Anyway, the rest of this is a rant that is maybe spoiler-y? Given that it's about a recent release, I'll put the rant behind a cut.
( Potentially Spoilery Rant )
|You're viewing marbleglove's journal|
Create a Dreamwidth Account Learn More
Let us consider Thor’s Hammer, a mystical-magical weapon named Mjolnir, inscribed with: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
But then, I was wandering around online and found this awesome analysis of a scene in the movie Thor, (by Alis Dee, the author of the (awesome, awesome, awesome!) series, Agent Loki: International Man of Mayhem.) In the analysis, she points out that Thor’s big redemptive scene? Isn’t so much him sacrificing himself to save others as it is him refraining from using others as his meat shields. Which, wow, sets the bar kind of low for what “worthy” means. Which makes it all the more depressing that no one else on Earth can lift the hammer.
However, then I had some thoughts:
Thought #1: Worthy or not-worthy, in this case, is being judged by a mystical-magical hammer. What’s the scale here? And what’s being measured? What exactly counts as being worthy here? Given that one aspect seems to be refraining from using friends and innocent bystanders as meat shields, I’m guessing that the hammer is judging worth on a whole different system than most modern Earth cultures judge, and only includes a nominal nod towards empathy.
Maybe it’s warrior ability and prince-like behavior, or having just the right amount of empathy (not too little and not too much), or something.
Following this train of thought, I kind of want a story in which none of the other Avengers can lift the hammer, but someone else completely inappropriate can. Is it one of their current enemies? Maybe a Lex Luthor type of enemy who wants to rule and, while vicious and deadly, is only as vicious and deadly as is required for taking over the world? Or is it Director Fury who already seems to be the great and powerful Oz to a certain extent? Oh, the possibilities.
However, that actually lead to…
Thought #2: Thor was perfectly capable of using Mjolnir when he went to Jotunheim, when he was fighting the Jotun, when he returned to Asgard, and when he was back-talking Odin. It wasn’t until he was cast down by Odin that he failed to lift the hammer.
So is part of being worthy being in Odin’s good graces? Because is sounds like that one sets the bar for worthiness pretty darned high. And makes the definition of being worthy completely dependent on the opinion of one being rather than based on behaviors or feelings.
Then, actually, pretty much in writing this description up, I had…
Thought #3: There are multiple ways of interpreting what it would mean to possess the power of Thor. Now, I know that in comic book canon various other people have picked up the hammer before and the interpretation is that they get a lot of extra “power.” Okay. But, ignoring that canonical interpretation, let’s consider alternatives. For instance, what happens to Thor, in the mean time? Is it that the wielder will have an equivalent amount of power, or is it that they’ll have Thor’s power, in which case Thor will not have Thor’s power?
Or, better yet, is it that they’ll be able to control Thor. Maybe it's a kind of a slave connection. If some suitably worthy person gets a hold of Mjolnir, they have Thor at their command?
Because this interpretation would actually solve some of the previous problems. The original issue that prevented Thor was using the hammer wasn’t that Thor didn’t have enough empathy or Odin’s approval necessarily, it was that he didn’t have control of his own life. He had acted based on Loki’s taunts and Odin’s commands and it wasn’t until he was cast out and learned to act based on his own thoughts and desires that the hammer considered him master of his own fate and thus worthy to captain his own soul and all that?
In which case, wouldn’t it be kind of funny if, having settled on Earth to be an Avenger for a while, Thor acquired a personal assistant to help keep his life organized and she (or he) was perfectly capable of lifting Mjolnir? Or even that was the test? Could the applicants for the position lift Mjolnir?
Anyway, I would love to see some fanfiction which delves into the issues of what counts as "worthy" according to a mystical-magical weapon.
I’ve been re-reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sparkly mystical horse come up to you and let you know that you are a good person, and a powerful person, and you will do great deeds and help people and be loved and respected all of your days and never make mistakes because your mystical horse will help you know what the right path is?
I am at a point in my life where I could really use that kind of reassurance. On the other hand, possibly because I am at a point where I need that reassurance, I am most decidedly not at a point at which I would trust it coming from a mystical horse.
It’s something of a Catch-22.
However, despite my cynicism and skepticism, I still really enjoy the books. And I’ve been thinking back on an old idea that there really needs to be a Methos-in-Valdemar story. I am quite desperate to read one, and it’s possible that I’ll finally have to give in and write it myself. Thinking along those lines, I’ve been thinking through potential plot ideas and character arcs and finding a lot more of the later than the former, alas, since the character arc is largely Methos being adamant that he will never again ride an all white horse or wear all white himself, especially not when the token bit of color is blue, like the woad with which he once painted his face.
And then I got an idea that was so very awesome and yet so very horrible that I have to release it out into my plot-bunny pasture immediately because it would be amazingly soul destroying to try to write it.
I had previously been thinking of Methos as becoming a Herald of Valdemar at some unstated point after his Horsemen days.
What if it was immediately prior to his Horsemen days, or even overlapping the early portion of them?
Set the whole story at the end of days for Valdemar.
There’s a major war, a major disaster, or whatever, and something just happens and Valdemar loses. Maybe all the Companions are killed, or maybe there just haven’t been that many being born for the past few centuries. But Methos is the last one.
He did his best. He helped the survivors find new places. He watched over them being fully absorbed into their new countries and cultures and he alone was left with his Companion.
He has a close mind-bond with his Companion. They have been together for centuries. And now they are alone.
So very, very alone.
And then, after a thousand years, the Companion starts to age.
From what I can tell from canon, Companions don’t age in a general sense. They are born and age to adulthood and some of them are older than others, but they don’t die of old age prior to their Heralds dying, and when one of them (the Herald or the Companion) dies, the other generally follows soon after. It’s all part of the mystical bond.
But Methos’ Companion starts to age because he’s just eventually reached the end of his days. Or maybe the original prayer from the original King Valdemar has finally run it’s course since the kingdom of Valdemar is gone and forgotten.
His Companion can’t bear to leave Methos, though, and knows that Methos will go mad when their bond is broken.
So the Companion finds a white mare and sires a colt off of her. Which, despite them being the same shape and being inter-fertile, is pretty much bestiality and a sickening and taboo act if any one of their culture was left to know of it. But it creates a half-Companion half-horse mount for Methos to ride after the Companion finally dies.
And then the Companion dies and Methos goes mad with grief and loss. He rides the half-Companion mount, a poor replacement who can never be what his father was. But it’s enough, to keep him alive in his madness. And Methos rides that mount and a hundred generations of that bloodline, as it gets weaker and weaker, constantly diluted by regular horse blood and constantly interbred in order to attempt to strengthen the Companion traits, but getting the results of inbreeding more often than not.
Various translations of Revelations say that Death rode a pale or a sickly horse. And his horses were always pale and progressively more sickly, but he wouldn’t give them up for anything.
And somewhere in his madness he collected compatriots whom he called brothers to ride with him, as if they were Heralds, too, for all that they were no more Heralds than his sickly horse was a Companion.
Until finally, the horse he rode was nothing more than a horse. He felt a stronger mind connection to his most recent bed slave Cassandra than to his pale horse, the great-to-the-Nth-degree descendent of his beloved Companion.
It was finally over. His long grief had worn itself out. His mind had weaned itself away from the bond he’d once had. His past was dead and gone and there was nothing for him but to move forward.
He looked at the campsite of the Horsemen and felt only disgust. It was like a sweat-soaked vomit-smelling sickroom after the patient recovers. He had made it the way it was, but he wanted nothing more to do with it.
The last thing he does before walking away from the horsemen, walking away on his own two feet, is to slit the throat of every white horse in the camp, to ensure that his Companion’s bloodline is removed forever and entirely from the bloodline of horses.