The god of mischief and lies, Loki, has caused more than his fair share of problems for the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Given recent events, though, it doesn’t seem realistic for him to revert to being an all-out bad guy in Avengers: Infinity War, as some fans have already assumed he’ll do.
Marvel dropped the official trailer for Avengers: Infinity War on Wednesday, immediately sparking questions about the Infinity Stones (heads up, the Soul Stone is probably in Wakanda) and just how much destruction Thanos will wreak as the Avengers band together to take him down.
These are all very important topics. But there are some equally important things to discuss to ask about one of the MCU’s most enduringly popular characters, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
The editing in the Infinity War trailer makes it seem as if Loki — the trickster god of Asgard — is offering the Tesseract, which contains the Space Stone, to Thanos, as the shot cuts from a beat-up Loki to Thanos exiting what looks to be some sort of portal. Here’s why that’s probably bogus.
Loki has been causing trouble for Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his friends since 2011’s Thor and has continued to vie for the Asgardian throne and greater control. He was the main aggressor of 2012’s The Avengers, faked his own death in Thor: The Dark World (2013), and consistently pulled potentially life-ending “pranks” throughout Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Loki is trouble. But, if you take his entire journey thus far into account, he’s actually been on the mend.
From acting as Thor’s bitter (adopted) brother in the first film to helping defeat Hela (Cate Blanchett) and save the citizens of Asgard in Ragnarok, it would seem Loki has slowly been becoming a better person (or, rather, a better god). Thor wryly notes in Ragnarok that Loki will always be the god of mischief, but Thor has also never truly given up on Loki. Throughout Ragnarok, Thor and Loki share a few touching moments where Loki is visibly affected by Thor’s love for him. Loki also receives some vindication from his adoptive father Odin in Ragnarok, as Odin, upon his death, refers to Loki as his “son” as equally as he does Thor.
Many fans would argue that all Loki’s ever wanted is love and acceptance from his adoptive family, and that’s what he got in Ragnarok. So, add all this together, and it feels likely that Loki’s slow, painful growth into a somewhat questionable hero — but a hero nonetheless — will come to a head in Infinity War.
So, we return to the Infinity War trailer. Last time we saw Loki, he was aboard a ship with Thor and the remaining citizens of Asgard after its destruction by Hela and Surtur, that giant fire demon. Loki very obviously stole the Tesseract at the end of Ragnarok — eyeing it and probably eliciting some “ugh, here we go again” moments from the audience — which is how he has it in Infinity War.
Take a look at Loki in the Infinity War trailer, though. He’s beaten, sweaty, and bloodied, his lips are chapped and cracking; he’s been through some shit before he supposedly offers the Tesseract to… someone. It might be Thanos but given Loki’s recent journey to some semblance of good, that seems unlikely. Loki is a trickster, but he’s not stupid. Unless he’s, once again, drawn in by the power of the Tesseract, it seems more likely that Loki would rather side with Thor and the rest of the Avengers than make a deal with Thanos.
Thanos wants to destroy the universe. Loki likes messing with all the people in the universe, so why would he want them all dead?
Avengers: Infinity War premieres in theaters on May 4, 2018.