A Beginner’s Guide to Loki
Updated: Jun 2
Whether you’re a new viewer or a fan who needs a Loki refresher, we’ve got you covered.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is (finally) getting into its Phase Four release. The MCU’s first two Disney+ series, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, performed extremely well, and now the highly anticipated series Loki is hitting Disney+ on June 9. Fans of Marvel, and Tom Hiddleston’s face, are speculating what this series will hold for Loki in a post-Endgame universe, especially because Loki died in Avengers: Infinity War. I know, another show about a dead guy parading around (read: Vision in WandaVision). Whether you’re a newbie who doesn’t know who Loki is or a fan that needs a refresher on his (crazy) history in the MCU, we have you covered with our guide to the new series.
Who is Loki?
Loki is the God of Mischief and, boy, does he live up to that name. He is first introduced in Thor as Thor’s brother and son of Odin. Loki believes he is the rightful heir to the Asgardian throne, not Thor, and he tries to undermine Thor to win his father’s approval. However, Loki discovers that he is not actually Odin’s son at all, rather the son of Laufey, the king of the Frost Giants. During the war with the Frost Giants, Odin found and rescued baby Loki as a way to one day unite the Frost Giants and Asgardians. After Loki finds out he’s been lied to, this sets him on a path to prove he is better than his brother Thor. Except Thor, and the rest of the Avengers, constantly beat him in subsequent films.
What are Loki’s powers?
Loki is the most powerful sorcerer in Asgard and possesses great combat skills with knives. His magic abilities include astral projection, shape-shifting, hypnosis, molecular rearrangement, energy blasts, levitating, conjuration, telekinesis and teleportation. Above all, Loki is extremely cunning and a master manipulator.
So, Loki is a villain?
Yes and no. Loki’s allegiance shifts in almost every movie that he is in. Loki and Thor’s relationship is complicated, at best, and while Loki helps Thor when he wants to, he usually betrays him. In Thor, Loki invites Laufey and the Frost Giants to Asgard to kill Odin in his sleep. However, Loki betrays Laufey, his real father, and kills him. After the battle, he falls into the abyss and “dies” (let’s keep track of the Loki death count shall we: 1). In Avengers, Loki is alive and working with two villains, Thanos and his personal servant the Other (if you need to know one thing about Marvel, it’s that Thanos is the worst). Thanos promises that Loki can rule Earth, Thor’s favorite realm, in exchange for the Tesseract cube, which Loki is tasked with stealing. Loki is gifted a Scepter that allows him to control minds and is powered by the Tesseract. However, the Scepter is also influencing Loki to hate Thor and Earth’s inhabitants. Loki opens a portal for the Other’s army to invade Earth, but the Avengers eventually defeat the army and capture Loki, who is sentenced to eternal imprisonment. During his sentence, in Thor: The Dark World, a war breaks out on Asgard between the Asgardians and the Dark Elves. In an attempt to escape prison, Loki agrees to help the Dark Elves destroy Asgard. However, he unknowingly leads the Dark Elves to his mother who is killed. Overcome with guilt, Loki decides to team up with Thor to defeat the Dark Elves. Thor is expecting his brother to betray him, but to his surprise, Loki sacrifices himself to trick the elves (Loki death: 2).
Surprise! Loki faked his death and returned to Asgard where he is pretending to be Odin. Thor returns to Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok to find Loki parading as Odin while their father was in an elderly care facility. They find their dying father and he tells them that upon his death his first born child will be released from her banishment — Hela the Goddess of Death. Loki teams up with the Revengers (Thor, Hulk and Valkyrie) to defeat Hela. However, in defeating Hela, Asgard is destroyed. As Loki and Thor begin to make amends and plans for a new Asgard, in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos’ spaceship appears. Thanos demands the Tesseract, containing the Space Stone, from Loki. Loki relinquishes the Space Stone and pledges his undying loyalty to Thanos before revealing his true intentions — attacking Thanos. However, Thanos anticipates Loki’s moves and snaps his neck in front of Thor. Loki dies telling Thanos he will never be a god, and proving Thor was right to see good in him (Loki death: 3 and the final one).
Then, what is Loki about?
So, yeah, Loki didn’t even make it to Avengers: Endgame, so how is Loki in a post-Endgame universe?
During Endgame, The Avengers were tasked with going back in time to steal the Infinity Stones before Thanos could ever get them. Bruce Banner (The Hulk), Tony Stark (Ironman), Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America) travel back in time to 2012, when the Avengers movie took place. They plan to steal the Space Stone after Loki’s attack in New York. They get the Stone, but the plan goes awry and 2012 Loki is able to steal the Tesseract. Therefore, Loki will follow an alternate version of Loki as he is brought to the Time Variance Authority (TVA), a group that monitors the timeline. Loki is given a choice: be destroyed from existence for being a “time variant” or help TVA fix the timeline. He chooses the latter and is thrust into his own thriller as he travels through time and history.
Basically, what all of that means is that Loki will be about the 2012 Loki, so only the Loki from Thor and Avengers. This Loki would not have caused his mother’s death and not sacrificed himself to Thanos.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Disney has been pretty tight-lipped about specifics surrounding Loki, however, we do know the show draws from a few comic books featuring Loki, including Loki: Sorcerer Supreme, found in a Doctor Strange comic, and Vote Loki. Additionally, there are some new faces in the cast including Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, but we don’t know much about their characters. The science fiction series will have a six episode run, and there are already rumors that it has been renewed for a second season.
Loki premieres Wednesday, June 9 on Disney+.