‘Loki’: The Meaning Behind ‘Love Is A Dagger’
As Sylvie says, it’s a “terrible metaphor.”
What is love? It can be a simple question to answer, but here it gives Loki a long pause. What is love? He leaves his response open-ended for a while — at least until he’s got a few figgy ports in him.
In Episode 3 of Marvel Studios’ Loki, “Lamentis,” Loki finds himself trapped in an apocalypse with the last person he’d willingly choose: The Variant (The Variant doesn’t want to be called ‘Loki,’ and would prefer the name ‘Sylvie’). At first, that’s the beginning and end of information Sylvie is willing to divulge to Loki, but as the two trek across the crumbling moon in hopes of finding a way off of it, more information comes out. Loki, being Loki, is game to spill just about everything, while Sylvie is a little more reserved. As the two banter back and forth, and trade Loki-adjacent stories, eventually it comes to: What is love?
At first, Sylvie suggests that “love is hate,” then wonders maybe it’s just mischief? Loki, meanwhile, can’t come up with anything until he’s had another drink to figure it out and then it hits him.
“Love is a dagger,” Loki elegantly explains to Sylvie, “It’s a weapon to be wielded far away or up close. You can see yourself in it. It’s beautiful until it makes you bleed. But ultimately, when you reach for it….”
“It isn’t real,” Sylvie finishes. She’s not completely convinced, however. “Love is an imaginary dagger? Terrible metaphor.”
Even Tom Hiddleston agrees it’s a pretty bad comparison to make. “It's one of those things that Loki comes up with spontaneously,” he tells Marvel.com. “They were having a talk about love and trusting other people, and not being able to either love or trust for whatever reason, and Loki thinks he's come up with something profound.”
But in fairness to Loki, this “imaginary dagger” has honestly been his experience in his relationships so far, with Hiddleston continuing that, up until this point, this “is Loki's experience of love, I suppose. He certainly feels like it's not been something he's been close to. It has been some sort of illusion that he has trusted and been let down by.”
Surprisingly, the line actually does have a romantic bent to it, as head writer Michael Waldron was busy working on the episode just before his own nuptials.
“I wrote that really, really quick,” Waldron explains. “I remember I was revising Episode 3 in the two weeks leading up to my wedding. It’s interesting because that's probably the most romantic episode. At that point, Loki is a little bit drunk. That freed me up, where it was just like, ‘Don't think too hard about it,’ which is sort of my first thought that Loki would think here.”
Doesn’t exactly make sense? For Loki, it doesn’t need to make sense for him to be convincing with it, and Waldron relied on that. “I just ran with it, ‘Love is a dagger,’” shares Waldron. “And fortunately, like many of Loki's metaphors, it almost works.”
Loki’s half-baked explanation of his reasoning also gives viewers a glimpse into Sylvie and how she’s not just about to buy what he’s selling.
“It’s a chance for Sylvie to burst the bubble of Loki's pomposity,” Hiddleston says with a laugh. “He's always coming up with things that he thinks are profound, but actually, they're not particularly profound.”
What will Loki come up with next? There are more tricks to come in Loki, now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
This is just the beginning of the Phase 4 news. Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more details and sign up for Disney+ and start streaming now! And be sure to follow Disney+ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more.
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