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Never Doubt by rayemars, thor/loki + other asgardians, some loki/omc (that's not really about them), NSFW, berserker!thor, implied child abuse, 35.9k wip
    The Aesir won't accept a king who would ride into battle and be unable to tell enemy from ally; and so when his berserker nature is discovered, Thor and Loki's inheritances and roles are upended drastically. But some things never change.
    I am going to write an absolutely terrible rec for this fic and I'm going to be entirely frustrated with myself about that because, jesus christ, I sat down with this fic and read all ~36k that was available practically in one sitting and could not tear myself away from it at all. There is so much I would love to talk about with this fic, but I fear it's scrambled my thoughts to the point that I'm just going to keyboard mash my way through it, despite that I even made some notes after reading it. One of the things that is most difficult to convey, to even just put into coherent thought rather than something I've simply felt, is that role reversal AUs generally don't do much for me, because the idea seems neat at first, but too often the spirit of the characters are lost. This fic keeps those spirits brilliantly well, where this is truly a fic that takes the characters from the source and puts them into a new universe and shows how they would be shaped there, how they would react there, making them recognizable and different at the same time.

It's probably most noticeable with Loki, which I'll get to in a minute, but I found that it was Thor who captured my attention even more than him, partly because I love Thor so much, but partly because he can be a difficult character to capture, especially in circumstances where he grows up as the less trusted of the royal sons, and yet still make him so very Thor. His berserker rages and terrifying strength are there, they are always there, and they are legitimately terrifying, because this is a Thor with less control and with so much less emotional support than even canon Thor had. Which means he is still a good person at heart, this is still a Thor who is recognizable in how he does not want to hurt others, in how deeply and genuinely he loves, how he is still direct and thoughtful and genuine, but adding in so much less control of his rage and a hunger for more than what he has, because he gets so little affection here. And that new layer of danger and rage to him, that's always simmering under the surface, that sheer amount of terrifying power that's fueled by the berserker, it's both breathtaking and brilliantly told.

There are at least five different lines in this fic that I remember pausing over because they struck right at the heart of Thor's character and Loki's relationship with him, especially in the way that Loki is still Loki, even when he's the favored son, that does not mean he suddenly makes friends easily or is any more genuine with people than he was in canon. And he knows Thor is charismatic and genuine and otherwise all the things that draw people to him and make them loyal to him, in a way that Loki will never have. And, oh, the fic uses this beautifully, in new and brilliantly twisty ways, to make their relationship all the more complicated, both good and bad, just as it should be. So, it's not just that Thor is beautifully in character, but that his relationship with Loki is as well.

And, oh, Loki. This is a gorgeous look at him, right down to how he has so little sense of self that there's a constant undercurrent of how he tries so hard to be something he's not so much of the time. There's a bit more ability of him to let go, to carve out little spaces where he can be himself, which is why I love love loved the brief scene he has with the OMC, where it's entirely about his feelings for Thor and what Loki really wants (and how ridiculously hot it was, given that the scene balances that it's about Loki and an OMC, but also the heart of it is really about Loki's feelings for Thor), how it's a moment of weakness that says so much about how unhappy he is and how restricted he makes himself, trying to be the perfect prince of Asgard who is not attracted to the utter terrifying storm that his brother is. This is a Loki who is constantly calculating, who feels strung tight enough that he's ready to snap, who desperately wants to prove himself but also doesn't know how to make himself happy.

I picked this fic up for berserker!Thor and that alone would have been satisfying, especially in the brief moments of fighting and chasing we get, how genuinely terrifying those moments are! But it's exquisite writing and characterization and balance of what this role reversal storyline is trying to achieve and trying to keep true to the canon while still showing the snowballing effects of this different universe. There's even exploration of Loki on Midgard, as he finds the weak spots between the worlds, and that's fascinating to read about, how he so looks down on the mortals and how they're practically like playthings to him, and yet it's not about being a monster, it's simply about being a god among mortals, and what it displays about Loki as a character, as he tries to learn more about the human berserkers. And, of course, how everything comes back to Thor.

So, after writing that novel, I still feel like I hardly got into talking about what I wanted to say about this fic, that my bird's eye view of the writing may be semi-useful for a rec (or would have been more useful if I could have kept this more focused and coherent) but, man, I want to really vomit up feelings about this fic, which means. GO READ THIS FUCKING FIC so we can mutually barf up every feeling we've ever had together.

Monstrous Terrain by rayemars, thor/loki + other thor characters, NSFW, jotunn!thor + jotunn!loki, jotunehim wins au, 30.4k
    At the conclusion of the war between the Aesir and the Jotnar, Laufey not only takes his choice of spoils from Odin's treasury, but also claims his eldest son as a hostage. Concealing his parentage from Thor would be easier were it not that an Aesir can't bear a jotun's touch--at least not a full-blooded one's.
    Well, I was up far too long reading this fic last night. But, once I'd started it, even taking breaks here and there, I couldn't entirely walk away until I'd finished it, because it's a fic with the roles reversed, where Thor is taken as a hostage and raised as a prince of Jotunheim instead of Loki in Asgard. I feel like I've been waiting for this fic to be done this well for ages, because I like the idea, but it's something that has to be so carefully approached and needed to be 30k words long just to do the necessary groundwork! But, oh, this author did what was the really important part--Thor raised in different circumstances would still be Thor in that alternate situation, which he was here. Even touch-starved, even as the least favored son, he was still loyal and honest and stubborn and good-hearted and had that incredible inherent strength.

One of the best parts of the fic was the Loki scenes where he knew what Thor could accomplish if he weren't holding back or being held back, that that strength of his would allow him to just take whatever he wanted. And that is Thor, because he wouldn't, but his physical strength is as such, even as magic allows others to fight more evenly with him. (The berserker rages he goes into, ones that have never really been learned to be tempered are all the more gorgeous for these different circumstances and how they worry Thor, scare him that he would kill everything in his path if he couldn't come out of it.)

And that's one of those things, when you put Thor as the less favored son, you run the risk of weakening his presence in a fic, that he'd get overwhelmed by the sharpness of Loki's character. But that's not the case here--he isn't the same egostical, arrogant prince he was in the beginning of Thor, but that doesn't mean he's not still Thor. That he continues to train every day, that he continues to seek Loki out even when Loki is near to impossible to be around, even when he keeps standing up, no matter how much is placed on his shoulders, that determination and strength of will is purely Thor. But, then, neither does the characterization of Loki suffer, either! He's so complicated here, so contradictory even to himself and, oh, that's so spot on for him.

This is a fic that's about an actual plot, so many gorgeous details being worked in of what happened in the war (and how that means everything is different, with Jotunheim's invasion of Midgard, with the lack of the Aesir presence around), there's so much happening in the background with Odin rebuilding the Aesir and Asgard, with Loki unable to stay out of trouble because he's not content to just stay it Utgard, with Loki long having known that Thor isn't biologically his brother, all of that is happening in the fic and it's beautifully paced for that. But, at it's heart, it's a story about Thor and Loki's relationship, how much Loki loves his brother and is unable to let him go, even when he knows it would be better for him. Even when he knows that Thor will not see things as he does, when that will bring trouble between them that would be better to wash his hands of it, he loves Thor too much. And Thor loves Loki just as much, even when Loki's words and actions are basically treason, of course he would choose Loki over everything else.

And the other lovely thing that this fic did, one of those that really sucked me into the writing, was that it mirrored the original movies in a lot of ways, there were little--and some big--parallels, the way some things would always unfold in similar ways, the way Mjolnir was similar to the use of the Casket in the original movie, but not entirely the same. That's such an important for me thing when you're writing an AU fic like this, when it deals with some of the same themes and underlying issues that the original movie did, but not being strictly beholden to them. It made the ending all the more thrilling for it, because this is a different situation, so the ending would be different, because Thor is not Loki, so he wouldn't react in the same way, even if their circumstances were similar. And, oh, it's certainly captured my imagination to daydream a bit about where their lives would take them after the end of the fic, but I think I almost prefer that slight open-ended quality, because the ending was perfect as it was.

All of this, as well as a really nicely done sex scene because, oh, Loki sitting across Thor's lap, working himself open with his own hand, so he can slide down onto Thor? Riding him until Thor can't take it anymore and rolls them over and fucks into him more intensely? Jesus fuck, that's one of those things that's on my list of things I'm forever weak to, especially when they're super fucking hot like they were here. Plot and porn and a happy (for them) ending and excellent writing/pacing/details? Yes. I don't care if I'm spoiled by this fandom, I want it forever.

Through Coldest Storm by beckyh2112, thor/loki, nsfw, jotunn!thor + aesir!loki, 2.4k
    Getting caught in a spring storm on Jotunheim is bad enough. A young giant finding their camp makes it worse.
    THIS FIC WAS SO GOOD. This is the perfect AU fic and the ONLY complaints I have are: a) not 100k of this which would have been amazing and b) no actual porn which would have been amazing. But as a semi-short AU fic, where Prince Loki and his two brothers go to Jotunheim to hunt frost boars and run into Jotunn!Thor? OH MY GOD SO GOOD. It balances the Loki we know and the Thor we know with changing them slightly because of the different circumstances they've grown up in--I recognize both characters, but also can see their differences in this universe. And, oh, the writing is so sharp and clever and fun, the instant attraction between Thor and Loki is perfection, but also... each of their characterizations is so good I find myself barely restrained from keyboard mashing over it, especially as Thor lures Prince Loki away from his brothers, the snow storm cutting them off, because Thor has plans and he grins as he announces them and this Loki isn't quite so mean, but he is quick and cutting and there's a certain something boiling in him, especially when he thinks about how badly he wants Thor to fuck him hard, in a way no one else would dare in Asgard. And, boy, are his thoughts on that super fucking hot, ugh. Basically, this is the most perfect AU Jotunn!Thor and Aesir!Loki I could ask for.

Id Est Furor by kaasknot, thor & loki, thor 2 spoilers, role reversal, berserker!thor, character death, 1.8k
    “Come to visit me again, brother?” Thor’s voice rumbled through the prison block like thunder in the distance. Loki stepped out from the shadows of the stairwell. “Disasters are always so compelling to watch,” he replied.
    I DID NOT KNOW HOW AWESOME THIS WAS GOING TO BE WHEN I PICKED IT UP, so I am very glad that I did. It's a role reversal AU, where Thor is the one imprisoned in Asgard while Loki is done with trying to reach him and, oh, I was initially skeptical such a thing could work outside of fanart, as this is the first I've read so far, but this is amazing. It's good for me on two fronts--it did a great job with getting me to buy that Thor would be the out of favor son and, holy shit, berserker!Thor is terrifying as fuck. The fic doesn't linger too long on any one aspect of it, it's more implied and uses the images to loom the threat over the characters, it's told in brief flashes of what happened to get them to this point, and it's beautifully done for that. Thor in a berserker rage is utterly terrifying and this fic does justice to that. If you enjoy Thor just wrecking shit in a fury, this fic is going to be so good for you, which, you know, is pretty much where I live. I don't even need sex, this is hot enough warrior god!Thor porn for me.

Ere the World Falls by kaasknot, thor & loki + frigga & loki, berserker!thor, role reversal au, 5.9k
    "The sonic boom ripped through the sky over Asgard’s capital, rattling windows in their casements and scaring clouds of pigeons into the air. It overlapped with a deafening crack, and the combined reverberations, enough to set the dust of the streets shivering into the air, vibrated through Loki’s chest. He frowned, looking up from the doll-like mask of the Svartálfar corpse he was examining. He knew that sound. Catching the eye of the einheri captain beside him, he tilted his head in silent command. 'It seems my brother has come home,' he said. 'We should give him a proper welcome.'”
    It probably helps to have read Id Est Furor before this fic, for all that this is a prequel to that one, but you can read them separately. And, oh, this fic is gorgeous, it is everything I have wanted out of berserker!Thor, which is a blend of dark!Thor and yet... while the spirit is not the same, there are elements of how canon!Thor could have almost gone down this path. It's difficult to explain, that this isn't a Divergent Timeline AU, but neither is it wholly divorced from canon. Whatever that line it manages to walk, it really worked for me super hard. It completely satisfies the itch I had (and more!) for further stories in this universe and one of the things that it really nails is that Loki is still Loki here, that he's on the path of good, but he's still favoring cunning over supposed honor, he's still holding onto resentments just a little too long. As well as Thor is gloriously terrifying here and the writing for the little details and the world-building are stunning here. This is one of the best fics I've read for Asgard in the movies, how it captures the feel of their magic and technology, along with gorgeous Loki characterization and emotionaly satisfaction of his interactions with both Frigga and Thor. This is absolutely brilliant and I would read 100k of this easily.

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