The long-awaited trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War at last brings Thanos to Earth in his search for the Infinity Stone. But while the action-packed footage focuses primarily on the conflict with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it offers fleeting glimpses of Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy in deep space and, perhaps most notably, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki with the Tesseract, with contains the Space Stone.
This shot is very interesting because some fans think the god of mischief is offering the Tesseract to Thanos or a member of the Mad Titan’s Black Order. Others believe Loki actually may be preparing to use the Infinity Stone within against Thanos’ forces in defense of the remaining Asgardian refugees. Although the scene is brief, and vague, its hints at an opportunity for Loki’s redemption (for real, this time) by sacrificing himself and bringing his character arc full circle.
That said, let’s dive deeper into why it makes sense for Infinity War to close the book on Loki, whether it’s in this scene or another.
To Bookend His Redemption
Loki has a lot to atone for after repeatedly betraying the trust of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and placing Asgard in danger. However, it’s his tyranny in 2012’s The Avengers that truly fashions the trickster as one of the Nine Realm’s biggest felons, due to his attempt to conquer Earth with the help of the Chitauri (and Thanos), as well as the Tesseract. However, everything changed Thor: Ragnarok, where the thunder god placed just enough trust in Loki to count him as an ally in the fight against Hela.
That paved the way for Loki’s redemption. However, as hinted in Taika Waititi’s film and confirmed by the Infinity War trailer, Loki stole the Tesseract from Odin’s Vault just before Surtur destroyed Asgard. Loki turning around and offering the Tesseract to Thanos would undermine his redemptive arc. The god of mischief playing both sides has been done to death, so the best bet would be to surprise the audience by cementing him as a hero — one who sacrifices himself to save others.
To Make Room For Other Versions of Loki
In Marvel comics, Loki has appeared in female form, occupying the body of Lady Sif as Thor reawakened the other Asgardians from their human vessels in the aftermath of Ragnarok. Loki’s death in Infinity War could provide an opening for the MCU to bring the shape-shifter back — not immediately, we hope! — in a similar fashion.
Another form the trickster could return as would be Kid Loki. The youngster was introduced in the comics after the Void killed the adult Loki, with Thor realizing his brother removed his name from the Book of Hel, thus allowing him to constantly cheat death. Can you imagine Thor’s dynamic with this problem child on the big screen? Loki’s petulance and ego are only amplified in his child form, which would surely provide fertile ground for Waititi & Co. Who knows, maybe Thor could even turn to Peter Quill for advice on how he dealt with teenage Groot, making him more a father than a brother, and offering the Odinson a new and interesting angle.
To End the Loki Saturation
We’ve gotten a lot of Loki since the release of Thor in 2011, with The Avengers and the two Thor sequels. Frankly, we’d like to move on. The character has run his course in the MCU, and it feels as if there’s nowhere else to take his story, especially with him now being a protector of Asgard’s people.
Killing off Loki would make room for other characters from Thor’s lore, such as allies like Balder the Brave (another of Odin’s sons), and villains like Enchantress (a powerful sorceress) and the Midgard Serpent. With Odin and the Warriors Three dead, Sif out of commission and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) now out of the picture entirely, removing Loki would be the last tether to the Thor of old, fully breaking him free from the past. It’s time we move past Loki; he’s done his part.
To Push Thor’s Evolution
Thor has lost his mother, father and girlfriend, and learned his secret sister is evil. Then there’s the constant wonder of when — not if! — Loki will betray him. Now, not only does Thor have one eye like his father, but he’s also king of the displaced Asgardians. He has more power as well, seemingly ascending in godhood, and in the Infinity War trailer, it’s clear he has more responsibility when it comes to protecting Asgard and by extension, the galaxy. In other words, he’s evolved a lot from the unruly prince introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2011.
Loki’s death could be the final string that needs to be cut from Thor’s old life, motivating him to be an even greater hero, and a more inspirational king. Imagine getting back your long-lost brother, only for him to be plucked away almost immediately. That would definitely enrage the thunder god, leading to a confrontation of electrifying proportions with Thanos, and also drive him to honor Loki’s memory as a son and brother in his future endeavors.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film opens May 4, 2018.