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To Rebuild A Bridge by alwaysimagined, odin & loki + background thor + frigga + balder, 22.5k wip
    Odin is old and weary and wants his family back. He wants his little boy back and he'll do anything to get him. Even if it means traveling to Midgard. Even if it means telling another lie.
    First Rec: I read this fic with a slight mist in my eyes the entire time, because it practically could have been written to give me a case of absolutely crushing feelings. Odin is tired and weary and just wants his son back, trying to think of ways to reconnect with Loki, trying to figure out how to bring his child back around in ways that are tailored to Loki, rather than just assuming what worked for Thor will work for Loki as well. It's a little confusing what's going on at points (whether Odin is getting lost in memories, whether this is time travel, whether he's just losing touch--but I think it's just that he's getting lost in memories? and that it takes place post-Thor and will be AU to The Avengers?) but I think that'll be cleared up if there's another chapter.

AND THERE BETTER BE ANOTHER CHAPTER. Because what this fic does is absolutely crushes me with the slowly dawning realization of how Loki's slights may not have always been as imagined as they thought, how Odin misses Loki and truly loves him and wants to make things up to him. This fic has Odin making plans that are truly about Loki, how Odin can show him that he's loved for who he is, how desperately he's loved. And that is just designed to get straight through my armor and hit me in the heart. If this fic ends well, I think it might end up being one of my favorites in the fandom, that's how hard it punched me in the feelings already.
    Update Rec: I've recommended this fic before, but there was a significant update and I'm going to write a new rec for the entire first 11k here, because you guys do not understand my affection for this fic. It's designed to play on and manipulate my emotions, but does so with such charm and adorability that there was no way I wasn't going to fall for, it does all of this is such a glorious way that it could well end up being one of my very favorites in the fandom, provided on how it ends. One of the most beautifully done things in this fic is how Odin's approach to Loki is taken with the best of intentions, but is still built on a foundation of lies that mean an inevitably bumpy ride.

Things may yet turn out differently here, because this time the focus is very much on Loki and it's about Odin trying to let go of his pre-conceived notions about his son, trying to learn Loki as he truly is, which means it's awkward and uncomfortable when they have conversations as "Luke" and "Oscar", because they have so little in common, for all that they're similar to each other. This fic is entirely about the process of Odin trying to coax his son back open again, doing so in a way that's entirely likely to blow up in his face, yet done with intentions that I can't really fault him for. Every time I read this fic, my heart hurts for both of them, both in such a good way (current day stuff) and a bad way (the flashbacks to why Loki turned out the way he did, which aren't purposefully cruel, but thoughtlessly cruel), because I just want my father and his precious baby boy fic for always.

The One You Must Protect by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), odin & loki & thor, kid!thor + baby!loki, 1.4k
    Odin takes his two small sons to play in the garden.

Then he loses them.

    This is part of a larger series, but they can all be read separately as they're not necessarily linearly connected.
    Now, as an antidote to the previous bittersweet fic, this one instead is just pure happiness and sunshine! I love absolutely, absolutely everything about this piece as it does justice to the summary and what I hoped to get from the fic. I love that this is set from Odin's point of view, that we see both Thor and Loki being adorable children, that they're both loved, that Odin is glad to see Loki and Thor truly being brothers, that we see him genuinely care about this child as his own. Odin picking up Loki, who grabs his beard to hang on, or toddling after Thor, Odin's stirrings of panic when he can't find them after they've wandered off, the way he talks to Thor about why he should look after his little brother and even the way his intentions are good and he tries to curttail Thor's views on Jotunheim, if you really think about it, it didn't solve anything, but it's not outright neglectful. If I wasn't looking for it, I don't think I would have noticed it! All of this was masterfully done and this is such a warm-hearted, lovely fic full of family feels that gave me joy to read.

On the Care and Feeding of Sorcerers by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), odin & loki, 1.5k
    There are a lot of things Odin hadn't considered about raising a Jotun runt as his own - such as why Loki was so small in the first place.
    I am always, always up for Odin & Loki fic, you don't know how much I love it, especially when it's written as well as this one was, when it's set where Loki is not much older than a toddler and there's so much adorableness going on. It's speculation fic, a little bit headcanon fic, but without sacrificing characterization, and I love the balance of the two, especially since I have a matching headcanon that Loki eats an incredible amount of food, too! I love the way Odin picks up baby!Loki and carries him around, wondering at the biology of him, but also just completely charmed by this precious kid and loving him as his son and asl;dfkjalsjk I let out the most ridiculous sigh after I finished reading this. Totally a great read for when you need something happy!

To Succeed by Xparrot, odin & loki, post-thor 2, 2k
    Loki is not the only one to scheme.
    Oh, this was gorgeous and I am adopting this for my headcanon as well, because it's such an exquisitely written Odin and it works so well with the parallels and contrasts between him and Loki. The way you can see elements that are like Thor at times in Odin here, then the way you can see elements in him that are like Loki sometimes--I'm not sure if they're deliberately done or just really in character moments, but it's fantastic. And it's clever and ties together greater plot machinations here and from The Avengers and I found this made sense to me all the way around. This is one of those fics where I want to shove it at everyone and use it as a perfect illustration, rather than trying to explain something, because it shows how this idea works, as well as it's just... a neat and clever bit of writing!

untitled by pro-antagonist [ mobile ver. ], odin & loki, baby!loki, ~1k
    It’s not long after the baby changes its color that Odin decides it is no mere illusion.
    Oh, my heart. This was charming as all get out and tugged on my heartstrings something fierce, as Odin finds baby Loki on Jotunheim and "converses" with him while feeding him and taking care of him, as if Loki's gibberish is a prince negotiating for asylum. It could have been overly silly or too fluffy, but somehow it had just the right notes for me that I was practically a smiling pile of mush afterwards, but felt like it could have been one of the more light-hearted moments in the actual canon. It's lovely and perfect and just so good.

My Son, My Joy by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), loki & odin, kid!loki, 1.3k
    Odin might be king, but he can still find time for his younger son.
    This fic is part of a series, but they can be read in any order.
    Speaking of family feelings that emotionally devestate me! After I gave myself the night off, I picked this one up this morning as well, and, ahhhh, it was so good for me because it's beautifully written and it's just pure, darling fluff in all the best ways. I love this fic series' Odin and the way he looks at baby Loki, because there's just so much affection and love there (even if you can still see how it'll all go wrong in the future, but this is entirely a happy fic) and, oh, parents who pick up their precious darling babies, set them on their lap, and continue on about their meetings, that is a bulletproof kink I have right there. I love that this Loki is an instant, natural charmer even from before he could form complex words or thoughts, that he's just a beautiful little baby who is bright and curious, which causes everyone to fucking coo over him, including me. It helps that the fic is beautifully written and is about character exploration, rather than purely about fluff, which just makes it even better omg.

The Ring is Little by Inwitari_Turelie, odin & loki, 2.7k
    Or the one where Odin tries to bond with Loki and it all goes rather wrong and they end up setting things up for the Völsunga saga.
    I love Odin & Loki interaction, so this intrigued right away and the best part of this fic is... it makes a point of showing that Loki is far more like Odin than most people seem to realize. He has similarities to Frigga as well, but there are so many other ways that Loki takes after Odin and I kind of have an instant OMG HI ILU FIC reaction whenever that's brought up. You do sort of have to roll with the tone of the fic, that Odin seems almost cavalier about having been taken hostage, but that actually sort of worked for me, when I stopped to consider how many times, in his ridiculously long life, he's gotten into shit that's probably ten times worse than this. The fic is also a set up for mythology (though, as the author says, the timelines don't really match up) and the writing is stiff in places/there's punctuation issues, but... Loki and Odin! Going on an adventure together! Being adorable! This totally made me happy to read today.

Finding Loki by KaylaNorail, odin & loki, 2.1k
    When Loki falls, the All-Father cannot just mourn. He goes after him.
    When I first picked this fic up, I expected it to be humorous or outright cracky, but it's really more sweet and feels-laden and serious than anything. And, oh, I knew as soon as I got to one line in particular that I was going to hold this fic close forever, when Odin justifies why he's going after Loki: My words were what have sent him down there and so it shall be my hand that will pull him back. So fucking perfect and I like to think this is exactly what would have happened if they'd known that Loki had survived the Void. Odin's determination to find Loki, the workings of magic and the sheer scope of how far they both travel, how this feels like an epic search for Loki, even though the fic is only a couple thousand words long, all of it is fantastic. And, oh, the scene where Odin finally finds Loki, my fannish heart could hardly stand how perfect it was.

The Shadow by anonymous, odin & loki, ~1k
    "Might I suggest a plan, that is three-fold?" Loki asks slyly. "You might," Odin answers wryly.
    So, I saw the prompt for this fill, where Loki and Odin were in collusion the entire time, Loki was Odin's spook for a grander plan, and my immediate reaction was FUCK YES LET ME AT THAT. This is a mini-fill, it's just a conversation on Loki and Odin's plans, which I definitely wish there had been more of, I would have loved to have seen this plot fully explored, but, oh, this did so much for me already. Because I've spent a fair amount of time recently talking about Loki's character and one of the things I've realized is that Loki is actually quite similar to Odin in the sense of how they are both incredibly good at twisty politics, Loki is Odin's son in that regard. So, this twisty, turny plot they hatch between them? Delicious.

One to Be Trusted by samalander, thor & loki + odin & loki + frigga & loki + sif, mental instability, 5.9k
    After he lost the battle in Midgard, Loki was taken home in chains. And if the Aesir couldn't heal him with magic, then they would do it with time.
    I read this fic last night and fully intended to settle in for a bit more reading after it, but then I just... couldn't. I couldn't read more after this fic because it emotionally floored me so hard that I wouldn't have been able to concentrate on anything else, not after the thorough emotional wringer I'd just been put through. It is a difficult fic to read if you're sensitive to the Loki feels thing, but I wouldn't say this is a tragic fic, even if it's not all sunshine and roses. But, if I had my way, this is actually quite possibly my ideal (actually possible) scenario for how Loki's return to Asgard would go. It is beautifully written and focuses on Loki's interaction with these four characters, it captures all that rage and hurt he has that are just absolutely storming inside him, and slowly wades through all of that to begin to bring Loki back around.

About halfway through this fic, I got a misting of tears in my eyes that would not leave me alone for the rest of the ride, not when Loki's family loves him so much but they understand him so little. Not when the conversation with Odin was fucking exquisite in both characterization and wordplay and just what Odin had meant and planned for with Loki. It's a combination of emotionally devestating (that I would say is ultimately in a good way) and a brilliant, brilliant look at the characters that left me with that breathless feeling I get over fic sometimes, making this one of my favorites in fandom pretty much instantly. Even the ending was brilliant--because, how do you bring a character like Loki back to himself in just under 6k? You find something somewhere in the middle like this fic so deftly does.

The Threads Fate by Paraph, frigga & odin & loki, baby!loki, ~1k
    When Odin returns from Jotunheim with a familiar form bundled in his arms, Frigga knows their fate has been forever changed.
    Oh, I meant to be done reading for the night, really. But, well, just one more fic... it's not quite 500 words... that'll only take a minute... and it's a small scene, just a moment when Odin has come back from Jotunheim with a baby and first places him in Frigga's arms, but it doesn't need to be more. It's beautiful and full of so many emotions, for how she instantly falls in love with this sleeping baby and you know this won't be easy, but it's something like fate that instantly binds all of them. It's a touch bittersweet (mostly for how we know how things turn out) but also beautiful and sweet. My need for family feels tonight has been sated.

Now Forget and be Content by spaceleviathan, odin & frigga & thor & loki, mentions of suicide, 2.4k
    She knew she had to be the strong one for Thor, because her husband was engaged enough in convincing himself to believe that he hadn’t just killed their son.
    I picked this fic up on a whim tonight--well, I would have put it in my to-read pile either way, but I decided to read it immediately since it was short and I was curious how a fic immediate-post Bifrost scene would go, especially since it promised to be about Frigga and her feelings for her sons. And, oh, while the writing was trying a little too hard at times and a bit awkward, it just absolutely nailed the most important part--the part where I had tears in my eyes because of this family's utter grief at the loss of their own. Thor blaming himself and devastated at the loss of his brother. Odin's heavy heart and guilt that he couldn't stop this. Frigga's utter loss and grace under pressure as she comforts one and tries not to hate the other, for not finding the right words to save Loki.

I love this fic because it's so much of what I saw with these characters and imagined for them, that Frigga would be so angry at the words Odin chose to say to Loki when he was so fragile, that she may never forgive him for it. At the same time, this Odin isn't without regret, he obviously does regret it deeply, but he still soldiers on and is difficult to read entirely. And Frigga is the Queen of Asgard, she must carry on as well, she has her duty and only a short time to herself to be breakable as well. It's such a painful read, but one I wanted because, oh, Loki was so very loved, he was theirs and his mother is destroyed by this loss.

I wanted to read this because it put the tears in my eyes that I hoped it would (but I am very weak to this dynamic) and gave me all the family feels I could ask for, in a way that's messy and complicated and is only tolerable to me because we readers know that Loki's not actually dead.

Loki's 'mischief' was always out of control. Odin doesn't care by burning_nova, odin & frigga & loki & thor, humor, crack, ~1k
    There have been a lot of stories where Odin is quick to crack down on Loki's actions with gruesome torture punishments, but what if Odin had always been extremely indulgent of Loki's bullshit?
    I'm really, really not kidding about how I would read so many fics just like this because I am 100% serious that I don't care if it's against the tone of the movies or whatever, I would absolutely choose this route of Odin and Frigga's reactions to Loki's actions. Because doting on Loki as their precious darling and the hilarity of Thor's WTF WTF WTF reaction and Loki being an absolutely spoiled rotten little shit is my favorite. Faaaaaavoriiiiiiiite. And this one happily embraces the cracky nature and just runs with it, where Odin and Frigga really don't give a fuck what anyone thinks, they do what they want to do. Which is coo over their precious baby. Yes. Yes, good.

A Request to Make of Me by ItsMadness, odin & loki, fluff, family feels, 1.6k
    "I have a request to make," Loki began slowly, his tone deferential. "Go on," the Allfather prompted encouragingly. Loki took a deep inhale through his nose, raising his chin to look at Odin squarely. "I would like a set of knives."
    Ahhh, heart-warming Odin & Loki fic is always good for me, but I loved this one especially because it shows Odin's good intentions and insight into Loki's character, but yet that he's utter crap at actually communicating that. The characterization and sense of distance being bridged between them is lovely here and definitely worth a read.

Allfather Knows Best (Not That Anyone Listens to Him) by Coneycat, loki & odin + thor + other asgardians, some gore/violence, 8.2k
    I just found a version of the lip-sewing story in which the dwarf demands Loki's head AND ODIN REFUSES. Comes right out and says, "No, that's crazy, ask for something else."
    Probably I have read this before, but it's a great reread for the Odin and Loki feels, so, whatever, I do what I want, Thor. It's one of the few Norse mythology punishment in the MCU fics that I like and the depth and complications of the characterization of them is fantastic. And you know I'm all about complicated but ultimately loving relationships between the characters! There's little focus on Thor, so there's no chance to make him feel like Thor despite the brash things he does, so even if you can't go into this one for his character at all, you'll find that he's not the point. When the fic focuses on Odin and Loki, it's painful, but ultimately happy and so good. I really love the twisty thought and logic that goes into all the actions and words here, that there's such ridiculous depth at times, then just utter stupidity other times, in that way that feels so Loki to me.

Bargaining by proantagonist, thor & loki + odin & loki + frigga & loki + other marvel characters, time travel, post-thor 2, 87.1k wip
    Faced with an eternity without his brother, Loki strikes a bargain to change the past. Post TDW.
    Chapters 01-23: I am going to lose my shit over this fic and write a terrible rec, one that probably doesn't even say half of what I want to convey about my feelings for this story. Let's start with how I thought, with crystal clarity, about a third of the way through the fic, that I didn't even care anymore if this fic wound up horribly betraying me in the ways that fic sometimes does, because what it had given me up to that point already was so exquisite and glorious that I honestly didn't care in that moment. Because this fic made me fucking bawl when it was the right moment to do so--more than once, actually. This is a time-travel fic, where Thor's death in the future sends him into utter desperation and he makes a bargain to go back and change things, except he ends up further back in time than he intended. The thing about time travel fic is that it's such an intriguing idea, one that has such potential to fix things, to contrast against what the traveler has experienced against what the characters around them haven't, that build-up to a reveal and the changes that can be made. It's a difficult one to pull off, though, because you have to be careful of so many things, like staying true to the spirit of the characters and laying down some internal rules to how things would play out, so that it's a wortwhile story to be told instead of just an instant fix, and to find the balance between echoing canon and yet still making this have a point. This fic executes all these things flawlessly, to the point that I am utterly enthralled while reading and I didn't want to come up for air at all.

Right from the beginning, I was wound so incredibly tense because Loki is so... Loki and he's self-destructive and angry and a mess, but none of the people around him are aware of just how much of a mess he is, so they don't know what to look for, which means that he's going to have a new kind of power over everyone and, as much as I want Loki to fix things, that's not really who he is. Except, in some ways, he sort of is in these circumstances, but done in such a way that I wholly believe that Loki would act this way. The fic is utterly exquisite about putting Loki into circumstances that siphon away just a bit of his anger here and there, it chips away at his excuses for why he acts the way he does, it puts him in situations that reshape the way he thinks and sees things, until he's left floundering and his worldview is maybe starting to heal.

The gorgeous thing about this, however, is that it doesn't mean that Loki is suddenly all better, because it's been nearly 90k and he's still a goddamned mess and he's still twisted up inside and he's still so full of anger and poison and raw hurt, in the way he absolutely would be. This is not a fic that's about taking the easy way out and I fully expect more heartbreak or possibly even for my soul to be crushed by the time it gets to the end, which could be any moment now or could be another 100k from now, I honestly don't know. But this is not the same Loki that was the one we saw in TDW, this is not the same Loki that we saw at the beginning of the fic, even when so much is still the same and the author is brilliant for how well portrayed he is. And this is a Loki-centric fic, so much of my talking about it and the fic focuses on his character, but I never feel that the other characters around him aren't done justice to. Each member of his family, as well as the brief scenes of Sif and the W3, are done just as brilliantly. This Thor is Thor and I love that the circumstances of his banishment were changed, so he's a little different here as well, but he maintains that larger than life presence, that utter bulldozer of a personality, yet who is becoming legitimately thoughtful and wise, because of his love for Loki and his worry over his brother.

Every scene where Thor tries to drag the truth out of Loki is gorgeous, because he wrecks Loki emotionally in the best of ways, because Loki loves him so much and is doing all of this for Thor (and for his mother) and Thor refuses to back down, Thor will not surrender Loki for anything, neither to him nor to the madness that's trying to steal his brother away, even as he learns when to back off and give Loki some breathing room now and again. Thor isn't the focus here, but the fic knows that he's very much one of the central pillars of Loki's world and knows how to create this amazing balance between the story being about Loki, but Thor is clearly a main character in the greater whole of Asgard, which is exactly what I want from fic. Because that allows the writer to do what they do brilliantly here--show the progression of Loki's relationships and worldviews. His conversations with Frigga are heartwrenching, as she senses something is wrong with him and won't browbeat it out of him, but makes it clear she loves him with all her heart and the guilt Loki feels at remembering her death is just gorgeous.

And then. Every scene between Odin and Loki. Goddamn. It's complicated and twisting and I'm not sure what's entirely going on, because the writer is very aware of the similarities between the characters (for all that they're different in other ways) and I don't know how it will ultimately end up. But Odin being brilliant and he knows shit is up with Loki and how he handles that, both in good ways and bad ways, is incredible. Eventually, of course, some truths have to come out, and every revelation scene is incredibly satisfying for me as a reader, because of the build-up and because it's so in character that I could just about writhe around on the floor for it. Loki's screaming at his parents when they realize he knows he's Jotunn, I'm serious, there were tears in my eyes for that one. I don't want to say more, because I can't spoil that scene, but goddamn that was one of the most masterful things I've read in awhile. And that's hardly the last utterly fascinating conversation, where Odin looks very sharply at Loki and is slowly unraveling the mystery around him.

But it's not just all relationship or emotional stuff, it's also plot, as Loki tries to put right all the things that went wrong or that would put his family in danger. This means more time acting as Asgard's king in a legitimate way and how he handles that and what that means for his relationship with Jotunheim. His handling of everything with Malekith and the Aether, both in how he has to try to hide what he knows ahead of time (and why he can't say more), is deliciously done and so interesting, because he's using what he knows from the first timeline and yet things are changing and he can't always predict what will happen differently--which often makes for some of the most tension-filled scenes I've read in a fic in a long time. I was practically tripping over myself to read just "a few more pages" before bed, staying up far later than I should have because I could not put it down.

I want to talk so much more about this fic, I want to talk about specific scenes, I want to talk about every notch on the dial of Loki's anger that's cycled through, I want to talk about the way Thor is this huge presence in Loki's life, I want to talk about the way he won't let go of Loki and how he steamrolls right over Loki's protests and yet he's impossible not to love so dearly, I want to talk about the brilliant Odin characterization, I want to talk about where I think the plot might be headed, I want to talk about how my heart was in my throat when Algrim came to Asgard, I want to talk about Odin being so angry with Loki, who has unleashed all this hatred at him, who is and yet isn't the same as he was in the first timeline, I want to talk about all of this. I want to even sit down and read the comments other people have left and then rewrite this rec to be twice as long as it already is (except I don't trust this fandom to react well to the complicated circumstances of this fic, because the WHOLE POINT is that it's complicated and it's not about pointing fingers of blame and that's why THIS IS THE TIME TRAVEL FIC OF MY DREAMS), I want to take notes while rereading chapters, and I just really, really want to make people read it with me. READ IT, OKAY.
    Chapter 24: When you're reading a fic for awhile, catch up, wait for a bit, and then have a new chapter, yout hink that it can't measure up, you think, oh, it won't make me cry again or anything, even if I greatly enjoy it. And most of this chapter was like, though that did not take away from the quality of it, as it was still just as fascinating and engrossing and constructing something enthralling as ever! The world-building of Jotunheim was excellent, the things Loki learned while there, the use of Helblindi and Byleister were perfect! I would have been interested in them just for their own sake (both were perfect, I loved Helblindi's almost calm, literal way of speaking and irritating, aggressive little shit Byleister was seriously possibly my favorite version of the character yet!), but even more so for how the fic used them to dismantle that one last issue he had, how all his excuses were gone now, how there's a new sense of peace in him that's been earned, both by the character and the fic. The brief moments of Loki experiencing being an older brother were also perfect--hilarious and with a point to them, to help him learn just a bit more still.

Then the final thousand words of this chapter came and, oh, hey, there's where all my tears went. The combination of how at peace he is with his fate, the way Thor hangs on so tightly but has to watch Loki fall away again, how ready Loki is to die now... it completely wrecked me, because this author did such a masterful job on this fic. Sure, it's interesting on a "exploring alien worlds is cool!" level, it's fun to see the different ways authors come up with bringing culture and life to Jotunheim, and I would have been happy to spend more time there, even as anxious as I was to get back to the rest of the story. But seeing Loki spend time there, all these other excuses melted away from him and deliberately peeled away by the story, you understood that he was ready to see the Jotnar as people instead of monsters, that he was ready to see that his actions were his own, rather than because he was from a race of monsters. And I love that they weren't perfect and peaceful and loving, but instead that they were all too... well, not human, but normal. Irritating at times, admirable at other times, and full of their own personalities and probably their own stories, even if we didn't have time to get into them.

I am so anticapting the ending of this one and yet dreading it all the same. orz
    Chapter 25: One of the things I felt most strongly (all over again) while reading this chapter is that this is a time travel fic that gets the point of what makes time travel fic the most delicious for me--that it's not about erasing the past or undoing those events, that this story wouldn't have even half of its impact if those things had never happened. This is a story that's absolutely about growing from there, even as Loki goes back and changes things, that they had to happen so that he could come to terms with himself and mend his sense of self and all the damage that that anger did to him. It's part of him, it always will be, but the point is that reliving those years helped him grow from it. And then you put that together with the same sense of... in the previous chapter's rec, I mentioned that reading a fic chapter to chapter gives you that feeling of, "Oh, I've built this fic up so much, it can't possibly hit me as hard again without the same amount of time to build up to the emotional climaxes." and that proves true for the first 2/3rds of the fic and then, wham, I'm crying again. I had a few face-crumpling moments (literally my face made that squishy look where I start to get a little weepy, but I wasn't quite at tears yet) but then, by the end, yeah, this got me.

Because the emotional climax of this story was masterful, a brilliant weaving together of the past timeline with this one, the way Odin especially is written is breathtaking and everything all just fits together with what we know of canon and what we've seen in this timeline. Loki is beautifully written and I was practically fidgeting through the whole chapter, because it was a struggle not to trip over myself to get to the next line given just how deeply enthralled I was. This is an absolute must read in the fandom and post-TDW fic that fixes the tragedies while adding new ones and not having those things be a waste. They had to happen to get the characters where they are here! But I can't talk much more about that without going into spoilers that I really don't think you should be warned about ahead of time, so beyond this point I will give a SPOILERS FOR THIS CHAPTER warning.

Because I really do need to talk about the events of previous chapters and their meaning and what happened here. I strongly suspected what was going to happen here, as I'd read some of the comments and theories going on there, which made sense to me given the little clues along the way, but I was blown over by how they didn't affect the impact of it at all, I sitll felt jumpy and restless and fidgeting because I was so anxious about how it would all go down and then it was happening and a;slkdjfal;kjs is basically all I can come up with! Loki's reaction sent me into tears because it was just such the perfect culmination--that entire conversation where Odin is yelling at him, where he is so angry at Loki for all this shit, both in the current timeline and the previous one now that he remembers it, but the fic breathtakingly explains why Odin acted the way he did and gave depth to the things he said and put the two of them together beautifully, they made sense together, how we saw two such different reactions from a character, how they were the same person in just slightly different circumstances. Gorgeous. And this is the chapter where I realized, yeah, why Loki's parents' deaths were necessary to his character arc--for him to be able to grieve in a way that doesn't end in his ruination of himself.

Yes, of course I would have preferred that everything was fixed and happy and everyone got to live! But the fic had painted a specific path for itself and it stuck to it, this was clearly planned from the beginning and the little clues along the way were beautifully done and it made sense to me, that Loki had to learn to deal with loss in a way that didn't break him. And, oh, how complicated everyone is here, how no one is wholly good or bad, no one is perfect, how Odin and Loki are alike in a lot of ways and we see that all the more clearly, as they're the focus of much of this fic! But then there's Thor, who has such nobility at heart, but there's a lot piled on him and everything that breaks over him, the dozen different things that crash over him all at once, it's got to be a brutal day, even as I know it won't break him. The most beautiful thing this fic does is showing us Loki's more sympathetic and good-intentioned side but not letting go of just how much he hurts the people that care about him, that all the self-recrimination and sorrow in the world don't mean he's not still hurting people. And that the fic accepts this and portrays it as this complicated thing, is brilliant.
    Chapter 26: I had to wait a week to read the final chapter of this fic because I honestly was not ready and part of me is terribly sad that I will have no more of this. Good post-TDW fic is so terribly hard to find, but this fic is so well-done that it fills the gap of a dozen of them, so I'm torn between being satisfied and yet maybe now wanting more of this kind of thing all the more. I've talked twice before about what time travel fic done right means to me, but it's still true here, that this is a story that doesn't seek to undo the importance of canon events, because the events of this fic would be meaningless without them, and that is how you do time travel fic! It's also about slowly stripping away the excuses Loki used for his actions, both to redeem him/grant him some peace, but also to help him truly repair things and understand the why of it. This isn't a story that's about punishing Loki or cutting out the sympathy for him, but instead about healing and repairing him, that it's about how he's put into the right circumstances and given the time to come to terms with them.

And it's also still true that I got teary-eyed during the chapter despite high expectations and the assumption that, oh, the fic couldn't do it to me again. I was so wary about Loki's trial here, his self-sabotage streak still going strong and all those who wanted his head, but reading through it, I understood why it was necessary (as so much in this fic becomes necessary when I got to the end and thought about how things might have gone differently, had events been tweaked here and there, that these were choices made with deliberation by the author), why it needed to turn out the way it did. It was painful, but did justice to everything the story needed in these final moments. And, oh, that it was down to Thor and Loki in the end. That's just as it needed to be. It works on a narrative level, because there are so many interesting relationships Loki has in this story, so many that are important and drove so much of the fic, but at the end, it always seems to come down to those two, but it also works on a character level because, oh, you may not see it as directly as you do with Loki, but this was not an easy road for Thor, either. His reasonings during Loki's trial, when you start to understand what he's doing, are just... feelings-crushing, because this is how it would go, now that Thor better understands Loki, after all that's happened.

This is a fic about using what we've seen in canon, addressing those issues, but not trying to tear them down as if they'd never happened, both in terms of plot, but also in terms of character. This isn't about forgetting that the canon events happened or undoing them, this is about moving forward from them, for all that it's a time travel fic. This is about Loki learning to make peace with himself, learning to let others in, and learning to understand that he's not disconnected from everyone else, that what happens to him affects other people. And, fuck, I think this fic may have spoiled me for wanting more plotty post-TDW fic and my high expectations out of them! Which is both a blessing and a curse, but one I will absolutely take, every time.

Shapechangers in Winter by kyrilu, some hinted tony/loki (pre-slash?) + thor & loki + odin & loki + thor & tony, crossover/fusion, animal transformation, 31k
    Instead of simply attacking, the frost giants that invade Asgard turn Odin, Loki, and Thor into animals--an eagle, fox, and bear respectively. The three gods are banished to Earth where they meet Tony Stark. With the looming threat of a Jotun-inflicted Ice Age, Tony agrees to help the Norse gods take back Asgard. What happens is a realm-hopping adventure featuring daddy issues, near death situations, god+human friendships, and seal breakfasts. A fusion with Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.
    I picked up the link for this fic on hannahrhen's tumblr and, oh, I'm so glad I did! For one thing, it was a perfect way to cap off my FrostIron reading spree, but more than that--it was satisfying for the Thor&Loki relationship (as well as the Odin&Loki relationship) in a Tony/Loki fic! Yessssss, that is right in my wheelhouse, okay. But the fic didn't stop there! No, the fic balanced Loki's relationships with all three of these characters but it also even got in Thor & Tony's friendship! Do you know how delighted I was to see that? DO YOU? Because, oh, man, yes, their friendship is so great! And it's not a major, major part of the fic, but it's very much there and solid and so perfectly done. The Tony/Loki is really more a developing attraction, it's about on par for importance with the other things going on, which means it was absolutely perfect for the characters, because they've got other important shit going on.

The fic also blends three separate storylines and includes elements of a fourth, all of them wound together so seamlessly that you'd hardly know it. At the same time, it's not just a retelling of those events, this is fresh and new and the story truly belongs to this narrative! It's a satisfying story that balances everything just right, so I was wholly invested in the adventures these four had, both for the plot and for the character moments! There were no scenes that dragged, nothing that felt like it was being given too much or too little weight for what it needed to be, and the emotions of it were perfection, so I was left feeling happy and content afterwards. The use of Loki having let the Jotnar into Asgard is one of the main aspects and, oh, I absolutely adored what the author did with it, how it came to a head and how it caused (necessary! and satisfying!) complications between him and the other three characters, each for their own reasons.

Loki's relationship with Odin often gets ignored, but it was important here and the resolution is lovely for what it does and doesn't change. Loki's relationship with Thor just got right at my fannish heart, the anger and hurt Thor feels at all the bitterness Loki has kept hidden in him! And Tony's own issues come up about betrayal and family, but they also have a satisfying resolution. I love when fic can make each relationship different and important, which this fic does marvelously. That's probably the biggest reason I'd want to recommend this fic!

But there are also little touches that the fic does amazingly well--Tony's pop culture references are great, they're just the right amount of hilarious without taking over or trying too hard. As well as the elements of Norse mythology, especially the various people and places that are in Jotunheim, are very nicely done, while never losing that this is a MCU-based fic. The fic does a lovely job at making sure that this is primarly a fic centered on Tony, so there's a great amount of references to his supporting characters (all the mentions of Pepper were especially lovely), while not overusing him to the point that he overshadowed the other characters. It's one of the best FrostIron fics I've read, but I would also consider it one of the best gen fics I've read in the fandom as well, because it's more an undercurrent than anything that actually happens. I would recommend it for just about anyone who liked any of these characters, really. ♥

To Rebuild A Bridge by alwaysimagined, odin & loki + minor balder appearance, 3k at the time of this rec
    Odin is old and weary and wants his family back. He wants his little boy back and he'll do anything to get him. Even if it means traveling to Midgard. Even if it means telling another lie.

    There are only two chapters of this fic so far, updated months apart, it's barely over 3k, and yet? Still one of my favorite fics in the fandom already. The fic is entirely about Odin realizing he's overlooked Loki (who also let it happen, but that doesn't provide an excuse here) despite that he truly loves his son and how he wants to start genuinely making it up to Loki. I reread the first chapter when I settled in with the second one and it still hit me just as hard as it did the first time--every time Odin thinks of Loki as his baby boy, I had that physical ache in my chest that comes from really good family feels fic.

While the first chapter was a little hard to follow (whether Odin was getting lost in memories or what), the second chapter sets up the real point of the fic--Odin finding Loki on Midgard, intending to talk with him, but unable to ruin the moment, so instead he's going to hatch a terribly thought out plan on the spur of the moment and it's going to be family feels candy for me. This may be a bit of a painful wait between chapters, but it's worth it for me already.

Grandchildren by Persephone_Kore, loki & odin + loki's kids + other asgardians, 4.9k
    Prompt: Without changing movie events, Odin was actually a pretty good dad, not to say he didn't make any mistakes, but he did his best. -bloodraevynn Thor (2011) fic with supplementation from the Eddas. Odin, and his son, and his grandchildren.
    [Also posted on AO3, but as of the time of this rec, it's still being published.] Oh. This fic was gorgeous. It's a series of scenes, between Loki and Odin and Loki's children and it's stunningly heartbreaking in a bittersweet way because this Odin loves his son so very much, he's direct about it, but Loki's children just do not fit into Asgard, they are too dangerous. It's not anyone's fault, it's just the way things turn out, Loki himself knows what has to be done, but it breaks his heart and it breaks Odin's heart and it's heart wrenching, but also full of so much love. The author does an absolutely stunning job of putting in all this amazing detail, all the little touches of Loki's kids and working in the Norse mythology bits, but in a way that actually fits with the Marvel universe, and it's another one of those fics that I would gladly have read a 100k for, but also feel satisfied with what these scenes accomplished. Brilliant, brilliant piece.

Not the only Trickster in the house of Odin by Potboy, odin & frigga & loki, 1.6k
    In which Odin congratulates himself on the fine job he did of raising Loki.
    There's a comment by the author somewhere, possibly in the comments section, about how they couldn't reconcile movie!Odin as powerful, wise, and good all at the same time, which struck me as something I agreed with (generally, I don't think he was very wise, at least not when it came to Loki, I think he was completely unwise) and this fic... explores the idea that maybe Odin wasn't aiming for something good. It was a gorgeous read because the author did an amazing job at not making this evil!Odin, but instead... these are beings who live thousands and thousands of years, their thoughts are different, and Odin's long term plans for Loki were not as a mortal's would be, even as they keep changing. It's a heartbreaking piece, in its own way, but it's also... in a way, it almost made me feel better? It almost made me love them all more? It's a tricky line to walk, but this author did so gorgeously.

Shall We Keep Him? by ItsMadness, odin/frigga + loki, baby!loki, 1.3k
    Odin finds an infant on Jötunheim, and decides to keep him.
    This is short, but adds context to the day Odin rescued Loki from Jotunheim and works well as a set-up for future stories. it also has a neat bit of detail on baby!Loki's powers and so it's a fun little read to add to a collection when you're looking for more fic set in this time period.

The Ring is Little by Inwitari_Turelie, odin & loki, 2.7k
    Or the one where Odin tries to bond with Loki and it all goes rather wrong and they end up setting things up for the Völsunga saga.
    I love Odin & Loki interaction, so this intrigued right away and the best part of this fic is... it makes a point of showing that Loki is far more like Odin than most people seem to realize. He has similarities to Frigga as well, but there are so many other ways that Loki takes after Odin and I kind of have an instant OMG HI ILU FIC reaction whenever that's brought up. You do sort of have to roll with the tone of the fic, that Odin seems almost cavalier about having been taken hostage, but that actually sort of worked for me, when I stopped to consider how many times, in his ridiculously long life, he's gotten into shit that's probably ten times worse than this. The fic is also a set up for mythology (though, as the author says, the timelines don't really match up) and the writing is stiff in places/there's punctuation issues, but... Loki and Odin! Going on an adventure together! Being adorable! This totally made me happy to read today.

To Rebuild A Bridge by alwaysimagined, odin & loki, 11k
    Odin is old and weary and wants his family back. He wants his little boy back and he'll do anything to get him. Even if it means traveling to Midgard. Even if it means telling another lie.
    I've recommended this fic before, but there was a significant update and I'm going to write a new rec for the entire first 11k here, because you guys do not understand my affection for this fic. It's designed to play on and manipulate my emotions, but does so with such charm and adorability that there was no way I wasn't going to fall for, it does all of this is such a glorious way that it could well end up being one of my very favorites in the fandom, provided on how it ends. One of the most beautifully done things in this fic is how Odin's approach to Loki is taken with the best of intentions, but is still built on a foundation of lies that mean an inevitably bumpy ride.

Things may yet turn out differently here, because this time the focus is very much on Loki and it's about Odin trying to let go of his pre-conceived notions about his son, trying to learn Loki as he truly is, which means it's awkward and uncomfortable when they have conversations as "Luke" and "Oscar", because they have so little in common, for all that they're similar to each other. This fic is entirely about the process of Odin trying to coax his son back open again, doing so in a way that's entirely likely to blow up in his face, yet done with intentions that I can't really fault him for. Every time I read this fic, my heart hurts for both of them, both in such a good way (current day stuff) and a bad way (the flashbacks to why Loki turned out the way he did, which aren't purposefully cruel, but thoughtlessly cruel), because I just want my father and his precious baby boy fic for always.

On the Care and Feeding of Sorcerers by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), odin & loki, 1.5k
    There are a lot of things Odin hadn't considered about raising a Jotun runt as his own - such as why Loki was so small in the first place.
    I am always, always up for Odin & Loki fic, you don't know how much I love it, especially when it's written as well as this one was, when it's set where Loki is not much older than a toddler and there's so much adorableness going on. It's speculation fic, a little bit headcanon fic, but without sacrificing characterization, and I love the balance of the two, especially since I have a matching headcanon that Loki eats an incredible amount of food, too! I love the way Odin picks up baby!Loki and carries him around, wondering at the biology of him, but also just completely charmed by this precious kid and loving him as his son and asl;dfkjalsjk I let out the most ridiculous sigh after I finished reading this. Totally a great read for when you need something happy!

Finding Loki by KaylaNorail, odin & loki, 2.1k
    When Loki falls, the All-Father cannot just mourn. He goes after him.
    When I first picked this fic up, I expected it to be humorous or outright cracky, but it's really more sweet and feels-laden and serious than anything. And, oh, I knew as soon as I got to one line in particular that I was going to hold this fic close forever, when Odin justifies why he's going after Loki: My words were what have sent him down there and so it shall be my hand that will pull him back. So fucking perfect and I like to think this is exactly what would have happened if they'd known that Loki had survived the Void. Odin's determination to find Loki, the workings of magic and the sheer scope of how far they both travel, how this feels like an epic search for Loki, even though the fic is only a couple thousand words long, all of it is fantastic. And, oh, the scene where Odin finally finds Loki, my fannish heart could hardly stand how perfect it was.

A Request to Make of Me by ItsMadness, odin & loki, fluff, family feels, 1.6k
    "I have a request to make," Loki began slowly, his tone deferential. "Go on," the Allfather prompted encouragingly. Loki took a deep inhale through his nose, raising his chin to look at Odin squarely. "I would like a set of knives."
    Ahhh, heart-warming Odin & Loki fic is always good for me, but I loved this one especially because it shows Odin's good intentions and insight into Loki's character, but yet that he's utter crap at actually communicating that. The characterization and sense of distance being bridged between them is lovely here and definitely worth a read.

Shapechangers in Winter by kyrilu, some hinted tony/loki (pre-slash?) + thor & loki + odin & loki + thor & tony, crossover/fusion, animal transformation, 31k
    Instead of simply attacking, the frost giants that invade Asgard turn Odin, Loki, and Thor into animals--an eagle, fox, and bear respectively. The three gods are banished to Earth where they meet Tony Stark. With the looming threat of a Jotun-inflicted Ice Age, Tony agrees to help the Norse gods take back Asgard. What happens is a realm-hopping adventure featuring daddy issues, near death situations, god+human friendships, and seal breakfasts. A fusion with Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.
    I picked up the link for this fic on hannahrhen's tumblr and, oh, I'm so glad I did! For one thing, it was a perfect way to cap off my FrostIron reading spree, but more than that--it was satisfying for the Thor&Loki relationship (as well as the Odin&Loki relationship) in a Tony/Loki fic! Yessssss, that is right in my wheelhouse, okay. But the fic didn't stop there! No, the fic balanced Loki's relationships with all three of these characters but it also even got in Thor & Tony's friendship! Do you know how delighted I was to see that? DO YOU? Because, oh, man, yes, their friendship is so great! And it's not a major, major part of the fic, but it's very much there and solid and so perfectly done. The Tony/Loki is really more a developing attraction, it's about on par for importance with the other things going on, which means it was absolutely perfect for the characters, because they've got other important shit going on.

The fic also blends three separate storylines and includes elements of a fourth, all of them wound together so seamlessly that you'd hardly know it. At the same time, it's not just a retelling of those events, this is fresh and new and the story truly belongs to this narrative! It's a satisfying story that balances everything just right, so I was wholly invested in the adventures these four had, both for the plot and for the character moments! There were no scenes that dragged, nothing that felt like it was being given too much or too little weight for what it needed to be, and the emotions of it were perfection, so I was left feeling happy and content afterwards. The use of Loki having let the Jotnar into Asgard is one of the main aspects and, oh, I absolutely adored what the author did with it, how it came to a head and how it caused (necessary! and satisfying!) complications between him and the other three characters, each for their own reasons.

Loki's relationship with Odin often gets ignored, but it was important here and the resolution is lovely for what it does and doesn't change. Loki's relationship with Thor just got right at my fannish heart, the anger and hurt Thor feels at all the bitterness Loki has kept hidden in him! And Tony's own issues come up about betrayal and family, but they also have a satisfying resolution. I love when fic can make each relationship different and important, which this fic does marvelously. That's probably the biggest reason I'd want to recommend this fic!

But there are also little touches that the fic does amazingly well--Tony's pop culture references are great, they're just the right amount of hilarious without taking over or trying too hard. As well as the elements of Norse mythology, especially the various people and places that are in Jotunheim, are very nicely done, while never losing that this is a MCU-based fic. The fic does a lovely job at making sure that this is primarly a fic centered on Tony, so there's a great amount of references to his supporting characters (all the mentions of Pepper were especially lovely), while not overusing him to the point that he overshadowed the other characters. It's one of the best FrostIron fics I've read, but I would also consider it one of the best gen fics I've read in the fandom as well, because it's more an undercurrent than anything that actually happens. I would recommend it for just about anyone who liked any of these characters, really. ♥

To Succeed by Xparrot, odin & loki, post-thor 2, 2k
    Loki is not the only one to scheme.
    Oh, this was gorgeous and I am adopting this for my headcanon as well, because it's such an exquisitely written Odin and it works so well with the parallels and contrasts between him and Loki. The way you can see elements that are like Thor at times in Odin here, then the way you can see elements in him that are like Loki sometimes--I'm not sure if they're deliberately done or just really in character moments, but it's fantastic. And it's clever and ties together greater plot machinations here and from The Avengers and I found this made sense to me all the way around. This is one of those fics where I want to shove it at everyone and use it as a perfect illustration, rather than trying to explain something, because it shows how this idea works, as well as it's just... a neat and clever bit of writing!

untitled by pro-antagonist [ mobile ver. ], odin & loki, baby!loki, ~1k
    It’s not long after the baby changes its color that Odin decides it is no mere illusion.
    Oh, my heart. This was charming as all get out and tugged on my heartstrings something fierce, as Odin finds baby Loki on Jotunheim and "converses" with him while feeding him and taking care of him, as if Loki's gibberish is a prince negotiating for asylum. It could have been overly silly or too fluffy, but somehow it had just the right notes for me that I was practically a smiling pile of mush afterwards, but felt like it could have been one of the more light-hearted moments in the actual canon. It's lovely and perfect and just so good.

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