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Western Animation / Thor: Tales of Asgard

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Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011) is a Direct to Video animated film from Marvel Animation and Lionsgate featuring the adventures of a teenage Thor, his little brother Loki, and the Warriors Three as they try to retrieve the lost Sword of Surtur from Jotunheim. Long story short: nothing goes as planned.

In the end, what starts out as a harmless adventure quickly turns deadly, and Thor must now prove himself worthy of the destiny he covets by saving Asgard itself.

The Thor: Tales of Asgard movie provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Small one, but Loki's hair in both the comic and movie is clearly a jet-black. It's not clear why it was changed to brown, but possibly it was due to the problems of shading and giving depth to entirely black hair in animation. Who's to say it won't eventually turn black, after what happened in the end?
    • In the comics Sif has blue eyes, but here her eyes go back and forth between being blue and being brown.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Algrim in the comics was genuinely loyal to Asgard after cutting ties to Malekith, but here, he deeply resents Odin for not helping Svartalfheim and the Dark Elves against the Frost Giants and their subsequent subjugation and extermination of his people, going to war against the remaining Dark Elves after they turned to Surtur for help, and blames Odin and Asgard for letting the Dark Elves go extinct, now willing to use the Sword of Surtur against Asgard for revenge.
  • An Ice Person: The Frost Giants, as it says on the tin. Loki also, given his Frost Giant heritage.
  • Almost Kiss: Thor interrupts one between Loki and Amora.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Valkyries. They're an isolated group of former maidens led by the Valkyrie Brunhilde to be trained and honed in combat skill to establish independence from the sexist world of Asgard and Odin's reign. They hold a tenuous alliance with Odin and slaughter any spies sent by him to their base.
  • Bar Brawl: There's one involving Thor, Loki, and the Warriors Three. It ends with the bar burning down, so the bar owner goes to Odin for compensation.
  • Becoming the Boast: It turns out that the Warriors Three aren't the warriors they boast they are. All those extended adventures they claim to take? They just go to an inn where they relax and steal stories from real adventurers. They are eventually forced into becoming the heroes they boast to be when Thor and Loki strongarm them into joining their quest for the Sword of Surtur.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Thor towards Loki, though Loki, being the smarter brother, also looks after Thor in his own way.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Loki's spells are spoken in Icelandic.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the end Thor and Odin reconcile their family differences, but several Frost Giants have died, Asgard and the Valkyries have been attacked, and Loki had to kill a former family friend and it's implied he may have began his descent into villainy.
  • Blatant Lies: Loki: (after Thor loses his sword in a public training match) "You were victorious despite the trouble with your sword's grip... Plainly it was too slick. I'll reprimand the dwarfs."
  • Bleed 'Em and Weep: Loki after he kills Algrim.
  • Book Ends: When Algrim is first introduced, he commends Thor on being able to detect him in the dark, and Thor responds it was just a lucky guess. In their battle near the end of the movie, Algrim uses the Sword of Surtur to put out the fires, and Thor manages to hear him moving and pin him down.
  • Break the Haughty: Thor suffers a massive one early in the movie. He gets his ego propped up after beating the Einherjar in sparring matches, not knowing that they just let him win on Odin's orders because he couldn't afford Asgard to see their prince lose in public. But Sif quickly gives him a reality check by trouncing him in a sword fight...using the broken end of a barn tool.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Thor is able to spot Algrim in the shadows early in the movie. This becomes useful in their fight during the climax.
  • Chick Magnet: Fandral who is a deconstruction of the trope because of how much trouble it gets him and his friends in down the road.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Loki hands Thor a wooden hammer during the bar fight and it proves far more useful than his sword.
    • Also, Loki's Frost Giant heritage is hinted at when he handles the cold of a snowy Jotunheim better than his bundled and burly companions.
    • When Thor is preparing for his journey he stands in a armory with Mjölnir and the Axe of the Executioner on display.
  • Continuity Snarl: Despite being canon with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Odin makes no mention of his other son Balder who is completely absent from the film.
  • Cool-Down Hug: Thor gives Loki one after he uses the sword to kill Algrim.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sif delivers one to Thor. With a broken farm tool.
  • Darker and Edgier: It features adult humor, on-screen deaths and graphic images like people bursting into flames and burning to ashes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sif, Loki, Fandral and even Hogan.
  • Evil Former Friend: Algrim. Thor won't forgive him for betraying the House of Odin, but can't forget their years-long friendship.
  • Evil Weapon: Word of God confirms the Sword of Surtur can influence its wielder. It influences Algrim into attacking Asgard and is essentially doing all of the fighting during the battle against Odin such as seeing through Odin's illusions.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Algrim.
  • Fanservice: The scene where Thor spies on the Valkyries and finds them all bathing naked in the springs. Cut to Sif in a robe with clearly nothing underneath, which is barely staying together.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between the Asgardians, Frost Giants and Dark Elves to varying degrees.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Loki's control over water (and ice and mist by extension), as well as his immunity to the cold in Jotunheim hints at his Frost Giant heritage.
    • Also, the ending, with Loki murdering Algrim in cold blood and then hiding in his temple to play with his (growing) magic, hints at his future Face–Heel Turn.
    • Odin's damage to his eye and face by the Sword of Surtur from his fight with Algrim alludes to his one-eyed appearance later down the line.
    • As mentioned in the Continuity Nod, guess what are the weapons Thor would wield in the MCU by Chris Hemsworth.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Nothing and nobody is absolutely "good" or "bad" in this movie. Both sides of the Asgardians and Frost Giants have mentioned to have committed genocide against the Dark Elves, the remaining Dark Elf wants to cause genocide on both sides as revenge, Thor's ego causes him to nearly start a war, etc.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Surtur himself. He was the original forger and wielder of the sword he was named after, and the Sword of Surtur serves as the MacGuffin of the film, which can change size to conform to its present wielder's hand and in itself has the power to corrupt others such as Algrim. Meanwhile, its true wielder Surtur is absent for the film minus a flashback, with Thor and Loki reconstructing a battle between their father and the ruler of Muspelheim in Jotunheim to decipher the location of his sword.
  • Hot for Teacher: Loki obviously has a thing for his (extremely sexy) magic teacher Amora, and she seems to reciprocate.
  • Jerkass: Thor starts off as an arrogant spoiled prince before his Character Development.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Algrim when he called out Odin for exterminating the remaining populace of his subjugated race after they begged him for help even if they had to turn to Surtur for aid. He only responds with a I Did What I Had to Do excuse.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Sword of Surtur does this, burning the flesh from the bones of its victims until their skeletons are vaporized as well. This is all shown in an instant.
  • MacGuffin: Thor foolishly uncovering the Sword of Surtur nearly causes a war among the realms as multiple factions attempt to claim its power and are corrupted by it. It's returned to the Frost Giants at the end, since they can contain it.
  • Morton's Fork: Odin implies he was left with this kind of situation when it came to the survival of the Dark Elves. He could have aided them in a protracted war with the Frost Giants and cost the lives of all his forces as well as inadvertently helping the Omnicidal Maniac Surtur threaten all the Nine Realms after it had been done manipulating the Dark Elves into conquering Jotunheim or formed an unstable but steady peace treaty with the Frost Giants, kept his people alive and protected, and destroyed the remains of the Dark Elf race as well as sealed away Surtur.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Thor's reaction after he accidentally uses the Sword to kill two Frost Giants and trigger a war between Asgard and Jotunheim.
    • Loki, after he kills Algrim in a fit of fury.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Loki uses his magic to pour ale over Fenris, then realizes that Fenris knows who did it.
    • The Warriors Three when they realize Thor and Loki stowed away on their boat.
  • Papa Wolf: Odin, who even admits he goes a little too far shielding his sons from the world.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Parodied when Thor throws a (small, unenchanted) hammer in a bar fight, which proceeds to bounce between various objects until it cuts the rope on a chandelier above his opponent. Thor is shocked, and asks Loki if he bewitched the hammer. Loki, equally dumbfounded, says he didn't.
  • Prequel: To The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, focusing on Thor and Loki when they were teenagers.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "CAN! YOU! FIGHT!!" -Sif
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Odin, who simply wants to keep the peace and raise his children the best he can. He's also not too proud to come to Algrim for advice on his sons.
    • Thrym, surprisingly enough. He only starts a war because he's genuinely afraid of what Asgard might do with the Sword of Surtur at their disposal (a worry that is not entirely unwarranted), and calls off his troops as soon as Thor offers him the Sword and his apologies, sparing him, despite the two Jotuns Thor killed (albeit by accident), on the grounds that he averted a war and returned a weapon that would have killed many more.
  • Royal Brat: Thor, at first.
  • Shared Universe: Takes place on Earth-8096 in the Marvel multiverse, which is the same universe that Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), and Hulk Vs. take place.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Thor and Loki, though they're not yet at the Cain and Abel stage.
  • Start of Darkness: Implied to be this for Loki, by the end of the film. When Thor tries to reassure him that killing Algrim was a moment of weakness, Loki brushes it aside, saying he sought vengeance and clearly loathing himself. He now spends more and more time isolated from the others, practicing his magic.
  • Straw Feminist: The Valkyries. Notably their leader Brunhilde who states men are only useful for one thing, procreation, and after which should be immediately discarded.
  • Sword Beam: The Sword of Surtur shoots fire.
  • Tragic Villain: Algrim. Given the fact that his family and whole people were slaughtered thanks in part to Odin it's no wonder he's pissed. Yes working with Surtur was stupid considering Surtur's an Omnicidal Maniac who would have destroyed the Nine Realms, but again people can be stupid when desperate for a chance at victory.
  • Unwilling Suspension: The Warriors 3 by the Valkyries.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Loki's a sweet, well-meaning kid who loves his father and brother and is definitely the more rational of Odin's sons...but by the end of the movie he's killed his first person, and even he seems aware that he's becoming someone darker.
  • The Wise Prince: Thor develops into one by the end, accepting and understanding the actions of Algrim and Loki and suing for peace after seeing the horror of what the Sword can unleash.
  • Woman Scorned: Brunhilde is implied to be this due to a horribly failed relationship with Fandral in the past as well as many other maidens who fell to his charms.