There’s A Weird, Old-Timey Rape Joke In “Avengers: Age Of Ultron”


Back in October, Marvel released this Avengers: Age of Ultron clip of the Avengers competing to see who can lift Thor’s hammer.


Before Tony Stark gives it a try, he makes sure he’ll get to rule Asgard if he succeeds. “I will be fair but firmly cruel,” he vows.

Marvel Studios

In the extended version of the same scene, released last week, we see the moment as it plays out in the movie.


This time, instead of saying he’ll be “firmly cruel,” Stark jokes that as ruler of Asgard, “I will be reinstituting prima nocta.”

Marvel Studios

“Prima nocta” is the historical (and probably mostly symbolic) right of a lord to insist on sex with any bride under his rule on her wedding night. It played a major part in Braveheart.

Paramount Pictures

Avengers: Age of Ultron is written and directed by Joss Whedon, an acclaimed creator of strong female characters and vocal supporter of gender equality.


But Whedon also likes fiddling around with antiquated language — like Loki’s infamous line to the Black Widow in The Avengers.

Marvel Studios

So, no thanks for the old-timey rape joke, Iron Man.

Marvel Studios

Bruce Banner’s bit is better, anyway.

Marvel Studios

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Disney for comment.

Avengers: Age of Ultron hits U.S. theaters on May 1.

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