We’ve long known that Avengers: Infinity War would be the “deadliest showdown” in the history of the MCU, and recent rumors suggest that a major character might die within the first few minutes of the film. On Thursday, ScreenGeek published an interview with an unnamed source confirming as much: “The beginning of Avengers: Infinity War features the death of a major Marvel character. Some fans will be expecting it, while others will be blindsided.”

This seemingly confirms what Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been saying since last year, that Thanos will show up very early in the movie and do something terrible. For those of us who are indeed “expecting it,” the most likely thing to happen is that Thanos kills Loki after he gets the Tesseract from him. Brace yourselves, because characters are going to die, and these deaths will be permanent. Kicking things off by killing off this prince of Asgard would be a nice way to set the grave tone of the movie, and it makes sense given everything we already know about Infinity War.

Whether or not Loki willingly hands over the Space Stone to Thanos in 'Infinity War', he'll probably still get killed.
Whether or not Loki willingly hands over the Space Stone to Thanos in 'Infinity War', he'll probably still get killed.

We already know from the Thor: Ragnarok mid-credits scene that Thanos attacks the ship holding the surviving Asgardians, which sends Thor careening into the ship owned by the Guardians of the Galaxy and Hulk crashing into New York City. In the Infinity War trailers, we also see Loki giving Thanos the Space Stone, Thanos putting the blue Infinity Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet, and then Loki standing with the Black Order. Thanos using the newfound power of that Infinity Stone to kill Loki seems like a great way to communicate the threat.

It stands to reason that Loki could be the first of many characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to meet their end. He’s both a fan-favorite antihero and a character that, despite being a villain every now and then, isn’t all that important. His death would be the perfect bitter appetizer to the main course that is an even more important death later in the movie, like Captain America and/or Iron Man.

With Avengers: Infinity War hitting theaters next week, the wait is almost over for when we’ll all know for sure which characters die. Unless something truly bizarre happens, like someone using the Reality Stone or Time Stone to change the universe permanently, plenty of these deaths will be permanent.

Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, so get ready for plenty of death.

Photos via Marvel Studios (1, 2)