I can’t imagine I’m the only one who didn’t get that the first time reading. Especially if you only have the comic pages, and not the 2-page proposal written by Robert Rodi, which is included in the hardcover version of Blood Brothers I bought yesterday
and I strongly recommend you to buy, too.
Let me just share with you this quote from the proposal and then go hide in a corner and cry about the eternal tragedy that the relationship of those two is.
Loki still hasn’t talked himself into killing Thor. To embolden himself, he goes to see Odin, Sif and Balder, one after the other, and tells them he’s going to execute the Thunder God. Each argues with Loki, and we see how Loki’s version of events differs from theirs. We also begin to realize that Loki is right - these noble Asgardians have from the start looked down their noses at him, disdained him, scorned him. It was they - and Thor especially - who created the evil in him. Realizing this, Loki’s pride and anger grow strong again; unwittingly, they convince him he would be right to kill his brother.
But as Loki leaves his prisoners, his will weakens again. The idea of a world without Thor is bleak to him. What would he live for? He has no real desire to rule Asgard. The hard work of sovereignty doesn’t appeal to him. He’s the Trickster God … and gods can’t simply change. They’re elemental principles; cosmic constants.
When he’s again confronted by Hela, she urges him to carry out the execution, and he refuses.
Hela taunts him: “You’ve defeated your enemy, you’ve shackled him, you’ve humiliated him - now you MUST kill him! If not, what would you do?”
Loki thinks for a moment, then sadly says, “I would do it all over again.”
He’s made up his mind: he’s going to free Thor. As he says this, Hela nods her head and says, “So it shall be. There is, I fear, only one whom the great Trickster cannot trick … himself.” As she says this, she changes into Loki.
For a moment, there are two Lokis staring at each other across the panel. Then, the original one disappears, leaving only the Loki-Who-Was-Hela.
We realize that Hela was never there: the whole You-Must-Kill-Thor scenario was shapeshifter Loki’s way of trying to trick himself into murdering his brother. […]
Having failed to trick himself, he goes off to free Thor.
As he goes, he wonders whether this act of mercy will win for him one moment of gratitude from Thor. He realizes that Thor’s good opinion - his friendship, his love - is that which he has always desired, and, starved of them, have made him what he is today. He loathes Thor for his treatment of him, but he loathes himself even more for still loving his tormentor.
But he’s delayed too long.
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