Reviews for The Once and Future King
Peregrin Took the Falcon chapter 1 . 5/12
I'm not usually a huge Marvel fan, but your poem made me want to read everything in the Marvel archives. From what I know of him, this seems very in-character for Loki: proud, deceitful, and nearly as stubborn as Thor. That man/god/frost giant will never give up his dreams, will he?
Paulerro chapter 1 . 9/4/2014
Beautiful. This is definitely in character for Loki, in my - so very humble - opinion, if you will deign to listen to one reads poetry but writes it not. I love your imagery, my mind's eye seeing Asgard almost as if it were before me, brought into being from the nothingness by words black on white.
Out of curiosity, what do you think of the differences between the Loki of Marvel and the Loki of the old Norse myths?
Sauron Gorthaur chapter 1 . 7/9/2014
This is excellent – I enjoyed it a lot! I like how you played off Cracker’s story – I definitely see echoes of her language played out here. Great choice of Saxon alliterative poetry too for the form. I don’t see many people writing this form, and as a fan of alliteration, it was cool to read yours. It’s also very appropriate to a Norse mythology backdrop :) Fantastic job with portraying Loki, too! Such a tricky character is tough to nail down, but I think you do a fabulous job of capturing his arrogant elegance coupled with that biting bitterness, scorn, and anger mixed with such deep hurt. It’s superbly crafted all around.

If you want to stick with some form, but you don’t want the full-out rhyme and meter, Saxon alliterative verse is a good direction to go and you made it work well in this particular poem. You don’t go over the top with it, either the meter or the alliteration, which I find appropriate for Loki – subtlety rules! It’s there as a drumbeat (or even a heartbeat) in the background, elegant and powerful, especially in the first three stanzas where it reflected Loki’s pride and satisfaction at his newly acquired power.

The language is perfect for Loki’s voice, too – not stilted or archaic, but more elegant and refined than typical “Midgardian” speech. It’s beautiful, as much of Loki’s phraseology tends to be; I can see that silver tongue of his at work :) There were so many places where the rhythms, phrases, or alliteration really struck me on a purely aesthetic level, like “ringed with rooftops, gold and silver,” “darkling water whispers ever at the shore,” “last light of the afterglow,” “thundering echoes rise behind me,” and “scorn me then Eternal City.” I read the poem out loud several times, just because of how well it flows over the tongue and how well the rhythms and alliteration work.

And what a great portrayal of our favorite Trickster! As I said above, I’m impressed with how well you’ve captured his cool arrogance mixed with that dark undertone of jealousy and bitterness, along with his longing for Odin’s approval and for finding his rightful place in Asgard in the first three stanzas, which we see in the first movie, which transitions in the last stanza to the full-out sneering scorn that he uses to hide his anger and pain, that we know so well from Avengers and TDW. It’s an excellently balanced portrayal – not victimizing him or playing down his darkness but simultaneously, showing the tragedy of his character and circumstances and making me sympathize with him. That’s a tough and narrow path to write on, but you do it extremely well.

In the first two stanzas, I see the evidence of Loki’s self-righteous arrogance: his belief that he really is doing what is best for Asgard, Odin, Thor, and everyone else involved (and the underlying knowledge that he’s really doing it for himself). From the beautiful description of Asgard, I feel he really does “love” his home (to the extent that he’s able to love) – it’s clear that even though he feels marginalized, even though he knows he’s not even an Asgardian, Asgard, not Jotunheim, is his real home. I don’t think he’d try to destroy Jotunheim if that weren’t the case.

I like how simultaneously, you weave in Loki’s longing for Odin to see his worth and his bitterness towards Thor for always standing in his way. In the first movie, I think Loki’s desperate longing for Odin to look at him the same way he looks at Thor, to prove that he’s worth something too, is one of his most tragic aspects and one of the ones that makes him most sympathetic. The look on his face at the end just before he falls, after Odin tells him that nothing he can do will make him worthy, is heart-breaking; I think you did a great job of capturing that hole in Loki in his grandiose beliefs that Odin will *finally* have the chance to see him – Loki – as worthy. I like the line about Odin waking to see the streets glinting, still intact and beautiful, proving that Loki is the great leader Asgard needs, in contrast to Thor who would have left Asgard in ruins without timely intervention. Even the line about the borrowed rays of light returning suggests that Loki himself is finally reclaiming his rightful place, as Thor gives up what Loki sees as “borrowed rays” of power to Loki, who was also born to rule, he now knows.

But underneath the surface of Loki’s smug confidence and pride in his kingship, there’s veins of darkness running. That’s part of what makes Loki such an intriguing character for me – that there’s always undercurrents, ulterior meanings, and subtleties at work in him that sometimes bubble up to the surface. His bitterness towards Thor is perhaps the most obvious. In that sentence at the end of stanza 1, again, I get the sense of Loki’s self-righteous “I’m doing this for the good of everyone” attitude: that Odin needed to realize Thor’s incompetence (and subsequently, Loki’s competence) for the good of Asgard and everyone involved. And yet, I can’t help but wonder if that’s *all* that’s going on there. Loki and Thor’s relationship is complicated to put it mildly. And Loki is the Liar. I don’t know if it’s what you intended, but the fact that Loki says he does not regret Thor’s banishment makes me wonder if he’s not being perfectly honest even with himself, even now, and that he’s still trying to convince *himself* that he doesn’t regret it.

Continuing on with this theme (though again, I’m not sure if it’s what you intended with the passage), I loved the line “Thundering echoes rise behind me, shatter silence.” In poetry, even more than in prose possibly, every word counts, and I cannot help but notice the appropriateness of the word “thundering”, considering Loki’s speaking to the god of thunder. Not only is this imagery of Loki’s actual surroundings, but I interpret this as also subtly referring to Thor. That even now, even when Loki thinks he’s achieved everything he’s ever dreamed of, now that he’s Asgard’s hero and king, now that he’s at “peace”, Thor still continues to haunt him, either his conscience about what he did to Thor or just a fear that Thor hasn’t been permanently dealt with. Thor’s thunder still has a way of shattering Loki’s silence, and he knows it. If Thor figures out what Loki’s done, there’s going to be one heck of a thunderstorm!

There’s also evidence of Loki’s tragic self-doubt and even self-loathing too, even amongst his elation and sense of triumph. Living in the shadow of Thor, it’s clear Loki has a self-depreciation problem, among a multitude of other problems, in how desperately he tries to get Odin’s attention and how much he longs for that sense of purpose and worth that he believes the throne will give him. You show that very poignantly when he makes the claim of being Asgard’s king and hero, followed swiftly by his doubt as to whether anyone will actually see him as such. He knows he has secrets to hide, and I can sense his combined loathing and fear that the people will find out “what his skin hides”: not only his true nature as a Frost Giant, but as a Liar and Deceiver who got Thor banished, took the throne unrightfully, and has made a deal with Asgard’s enemies. His claim that “trickery becomes” him is a perfect line for Loki – both a boastful and a scornful statement. Even though he claims he’s wise and it’s his rightful place to rule, he still knows that he got there by trickery, unlike Thor who’s the real rightful ruler.

Then that last stanza is a great contrast in showing us post-Avengers Loki with his fair-seeming mask stripped away, leaving us a full view of the roiling pit of anger and bitterness inside. You show the contrast most vividly in his second description of Asgard, now that he’s his city’s prisoner rather than her king. There is still a refined beauty in the description, but it’s dark and violent too with the references to blood, “quivering shadows,” and “cold suns.” Likewise, his bitter, almost scornful derision of Asgard’s people and their heartlessness still shows that he’s not willing to blame himself for his own faults.

The ending sentence is perfect. It’s a wonderfully mocking challenge that suits Loki. Even in defeat, he can still walk to his doom with a smirk and arrogantly claim that he will be king again. You’ve got to give it to him – he’s certainly determined. It reminds me of something Tom H said about him in an interview I read – that Loki has an amount of determination that is really quite admirable. He just goes about fulfilling his dreams in a way that makes him a villain. If he had gone about it a different way, he would probably be a character who would receive great respect for such determination. I certainly see that determination in your last line.

Top marks all around, for form, for language, for characterization. This is a lovely, tragic glimpse at Loki’s rise and fall, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Keep on writing!

-Sauron Gorthaur
SoulsandSwords chapter 1 . 2/17/2014
Wow! This was so simple that it was beautiful-I'm already a Loki fan but this helps put his perspective into play even more and gives me more reason to like him! :) nice job
Great Angemon chapter 1 . 2/5/2014
I don't know much about this fandom at all, but I absolutely loved this poem. From what I know about Loki(yes, I *have* seen Avengers once or twice), this seems very like him; constantly conniving people into getting what he wants, especially the throne.

I loved the way the poem was laid out. I'll admit, I'm no poetry aficionado, so I didn't even know what a Saxon Meter(and it made me think of Doctor Who) was, but I absolutely loved it.

I loved how you described everything, from the rooftops of the city to the courtyard dripping the blood of Asgard, and I love how Loki is calling himself the true king of Asgard.

Silly silly Loki, just because Thor isn't king, that doesn't mean you should be. You're nuttier than a fruit cake, and twice as sour, and that doesn't make for great royalty.

Overall, a great poem. I loved it, and I loved how you laid it out, though, I don't think you needed the line break before the last stanza, since you have the funny swiggly o swiggly things.
DjinniFires chapter 1 . 1/11/2014
I know who Loki is as a mythological character but am fandom blind as far as the recent Thor movies; you'll be able to see whether you got the situation across clearly.

The language is quite in character: grand, majestic, a touch "old world." The emphasis on "gilded" suggests something slightly disguised under a pretty surface though not necessarily bad; what's gilded could be solid rock or strong oak. Loki is known as the trickster, but in this story he was a trickster with a serious goal, not just a trouble-maker.

The situation is interesting: a brother uneasy, a little conflicted, but more insistent on convincing himself that he did the right thing. Loki turned his father against his brother. He clearly loves his brother since he mentally addresses him. His stated conclusion is "I have made the wiser choice," but overall all the poem still gives the sense that he's not completely sure.

The location is expansive, from the realm and age of heroes. Several senses are engaged: mostly sight but also sound (thundering) and sensation (cold, sharp, jagged).

The use of Saxon meter (wow, I'm impressed, I've never heard of it and have no clue what it is) is in keeping with the allusion to Arthur of "once and future king."

Overall, really nice.
Nit: Verse 2, line 4: the words reversed from the norm was a hiccough for me: [He will see our realm as {{was it}} on the day]
Edhla chapter 1 . 12/8/2013
Although I really like that this is told from Loki's perspective, I was a little distracted by the disparancy between the strong imagery and the persistent "I" pronouns. It could just be my personal taste talking, but I find the use of those pronouns even in first person can often be distracting. I found it particularly so in the "as I turn" line, since it's not really a natural point of first person observation, if that makes any sense. This poem is very good and I enjoyed it, but I think it would be much stronger without the I, my, mine.

As said, I really liked the strong imagery, particularly in the first stanza there: incorporation of mildly archaic but evocative words like "darkling" wand "afterglow" ere really a draw card here. I did find the period/full stop ending the first three lines to be mildly clunky, but that's very much a stylistic thing.

"I her hero" This read a little clunkily to me and I don't think it's the syntax, since "sharp her people" works for me below.

Is "once and future king" canon? If not, I would consider losing it, simply because it's recognisably Arthurian and a little too recognisable.

Unfortunately, being a little canon-blind I can't tell you whether Loki was in character or not, but I still enjoyed this. :)
Cansei de Ser Sexy chapter 1 . 11/30/2013
Before I start I have to say I'm not very well accustomed to review poetry, (other than high school stuff years ago) but I have a good enough poem reader, so I hope it will be enough.

Was it Loki in character? I say so, yes. Especially in the last part, the part that mattered the most perhaps, he was extremely in character, with last two verses. Those were my favorite as well. I liked how Loki called Asgard as 'Eternal City', and tell her people scorn him. I felt that self-blame in him again, that self-disgust he feels for himself, mainly because of his heritage, but now here because he failed once again.

Red the life of blood - Lovely description. Red is the color of the life, I liked that.

I quite enjoyed the first stanza as well, particularly he taunted Thor as driving him to Earth, am I correct? Unfortunately my movie timeline is now all messed up, but from the verses that was what I gathered.
The middle stanzas were good too; liked the most the part he admitted to himself he had become the trickster master we all know(and love, I do myself :D)

I her hero - I believe you missed the 'am' here. And this was good quite too; I am king now, I am her hero. Loki does want to people see him kingly and heroic, doesn't he? Despite he doesn't give them any good reason for it? Heh.

This one was interesting experience for me, so thanks for writing. :)
StillDreaming85 chapter 1 . 11/26/2013
So I picked this one for RT before I saw it was a poem and feel a little out of my depth. I decided to still read and comment on it before I moved onto another one.

I think it is very well written. It comes with a great voice of authority, or at least he likes to think he is. Hehe. You give very powerful descriptions. Great job, well done x x
Rosawyn chapter 1 . 11/21/2013
Loki! Ahem, I'm so used to typing up a fandom blindness warning when playing RT, it actually feels a bit odd to not do it this time, lol. But in this case, I'm about the opposite of fandom-blind. ;)

I should also point out that the fact this is a poem attracted me as well as the fandom. I write a lot of poetry myself, and I've found many readers avoid poetry. Apparently it's scary or something.

The descriptions of Asgard in the first stanza are lovely. :) I've seen the movies, so I know what Asgard looks like, but this imagery brings it all fourth in my mind.

Loki implying that he's the worthy son rings as quite ironic. I don't think either Thor or Loki were very “worthy,” though Thor did get better. It's interesting, though, how Loki was actually ruling Asgard; he had what he wanted, if only temporarily. It had been given to him. But he had to go screw it all up through his sneaky manipulations, his bizarre and unnecessary plan to “earn” his father's love. Reading this poem, I'm really struck by that, as Loki in this first stanza survey's his realm, the realm he is currently ruling.

Reading the second stanza (which also has some lovely imagery), I can't help but wonder why Loki couldn't just stick to this plan: take care of Asgard while his father slept. No need to call in Frost Giants for a dramatic attack on the sleeping Odin. Just take care of Asgard. I honestly think Odin would have been impressed.

No, Loki! You haven’t made the wiser choice! Don't do the thing! D:

But seriously, what the hell? He's got it all. Everything he ever wanted. I guess it didn't make him happy. I know not everyone respected him as king, but I still think patience would have been a better path. Even Sif might have gotten used to the idea, given time. :P But then, I guess he wouldn't be Loki, lol. He's always got to be sneaking about, plotting things, teetering on the edge of insanity. The last line of the third stanza here portrays that well: his disconnect from reality. He honestly believes at this point that he is making “wise” decisions. The irony is powerful for those of us who've seen how this story ends. :/

The last stanza, with all its harsh contrast to the first, is actually the most beautiful. At least, I think so. It shows how far Loki has fallen and how his perceptions of Asgard have changed. I especially love the phrase, “Stained with glory” - so beautiful and descriptive!

I love how Loki compares the people of Asgard, calling them cold and sharp, with the jaggedness of his own heart. It fits well with the fact that Loki himself is a Frost Giant, and yet he accuses the Asgardians of being cold. I'm not saying he's wrong, by the way. Odin especially can be terribly cold.

The last line here is especially beautiful in how it subtly calls forward to the ending of Thor: The Dark World. Very powerful.

Lovely writing. Very enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!
StrawberryDuckFeathers chapter 1 . 11/20/2013
. For the Request a Review archive. . Quite fandom-blind!.

First of all I like the very poetic 'voice' in this. I like how the 'voice' of the poem also matches the grandeur of Loki's voice as well. I really like the use of 'darkling', as if things are getting darker, much worse now. I really like how well you show Loki's taste for control in the beginning- at least that's how I interpreted it. There's a lot of refernces to gold and silver which I think connects nicely to high status, as if it's like a taste for him of the control that will come to him if he comes to rule Asgard, or as if he thinks of himself as being of a high power. I like the use of the 'thundering echoes', as it reflects Thor, almost as if, since the thunder 'echoes', that Loki is leaving him behind, almost? I like the lifting of the father's lance as well, since it's like a tension-rising, dramatic scene of Loki finally taking his father's place and gaining the control he seems to so greatly crave. I think the last stanza is very effective, almost as if the city itself is bowing down to him (' courtyards rise before me'). I also think the personification of Asgard as a 'she' fits this as well, as if it is a person who is bowing down to Loki. From the little I know of Loki's character, it does seem in character to me., yes. :)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Here is my critique/suggestions for you. :)

. ( I her hero) and ( back through gilded passage): Not sure if you altered this for poetic effect, but they might make more sense with a comma placed in them. Same goes with some other lines as well. Here are the places where I think a comma may allow the sections to read a little more clearly. Of course, you do not have to make this change- everyone writes poetry differently, and it's your story. :)
( I her hero) - [I, her hero,]
(back through gilded passage) [back, through gilded passage,]
( I your once and future king) [I, your once and future king]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A good read with an interesting tension build to Loki finally gaining the power he wanted. Keep up the good work. :)
crackers sister chapter 1 . 7/27/2013
beautifully written! wonderful descriptions and characterization
Saoirse7 chapter 1 . 7/1/2013
Quite in character for Loki. He's looking for a throne that isn't there, but is still convinced that he should be the rightful ruler. Nicely done!
Chellybean17 chapter 1 . 7/1/2013
Wow. This was gorgeous. Nice job!
CrackinAndProudOfIt chapter 1 . 7/1/2013
This is lovely, Mihi! The images and powerful descriptive language you use are so stirring in all four "scenes" you paint here. I love the sharp contrast between the confident pride of the first three stanzas and the humility-even humiliation-of the final one, which still manages to echo the others.

Loki is in excellent character! I could hear his perspective and "voice" clearly throughout. Your word choices create the perfect insight into his mind.

Beautifully done!
-Crackers

PS: Thanks for the shout-out, too! :)
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