Avengers: Infinity War is about to see Earth’s Mightiest Heroes come together to face the greatest threat the planet has ever seen. The galactic warlord Thanos is on his way in search of the Infinity Stones and it’s going to take all of the MCU’s greatest heroes to stop him. But there’s one other person along for the ride and he’s someone that a lot of people, including many on the Avengers team, will be hesitant to label a hero. That person is Loki, god of mischief and brother of Thor. We are taking a look back at the character’s role in the MCU to see the part Loki will play in Infinity War.
look at Loki was last seen eyeing the Earth from orbit, alongside Thor, Hulk, Valkyrie, Heimdall, and the remnants of Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok. As the Asgardians head towards their destination, Loki asks his brother, “Do you really think it’s a good idea to bring me back to Earth?”
To examine this question, one must take a look back at Loki’s history over the entire course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reflect on his long journey.
While Loki was portrayed as Thor’s brother in 2011’s Thor, he wasn’t painted as a jealous sibling, at least not at first. Loki is someone who fought alongside Thor and the other Asgardians. While his older brother would thirst for battle and rush head-first into conflict, Loki would use his cunning, intellect, and magic when confronted with the prospect of battle. Thor and Loki were brothers, but also the best of friends.
With Thor exiled due to his arrogance, Loki learns the shocking truth of his origins. He finds out that he’s part Frost Giant, son of Laufey, adopted by Odin after the war between Asgard and Jotunheim. Angered by this revelation, Loki seizes the Asgardian throne after Odin falls into the Odinsleep, seemingly opening the door to Asgard for Laufey to kill the All-Father.
Loki, however, betrays Laufey before he can kill Odin. His greater plan involves proving himself worthy to the throne by destroying Jotunheim. By this point, Thor has proven himself worthy to wield Mjolnir, taking down the Destroyer armor, and returning to Asgard to stop Loki’s machinations.
While Loki was the clear villain of this story because of his petty jealousy, his plot sets up what the Loki character ultimately wants and that’s to be considered worthy, just like his brother.
The Avengers (2012)
In 2012’s The Avengers, Loki still wants to prove himself as a ruler. He also wants to stick it to his brother, favored by his father, but now a hero to Midgard. So the idea becomes to seize Midgard for himself. To do so, he needs an artifact of great power. That item is the Tesseract, now recognized as the Space Stone.
With the aid of Thanos, Loki uses the Space Stone to summon the Chitauri to New York. It’s the battle that shapes the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward, bringing the Avengers together for the first time and giving the world its first look at the planet’s greatest heroes.
As Loki is prone to do, he overestimates himself. The Chitauri start to run wild, causing massive damage and wrecking New York. While the endgame is to rule over the Chitari as his soldiers, it’s Thor that has to bring him back to reality.
“Look at this! Look around you!” Thor yells to his brother in the wake of the Chitauri destruction. “You think this madness will end with your rule?”
It can be argued that Loki is fully aware that he’s in over his head. But being the complete narcissist that he is, he has to see this through to the end. So Loki keeps on fighting, ultimately getting pounded by the Hulk while the Chitauri are taken out by a tactical nuke that Iron Man sends into the portal that originally sent them.
While Loki faces justice in Asgard, he fails to see the bigger picture of his actions and his failure. In falling short in his quest to rule Midgard, he unknowingly put Earth and the resilient human race square in Thanos’ crosshairs.