Film ‘Thor’ shows Monarchy is Bad Idea

Within the first 30 minutes of Thor, we learnt our ‘Hero’ is heir to an autocratic regime – there being no sign of democracy in his home realm of Asgard – and following the theft of a precious artefact, has no qualms against attacking another realm – that of the ‘Frost Giants’ – despite no proof of their involvement in the crime.

We watch as Thor kills legions of Frost Giant soldiers who merely attempt to defend their planet. The film glosses over ‘Our Hero’s’ blatant war mongering by depicting his Frost Giant Victims as very ugly. Therefore, we are invited to believe, they deserve a hiding.

Soon Thor gets into trouble, not from a guilty conscience, but from being outnumbered by his foes and is rescued by his father Odin – The Ruler of Asgard. After being banished to Earth as punishment, the mentally prepubescent Thor learns some rudimentary
manners only to finally be re-instated as the Asgardian heir, the position that turned him into a thoughtless angry oaf in the first place.

Moreover, we have no idea whether the Asgardians themselves are content with their society. The film only ever shows Thor, his family or close confidants.

We are shown rapturous Asgardians celebrating a royal ceremony but for all we know his could merely be North Korean style state propaganda.

If we take Thor at Face value, we are really vouching for a mystical Viking equivelant of Kim Jong Un, son of the North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il.

On another interpretation, the film becomes an unintended satirical critique of the hereditary principle.

-We’ve already touched on the first conflict in the film, solely caused by the warmongering of the spoilt prince Thor himself. Like all autocracies, the people of Asgard are at the mercy of the whims and insanities of those in the ruling family.

-When in Thor’s absence, his brother Loki temporarily becomes King following Odin’s death, he performs all sorts of misdeeds, there being no independent judiciary or parliament to act as a check his power.

-During the final fight scene, Thor, Loki and Odin end up destroying the humongous teleportation device that allows travel back and forth from Earth.

You don’t get the impression there will be an independent review to find out why such destruction occurred. Nor that there will be a trial for careless destruction of state property. The Asgardian press, if it exists, won’t be sending reporters to find out what happened. Most likely, as is the way in autocracies, Odin will instruct them what to write the next day.

Ironically, Marvel’s other hero Captain America, set to team with Thor in the Avengers movie, is famed for fighting Nazi totalitarianism. Yet there is apparently no contradiction in him collaborating with Thor.

The box office success has led to calls for a sequel. Perhaps it could be that contact with the Earth via twitter and facebook inspires an ‘Asgardian Spring’ of demands for freedom which compels Thor to create an orderly transition to a democratic system?

Or better still, the US and Britain take part in a neoconservative inspired invasion of Asgard to instil regime change, pitting Thor against Captain America and Iron Man?

It’s just a thought.


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