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Aether was protecting itself by attacking Earth police, Asgardian guards who were touching Jane. Why didn't it attack Thor & Odin when they touch her?

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    Err, because they weren't a potential threat to the infection, merely touching her. The comment in the film is "The infection...It's defending her." No, It's defending itself". – Valorum Feb 5 '14 at 21:22
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    Because the guards had been told to return her to Earth. Actually now that I think about it, why is the Aether so keen to defend her? Does it have its own motivation beyond mere survival? – Valorum Feb 5 '14 at 21:39
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    How could moving host to another planet do harm to the infection? – Lobo Feb 5 '14 at 21:41
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    Dunno. They're told to move her and get zapped. Ten seconds later Thor touches her and doesn't get zapped. – Valorum Feb 5 '14 at 21:42
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    Why? Because JMS didn't write the sequel. I guess it could have been worse, it might have been saddled with Orci and Lindleof. – John O Feb 6 '14 at 3:41
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Aether was protecting itself

That's the key phrase.

The police and the guards were antagonistic towards the Aether by way of Jane.

Thor and Odin were trying to protect Jane.

  • Meaning, Aether is a sentient being able to detect intention of touchers??? – Lobo Feb 5 '14 at 21:30
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    It certainly appears to be at least semi-sentient. It seeks out a host, then proceeds to non-randomly attack people who threaten it. – Valorum Feb 5 '14 at 22:12
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I'm not so certain it was the Aether protecting itself.

  • It was bonded to Jane in a way the Asgardians couldn't undo.
  • As far as I recall, for the most part it didn't attack those that Jane didn't want hurt unless they surprised her.
  • The visuals during when Malekith bonds with it were not that different than when Jane did.
  • Malekith was able to control the Aether while bonded to it.

It looks to me like the Aether isn't sentient, it just reacts to its host's thoughts - a small instinct like flinching or just plain dislike of cops would have been enough to trigger it.

A number of things could have made it seem random/semi-sentient: Jane not knowing how to control it, or humans not being very compatible, or because the bonding wasn't complete.

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They also say the Aether woke the dark elves up before it had a host at all, and it stretches plausibility that of all the people that could have found it Jane just randomly stumbled on it.

Seems to be able to manipulate things around it to get to the host it wants to be in, at least by implication so it's unlikely just mirroring it hosts thoughts.

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    I don't understand, are you saying the Aether chose not to attack Thor and Odin? Could you clarify your answer? – Edlothiad Mar 2 '17 at 21:09

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