Thor & Loki hug it out in Chinese ‘Thor: The Dark World’ poster mix-up

And here we thought Thor and his villainous half-brother Loki didn’t get along!

A hilarious mix-up at a Shanghai, China cinema has resulted in a fan-made image being used as the official poster for “Thor: The Dark World.” The digitally altered image, which originally turned up on Reddit, features Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in an uncharacteristically tender embrace -- it's likely the work of erotic fan fiction enthusiasts. Why the theatre opted to use the fan-made poster and not the official Chinese “Thor: The Dark World” poster is unknown.

The original “Thor 2” poster depicts Thor (Chris Hemsworth), hammer in hand, protecting main squeeze Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). The Thor/Loki version, on the other hand, implies that the two demigod half-brothers are in some sort of romantic relationship (only in your dreams and Tumblr blogs, Internet weirdos!). Though the fake poster may be taking liberties with the true nature of the Asgardians’ relationship, it at least it gets the movie’s title right -- the Chinese characters on both posters literally translate to “God of Thunder.”

Erotic fan fiction is a little-discussed element of fandom, but one that has had a surprising impact on the literary world and in Hollywood. This poster mix-up is just a case of that fandom being exposed to the greater public. E.L. James’ infamous “Fifty Shades of Grey” began its life as “Twilight Saga” S&M fanfic, and Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” series started off as a hard-edged “Harry Potter” fan-fiction called “The Draco Trilogy.”

Thor and Loki are far from the only unlikely gay coupling to come out of the fan community. One of the most famous fan-fiction tropes is called Kirk/Spock, an entire fan-made subgenre which depicts Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock of “Star Trek” fame as being in a serious romantic/sexual relationship. If you can think of two or more fictional characters, there’s a good chance that there’s a small but dedicated online community devoted entirely to writing about and/or illustrating a relationship between them.

“Thor: The Dark World” hits theatres on November 8.