Delusions of GrandeurDelusions are a state of mind in which a person believes things to be true that are not. They may logically be possible, but are just not the truth for the person who is delusional. The person is also not functionally impaired if they have delusional disorder. Delusions of grandeur (a specific type of delusion) are when a person has an over-inflated sense of power, worth and superiority. They frequently believe they have some power or skill that is unrecognized by others. It is very similar to being a narcissist; the only difference is that it isn't a personality disorder like narcissism is. In fact, delusional disorder has actually been shown to be linked to environmental stressors among other things.
"I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose." — Loki in The AvengersWhy do I bring up delusions with regard to Loki? Well, at first I tried to explain his acute, drastic behaviors and beliefs in The Avengers by considering breaking points and what appears to be a superiority complex. However, I noticed that Loki seemed genuinely confused when questioned whether or not he thought of himself above the mortals by Thor in The Avengers as well as not understanding the link between his actions and consequences when talking to Odin and Frigga in The Dark World. When someone directly threatens his sense of superiority, Loki becomes agitated, as is to be expected from someone with a superiority complex. But, when his line of thinking and reasoning behind what he is doing is questioned, he really just seems confused that it doesn't make sense to others. In his mind, he really believes he did exactly what Odin did before becoming a well-respected and loved ruler. Odin killed a number of people and sat on the throne of Asgard because he was able to conquer any resistance, as far as Loki is concerned.
"I really don't see what all the fuss is about... I went down to Midgard to rule the people of Earth as a benevolent god. Just like you." — Loki to Odin in Thor: The Dark WorldHis line of thinking is rational in that he realizes Odin did have to put down resistance. What Loki fails to see (thus making his beliefs untrue), is that Odin's goal was to preserve peace in the nine realms, not to assert his power or rule as a "benevolent god." He didn't kill thousands of people, level a town and destroy a chunk of New York City just because he wanted a "glorious war." He didn't demand for the mortals to kneel before him and didn't look down upon them as Loki did.
"Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel." — Loki to mortals in The AvengersAdditionally, I thought it was interesting that Loki begins to say being king is his "birth right" only after finding out about his true heritage. As Odin points out later, his birth right was nothing more than to die, abandoned by his father. He is not Odin's son by birth and therefore believing he has birth right to the throne of Asgard is clearly untrue. He even goes out of his way to emphasize how Odin is not his father at the same time. Loki also tells The Other he was the "rightful King of Asgard" and that he was "betrayed," rather than exiled. I honestly feel Loki truly believes all of these things, even though others can see they aren't true. This in combination with his conviction of having a great ability to rule that goes "unrecognized" by others really reminded me of grandeur. Further, these types of thoughts seem to increase in frequency and intensity after his breaking points that arguably caused him distress. Any narcissistic or antisocial tendencies Loki already had at a more harmless level were likely amplified into these delusions under the extreme stress. Loki does appear to mellow out again during the events of Thor: The Dark World, though, which leads me to believe the grandeur is acute in nature and therefore caused by stress. Am I thinking too much into this? Probably. It's interesting to consider, though.
b a c k . c l e a r . f o r w a r d Loki and Thor are © Marvel and other rightful owners. Sympathy for the Devil is part of AFTER-DEATH.ORG