In Defense of Malekith

In Defense of Malekith

Malekith has taken a lot of heat ever since he took over our movie screens two months ago. I'm here to shed some new light on the misunderstood villain that will hopefully make you reexamine your assessment of him.

1. He has posed the biggest threat so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

From what we've seen, no villain yet has threatened to destroy the universe. Red Skull and Loki have come the closest, but all they really wanted to do was take over the earth. I think it's safe to say that both of them would prefer the universe still be standing after they succeed. Even Thanos has given no indication he wants to destroy the universe. Maybe kill everything in it, but certainly not end its existence. Most villains would probably be willing to even team up with the heroes if it was necessary to defeat Malekith. That's the sign of a good threat.

2. He came really close to actually destroying the universe

Loki invaded New York City sure, but even if he managed to defeat the Avengers that still leaves 99% of the earth left to be subjugated. Malekith was literally only a couple of minutes away from destroying everything in our universe. Say what you will, but I've yet to see a villain get so close to actually achieving their goal.

3. He looks(and sounds) cool as hell

Part of my problem with the Iron Man 3 twist was that Aldrich Killian looked no where near as threatening as Ben Kingsley. I guess that's the point, but still, as a comic book fan, I like my villains to wear extravagant costumes and look menacing. And Malekith does not disappoint in this area. One look at him and you know he's going to cause trouble. Also he sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger on sulfur hexaflouride. A perfect combination if you ask me.

4. He's the perfect foil to Loki

While Loki's running around getting a bunch of fangirls because he's so emotionally tormented, Malekith is here to just fuck shit up. Did a Thor movie really need another villain who's unsure about himself? No, Malekith knew exactly why he was here and was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen, including getting struck in the face by lightning or turning his best friend into the Predator.

5. It took several generations of Asgardians(and humans) to actually take him down.

This guy didn't just come out of left field nor was he quickly defeated. He's got the patience of a saint, having to wait 5,000 years before he could continue with his plans. It took Thor's grandfather and the entire Asgardian army to prevent him from going through with them the first time, but even then it was Malekith that destroyed his own army so that he could escape. Not to mention he existed prior to the universe so he's seen some shit. And since Galactus doesn't exist here, Malekith is probably the wisest person there is. Even if you don't want him to succeed, you have to admit that if anyone has a good enough reason to destroy the universe it would be him.

So there it is, hopefully this can make you appreciate Malekith a bit more next time you watch TDW. I feel like he's a criminally underrated villain who hasn't received enough praise simply because he's not as complex as Loki. Malekith is like the Joker in the sense that he just came along, made some major damage, and left never to be seen again. Hopefully this can help you look at the character in a new light. Thanks for reading!
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Filed Under "Thor" 12/29/2013
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MrCBM56 - 12/29/2013, 5:38 PM

1. He was merely a threat. He was there just for Thor to punch. Did he threaten the universe? Sure. But what damage did he do to the universe? Nada. In a nutshell, he wanted to plunge the universe back into darkness. Failed.

2. Yes he was close. But he lacked motivations such as Loki had.

3. I'll give you that. He looked cool as hell. but his voice... no. Te old generic deep voice. RARW!! NOPE. Didn't scare me. Now his voice in the trailers? That was cool. Calm, compelling, that's what I wanted.

4. Malekith was there to [frick] shit up. Exactly. Nothing more to his character. Kurse was a lot better than him.

5. No. It took an army of Asgardians to take down his army of Elves. He took down... what, 5 soldiers?, not including his own. And generations? May I remind you he was in stasis. Those generations probably felt like hours to him. So technically one generation failed.

I love the MCU but Malekith and the movie as a whole was weak. Such a shame. I hope we get a directors cut that actually gives this character depth.
Dumegg - 12/29/2013, 5:39 PM
My problem with malekith was that i would have liked
More screen time for him. Get rid of some of that Darcy
And crazy Selvig stuff and give me more evil elves.
relentless1 - 12/29/2013, 5:56 PM
Malekith was weak as hell, no defending this pond scum.
MrCBM56 - 12/29/2013, 6:56 PM

That's actually a fair judgement on the character. If he can't beat Frigga in a fight what makes me think he can go up against the GOD OF THUNDER. (Oddly enough he did) That was the moment I lost hope in the character. But I get what you mean.
EpitomeofAwesome - 12/29/2013, 7:14 PM
Mediocre villain, but you brought up some really valid points. Well done.
PsychoManiacJacky - 12/29/2013, 7:19 PM
Fanboys, always going out of their own way to defend somethin. You gotta love em. True pride and spirit that never stops inside their beatin hearts.
Vegeta - 12/29/2013, 7:52 PM
I personally loved Malekith in The Dark World and my only complaint is that we didn't get to see more of him.
GuardianDevil - 12/29/2013, 7:56 PM
Great editorial, you defended your position well but I can't help but disagree.

Malekith sucked, no way around it. Arguably the worst or second worst MCU villain so far. And that's saying a lot because most of the MCU villains aren't that good.

As for it feeling like a threat. Nah I didn't feel it, in fact the only main MCU villain that felt like a legitimate threat was Abomination and the pre-twist Ben Kingsley Mandarin. Sure Loki, Stane and I guess Aldrick were well developed, sorta interesting characters but hardly a threat. 
Ocelot - 12/29/2013, 8:49 PM
Malekith was a trimmed down Zod, two villains who instantly lose any sort of credibility the moment we see them. One is beaten up and defeated by a scientist despite being genetically bred to be a warrior(what idiot decided to include this) whilst the other was disarmed and defeated by an elderly woman.
MCott - 12/30/2013, 12:10 AM
My biggest problem is the one you didn't address.

In a couple of interviews, we were told that Malekith would have a tragic backstory that showed the audiences why he was motivated to do what he did. A backstory that would make him both a more interesting villain, and a compelling character.

The movie comes out, and that backstory isn't there. Without it, Malekith was a very boring one-dimensional character. If there's one thing I've learned, adult and teen audiences (because it's something children and younger audiences don't notice) HATE one-dimensional characters.
Alphadog - 12/30/2013, 1:27 AM
The movies was way to short and that's why the villain wasn't very developed. Marvel decided to cut some of the most important scenes for the character that would supposedly give a good backstory. Such a shame. Even with the backstory I don't think i would like him that much though. He just didn't have a big presence like the Joker or Ra's al Ghul in TDK trilogy. The best villains have a scene that you can identify and that makes you imideatly love them and Malekith didn't have that. It bothers me even more because i really wanted another memorable villain and unfortunately that's not what we got.
quas666 - 12/30/2013, 2:26 AM
He was good as a villain. Like a handful said already he didn't get enough screen time. Marvel dropped the ball on this one because Malekith was an intriguing character but with so little depth. I mean why would they even think about cutting out the meat and potatoes of the villain and replace it with the over saturated desert which is the comedy. Comedy was the bad part of this movie mostly coming from Darcy's end. I love to have a fun movie going experience with CBM's but come on really? Malekith had so much potential! He had such a presence that really trumped Loki's by far.
MightyZeus - 12/30/2013, 3:09 AM
Should have given the character more screen time and the film should have cut out the comedy with Darcy, The Intern and Erik Selvig.
mook - 12/30/2013, 5:57 AM
He was under written and under used.
DefcoN - 12/30/2013, 6:02 AM
You're right. I failed to see what others consider a flaw with this particular character. I left the theater thinking he was one of MCU's greatest villains so far.
TheManFromMars - 12/30/2013, 7:31 AM
"Turning is best friend into the Predator" made me LOL.
Tainted87 - 12/30/2013, 8:32 AM

I would have liked to have seen Malekith portrayed like Tim Burton's Joker. Not so much a wacky psychopath, but a similar style of stalking and obsessing. In his run for the 80s, Malekith was almost exactly that, tracking down the Casket of Ancient Winters (which had nothing to do with ice) on Midgard from the people who have kept it hidden. In place of the Casket, we have the Aether, which I don't have a problem with, but I'd have preferred a more hands-on approach, in addition to his hunt leading him across the nine realms, not just after Jane.
Lhornbk - 12/30/2013, 9:12 AM
TDW=worst MCU movie yet. The lousy villain, and lousy plot, is why it's the worst yet.
MCott - 12/30/2013, 10:24 AM
@Lhornbk Even worse than IM3? When we were promised a compelling dark psychological movie and instead, we get a wacky screwball action comedy?
McNyagano - 12/30/2013, 11:42 AM
Underdeveloped and wasted potential. Yes he's the MCU's biggest threat so far but that doesn't mean he's any good. I was very dissapointed in Malekith. He looked scary and menacing no doubt but he just wasn't a very good villain. A lot of his material felt like it was left in the cutting room.
ManThing - 12/30/2013, 4:26 PM
Malekith was alright I guess. But it's the vastly de-powered Asgardians that bothered me. The cinematic treatments of Thor and Odin have always been less powerful than their comic book counterparts.

But in that way this particular treatment of Thor was the very worst.

It's too bad too, because this was the one movie I was looking forward to the most this year. :(
DCwanabe - 12/30/2013, 4:30 PM
jcfrommars9 - 12/30/2013, 4:45 PM
I agree with you Areajerm.
jcfrommars9 - 12/30/2013, 4:54 PM

Underdeveloped and wasted potential. Yes he's the MCU's biggest threat so far but that doesn't mean he's any good. I was very dissapointed in Malekith. He looked scary and menacing no doubt but he just wasn't a very good villain. A lot of his material felt like it was left in the cutting room.

Maybe but I've never understood most of the criticism about Malekith. Underdeveloped and wasted potential are good catchall phrases but otherwise mean nothing without anything without real depth.
JoJo1982 - 12/30/2013, 4:58 PM
He was probably the weakest villain in the MCU so far.
As far as backstory and all, a lot of things was left in the cutting room for
more Darcy scenes.
Ranger14 - 12/30/2013, 5:03 PM
"The movie comes out, and that backstory isn't there"

Were you sleeping during the first part of the movie that focused on his backs story. Then it was brought up numerous times between Odin and Thor...Thor and Loki...Thor explaining it to the humans...etc. I could have handled a little more of him, but I completely understood his story and why he wanted revenge on Asgard. To each their own.

I am one who never liked Darcy in the first Thor, but I really didn't think she took up any valuable time from others in the film, considering she was interacting with Thor, Jane and other important characters. I was pleased she had what I considered limited screen time for the most part.
SeansDevil - 12/30/2013, 5:17 PM
Some really good points. I do believe that this could've been a really great Marvel movie, given if there was more development of the villians in general, and much less comedy. Although I chuckled a couple of times, seeing his hammer constantly trying to reach him is not the place for comedy during the climax of the film.
As far as the complaints on Frigga. Let's not forget who SHE is. An Asgardian. A Queen Asgardian, who has equally seen some sh*t.
Just what I'm thinking after the article and comments.
Bodwulf - 12/30/2013, 6:44 PM
He was just overshadowed by Loki. I like that the movie was about Thor and Loki and Jane. I have seen enough movies where the villain is built up the entire film and then the hero shows up and beats him. Batman has this problem up until Batman Begins.
Malekith was just as fleshed out as Sabatian Shaw who was overshadowed by Magneto. First Class was about Magneto and Charles with a villain thrown in. I like this formula better.
McNyagano - 12/30/2013, 6:46 PM

The back story wasn't enough for me and he had less screentime and his presence wasn't really there. Kurse on the other hand was a beast. He should have been the main villain. Like I said, a lot was left in the cutting room. I just felt that there was more of him but it ended up getting cut.
Rokyn - 12/30/2013, 11:05 PM
Guys. Read comics. Go read Simesons Thor run in the comics and the current Marvel run of Thor God of thunder. This is the a terrible adaption and why is it? Because the comics did it 100 times better. FACT. Don't argue, go read a Thor comic with Malekith in it and you will understand. Don't even try to defend this shitty adaption. They only got Loki and Thor right, everyone else is a water-down version of their comicbook selves.
Rokyn - 12/30/2013, 11:13 PM
Malekith is SO crazy, fun, and menacing in the comics. He is incredibly smart and mischievous basically imagine Loki but without holding back and going full on crazy. And he actually has motivations and more dimension to his character unlike hooligan here. Mind you the actor was perfect for the role but the way he was written was so lazy and horrible, I ask myself why didn't Whedon rewrite Malekith in the movie to make him more interesting and maniacal? This guy WAS A PLOT DEVICE! HE WAS SHAFTED! Here's hoping the DVD has more scenes of him hopefully showing more of his comicbook self.
HausOfMagnus - 12/31/2013, 1:28 AM
@McNyagano, I absolutely agree with you on every point. But still, TDW remains one of my absolute favorite movie of all time. Malekith WAS a letdown, but the facts mentionned by Areajerm in the article are strong enough to NOT relegate Malekith in the "worst villains of all time category". As Rokyn mentionned, he is awesome in the comics, but cinematically speaking, he's a very tricky character to develop to his full comics-extent... The movie should have lasted 20-25 more minutes ON malekith exclusively...
Thank you very much for this great article!
RorMachine - 12/31/2013, 6:22 AM
So your defense of the character is..he's powerful and looks cool?

He was a joke.
mikefont - 12/31/2013, 7:41 AM
I agree with you Conan. The biggest disappointment for me with MCU's has been how the portray the Asgardian's and Thor in particular. Thor should had been portrayed at the same power level as Superman was in Man of Steel.

And they should have also had a MUCH longer fight sequence between Kurse & Thor. The one villan so far that legitimately gave Thor a challenge, and all that happens is Thor getting pounded on and Loki then saving him!
mikefont - 12/31/2013, 7:43 AM
And I was REALLY hoping that this storyline with Malekith would lead into part 3 being the SURTUR storyline
HulkOnion - 12/31/2013, 5:50 PM
eh he was an okay villian
Ace101 - 1/11/2014, 2:35 PM
Even though its my favorite solo mcu film to date there was still some stuff left to be desired.
1. More screen time for malekeith which appears to be offered in the deleted scenes on the dvd but not to the extent we had hoped.
2. The movie should have been minimum 130min. To incorporate more character development of malekeith and longer fight scenes especially between kurse and thor.
3. Malekeith being slightly more mischievous and also summoning elven wolves would have been awesome.
4. An explanation on how the asgardians retrieved the aether for malekeiths corpse.

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