Today we are going to discuss the easiest way to get me from 0 to 100 in under a second. And that my friends, is Frigga’s death in Thor The Dark World. I’ve been angry at this scene for years, it’s so sloppily done, does very little to show us the proper weight of the moment, and is shot so strangely I legitimately can’t watch it without yelling at least once.
Now lets ignore for a moment the fact that Frigga dying at all was an incredibly lazy writing move meant only to further the plot. And let’s ignore the fact that it was also flat out stupid. (I warned you. ANGER.) Let’s only discuss how this scene fails to even do what it set out to do.
This scene introduces Frigga as this wonderful badass, which she is. But also kind of fails in showing that when she literally gets sneaked up on by an eight foot tall monster that immediately captures her. Sloppy but lets ignore that for a moment too.
Thor charges in Thunder blazing, and honestly I think this is a good moment, Thor is just a second too late, and this adds to the heartbreak of the scene, and probably the guilt of Thor in that moment. However Odin’s reaction was so under done he might as well have been watching a stranger die.
Now I understand shocks a thing, that is not my problem here. My problem is how little of this shock was actually shown. This woman dying is what pushes everyone into action, this woman who was so beloved by her family and her people. We should have FELT that. And the best way to make us feel it is through the people who loved her.
Odin should have gotten even just another ten seconds of screen-time for it to sink in that this man just lost his wife, and the mother of his children. I firmly believe we should have seen him numbly stumble forward and drop to the ground to hold her. Not have a weirdly shot scene of him walking, then suddenly he’s beside her body.
And I understand that Thor was repressing his emotions heavily but we really should have seen more from him. Perhaps it was because Chris couldn’t get the nuance of it, or the directors didn’t add it, I’m not sure. But we should have seen him actually struggle with his emotions. Because even though he’s repressing he just lost his MOTHER. I would have even taken just a moment where Jane tries to comfort him, even with just a silent hand on the shoulder, and he looks at her sadly and turns away and throws himself into finding the elves. Even simply that much could have made it scores more impactful.
I understand that Endgame discusses him repressing his feelings on the matter I really do, but then SHOW us. Don’t tell us several movies after the fact.
Now, what made me write this, I should share, is the fact that I stumbled across a deleted scene which was an alternate version of Frigga’s death. And no, it has almost none of what I wanted, but it does still feel slightly more impactful because what it DOES do, is show Odin and Frigga’s relationship a bit more. It still felt sloppy, but it showed a lot more of Odin’s emotion in this situation, which I enjoyed.
So it is genuinely beyond me why they chose the cut they did. It was ineffective, it FEELS like it was shot in a rush, even the deleted version felt weirdly rushed. When this was a vital scene for the movie. This is the moment that pushes the plot forward, that makes Thor angry enough to find the elves himself. This should have been given more attention, and Sif should not have been the only person to shed a tear for her death.
The entirety of Asgard was mourning her, we should have seen that. And it is such a tremendous disservice to her character, and to the story itself that we were not. And I do not mean just showing that Asgard was at her funeral. I mean show us the faces of the citizens AS WELL as the people who knew her most.
It’s not often I get to say this, but Star War’s prequel trilogy actually did this better. When Padme died, and her funeral was held you FELT how many people were mourning for her. You felt the sadness of all of Naboo. Because we were actually shown people grieving, we were shown her family trying to hold it together. We were shown citizens, and the queen and prime minister all solemn.
Thor: The Dark World did very little, almost none of that, and it will forever anger and disappoint me.
(On a small side-note however thanks to Tom Hiddleston for actually making me BELIEVE he was upset over Frigga’s death and just repressing it. Loki is the only person in her family I actually FELT grieving her.)
When you are writing a film you want people to feel every moment of it, or at least damn near. You want it to have an impact on them. This movie failed to do that in spectacular ways. And Loki, and especially his and Thor’s relationship, are the only areas I believe this film succeeded in what it was trying to do.
Well, that’s my rant for the day. What do you think? Am I too harsh? Did you think it was well done? Or do you agree? Let me know in the comments below!
This is Rev, signing off.