“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” ~ Ernest Hemmingway
“Brainy is the new sexy.” ~ Irene Adler from Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Can I get a huge “Duh!” here? Yes, well I might have just given away my age with that reference to ’90s pop culture, but nevermind that.
In every movie, Loki shows his intelligence. It’s part of how we identify him. He’s not strong and brawny like Thor. He’s introverted and intelligent. Mind over muscle. As I referenced in the quote above, “brainy is the new sexy.”
A few days ago I compared Loki to a chess player, able to see several moves ahead in anticipation of his opponent’s strategy. This is where the intelligence comes in. He’s not ignorant of the risks, or the rewards of his actions. I believe he sometimes misses the unintended consequences. But not even the smartest man can anticipate every eventuality.
*SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven’t seen THOR: The Dark World*
When Loki is in the dungeon and the “Cursed” Elf faces off with him through the glass, they were measuring each other. Loki’s mind was working, you could see it. When he directs the Elf to take the left stairs, he’s positioning his pieces on the board. He was using the events before him strategically. However, he could not have known the consequences of that action would lead directly to Frigga’s death. While it’s never revealed if he knew the correlation, I’m sure he must have sensed it and pieced the information together.
His intelligence is both a blessing and a curse. He is underestimated by it and overconfident because of it. Some of the best villains are cast as intelligent, as are some of the most fascinating anti heroes. Moriarty and Sherlock, respectively, are perfect examples of this.
This level of intelligence makes him a better candidate for King, in my opinion, than Thor. Mix it with his ability to dissociate and distance himself from emotion while making a decision. Yeah, it makes him a better ruler…but it also makes him more dangerous.
Thoughts? I can’t wait to hear them.