Update: The author has gone back through her story for editing, so some of the following information may no longer be accurate.
[Trigger Warning for: Rape, Sexual Assault, Incest]
Tsunderin: I’ve noticed a trend since I’ve started writing here: despite my utter lack of knowledge on western comics, I always seem to get roped into talking about them. Can I help it if there always seems to be something going on? Of course I can’t. But, then again, this isn’t a matter of social justice, torch and pitchfork style; this is a matter of canon ignorance that rivals that of the Naruto fandom (I would apologize for your punching bag status if you didn’t make it so damn easy).
I have never read the Thor series of comics, but I have heard MadameAce talk about it quite extensively. But I’m sure that it hasn’t been thorough enough to label myself anywhere near being fluent in its canon. However, even I have a stronger grasp on the characters and the setting than the author of this little peach of a fic.
Thor is not a happy camper
MadameAce: As she implied, I’ve been a part of the Thor fandom for a while now. And for the longest time, there were little to no fanfictions for it outside of two or three authors. So at the release of both the live action and animated films, I got excited, because I knew full well that fanfiction would start flooding the internet. I was also a little apprehensive, because I knew that incest fics would be among them in overwhelming numbers. Surprisingly, though, they are nowhere near as common as I thought they would be, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Lost in the Frost was one of the first fanfictions to appear.
Tsunderin: Note that even though we poke fun at it quite often, I personally don’t have an issue with incest fics in and of themselves—I usually file it under YKINMK (Your Kink is not my Kink) and continue on my merry way. However, it becomes an issue when the characters just don’t have any good reason to get together. There is nothing leading up to their relationship—which I shudder even to call such since it’s obviously based mostly on how hot the author thinks it would be without taking character traits into account—besides a scene so contrived that it seems like something out of a children’s cartoon… wait.
MadameAce: At first, it seemed like an interesting concept. Laufey wants his son back, and I was pretty happy that someone was finally going to address the relationship between the two. That happiness shattered pretty quickly, because Aurora Bluewolf has no interest in character development, canon, or logic. Her story is, without a doubt, a fantasy based on nothing more than wanting to see Thor and Loki naked together because she thinks they’re hot.
Though, that doesn’t stop her from trying to pretend. And, oh, does she try.
Throughout the fic, Loki constantly angsts about being abandoned as a baby and that Odin adopted him. The story reminds us over and over of these two parts, almost exactly word for word, when the characters would not logically be thinking these things during the events of the story. And when it’s not reminding us of these, it’s trying to make Loki feel like an outsider to the rest of Asgard for being a Frost Giant—something people conveniently know and then don’t again—despite the fact that everyone loves him because he’s so sweet and innocent.
Tsunderin: Well, obviously Loki just feels left out because, in this story, even baby Balder—yes, he’s a baby in this fic for no reason besides that the author didn’t want to write him in—is more competent, and probably stronger than this delicate little flower of a Norse god. Aurora says outright in one part that Loki can literally not pick up anything heavier than a wooden sword and has no fighting ability. In fact, she even goes so far as to nerf his magic abilities, making him not only bumble up 99% of the spells he tries to preform but also has him take a vow that prevents him from using magic to intentionally hurt others. Let me just say that again:
Loki, the god of mischief and fucking your shit up, has taken a vow of pacifism.
That combined with his ‘stunning’ intelligence begs several questions on how he managed to stay alive this long. If he truly was this delicate, how did Loki simply not just… wilt after being taken by Odin? Climate changes are no good for a flower, after all.
MadameAce: But it’s okay, because Laufey just kidnaps him right back. You see, Loki isn’t just a special flower in Asgard, but to the Frost Giants as well. He can get pregnant. This isn’t a big surprise, considering mythology, but Loki has been downgraded from shape-shifter to a hermaphrodite that gives off pheromones for breeding. Or maybe he’s just surrounded by yaoi-magic. But the end result is that they need Loki to get pregnant because their numbers are dwindling due to not enough females, which is probably because they rape all their women to death.
So Thor and the Warriors Three go off on a journey that’s exactly the opposite of epic to save Loki. But before Thor can leave, he has to angst about all the good times he and Loki had as children and how much he needs Loki, because he wants to be Loki’s first, and how much—you know what, Thor’s a selfish fuck in this fic. There’s nothing more to his character. It’s played off like true love—a love automatically accepted by his mother and Loki-hating friends—but it’s just creepy.
How Does She Even Expect This To Work?
Of course, it’s nowhere near as creepy as Laufey watching while his other sons try to rape Loki. Yes, this happens. Loki gets sexually assaulted by his own brothers while their biological father watches, because all family members everywhere like watching each other have sex. Naturally, he would have some PTSD afterward, right? Wrong. He and Thor confess their love and share a kiss.
His being kidnapped changes nothing to the overall arching “plot”.
Tsunderin: As you have probably gathered, this fic is all about the boys. Boys hugging boys, boys rescuing boys, boys, boys, boys. And there is no issue with having a male centric story. There is an issue, though, with having a story that trivializes women when they do appear. Now, I realize that there’s a sort of stigma against having a female be anything more than a passing character in a yaoi story, but Aurora takes it upon herself to not only mangle the relationships between the opposite genders (not counting Odin and Frigga, but they’re basically non-characters too) but be completely insulting to a whole slew of women. You’ll find this out later on, but let me prep you here.
In this scene, Loki has been kidnapped for breeding purposes by the Frost Giants and is thrown into a cell with about thirty other women from various other locales that are also there to be sexually abused by their captors. However, once Loki is there every stupid thing is about him and how unfortunate it is that he’s there. Which, yeah, sucks, but she makes it seem like the other females have no real qualm with being there. They don’t act afraid. They’re not trying to escape. There is no trauma what-so-ever. Hell, not even Loki is traumatized until after he’s taken from the cell. In fact, in a previous chapter Aurora has Odin say that if the woman just happened to be traveling through the Frost Giant’s land it is completely in their rights to abduct said woman and have their way with her. Excuse me? I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. Ever. Not even in canon.
Diiiiiick, You’re a Diiiiiick
A few scenes later where, spoilers, Thor saves them all, the women and Loki are all relegated below deck of their get-away ship. A joke is made about how Thor and the other two thirds of the Warriors Three don’t trust Fandral to go down to check on Loki because of the thirty-some disheveled, unrobed women below. And this is a joke that they all laugh at. Oh, that horny bastard, Fandral. Ha ha ha! Implied sexual harassment is HILARIOUS! Of course, this could be in character given how flippant god-types usually are with this kind of thing, but it doesn’t make a lick of difference in the end. Especially considering the situation that the women have just been in, it just makes the whole thing more disgusting.
Know what else is disgusting? Completely ignoring possible trauma caused by sexual assault to a victim’s face. It is decided quickly that instead of Fandral, Thor will go down and talk to Loki. Which is fine until Thor’s concern turns into a full blown make-out session. Thor takes no concern with the fact his brother had just been as close to being raped as one can get without actually being raped and just dives right in. A couple of times Thor decides that doing this right now may not be the best idea, but continues anyway, eventually leading to him getting Loki off via handjob. So, not only is he not taking Loki’s situation into consideration, the whole time Thor is making it about himself! He wants Loki to be his. He wants to stop this because he doesn’t want to feel guilty about it later. Thor is the most fucking awful, selfish person ever in this story and I really do hope he dies.
‘But wait,’ you may be saying to yourself, ‘wasn’t Loki below deck with those thirty-some other presumed sexually abused women?’ Yes. Yes, he was. Loki and Thor just did all of that in front of a group of potentially traumatized women with no mention to them at all beyond, “OMG, we shouldn’t have sex with an audience. Just let me jack you off.” What the fuck?!
Before I make this part of the post entirely too long, allow me to mention two other things quickly. First off, Sif and Thor have hardly any relationship in this story. If you are unsure what I’m talking about, let me explain. Sif is essentially Thor’s girlfriend in canon and she’s pretty much the definition of a BAMF. So how surprised are you that in this story she and Thor are just friends—not even best friends, just friends—and that she acts like a moron with no personality? I hope you said something amounting to ‘not surprised in the least’. And lastly, Aurora has a strange compulsion to use the word ‘female’ rather than ‘woman’ or ‘lady’. This may be nitpicky, but both MadameAce and I agree that this furthers the sense that the women in this story aren’t actually people, but objects used to merely move the plot along and maybe add conflict. The women captives are there to show how evil the Frost Giants are. Frigga is there to allow Thor to do whatever he wants and to have a mother. Sif is there to add conflict, but spectacularly fails to do so as she is a complete pushover and is probably going to only be seen with Frigga in tow.
TL;DR: None of the women have any personalities or importance and they never will, and Aurora should feel terrible.
MadameAce: I now take this time to talk about the kind of grammar Lost in the Frost has to offer. This is one of those stories that breaks paragraphs randomly and uses an overabundance of ellipses in place of periods and commas. Ellipses are not pauses; they are in case something has been left unsaid. Unfortunately, they have an annoying habit of cropping up in every other sentence. Surprisingly, Aurora does have one writing skill that other bad authors lack. Despite the aforementioned paragraph problem, all dialogue begins a new indentation, and she doesn’t end dialogue said by one character by showing what another character is doing, for the most part. The only thing she has to work on in this regard is not waiting until the end of a particularly long dialogue before stating who spoke. Take this sentence, for example:
“When Loki comes into his mature state, he’s going to become extremely attractive to all candidates searching for a mate. This includes Frost Giants, Valkaries, Elves, Trolls, Dwarves, and Asgardians. The only reason I chose you to look after Loki, well… honestly, it was because I don’t think you will harm him if he asks you to stop. Do not allow him outside of the palace under any circumstances. Understood?” Odin said, holding his son at arm’s length and looking him directly in the eyes as he spoke.
Had this conversation not been explicitly between two characters and a third person was involved, it would have been very confusing, because we have to wait so long to find out who’s talking. Fortunately, this is also one of the few places where the ellipses could possibly work. They are still awkwardly placed, but it is a far cry better than where they usually are.
Sadly, Aurora also has a habit of talking down to her reader. The prose will spontaneously switch to second person and give us sentences like this:
So to protect something precious, one must keep it in a dark, safe place. Somewhere tucked away from all light, where no one will look for it, and in time, your efforts will be fruitful.
On top of that, she has a habit of leaving annotations littered throughout her work. I’m going to be perfectly clear that annotations are not a good literary technique and should be avoided at all costs. Most authors use annotations to explain something in their story specifically. Aurora uses them to teach us the definition of words, such as cellar and Sea Lily.
If you, the author, are convinced that the audience might not understand something, you need to avoid using it. Something like cellar is pretty common, so explaining it to us is really insulting to the intelligence of the reader. And if it is something like Sea Lily, which I’m going to assume is less known, it’s still no better. Insulting your reader is one of the worst things an author can do.
However, the most glaringly obvious spat in the face of the readers comes during Loki’s attempted rape, when the author gives us this:
He was now completely naked (lol, no undies… yeah, I’m (sic) messed up… but you wouldn’t be reading this if I wasn’t…) under the two brothers as Laufey watched from the corner.
Lol, it’s so funny and hot, because he didn’t have underwear on under his clothes, and oh, wait, HE’S ABOUT TO BE FUCKING RAPED! Do I even need to say what’s so wrong with this? Author’s notes are bad enough in prose as it is, but Aurora has somehow managed to find the worst possible place for them and has said the worst possible thing.
My only conclusion to this is that she was trying to somehow lighten the scene up, but if she felt the need to do that, she shouldn’t have added it in. The attempted rape is further insulting by existing only as a catalyst to show how heroic Thor is in rescuing him. Loki has no negative reactions to what happened, even though most people who experience attempted rape and sexual assault find the acts just as violating and upsetting as if rape had actually happened.
It was at this point reading her story for the first time that I had to stop and run to the bathroom, where I attempted to stop the regurgitation of what I had had for lunch that day. This is not how to treat a rape scene. An author needs to show it the respect it is due or not show it at all. Aurora could have very easily avoided this. She could have had Thor arrive sooner, or pushed the special mating night where the Frost Giants rape everyone back a day or two.
There is no excuse for this.
Tsunderin: Well, this was supposed to be a lazy review on our part to counteract the author’s lazy research into canon but there are just some aspects that we couldn’t ignore. Perhaps she will learn from this and become a better writer. We can only hope.