Marvel's Odin Is Actually a Villain. And We Have a Pretty Good Explanation
While Thanos has definitely gained the “Worst Father of the Year” award this season, there are several other fathers in the MCU that give him a run for his money. Some people overlook Odin because he seemed like a wise parent in most Thor movies, but many things about him could earn him the top spot as the most horrible dad in the universe. Let’s check out this theory.
Who is Odin?
Even before his official debut in the MCU, people knew about this powerful god from Norse mythology. He wielded a spear, had a magical cloak and a set of fearsome animals, but he was also sensitive enough to write poetry every once in a while. Of course, the Vikings believed in the gods of Asgard and many other things. They also had several stories of triumph regarding him, but let’s focus on the MCU.
Son of Bor
Bor was the king of Asgard and had many brothers, though all of them died at war, and he eventually died as well. It should have been enough for his son to despise conflict, but that was not the case. War is sometimes necessary, and no one can deny that Odin did many heroic things in his time. He took over the throne after the death of his father, and he also defeated Surtur, taking the Eternal Flame of Destruction.
This is basically what Thor had to do in Ragnarok, so history repeats itself even in the Marvel universe. In that film, we furthered learned that Odin had someone else in his family that he conveniently forgot to mention and erased from the records. Initially, he was married to Frigga and had two sons, Thor and Loki, though he was adopted.
Once upon a time, Hela fought next to her father in many battles, conquering the Nine Realms. However, Hela became too greedy and wanted to rule over everything with an iron fist, but Odin learned that violence was not the way to go, wishing for peace. Hela was not happy about this decision, mainly because she had been raised for war.
The King of Asgard could not kill his daughter, however, not out of fatherly love but because he did not have enough power. Furthermore, Hela was part of the Ragnarok prophecy, so she had to live. The solution was to send her to Hell, imprisoned with his own power. That’s why she gets out when he dies. Now, you could argue that she did not know any better.
There is an endless debate between nurture and nature, and maybe, Odin could have done more to change his daughter’s ways before locking her up, but then, he goes on to erase her memory from Asgard completely. He went so far as to keep her a secret from his two sons, who were shocked when she showed up and destroyed Mjolnir.
The God of Thunder was Odin’s favorite kid. He has been in many Marvel movies since Thor in 2011, and fans simply adore him now. However, when he was first seen, it seemed like he was spoiled brat intent on defeating anyone who got in his way and would rule Asgard with an incredibly narrow-minded point of view.
However, it’s easy to understand that because his whole life never taught him any differently. After the trouble with Hela, Odin had this new chance to change the outcome and teach his kids about peace, which he seemed to have done at the beginning of Thor, but clearly, neither of his new children learned that lesson. Perhaps, they would have if he talked about Hela.
Odin has to resort to banishment to teach his eldest boy a lesson on how to be king, which sounds like a terrible family. He was sent to Earth, where he understood the errors of his way and that he was not ready to rule over Asgard. It seems that the only way for his kids to actually grow up was to be very far away from their father.
He taught his children about their nation’s history but conveniently forgot to tell them about their big sister and how greed can go wrong. This led to Ragnarok, and even after Thor’s and Loki’s heroic actions, they could not save the Asgardians on the ship from Thanos and the Black Order. Clearly, Odin had no idea how to raise a future king and only set him for failure because he was ready to give him the throne.
We have established that Odin was trying to make Thor take the throne, though unsuccessfully, Loki was treated like a random person, despite the King’s word about loving both. While Tom Hiddleston’s Loki became an instant fan favorite character, we can understand how he became a villain that should have been hated by everyone.
Odin had many expectations of Thor, while Loki was sent to learn magic from Frigga, and his future was unclear. Therefore, it is not surprising that the God of Mischief believed that he had to take the throne from Thor. Otherwise, no one would regard him as more than the adopted child. Adoption is noble, but Odin did not take the Frost Giant's baby because he warmed his heart.
Loki seemed to know that he was something different, and demanded had his father reveal the truth about his lineage. Odin tried to play it off like an act of mercy but then revealed that he hoped that he could use his son to broker peace with the Frost Giants. That does not explain why he hates Thor instead of his father, but it’s always hard to dislike your parents despite their wrongdoings.
Therefore, it is just easier to blame the golden-haired heir and try to destroy him, so Odin would have no choice if the time came to give the throne away. However, at the end of Thor, he was still rejected by his father, and so, he decides to plunge into the abyss. He did not die, of course, but when he appeared once again, he was imprisoned and not killed only because Frigga loved him.
You cannot blame the parents for everything a child does, but Loki could have fared better if his dad had paid him more attention, perhaps. Furthermore, it was hypocritical of Odin to punish his son for his schemes after he had committed such barbarities himself. Therefore, it surprising to see Loki becoming the hero in Ragnarok.
It's also amazing that Thor and Loki managed a loving sibling relationship. There is a lot of blood on Odin’s hands. After all, Hela killed the Valkyries after he sent them, and the competition between the brothers was fueled by his bad parenthood skills. However, Odin also affected the MCU in general.
The Infinity Stones
After seeing the fake Infinity Gauntlet in Ragnarok, many fans believed that Odin once possessed all six gems. He definitely had the Space Stone and during the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World, Sif, and Volstagg gave the Reality Stone to the Collector, saying that it was not safe to keep two of those jewels so close together.
Therefore, that may also be the reason why he left the Space Stone on Earth, and we also have to wonder why he did not protect it better, as many tragedies happened because of it. He might not care about Earth, but he was not that great at protecting Asgard either. After losing Frigga in Thor: The Dark World, he went against the Dark Elves, which seemed reasonable.
However, even though he knew they had no way to win, he continued with his plans, telling Thor that he does not care how much blood is spilled. That is clear evidence that he was not a good ruler either. Loki ruled Asgard disguised as his father for some time and no one saw anything different. There is nothing worse than a villain pretending to be a hero.
What did you think about Odin’s parenting skills? Do you think he could have prevented Thanos from getting the stone if he had taken better care? Sending one to Earth and giving one to the crazy Collector does not seem like the decisions of a wise ruler. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who love Marvel theories. See you next time!