinquish Mjölnir, Loki as Odin tells him that it is his "if you are worthy." In Thor's first Marvel appearance, the inscription on the hammer says the one who finds it "if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." This led to reader questions on what happens if someone else who is worthy finds it, and eventually the Beta Ray Bill storyline.
    • Thor mentions Sif's boisterous behavior after "the Battle of Harokin". In the comic, Thor and his friends battled Harokin and Hela in issues 129-31.
    • The second track of the soundtrack is entitled Lokasenna, the name of a poem in which Loki systematically insults the gods at a banquet until Thor shows up.
    • One of Algrim's cellmates looks more like the traditional version of Kurse than the one in the movie.
    • When Thor accidentally knocks off the head of a statue of Bor (Odin's father), Loki quips: "Well done, you just decapitated your grandfather!" In the comics Thor was actually forced to kill Bor, which was all part of a Batman Gambit played by Loki.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Erik Selvig runs around Stonehenge while doing his research in his birthday suit due to the insanity he gained from being mind controlled in The Avengers.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Malekith the Accursed? You might wanna get away from him. Kurse, too.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Loki intentionally does this when escaping Asgard in order to annoy Thor.
  • Neck Lift: During the prison riot, Kurse catches two Asgardian guards by the neck and lifts them, one in each hand. He later does the same thing to Frigga.
  • Neck Snap: Thor gives one of these to a Marauder during the Prison Riot scene. With one hand.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Asgard's troops are initially outmatched when the Dark Elves first breach Odin's palace when the shield is lowered, as the Dark Elves carry laser rifles and Asgard's soldiers are only armed with swords and shields, causing a fair number to get shot as the Elves pour out of their craft. However, once the Asgardian forces can get within melee range, the battle becomes more contentious.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Back in full force with Loki's character. From his conversation with the Frigga illusion she conjured to visit him to a conversation with Thor in Svartalfheim, he constantly says that he did nothing to deserve his punishment.
      Loki: Who put me there? WHO PUT ME THERE?!
      Thor: [grabbing Loki by the throat and slamming him against the side of the boat] You know damn well! YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHO!
    • Malekith blames Asgard for the Colony Drop he himself ordered that annihilated his own people.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer has Loki commenting, "Hitting doesn't solve everything, brother," while Thor takes down a Kronan. In the theatrical cut, Loki's nowhere near Vanaheim during the time of the battle.
    • During the trailer, the dialog between Thor and Heimdall discussing Loki implies that Loki has had dealings with the Dark Elves. In the actual movie, nobody's interacted with the Dark Elves for thousands of years. What Loki knew was the secret portals in and out of Asgard.
    • The trailer also removes all of Loki's broken furniture, hiding his breakdown after Frigga's death.
    • The trailers suggested that there would be a Love Triangle between Thor, Sif, and Jane. This plot amounts to a single conversation between Odin and Thor, and a slight bit of tension between Jane and Sif that doesn't have an influence on the story.
    • Malekith's invasion of Greenwich appears in the beginning of most trailers, implying this is the start of the story as well. In fact, it's the last act of the movie.
    • The scene where Thor recruits Loki was altered for the trailers: In the trailer Thor says, "You should know that when you betray me, I will kill you," while in the movie Thor makes a short speech saying that while he may have retained some hope of redeeming Loki in the past, he doesn't anymore, and that if Loki betrays him, Thor won't hesitate to kill Loki.
    • In trailers, the scene where Thor and Loki are walking together down a hall was edited to look like a Power Walk, with fans thinking the scene would be a Moment of Awesome the first time the trailer was shown. In the movie, it's a very humorous scene, with Loki teasing Thor the whole way.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Two involving Loki's prison break:
      • For Odin: If Odin had listened to Thor when he argued that their best course of action was to take Jane off Asgard so Malekith wouldn't target them a second time in order to get the Aether, Thor wouldn't have sprung Loki from his cell and subsequently the actions that led to Loki usurping the throne of Asgard would not have come to pass.
      • More directly, there's Thor's plan: instead of staying at the heavily fortified Asgard, with literally an army at his beck and call, Thor heads to the Dark World with Loki and Jane, who's carrying the Aether, the superweapon needed for Malekith to destroy the universe, then tries to destroy it as Malekith draws it out of Jane. The result? Thor fails completely and all but literally hands over the Aether to Malekith on a silver platter. This at least manages to save Jane's life and avoids the likely high Asgardian casualties that would have come from a second invasion. Though from Thor's perspective, it costs Loki his. But the truth is even worse... it put Loki on the throne of Asgard.
    • And in the stinger, apparently the Asgardians aren't smart enough to avoid giving one of a set of Infinity Stones to a guy called "The Collector".
    • Loki's not exactly a hero, but if he hadn't told Kurse which staircase to take out of the prison, the Dark Elf might not have been able to bring down Asgard's defensive shield to let Malekith in... and Frigga might not have died.
  • Nobody Poops: The prison cells on Asgard, holding prisoners from across the worlds and realms, are all constantly sparkling-clean and white-walled/floored with no evidence whatsoever of being equipped with toilets/latrines during the scenes where they appear.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Thor finds himself on the receiving end of an absolutely brutal one, courtesy of Kurse.
  • No Man of Woman Born:
    • Kurse is told that no power the Dark Elves' enemies possess will be able to harm him. True enough, he's killed using his own weapon.
    • Similarly, Malekith said no weapon the enemies possessed could harm him. No-one said anything about turning his own Dark Elf tech against him.
  • No Medication for Me: After being sprung from the Asylum, Selvig throws away his big bag of prescription medicine when he witnessses a flock of birds flying erratically, disappearing into a portal and suddently appearing from another portal right in front of him. In his case, it seems that the medication was either genuinely unneeded or reacted badly with him, because he spends the rest of the movie far more stable, if still a bit strange.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: When Thor brings Jane to Asgard, the Bifrost brings along the bumper of a police car as a passenger. Heimdall leans to the side a bit so the bumper just sails past him harmlessly two seconds before Jane and Thor arrive.
  • Noodle Incident: Thor at one point chides Sif that she had so much fun celebrating the battle of Haragon that she nearly started a second one.
  • Not Afraid to Die: After The Avengers, Loki doesn't seem particularly concerned if he lives or dies anymore. Sif, Volstagg, and Thor make it perfectly clear that they have no problem killing him if he betrays them again. Loki just laughs it off. He also encourages Odin to execute him sooner rather than later.
    Loki: If I'm for the axe, then for mercy's sake, just swing it.
  • Not Me This Time: Thor's first thought when he hears rioting in the prison is, "Loki." Actually, he's about the only prisoner not involved in the riot started by Kurse.
  • Not So Different:
  • Obstacle Exposition: As Thor escapes Asgard, his earlier meeting with Heimdall, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three plays out, where each of them mentions one of the obstacles (Bifrost has been shut down and the Tesseract locked away; Loki will betray Thor; Jane is guarded by the Einherjar; Odin will try to stop them; they'll get killed when they leave the palace) just as the montage shows how they are overcome.
  • Obviously Evil:
    • We're told at the very beginning that Malekith sacrificed his own people for the chance to one day regain the Aether.
    • Algrim in Kurse mode looks downright demonic.
    • The Collector couldn't ooze more villainy during his brief screen time, making his evil revelation not particularly surprising.
  • Oedipus Complex: Loki genuinely loves his mother, and overthrows his father — whom he now loathes after being disowned and nearly executed — usurping the Asgardian throne in the process.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Thor goes to see Heimdall to check up on Jane, and he says all is well... and then has this reaction when he discovers he can no longer see her, which must mean she has gone outside the nine realms.
    • Heimdall himself has a moment, after he takes out the first Dark Elf Harrow craft (by tearing it apart with a pair of daggers), only to turn and see the rest of the invasion fleet closing in.
    • During the fight in Svartalfheim, Loki gets this expression after seeing a grenade heading directly towards him and Jane.
  • One-Hit Kill: Thor defeats a Kronan with one swing of his hammer.
    Thor: Anyone else?
  • One-Woman Wail: During Frigga's death and funeral.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Loki destroying his cell's furniture in solitude when after being informed that his mother is dead. This is an indicator to the audience that despite Loki's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and otherwise collected and manipulative personality, his desire to see Malekith pay for what he's done is unshakable ("trust my rage"), even if it means an Enemy Mine with his many, many Asgardian enemies.
    • Everyone notices that Thor isn't partying as hard as he used to, and knows it's because he's pining for his Love Interest on Earth.
  • Opening Monologue: "Long before the birth of light there was darkness, and from that darkness came the Dark Elves. Millennia ago the most ruthless of their kind, Malekith, sought to transform our universe back into one of eternal night. Such evil was blossomed through the power of the Aether, an ancient force of infinite destruction."
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Svartalfheim and Earth respectively; orange sky and blue sky.
  • Our Dark Matter Is Mysterious: The Aether, one of the six Infinity Stones, is a wibbly-wobbly ebby-flowy fluid capable of converting regular matter into dark matter. Also despite the name, it's visible to the naked eye with a sinister red glow, and is if not sapient, intelligent enough to want to protect itself.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, much like the Asgardians, are portrayed as a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: When it looks like Loki's betraying Thor, he introduces himself to Malekith as "Loki of Jötunheim". Anyone who recalls the first film will know that Loki hates his true parentage, therefore cluing us in that something is amiss. There was: the betrayal is a ruse to get the Aether out of Jane so that it could be destroyed. Even before that, there's his line: "Did you really think I cared about Frigga?" And he does.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Even with the Earth alerted to the existence of extraterrestrials, and Asgardians remembering their history of wars against the Dark Elves, their reappearance after a millenia-long dormancy catches everyone off guard.
  • Overly Long Hug: Erik to Darcy, when she and Ian get him out of the mental ward.
    Darcy: ...Getting weird now.
  • Parental Favoritism: It's implied that Frigga favours Loki because he, being In Touch with His Feminine Side, shares a lot more in common with her than the macho Thor. Frigga was Loki's instructor in magic, so they once had a mentor-pupil relationship in addition to a mother-son one. She would've naturally grown closer to him after spending so much time together. Frigga willfully breaks the law against Odin's wishes so that she can spend time with a jailed Loki, but she doesn't do the same for an exiled Thor in Thor. Thor lampshades this while arguing with his brother: "You think you alone were loved of Mother?" (Also see Tom Hiddleston's quote in Jacob and Esau.)
  • Parting Words Regret: Loki's last words to Frigga are particularly nasty: "You're not [my mother]."
  • Percussive Maintenance:
    • Early on when Darcy interrupts Jane's dinner to present her findings (i.e. first signs of the convergence):
      Jane: It's malfunctioning.
      Darcy: That's what I said. [Jane starts knocking the device] That's what I did!
    • Becomes a Not So Different moment later when Thor starts pounding the spaceship controls.
  • Personal Raincloud: Inverted. The first clue that Thor is back on Earth is that Jane and Darcy are in a rainstorm but inexplicably in the middle of a dry circle. Then Jane sees Thor and runs over to him and the circle follows her, leaving Darcy soaked.
    Darcy: Typical.
  • Pet the Dog: During the battle against Malekith and the Dark Elves, Kurse throws a black hole grenade at Loki and Jane. Loki pushes Jane aside without thinking and almost dies as a result. You'd think Loki only did so to gain Thor's trust, thus setting his own plan in motion (faking his death, usurping the throne of Asgard disguised as Odin and ensuring that Thor would want to stay on Earth with his human girlfriend) but it was too spur of the moment to be planned, even for Loki.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment: The Aether is contained initially by two giant stone blocks, and later with a handheld box for transportation.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Loki acts like the recipient of this when Thor cradles him in his arms after he's stabbed by Kurse.
  • Pineapple Surprise: Loki pulls this trick on Kurse, detonating the grenade the latter is carrying on his belt.
  • The Place: "The Dark World" is another name for Svartalfheim, home of the Dark Elves.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: When Loki appears dying in his arms, Thor quietly pleads "Stay with me, ok?" Of course, Loki is faking it.
  • Pointy Ears: The Dark Elves.
  • Portal Cut:
    • When Thor takes Jane to Asgard, the Bifröst clips the front end of a nearby police car. The bumper tumbles out the other end a few seconds before Thor and Jane arrive.
    • Later on, Malekith loses a couple of limbs to Selvig's gravitational spikes, which have been reconfigured to open rifts.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Inverted. Thor and Jane are so happy to see each other after years apart, that their attempts at conversation wind down to monosyllables before they lean in to kiss — and don't get to. Thanks, Darcy.
  • Precision F-Strike: An extremely unusual example: in a scene where Malekith is speaking Elvish it distinctly sounds like he says — in English — "I fucked up." The line was edited in the home video releases.
  • Preemptive "Shut Up": Loki is already snarking profusely at Thor's flying skills, so when Thor crashes into a buliding in the city, he turns to Loki and says "Not a word!" before he can comment on it.
  • Prison Riot: Algrim, posing as one of the captured marauders, starts one in the dungeons of Asgard as a part of Dark Elves' plan to attack the place and collect the Aether from Jane.
  • Put on a Bus: Hogun leaves Asgard for Vanaheim early in the film, so he is absent for the rest of the film save a fleeting reaction shot at the climax.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • Odin, stricken with grief over his wife's murder, is willing to "win" such a victory by allowing the Dark Elves to invade Asgard a second time. Thor tries to point out that this is crazy and a reckless waste of his people's lives, but Odin's fury blinds him to it.
    • Malekith crashed his own ships in a last-ditch effort to lay waste to Asgard's forces.
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    R to Z 
  • Racial Remnant: Malekith's crew of Dark Elves are all that remain of them.
  • Ramming Always Works: This appears to be the principle behind the smaller Dark Elf "Harrow" craft: they have no ranged weaponry apart from guns protecting the entrance, but are very resilient and shaped like flying daggers that ram and destroy Asgard's fighter skiffs or fortifications.
  • Random Transportation: In the final battle, the convergence has turned reality into Swiss cheese, so Thor and Malekith (and various other things) end up teleporting between the realms constantly during their slugfest, sending them through different worlds before bringing them back at several spots around London. For added trouble, Thor's attempts to recall his hammer keep failing because they keep ending up in different realms.
  • Razor Wings: Singular in this case, the Dark Elven fighter planes have a single blade-shaped wing that can slice through stone.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: During and shortly before the Convergence, reality, especially around Greenwich on Midgard, is extremely volatile. Portals open and close at random to different worlds, and Gravity Screw is all over the place. This issue solves itself after the Convergence ends.
    Dr. Erik Selvig: There is nothing more reassuring than realizing that the world is crazier than you are.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Thor enlists Loki's help due to his ability to find ways out of Asgard no-one else is aware of.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the Aether enters Jane, her eyes glow red.
  • Red Right Hand: Malekith is disfigured on one side of his face thanks to a blast of lightning from Mjölnir.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Einherjar are dedicated enough but still mostly helpless against the more technologically advanced Dark Elves. Averted in the prologue, where the Einherjar under Odin's father Bor eventually overcome the Dark Elves. It probably helps that they were mobilized for an invasion, as opposed to being caught flat-footed on their own soil.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Invoked, then exploited for Loki when it's revealed that he faked his death.
  • Rescue Romance: Played for laughs. After Ian saves Darcy from some Dark Elves, she dips him and kisses him, and they're teleported mid-kiss.
  • The Reveal: The Stinger reveals that the Tesseract and the Aether are two of the six "Infinity Stones", a powerful set of artifacts sought by Thanos.
  • Reveal Shot: Erik is apparently lecturing some students on the upcoming Convergence, only for the camera to then cut to reveal that he's just in a psychiatric ward, and Stan Lee wants his shoe back.
  • Revenge: After Frigga is murdered, this becomes Loki's motivation to team up with Thor to stop Malekith.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Odin slips into this after Frigga's death, with Thor pointing out that he's no better than Malekith if he's willing to throw away the lives of his own people in the name of victory.
  • Reverse Arm-Fold: Loki lets an illusion of him appear in his cell with this posture when Thor visits him. He does that to appear more confident and unaffected by Frigga's death. Thor doesn't buy it.
  • Reverse Grip: Frigga's fighting style employs this method of swordplay.
  • Ridiculously Difficult Route: Loki and Thor use a secret "back door" to travel from Asgard to Svartalfheim. This involves flying a ship at top speed into a tiny crevice inside a very rocky mountain, with, one can imagine, disastrous consequences if one misses. Even with Loki's expert piloting skills, they barely avoid crashing on their way out.
    Loki: If it were easy, everyone would do it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Loki's motivation for working with Thor and tracking down Malekith. Thor wants to save the universe. Loki is mildly in favor of saving the universe, but his own motives are very immediate and direct: the woman who raised him is dead and the man who killed her isn't. Yet.
  • Rocky Roll Call: During the final battle, Darcy and Ian sharing a Big Damn Kiss port in next to Jane and Erik:
    Jane: Darcy!
    Darcy: Jane!
    Erik: Ian?
    Ian: Selvig!
    [Mjölnir zips by]
    Darcy: Myeh-Myeh!
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The only notable difference that Dark Elves have from humans and Asgardians is their pointy ears. Several more alien species appear in the stinger, working with or subjects of the Collector.
  • Running Gag:
    • Everybody except the Dark Elves is aware of Loki's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and threatens to kill him if he betrays Thor. Loki even lampshades this.
    • Jane slapping someone the first time she meets them (first Thor, twice, then Loki).
    • The frost monster lunging at Thor and falling off the edge of Jötunheim.
  • Running Gag Stumbles: For once, Thor doesn't fall for Loki's tricks when he visits Loki in prison. Eventually subverted again, when he falls for Loki's Faking the Dead.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Kurse shows how dangerous he is when he manages to disarm, restrain and kill Frigga.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • It doesn't matter much since this is a comic book adaption, but in Norse Mythology, "Svartálfar" (Dark Elves) are sometimes interpreted to actually be the dwarves.
    • The Einherjar, in both the Norse myths and the Marvel comics, are the souls of the glorious dead feasting in Valhalla. In here, they are Asgard's city guards. They pull guard duty in the comics, too, as well as forming the bulk of Asgard's armies. Alternately, guard duty is just their day job in-between feasts in the hall of Valhalla.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Thor's been getting better. See the Backseat Driver entry.
  • Scenery Gorn: Svartalfheim is a wasteland.
  • Scenery Porn: Asgard is still shiny and beautiful.
  • Schizo Tech: Early in the movie, just after the opening, Thor and his pals are seen battling some foes. At least one of them has a harpoon gun.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Jane and Thor in The Stinger.
  • See You in Hell: Loki says this to Kurse right before killing him, while seemingly mortally wounded himself. A Mythology Gag in that not only is Hel (sic) a location from Norse Mythology (and the comics, for that matter), but it's also the name of a person who, in the original myths, was Loki's daughter. But as Helheim is the afterlife for those who do not die in battle (and thus are unworthy of Valhalla), it doesn't make much sense as a battle taunt.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: After their mother is murdered, Loki experiences a complete emotional breakdown in his prison cell while Thor starts to plot to avenge her. During their clash with Malekith, Loki defends Jane (a more "passive" role) whereas Thor is the aggressor (a more "active" role).
  • Sequel Escalation: In Thor and The Avengers, only one of the Nine Realms came under threat (Jotunheim in the first, Midgard in the second). In this film, Malekith threatens to erase light from the entire universe.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The first film took place in New Mexico. This one, all scenes in Earth are in London.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The movie ends with the revelation that Loki sits on the throne of Asgard and Odin's fate is unknown.
    • For the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, the first Stinger. The Aether and the Tesseract are both Infinity Gems, setting things in place for a much later villain.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Loki shares a tic with his adoptive mother Frigga: fidgeting with his hands when he's nervous. He also picked up her mischievous smirk.
  • Shield Bash: Sif uses her shield to hit an opponent during the battle in Vanaheim.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Odin ships Thor with Sif, just like he did in the comics.
    • Frigga is delighted seeing Thor with Jane.
  • Shirtless Scene: As in the first film, the sequel basically takes a 30-second break to show off Chris Hemsworth's rippling pecs before getting back to the story.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The scene at the beginning with an abandoned building with strange physics is highly reminiscent of the "Beyond" segment of The Animatrix, especially the gravitational anomalies and oddly behaving bottles.
    • When a Dark Elf ship crashes into the Asgardian throne room, it appears to be a shot-for-shot rendition of this cinematic trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
    • The Dark Elf fighters resemble the B-wings, also from Star Wars.
    • Bor's helm looks a lot like a Balrog's head and horns.
    • Thor and Malekith sliding down London's Gherkin may be a Shout-Out to the climax of Adventures in Babysitting, where a Thor-obsessed/costumed little girl gets stuck on the windows of the similarly-sloped Smurfit-Stone building in Chicago.
    • When Fandral covers Thor and Loki's escape, he swings from ship to ship on a rope, much like Errol Flynn, who the character is based on, is famous for doing.
    • Algrim, before his transformation, is a Dark-Skinned Blonde reminiscent of an entirely different take on "dark elves".
    • The scene where Loki is lying on his prison bed while tossing a goblet in the air and catching it is a reference to the movie The Great Escape, where Steve McQueen's character is tossing a baseball in solitary.
    • The scene where a flock of starlings is flying through a portal beneath Jane, Darcy and Selvig and startling them is a nod to Hitchcock's The Birds.
  • Sibling Team: Thor and Loki join forces to fight the Dark Elves.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Loki habitually opts for pure opulence, but after his royal rank is revoked and he's jailed as a war criminal, he's forced to tone down his garments. Of course, Loki's idea of "plain and simple" is still more elegant than anything Thor or Odin wears.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: When Thor makes his first appearance after leaving her two years ago, Jane slaps him, then apologizes, explaining she's just checking that he's real given the Reality Is Out to Lunch events she's just witnessed. She then slaps him for not coming back to her, despite turning up in New York. When Thor comes up with a reasonable excuse, they lean in for the inevitable kiss... then Darcy provides a Moment Killer.
  • Slouch of Villainy: We really should have known better when "Odin" was sitting that way at the end of the movie...
  • Smooch of Victory: Played for Laughs. Darcy has her life saved by her intern Ian, whom she's been bossing around the entire movie. The scene then cuts to Jane fiddling with her teleportation device, only to suddenly transport Darcy to their location, in the midst of giving Ian a bend-over kiss.
  • Social Media Before Reason: Jane Foster is trying to get civilians to evacuate. She's incredulous they're not only still around after the Big Bad and Thor are duking it out after the landfall of a giant alien ship but are all rushing to the windows to get their cell phones out. One even asks her if she's kidding about leaving, since Thor's right there.
  • Something We Forgot: The final stinger reminds the audience that the giant beast from Jötunheim is still loose on Earth.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: When Loki is "dying" in Thor's arms, he says that he is sorry thrice before Thor stops him. Invoked and Subverted, because he is faking his death.
  • Space Pirates: The Marauders, whose ranks are comprised of various criminals originating from different worlds; some of which aren't counted among the Nine Realms.
  • Space Romans:
    • The Asgardians are mostly based on the Vikings.
    • The people of Vanaheim, Hogun's homeworld, are based on Asian cultures such as Mongolia and Tibet.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: When Selvig learns about Loki's apparent death, he's filled with glee and joy. He changes his expression accordingly once he sees Thor's reaction.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The Dark Elves' grenades are both this and Weapons That Suck. Incredibly nasty, they're powerful enough to eliminate a Nigh Invulnerable Super Soldier in a single blow.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Notably averted. When Loki grabs Jane, he picks her completely up off the ground by the waist. This is due to anyone grabbing her by the arm being blown back by the Aether that resides within her.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Loki does this to Kurse during the Prison Riot when the latter approaches his cell, wondering if he'll break Loki out. Kurse seems to consider, but eventually walks on. According to behind-the-scenes commentary, Kurse actually decides against letting Loki out of his dungeon because he realizes that a guy locked up by himself in an Asgardian prison and does nothing but smirk menacingly at people who pass by is probably too dangerous to be set free.
  • The Stinger: This one has two.
    • A mid-credits scene has Sif and Volstagg giving the remains of the Aether to the Collector for safekeeping in his vaults. The two Asgardians mention both the Aether and the Tesseract being Infinity Stones, and not wanting them near each other. The Collector takes the Aether and, after the two depart, smirks and says, "One down, five to go."
    • The post-credits scene has Thor reunite with Jane back on Earth, then shows the Jötunheim beast in London chasing some pigeons.
  • Strolling Through the Chaos: Malekith during the battle in Odin's throne room.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Frigga is murdered in the first act to kick-start Loki's redemption arc.
  • Suicide Attack: This seems to be the Dark Elves' M.O.
    • In the opening, Odin's narration says that in the decisive battle between Asgard and the Dark Elves, Malekith sacrificed his own people in a last-ditch effort to lay waste to Asgard's forces. Most likely, the ship captains chose to crash their own ships.
    • The doll mask contains life support, according to the writers and the labels on the props over at Disney. Unlike the other Dark Elves (aside from Algrim), Malekith doesn't wear a mask, meaning he doesn't plan to survive his scheme to restore darkness himself.
    • The Dark Elves' invasion of Asgard. Four attack craft are dispatched from the mother ship on what could be described as a kamikaze attack. Only the one with Malekith makes it into the palace. As for the other three, Heimdall takes down the first one with just his daggers. The second one gets shot down by a flying boat craft, and the third one is incinerated by the defense shield. During the battle, the only Dark Elves that appear to survive are Malekith and Kurse. The rest are killed by Asgardian soldiers, with Odin using Gungnir to kill the last few of these.
  • Super Cell Reception: Jane gets a signal in the cave on Svartalfheim where all the stuff that teleported in the beginning of the movie ended up. It helps her find a rift back to Earth after she and Thor have been stranded there.
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: Lampshaded by Loki when he's disguised as Captain America.
    Loki as Steve Rogers: Costume is a bit much. So tight! But the confidence... I can feel the righteousness surging!
  • Surprisingly Super Tough Thing: Thor tries to destroy the Dark Ether (which once resisted the entirety of Asgard's power) with the hammer Mjolnir. It fails.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Loki, after he learns of the death of Frigga, his adoptive mother, throws around the furniture of his cell with his magic.
  • Technicolor Death: Kurse is destroyed via his black hole grenade, imploding into nothingness with a vortex of orange light.
  • Theme Music Abandonment: The credits of the first film began with a song from Foo Fighters. This one sounds instead like European Power Metal.
  • This Was His True Form: Invoked and downplayed by Loki, whose skin starts to turn a mottled slate blue when he fakes his death in front of Thor, but his natural Jotun skin colour is actually a way brighter blue.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Asgardian aircraft look like silvery winged longships.
  • Threat Backfire:
    • Thor's threat that he'll kill Loki at the first sign of betrayal is simply met with snarky excitement.
      Loki: When do we start?
    • Volstagg's threat that he'll kill Loki if he betrays Thor is similarly mocked.
      Volstagg: If you even think about betraying him—
      Loki: You'll kill me? Evidently, there will be a line.
  • Time Abyss: The Dark Elves were already there countless millennia ago, before light itself came into existence.
  • Title Drop: Thor tells Odin that he plans to bring Jane to the Dark World to lure Malekith away from Asgard. Later, an Einherjar (actually a disguised Loki) reports to Odin, saying he came from "the Dark World."
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • While they don't go full Xena, Jane and Darcy are much more proactive in this movie and make a major contribution in the final battle.
    • Loki is a much more effective melee fighter in this movie than in his previous appearances; here, he was armed with only a simple dagger and took on several foes simultaneously. In the past, he relied on throwing magical knives from a distance, his illusion spell, or a powerful scepter, and he usually focused on one enemy at a time.
    • In the first film, Frigga awkwardly slashes a single frost giant before getting casually slapped to the floor by Laufey. In this film, she's an Action Mom who easily bests Malekith.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: The smile Loki gives to Jane when she punches him, and to Sif when she threatens him with a blade held to his throat, seems to imply that being mishandled by a lovely lady is the opposite of a problem for him.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Jane touching the Aether. It turns her into an Apocalypse Maiden and Living Macguffin.
  • Touch of Death: By grabbing the necks of his enemies, Kurse can superheat them to smoldering corpses.
  • Translation Convention: Averted. Malekith and the Dark Elves speak only in their Dark Elf language with subtitles accompanying the dialogue, even amongst themselves. Malekith speaks English in only 2 scenes: The first is when he confronts Frigga and has Kurse stab her in the back, and the second is during the last fight with Thor.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Algrim lets himself be captured and imprisoned in Asgard so that he can undermine its defenses from within.
  • Trying Not to Cry: When Loki denies that Frigga is his mother, she knows that he doesn't mean it, but his words still sting, and her eyes become wet and redden slightly. She then tries to brush off his hurtful comment with a fake smile and a dismissive, "Hmpf."
  • Tuck and Cover: Loki shields Jane from the explosion when Thor tries to destroy the Aether with Mjölnir.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: Seen when Thor, Jane, etc. break Loki out of prison.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Even while undergoing a Mess of Woe after Frigga's death, Loki's untidy appearance doesn't diminish his physical beauty. His long, wavy mane is all tangled, he has been clawing at his shirt, and his bare foot is stained, but there's absolutely nothing to mar his delicate facial features, not even a 5 o'clock shadow.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: The Dark Elves use small grenades that generate black holes, though the effect is very localized, when in reality it would attract everything within a way bigger radius.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Tyr, who is Thor's older brother in the comics, is depicted as just another Asgardian warrior.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Averted when the college students at Greenwich don't run away as advised.
      Student: You're joking, right? That's Thor out there, waving his hammer about and everything!
    • Downplayed when Thor gets into a London Underground car in his full warrior regalia and asks for directions to Greenwich. There are some stares, one woman captures Thor on her mobile phone, and fake stumbles into him as the train pulls away in a blatant ploy to make some physical contact. Unlike the students, they don't want to make a scene.
  • Values Dissonance: invoked Played for Laughs: It's shown that Thor's seemingly-rude smashing of a mug of drinks while asking for "another" is polite behavior on Asgard during a party early on in the film.
  • Vanity Plate: A new one for Marvel Studios along with a fanfare (by this film's composer Brian Tyler) debuts in this film.
  • Viking Funeral: In a particularly poignant scene, it is revealed that Asgardians bury their dead this way (fittingly, as they're a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Vikings).
  • Villainous Friendship: There appears to be genuine friendship and respect between Malekith and Algrim/Kurse.
  • Villainous Valour:
    • Loki shows uncharacteristic bravery and willingness to put his life on the line for others during his team-up with Thor.
    • Algrim is unquestioningly loyal to his master and offers to sacrifice himself if it helps to advance his Evil Plan.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Frigga invokes this, taking pride in her ability to protect her husband, as witnessed by her interaction with Odin while they prepare for Malekith's invasion:
    Odin: Despite all I have survived, my queen still worries for me.
    Frigga: It is only because I worry for you that you have survived.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: While not the best of friends anymore, Thor and Loki still act like this regardless, trading insults with each other. It crosses into Friendly Enemy.
  • Volcanic Veins:
    • The Kursed power-up initially causes this visual effect over the subject, making them look like they're burning from the inside.
    • The Aether causes Janes veins to glow red when she is examined by Odin.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of Loki's powers is the illusion variety. When Thor busts him out of his cell, Loki suggests several disguises, transforming himself into an Asgardian soldier, turning Thor into Lady Sif (while retaining his voice), and transforming himself into Captain America (and adopting Chris Evans' voice). Later, near the end of the film, Loki is revealed to have taken Odin's form after faking his own death.
  • The War Just Before: Odin describes the war with the Dark Elves under his father's rule. The Asgardians believe that all the elves died, but they reemerge in the present to attack Asgard.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After Jane Foster goes through the Bifröst for the first time, she quips, "We have to do that again!"
  • We All Live in America: Averted for the first time since Captain America: The First Avenger (amusingly) — all of the scenes shot on Earth take place in Britain, primarily London.
  • Weapons That Suck: The Dark Elves have grenades that generate implosions.
  • We Have Reserves: By his own admission, Odin's plan for defeating Malekith is to allow him to keep attacking Asgard until he and his Dark Elves all drown in the blood of every last Asgardian.
    • Malekith himself did this 5,000 years ago when he sacrificed the vast majority of his race in a failed attempt to kill the Asgardian army with them.
  • Wham Line: Two right after each other:
    Volstagg: It would not be wise to have two Infinity Stones so close together.
    The Collector: [after they leave] One down, five to go.
  • Wham Shot: Odin shifting to Loki, revealing that he's somehow usurped the throne of Asgard and is once again ruling in Odin's place with Thor none the wiser.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Averted, despite the movie killing dozens of Einjehar making them seem as insignificant fodder for the Dark Elves to massacre, their deaths are equally mourned at Frigga's funeral.
  • When the Planets Align: The universe is about to witness the Convergence, an aligning of all Nine Realms that happens every five thousand years. When this occurs, passage between the realms is unmitigated, which is something Malekith is banking on in order to use the Aether to eliminate all existence in a single swoop.
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: In Jane's lab there are a lot of gizmos that must do some technical scientific purpose that only Jane understands, but to laymen, they just spin.
  • Win-Win Ending: Thor gets to do what he wants: travel the worlds righting wrongs, fighting evil, and being with Jane Foster, without worrying about being the King of Asgard, which he doesn't want anymore. Meanwhile, Loki gets what he wants: the throne of Asgard — which even Odin and Thor came to believe he was better suited temperamentally to occupy than Thor — no one the wiser, his mother's killer dead, and Thor out of the picture. Even better, everyone else thinks he died a hero's death.
  • Witch with a Capital B: You get the impression that was what Malekith was going for when he finds out Frigga deceived him and he resorts to Suddenly SHOUTING! the "W"-word.
  • World Gone Mad: As the Convergence begins forming rifts everywhere, a flock of birds flies into a portal then exits by flying up right in front of Selvig, Ian, and Darcy. Selvig merely comments:
    Dr. Erik Selvig: There's nothing more reassuring than realizing the world is crazier than you are.
  • World of Badass: Asgard, Svartalfheim and Vanaheim are full of great warriors. Earth has the scientists who play a key part in Malekith's defeat.
  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: In his first film, Thor was unready to be king because he was too immature. In this film, he's matured to realize that he doesn't want to be king because he finds the sacrifices and ruthlessness required to be distasteful. Loki, on the other hand... When he claims that he was far better suited to be king than Thor, Odin doesn't disagree.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: For Jane, it was quick, but when she was teleported to another dimension and back, she had been missing for five hours.
  • You Got Spunk: Jane walks up to Loki and flat-out punches him in the face. He smiles in response.
    Jane: That was for New York!
    Loki: I like her.
  • You Killed My Father: Mother, actually. Loki kills Kurse, who had murdered Frigga.
  • You're Insane!: Thor's reaction when Loki reveals his secret passage way out of Asgard, which involves driving a ship at high speeds through a crevice.
    Thor: Are you mad?!
    Loki: Possibly.
  • You're Not My Father: Loki furiously yells a variation of this when he and Frigga discuss Odin. Somewhat justified, as Loki had been disowned and would've been executed if it weren't for his mother's influence.
    Frigga: Your father—
    Loki: HE'S NOT MY FATHER!
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Sif, Volstagg, and Fandral all fight off guards to buy Thor time to escape with Loki and Jane.


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