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Old 11-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
RoryTate
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Is Thor "Too Difficult" A Character To Do Well?

After reading/watching many reviews for Thor: The Dark World and CBM discussions in general, a question I have heard asked a lot is whether Thor is just too difficult/boring to do well as a main character in films/comics/etc. The argument goes that Thor is not relatable, as he is not human, and is an idealized boy scout or Mary Sue persona without any (interesting?) character flaws. Also, he is a superhero who is basically invulnerable to all injury, disease, and so powerful that there is not much that can challenge him. Lastly, many people also assert that Loki is the main/sole reason people go to see a Thor movie (or, in other words, a flawed character like Loki is much more able to attract an audience). Given all that, how can Thor be written in a dramatic way with interesting characterization?

My quick two cents: The current trend among story-telling is definitely towards "anti-heroes", in an attempt to avoid this supposed problem. Witness the plethora of shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter, etc, or even heroes such as Batman and Wolverine -- all of these are based on very flawed protagonists (although that trend has reached its zenith IMO, and the flaws are now so legion as to make all the new crop of these characters essentially unlikeable). Personally, I believe every character/personality is interesting in some manner, and the character of Thor is actually very rich with possibility, including archetypal family dynamics -- often described as Shakespearean (warring brothers, expectations to succeed Odin on the throne, marriage to a short-lived human or long-lived Asgardian, etc), maturing and overcoming a base arrogance/pride, lust for battle/emotional reactions vs becoming a peacemaker king and thoughtful ruler, etc. Those are all great conflicts to play out. Plus, so much of Thor is the rich tapestry of other characters that exist alongside him, and the incredible world that has been created around him. Just like many say that Thor and Loki are a yin and yang, and one can't exist without the other, so the same can be said for Thor and Odin, the nine realms, Hela, Surtur, Balder, the Warriors Three, Sif, Beta Ray Bill, etc. That's not a bad cast and world building from just establishing one god of thunder.

Please note: don't argue box office numbers or try to settle this with a popularity contest. This question is whether or not good/noble characters like Thor are too difficult to build a good story around. Personally, I believe it to be quite easy to do well (relatively speaking and given enough time and effort of course), but after hearing this complaint so much in regard to Thor recently I wanted to raise it for discussion.

What does everyone else think of this idea? Yea verily OR I say thee Nay?

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