I’ve always thought the Thor movies had the most potential out of all the Marvel solo movies to truly deliver something spectacular. While I thought the first movie was quite fun and the second movie was decent, I never quite felt that they were able to fully take advantage of the blend of fantasy and sci-fi that makes Thor unique.
Keep in mind that I don’t mean to imply that I know better than a professional writer who actually gets paid to do this sort of thing. This is just one overzealous fan’s perspective of how the movie could be improved.
Let’s fix Thor: The Dark World.
1. War of the Ancients
The biggest change going into this version is that the story is now very much concerned with the idea of destiny. Each of our main characters has a particular role within this universe and must determine whether they are bound to this path or are free to forge their own, whatever the consequences.
Thor is destined to be king, Loki is destined to be the villain and Malekith isn’t even supposed to exist any more. Jane meanwhile, isn’t even supposed to have a role in this story. She’s an anomaly, a wild card who has no place or significance within the epic saga of the Asgardians.
Our first act will remain mostly the same. We open with the final battle between the Asgardians and the Dark Elves. This was a great sequence and it will remain largely unchanged. Odin explains how the Dark Elves were a powerful ancient race who planned to use the Aether and the Convergence to destroy the universe. But this time, the leader of the Dark Elves is Malekith’s father.
For the purposes of this rewrite, let’s just call him Malekith Senior. Malekith Junior is just a kid and we see the horror of what is happening through his eyes as his world burns around him. Malekith Senior wields the Aether and essentially takes on the entire Asgardian army until Bor and a young Odin kill him, releasing the Aether.
Malekith Junior cries out in anguish and the Aether immediately surges towards him. It’s clear that there is some connection between the boy and the Aether. Malekith Junior feels the Aether calling to him and reaches out to claim it. However, inches from his fingertips, it is sucked up by the Bifrost. Malekith Senior’s lieutenant, Algrim, drags the boy away as the Dark Elves’ ships fall from the sky in a last ditch attempt to wipe out the Asgardians.
Algrim and Malekith Junior escape with the last of their men and retreat into deep space. The boy – now a king – vows revenge on the Asgardians and we flash to our opening credits.
2. Worlds Apart
We flash forward to the present and things play out mostly the same as the real movie. We see Odin sentencing Loki to prison followed by the battle on Vanaheim. Thor, Sif and the Warrios Three win the battle in spectacular fashion and leave for Asgard (this time, taking Hogun with them). They celebrate on Asgard but Thor slips away to ask Heimdall about how Jane Foster is doing on Earth. At the same time, Frigga tries to reason with Loki but he refuses to listen and disowns both her and Odin as parents.
Once we get to London, that’s when things start to change a little more. Jane Foster has obsessively thrown herself into her work. She’s tinkering in her lab and seems to be trying to recreate the machine Selvig made in the Avengers. She’s trying to unlock the secrets to space and time. Unfortunately, she clearly hasn’t slept in some time and is falling apart at the seams. She’s looking a little mad scientist-esque.
With all of the chaos and cataclysmic events happening, the world has been turned upside down and so has Jane’s life. She feels powerless in the face of a world that doesn’t make sense any more. It’s as if her fate is entirely out of her hands. This is going to give Natalie a chance to tap into her Black Swan roots and give us a performance worthy of her talents.
In the middle of the night, she drags Darcy to an abandoned factory where portals have appeared, disrupting the laws of physics around them. Jane wanders from the group and is teleported to the Aether. This time, the Aether seems to be calling to her, whispering to her. It wants to be let out. In the original movie, it just seemed like Jane stumbled upon the Aether by accident but here, we’re going to make it very clear that the Aether found and chose her. This was no coincidence. The Aether promises her power and the ability to save her world. Jane reaches out and touches the Aether, becoming the new host.
3. The Storm is Coming
We cut to Malekith Junior (let’s just call him Malekith from now on) who is all grown up. He’s dreaming of Svartleheim before the light, an eerily beautiful scene where he speaks with his mother and father. Unfortunately, it quickly turns to a nightmare as his mother turns to ash under the burning sun and his father tries to kill him. He fights his father off as the sun is blotted out by the Aether.
Malekith wakes up and realises that the convergence is finally upon them. Malekith and an old and frail Algrim (who in this version, essentially raised Malekith) speak about cheating fate and bringing their race back from the brink. They both agree to make whatever sacrifices are necessary. Malekith says goodbye to Algrim as the old elf transforms himself into one of the Kursed, sacrificing his life for the cause. It’s clear that they’ve been preparing for millennia and their technology and weapons have been drastically improved.
Malekith rallies his troops as the Dark Elves prepare to invade Asgard.
Jane is transported back to London and then taken back to Asgard by Thor. Odin is livid and lectures Thor about bringing a mortal to Asgard. Their argument gets heated but Frigga is able to calm Odin down and convince him to let her stay. The Asgardians try to find out what is wrong with Jane and realise that she is the new host of the Aether, much to Odin’s horror. They try to figure out a way to extract the Aether but Odin says there is no way to do so without taking her life. Odin is shaken by this revelation and begins chastising Thor for bringing this danger to Asgard.
Their argument gets worse so Frigga takes Jane to explore beyond the palace region, seeing the citizens of Asgard. This is to give us the sense that Asgard is actually real and populated as well as to show how much Frigga is loved by the Asgardian people. She speaks with Jane about how she and Odin were never supposed to be together. Odin went against his own destiny and his own people by wedding Frigga. He can be stubborn sometimes but Frigga assures Jane that he will do everything he can to help her, just like his son will. The apple does not fall far from the tree.
During this time, we also see Malekith’s machinations at work as Kurse is captured and imprisoned on Asgard.
Thor catches up to them and introduces Jane to his friends. She is greeted enthusiastically by the Warriors Three though we get some tension between her and Sif. The tension is diffused by the good natured humour of Volstagg and Fandral. While the two are goofing off, Hogun takes the time to provide some surprisingly wise words for both Thor and Jane about how Asgard has come to accept him despite not being of this world.
Unfortunately, Jane’s condition continues to deteriorate and she begins to hallucinate. That night, the Aether takes Thor’s form in her dreams.
This dark vision of the Thunder God taunts her about how she has unlimited power but is too afraid and too weak to use it. The nightmare Thor lunges at her and begins throttling her. Jane wakes up screaming and starts coughing up blood as the real Thor rushes to help her.
4. All Hel Breaks Loose
Seeing how both Jane’s mind and body are slowly breaking down, Thor starts to get desperate. With no one able to give him answers on how to save Jane, he turns to the one god on Asgard who is truly well acquainted with the darkest corners of the universe.
The brothers exchange some heated words. Predictably, Loki refuses to give Thor any concrete answers about the Aether. However, he reveals that he does know a way to remove the Aether but the knowledge will come at a cost. Thor refuses to bargain with Loki and leaves him to rot in prison.
As soon as he leaves, Kurse finally breaks out of prison and the Dark Elves swarm upon Asgard. Using their cloaking devices, they are able to bypass Heimdall’s defences and start wreaking havoc across the city.
As the battle rages across Asgard, Thor enters the fray, doing his best to draw the elves towards him and protect the citizens. He is joined in battle by Odin and Heimdall. We get to see the three most powerful warriors in Asgard fighting together as they decimate the Dark Elf fleet.
During the battle, Thor realises that the Dark Elves are just attacking everything haphazardly. They’re just a distrction. He rushes towards the palace as Odin and Heimdall hold the Dark Elves at bay. During this commotion, we also see that Loki’s cell is now empty.
With the titans of Asgard distracted, Malekith himself is able to sneak into the royal palace. He reunites with Kurse and together,they hunt down Jane. Kurse takes on the Royal Guard while Malekith faces Frigga herself in single combat.
Frigga displays great prowess in both combat and sorcery as she fights with a sword in one hand and a sword in the other. However, after a brutal battle, Malekith prevails and impales Frigga with her own blade just as Thor arrives. An enraged Thor throws himself at Malekith, beating him to a pulp and horribly burning his face with a blast of lightning. However, before he can finish Malekith off, Kurse intervenes and crushes Thor with ease. The Dark Elves flee but the damage has been done. A bruised and battered Thor cradles his mother as she breathes her last. Odin soon arrives and lets out an anguished cry upon seeing Frigga’s body.
5. Long Live the Queen
The Asgardians host a funeral for Frigga as the whole city mourns her loss. In the slums of Asgard, a disguised Loki drops his illusion for a moment and watches the lanterns light the sky.
After the funeral, a distraught and enraged Odin begins to organise an attack against the Dark Elves as Heimdall reveals that the they have dropped their cloaks and have landed in the ruins of Svartleheim. Odin says there is no time to waste. Their retribution must be swift and merciless. Odin will wipe the Dark Elves from existence if it’s the last thing he does. Thor tells Odin that it’s obviously a trap but the Allfather is blinded by his rage. Odin marches off with much of the Asgardian army to mount his assault.
He leaves Thor in charge.
Disconcerted by his father’s reckless behaviour, Thor meets with the Warriors Three and Heimdall. In his father’s absence, he reluctantly takes the throne. Thor gets his first real taste of life as a king just as his kingdom crumbles around him.
Meanwhile, the Aether continues to mess with Jane’s mind. She’s plagued with terrible dreams where the Aether now takes Frigga’s form and blames Jane for her death. It then transforms into Malekith, who promises to destroy first Asgard, then Earth. And there’s nothing Jane can do about it.
At the same time, Malekith is dreaming as well. He speaks with his mother and she begs him to let her go and accept their fate until Malekith Senior rears his ugly head again. He urges Malekith to bring back their race, whatever the cost. The dream ends with both his parents turning to ash once again. Malekith wakes up and it is reveal that he is hiding in the tunnels beneath Asgard with Kurse and a few of his most trusted soldiers. Despite his injuries, Malekith launches his next attack.
His soldiers swarm through the streets of Asgard and wreak havoc, guerrilla warfare style, culminating in an attack on the Bifrost lead by Kurse that takes Heimdall out of commission. During the attacks, the Warriors Three also suffer serious injuries while protecting the civilians. As quickly as the attacks began, they end and the Dark Elves disappear into the shadows once again.
Asgard is in a panic. The city has been thrown into chaos by what are essentially terrorist attacks. Without Heimdall, they have no way of contacting Odin or finding the Dark Elves. Thor makes a speech to the Asgardians trying to placate them but the mob grows rowdy, questioning his ability to protect them.
A weary Thor returns to the throne room but finds someone all too familiar sitting in his place.
The former brothers are deathly quiet for a moment, content to stare daggers at each other. We see that he clutches Frigga’s staff in one hand. Loki breaks the silence first and speaks three simple words.
“It’s your fault.”
Mjolnir flies into Thor’s hand and thunder booms across the hall. Loki snarls and leaps off the throne, lunging at Thor like a wild animal.
Once again, the sons of Odin are at war.