When Thanos killed Loki in the opening scene of “Avengers: Infinity War,” it was yet another instance of the God of Mischief dying in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From falling off the Rainbow Bridge in “Thor” to being stabbed by Kurse in “Thor: The Dark World,” Loki is no stranger to cheating death.
However, after having gone through a redemption arc, Loki’s death at the hands of Thanos seemed to be the actual passing of the fan-favorite character.
But with the time travel adventures of “Avengers: Endgame,” Loki is still alive. Just not in the main timeline that has been featured in the MCU. An alternate timeline’s Loki is who audiences will see on June 9 when Marvel Studios’ “Loki” premieres on Disney Plus.
But that doesn’t mean Loki’s entire MCU arc is irrelevant to the Disney Plus show. In fact, having a good grasp on the character’s progression was important in the production process.
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Learning from the God of Mischief
Tom Hiddleston, who is reprising his role as Loki, used his expertise to help other cast and production members prepare for the show and get a better understanding of the titular character.
“I got him to do a thing called Loki School when we first started,” “Loki” director Kate Herron told Entertainment Weekly. “I asked him to basically talk through his 10 years of the MCU — from costumes to stunts, to emotionally how he felt in each movie. It was fantastic.”
Hiddleston has been a part of the MCU since Phase One, first appearing in “Thor.” He went on to be in the other two “Thor” movies and three “Avengers” movies. Over the course of these projects, Loki evolves from a selfish villain who is more than willing to betray Thor and Odin to an antihero who sides with two Avengers to stop the Mad Titan and the Children of Thanos in pursuit of the Infinity Stones.
Owen Wilson, who plays the Time Variance Authority’s Agent Mobius in “Loki,” also participated in Loki School. But he took the extra step when learning about the God of Mischief. Not only did Wilson benefit from Hiddleston’s class, but he took the time to interview his co-star afterward as well, wanting to get a better grasp of Loki.
When Wilson asked Hiddleston about what he loved about playing the God of Mischief, Hiddleston recalled the following to Entertainment Weekly:
“On the 88 keys on the piano, he can play the twinkly light keys at the top. He can keep it witty and light, and he’s the God of Mischief, but he can also go down to the other side and play the heavy keys. And he can play some really profound chords down there, which are about grief and betrayal and loss and heartbreak and jealousy and pride.”
It’s Loki’s versatility and complex nature that makes him a compelling character and a fan-favorite. These qualities are also what the head writer Michael Waldron wanted to examine in the show.
“I wanted to explore slightly more complex character questions,” Waldron told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s not just good versus bad. Is anybody all good? Is anybody all bad? What makes a hero, a hero? A villain, a villain?”
Leading Up to ‘Loki’
Loki was last seen during “Avengers: Endgame,” but it was a past version of Loki.
Tony Stark and Scott Lang were tasked with taking the Tesseract following the Battle of New York, returning to the fight featured in “The Avengers.” Stark and Lang nearly succeeded in getting away with the Tesseract. But they lose it when an especially angry Hulk viciously opens a door and knocks down Stark, who had been in possession of the Tesseract case.
A confused Loki then spots the loose Tesseract and quickly grabs it, transporting himself elsewhere. When he takes this course of action, it creates a new timeline.
The Disney Plus series will pick up from Loki’s theft. Trailers and other clips from the show have revealed that Loki has messed with time, creating numerous timeline branches. This is what will prompt the Time Variance Authority to take Loki into custody. As punishment for his actions, he will be tasked with helping the TVA fix reality. But it will not be the same Loki from “Infinity War.”
It will be a Loki who had recently killed fan-favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson by stabbing him in the heart with his scepter. It will be a Loki who had just been referred to as “Puny God” following an extreme beatdown from the Hulk in Stark Tower. It will be a Loki who still believes he is “burdened with glorious purpose.” It will be a Loki who hasn’t earned redemption and is closer to being a villain than an antihero.
Although the TVA asks Loki to help fix reality, it’s clear that there is a sense of mistrust between the two parties.
A clip from the show included the TVA’s Judge Renslayer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, referring to Loki as “insubordinate, stubborn, unpredictable.” So whether this alternate Loki will maintain his selfish, villainous ways is something to consider as his solo series progresses.