Loki Laufeyson successfully usurped the Asgardian throne from his adopted father, Odin, at the end of Thor: The Dark World. The final moments of the movie depicted Loki (Tom Hiddleston) disguised as King Odin (Anthony Hopkins) sitting atop the throne and smiling to himself as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) walked away. Now, Thor: Ragnarok’s latest trailer shows Loki as being supposedly in cahoots with Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster, the totalitarian ruler of the planet Sakaar. Hasn’t Loki learned his lesson by now?
Hiddleston, the viscerally beloved actor behind Loki since his introduction in 2011’s Thor, has hinted at an upcoming end to his time as the trickster god, telling USA Today in March: “I cannot play Loki forever, it’s not possible. Loki is immortal and I’m deeply mortal.” But there’s no official end in sight to the Hiddleston reign of terror upon Tumblr blogs everywhere — Loki looks to be up to his old tricks again in Ragnarok. And it turns out he’s a really shitty king, too.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the main villain of Ragnarok, Hela (Cate Blanchett), is released from her prison because Loki is a bad king. So, that’s what the trickster god has been up to. He’s been playing king, and he sucks so much at playing king that he accidentally releases the ancient, evil goddess of death from her prison.
“She’s been locked away for millennia getting more and more cross, and then, with a mistake, she gets unleashed and she ain’t getting back in that box,” Blanchett said of Hela. Most notable about Blanchett’s comment is the word “mistake.” It turns out Loki — for once — didn’t intentionally cause problems for Thor and the rest of Asgard. He’s just lazy. But that laziness gets Thor banished by Hela to Sakaar where Loki somehow ends up watching a gladiator battle between his adopted brother and the Hulk, who famously once beat Loki to a pulp in Stark Tower.
The image of Loki and the Grandmaster sitting on opposite sides of a couch in the Ragnarok trailer indicates that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t overly friendly with each other. Perhaps, upon seeing that his brother has been outcast to Sakaar, Loki goes there himself to bargain for Thor’s freedom. It would fit in kind of nicely with his MCU-ranging character arc back toward the side of good. Or, really, toward the side of neutral.
Since Loki’s New York City throwdown with Thor’s work friends in 2012’s The Avengers, he’s started shifting back to his regular Chaotic Neutral alignment. He was the bad guy in the beginning, but, most commonly in Marvel comics, Loki sits somewhere in the middle between good and evil, hungry for power but far more fascinated with watching people squirm than really achieving anything. He’s not the trickster god for nothing.
Bringing Thor back to Asgard by helping him escape Sakaar would be beneficial to Loki. It’s doubtful he could ever get rid of Hela without Thor’s help, so Loki is most likely going to have to play nice this time around. Let’s see how long that lasts.
Thor: Ragnarok premieres in theaters on November 3, 2017.