Reviews for Cracks in the Illusion
KimicThranduilion chapter 1 . 1/22/2018
This was so beautiful and sad at the same time. Tenderly written from the point of a mom just trying to do her best to keep her family together and happy. Well written - I enjoyed it very much.
Loki Joker Quinn Jr chapter 1 . 3/7/2017
Poor loki
Sauron Gorthaur chapter 1 . 10/27/2014
Very lovely :) Frigga and Loki’s relationship really is a complex and beautiful one, if sad, and it was unfortunate that we didn’t get to see more of it in the movies. But I love this as a little background snapshot of their relationship, and how can you really go wrong with kid Loki? :D

I really enjoyed reading about the issues you bring up here, much of which are rather glossed-over in the movies up to date. First and foremost is the issue about Loki being a Jotun, something that is a lot more complicated I think than the brief time it gets in the first movie shows. I mean, it’s got to suck to find out all of a sudden that you were adopted, period, but the whole fact that he’s a Jotun just exacerbates the whole problem and trauma. It is problematic to me that this was kept from him, but what almost seems worse for his mental health is to allow him to grow up with the obvious racism that exists in Asgard. Regardless of Asgard’s bad history with Jotunheim, I would think it would have been better for some effort to be made, around Loki at least, to let him know that Jotuns aren’t all evil, cruel monsters. Not only does he all of a sudden find out he’s adopted, but all of a sudden he discovers he’s a *monster*, a creature he was allowed to think all his life was monstrous. That’s definitely not going to help his sanity level.

I see some of that already going on here. Even though Loki doesn’t directly mention the fact that he looks like a Jotun, I’m assuming he would know what Jotuns are, since you mention Thor having bad dreams about Jotuns occasionally. And Loki already sees himself, in his real form, as a monster, as he says. Having blue skin doesn’t necessarily equal being a monster, so even if he doesn’t come right out and say it, I had the feeling that he knows what he looks like, that he’s in the form of a Jotun. His fear that Odin would banish him adds to that conclusion – it seems a little extreme for him to think that Odin would banish him for having a different skin color, but his fear that Odin would banish him for looking like one of their oldest and most hated enemies seems believable.

And that is really, truly tragic, and it was so sad to see his terror at witnessing his true form for the first time, fear that’s not going to go away, I suspect, when he gets older. The fact that he’d try to wipe out his race, along with the fact that he seems to pointedly ignore his real ethnicity by remaining in his Aesir form and not really speaking about it after the first movie, point towards that continued self-loathing that’s evident here.

I cannot help but wonder if things would have been better if Frigga and Odin had told him the truth from the start, and if he’d grown up accustomed to his Jotun form just as much as his Aesir form. It was very sad for me to see Frigga continue to hide the truth from him here, even if she believes it’s what’s best for him or if she is merely doing as Odin wishes for her to do. I do believe Frigga loves him with all her heart, regardless of his race, a fact that you make beautifully clear, but it was so sad to see her telling him these half-truths to keep up the illusion of normalcy. If Loki had not figured it out on his own in the movie, I wonder if they ever would have told him the truth at all.

I thought you did a great job with the characters and kept them very believable and in character. I know that a lot of people in this fandom really dislike Odin, and I see why, but while he’s got a lot of faults, I do think he really thinks he’s doing the best he can and being a father in the way he thinks he needs to be, and not everything that goes wrong is his fault. You show his mentality very starkly here. He’s been through a lot, he’s tough, and he expects everyone around him, especially his sons, to be tough too. His dismissive line about Loki being too old for nightmares showed that mentality well. Loki’s fear about Odin finding out and even sending him away show that Loki has already figured out Odin’s mentality all too well, and unfortunately, both Loki and Frigga are probably right about Odin not understanding. Odin’s certainly not perfect, and his decision to keep Loki in the dark was probably not the best parenting choice. I could fully believe this is the same character who would banish one of his sons to Earth, stripped of his powers, and condemn his other son to a lifetime alone in a dungeon.

On the other hand, you portrayed Frigga as the loving, decisive woman she appears as in the brief times we see her in the movies. She deals with Loki’s fears very well (and probably at that place and time, telling him he’s actually a Jotun would *not* have been a good idea), and her love for her son is beautifully clear. She’s in character to conquer her own fears and do what’s best for Loki in the moment. His trust in her and her love for him were exquisitely shown, and I can see why they had a particularly complex and deep relationship. I was impressed by just how well she is able to soothe him, keeping her language simple enough for a little child, constantly reassuring him of his safety and her love, and even lightening the mood and getting him to laugh a little with her anecdote about her wedding flowers. I liked her line about magic playing tricks on them instead of vice versa.

Even if he’s only four years old here, great job with Loki, too. I was able to believe this was his child self. While Thor attacks his problems head-on, Loki seems to have a tendency to try to escape his problems, hide from them, or even succumb to them. The way you’ve showed it is very much how I think Loki would react to waking up in the middle of the night to find himself in a “monster’s” form, as opposed to the way Thor would probably confront such a predicament. Loki’s illusiveness at the beginning, his fear of letting anyone, even Frigga, see him or know the truth about him, and his tendency to pull away and curl up on himself are very much in character for him. It’s what he continues doing as an adult, just in more subtle ways, slipping on sarcastic masks and sneers to hide his fear and pain, cultivating some serious trust issues, and avoiding his problems by doing things like trying to conquer Midgard.

The comment at the end about Frigga thinking Loki is such a perceptive child made me think directly of her line from TDW about his perceptiveness about everyone but himself, one of my favorite quotes from the movie. It speaks a ton about Loki’s character, as well as Frigga’s understanding of him. Whether you were thinking directly about that line from TDW or not when you wrote that sentence, I thought it was a great fit to allude to that quote there at the end of the story.

Hehe, I like the idea though of Loki telling Thor scary stories. I can imagine the two of them hiding under the blankets telling each other ghost stories and trying to frighten each other. I do suspect Loki would be better at such a past time though :D

I liked Frigga’s cool collectedness in answering Loki’s question about if he’s cold, not allowing him to see her own worry as she gently brushes off his worries. I also loved her reassurance to him that no matter what he looks like, he’s always him. It was such a sweet little moment, and I can only hope that such a reassurance still lingers somewhere inside Loki’s hurting adult heart. Whether or not pure love on its own can heal him at this point is difficult to say, but I think deep down Loki must know that his family, especially Frigga and Thor, did love him and always will.

It is always a pleasure to read a thoughtful, well-written, well-characterized piece like this one. You did Frigga and Loki’s relationship full justice, and the sweetness of the story was nicely mingled with the sadness of seeing Loki’s fear and knowing that the truth is being kept from him and how much that will hurt him later on. Keep on writing! Cheers :)

-Sauron Gorthaur
nimagine chapter 1 . 9/29/2014
A lovely piece of work. Thank you for writing it.
cate chapter 1 . 5/26/2014
Touching story. There just aren't enough lovely Frigga-Loki kid fics out there.
LadyLorena chapter 1 . 5/7/2014
Such a sweet moment- I love reading Frigga and Loki childhood moments. Very well enjoyed this story!
Bookworm85 chapter 1 . 5/3/2014
What a sweet story!
DarqueQueen7 chapter 1 . 5/3/2014
How sad! How desperately Frigga fought to make him believe. Beautifully written. Brava.

D.