Thor: The Dark World – An Analysis

Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World (Taylor, 3013) is a secondary film to ‘Thor’ and follows Avengers – a previous Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) film- and discovering what this hero’s journey continues with. Throughout the movie, you find more about Asgard’s dealings with war within the vast ‘realms’ and its ongoing effects, which will be discussed throughout. Within this you meet The Dark Elves; a race who strives to delve the universe back into complete darkness using their weapon- the Aether. Thor, the protagonist, must strive to stop them after re-claiming their weapon of destruction.  Through the entire film, a certain pattern is noticed when compared to that of its first movie. Thor: The Dark World is but a continued play out of Asgard’s brutal history and leads to suggest the moral of these films are to show the effects of war in both past and present.

As Alan Taylor mentioned during an interview that he wanted to achieve depicting the world of Thor in a more historically correct and gritty way; truer to the Norse mythology, which stems from the very viciously known Viking culture, known for its many war efforts throughout Europe. This can be seen throughout any film that involved the gods Thor and Loki (Thor’s mischievous brother) that war is often the main problem. In the very first Thor issue that strove to Thor’s demise was his hunger for war, especially that against those from Jotunheim (land of the Frost Giants) as Asgard had previous war efforts against them.

Furthermore, the combat carries through to another MCU called Avengers (Whedon, 2012) which also involves an intergalactic war- again involving mainly that of Loki and Thor. So on to that of Thor: The Dark World, which depicts the grits of war and its ongoing costs, especially with another planet or ‘realm’ known as Svartalfheim. The evidence of this lays within the costs within each of the films building in intensity, such as the first Thor, losing a way to get to Jane (Thor’s lover) and unable to regain contact for some time along with losing his brother (apparently), within the Avengers, losing his brother to insanity, war and power after finding out he was alive, and finally in the most current Thor, losing his brother to death (or so he believes- again).

Given the set morals, sub-texts, build ups and histories of the film helped shape the imagery of the entire film as it hence forth set to become dirtier, for lack of better word, in imagery as the threat of a more vicious war sets in place for characters. You can see this is the difference in the style between the first Thor movie, a shinier look compared to that of its later film instalments. This is possibly due to the Director, Alan Taylor, also having previous experience with gritty and highly fantasised worlds, having directed a few Game of Thrones episodes himself, thus having an impact within and around the very themes of Thor: The Dark World’s imagery. While the first Thor’s director, Kenneth Branagh, tends to come across filming and acting in movies that are a lot cleaner, such as Cinderella and Love’s Labour’s Lost. These images help foster across the theme or war and how very dirty it can get over time.

In conclusion, Thor: The Dark World, was set to show the very morals and effects war can have upon all different kinds of worlds over time, even after the war has been lost or won. Director Alan Taylor strived to portray this through his imagery in a darker sense, proposing a more historically correct likeness to that of Norse mythology and its creators, the Vikings. Even more, the sub-text seems to carry throughout the entire MCU wherever the characters of Thor seem present, ever depicting the thought of war is an ongoing and never ending problem within Thor’s universe.





Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. (2017). Svartalfheim. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].

Putman, D. (2013). Dustin Putman’s Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013). [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].

Stitch Kingdom. (2012). ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Official Synopsis Released – Stitch Kingdom. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].

(1) (2014). Films directed by Kenneth Branagh. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].

(2) (2017). Thor: The Dark World. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].


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