10 Scenes That Most Define Loki’s MCU Movie Story

Summary

  • Loki’s journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been filled with defining moments that have shaped his character and story.
  • Loki learning of his heritage was a defining moment in beginning his villain arc, with his Thanos alliance and loss to the Avengers coming from this.
  • Loki’s relationship with Thor has many defining moments that led to his death and subsequent resurrection as an agent of the TVA.

Loki has been a central character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe throughout Phases 1, 2, 3, and 4, and 10 scenes define his franchise story. Since his debut in 2011’s Thor, Tom Hiddleston has made the role of the God of Mischief his own, complete with a fantastic story arc and several of the MCU’s most iconic Loki quotes. Beginning as a primary villain of Thor and The Avengers, Loki’s character arc, which culminated in Loki season 2’s ending, saw him become one of the franchise’s greatest heroes.

While Loki season 3’s story is disappointingly unlikely, not many can deny that his ending was a brilliant culmination of two distinct character arcs surrounding the God of Mischief. Not only did Hiddleston get to portray Loki’s redemption arc between Thor and Avengers: Infinity War, but Avengers: Endgame opened the door to the multiverse and an alternate version of the character. Over this two-character journey that is sadly unlikely to continue in upcoming MCU movies, a handful of scenes stand out as the moments that define Loki’s entire Marvel Cinematic Universe tenure.

Loki complete timeline Thor Thor ragnarok Related Loki’s Complete MCU Timeline Explained

Tom Hiddleston’s MCU journey as Loki, the Asgardian God of Mischief, has taken him from Avengers villain to bona fide hero in the Multiverse Saga.

10 Loki Learning The Truth Of His Heritage

Thor (2011)

The first arc of Loki’s in the MCU was his descent from the prince of Asgard to the villain of The Avengers. Undoubtedly, the most defining scene of this arc came in Loki’s debut film, 2011’s Thor. After an excursion to Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants, Loki begins to question whether he is actually Odin’s son after witnessing his hand turn blue when touched by a Frost Giant.

Upon returning to Asgard, Loki touches the Casket of Ancient Winters in Odin’s vault and transforms into a Frost Giant himself. Odin appears and tells Loki that he is not the biological son of the king of Asgard and Frigga, but instead the son of Laufey, leader of Jotunheim. Odin once found Loki abandoned and decided to raise him as his own. Naturally, this news angers, saddens, and traumatizes Loki, who begins his descent into villainy by attempting to claim Asgard and wage war on the other realms of the MCU, notably Jotunheim.

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Chris Hemsworth’s MCU debut as the Asgardian God of Thunder saw him navigating the ultimare sibling rivalry and parental expectations. Kenneth Branagh’s theatrical adaptation of the long-running Marvel Comics deals with Thor’s quest to prove himself worthy. Banished to Earth for his impulsiveness and tendency to violence, Thor must earn his destiny, while Tom Hiddleston’s Loki tries to destroy him.

Director Kenneth Branagh Release Date May 6, 2011 Writers Zack Stentz , Ashley Miller , Don Payne Cast Chris Hemsworth , Natalie Portman , Tom Hiddleston , Kat Dennings , Stellan Skarsgård , Idris Elba , Clark Gregg , Colm Feore Runtime 115 minutes

9 Loki Losing Asgard & Joining The Service Of Thanos

The Avengers (2012)

After becoming interim king of Asgard when Odin falls ill, Loki’s grasp for power is thwarted by Thor. This leads to the events of 2012’s The Avengers, where Loki is shown traveling to Earth and stealing the Tesseract. It is revealed that Loki was tasked to do so by Thanos, the Mad Titan, in an attempt to gather the Infinity Stone. Loki was granted control of the Chitauri army, and attempted to take Earth both to reclaim his power lost on Asgard and to taunt his brother Thor, who became fond of the planet and its people.

The Other was killed in Guardians of the Galaxy by Ronan the Accuser, another of Thanos’ acolytes who was tasked with retrieving an Infinity Stone.

The scene in which Loki converses with the Other, Thanos’ servant, is one that defines this section of Loki’s journey. Without Thanos, Loki would not have had the facilities to wage war on Earth. Thanos and the Other granted Loki the Chitauri in return for the Tesseract, which propelled Loki to become the primary villain of The Avengers and Phase 1 of the MCU.

The Avengers 2012 Poster The Avengers PG-13 Where to Watch

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The sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers is an action superhero film that sees the heroes assembled across the franchise face off with a deadly galactic threat. With the arrival of Thor’s brother, Loki, heroes such as Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, and Black Widow are brought together to stop him from unleashing an alien race upon earth.

Director Joss Whedon Release Date May 4, 2012 Writers Joss Whedon , Zak Penn Cast Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Stellan Skarsgård , Clark Gregg , Paul Bettany , Cobie Smulders , Tom Hiddleston , Jeremy Renner , gwyneth paltrow , Chris Evans Runtime 143 Minutes Expand

8 Loki Being Defeated By The Avengers & Being Imprisoned By Odin

The Avengers (2012)

Despite almost succeeding in taking Earth, Loki was defeated by the newly-formed Avengers. At the end of The Avengers – one of the best-ranked MCU movies – Loki is subdued by the Hulk while the other Avengers destroy the Chitauri army. Afterward, the six Avengers appear before Loki and arrest him, prompting Thor to take his brother back to Asgard to face justice. This scene is another defining moment in Loki’s MCU journey, as his return to Asgard essentially kickstarts his redemption arc.

Loki returns to Asgard and is forced to face the consequences of his actions. Not only does he have to face Thor, but his mother and father as well. Without the ending scene in The Avengers, Loki would not have returned to Asgard. However, given that the Avengers captured Loki and the movie showcased his apprehension at the hands of Thor, Loki’s journey evolved into the next stage that continued in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World.

7 Loki Finding Out Frigga Was Dead

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

As alluded to, Loki’s return to Asgard in The Avengers was crucial to his redemption arc. In Thor: The Dark World, another scene provides a defining moment for Loki transitioning into the hero he eventually becomes. Early in the movie, Loki and Thor’s mother is killed by dark elves. Thor enlists Loki’s aid, only after the latter breaks an illusion of indifference and reveals his true feelings about Frigga’s murder.

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Not only is this scene important in allowing Loki to team up with Thor, but it is one of the few scenes that truly showcases Loki’s goodness. Positioned as a villain in his prior two movies, Loki’s breakdown at Frigga’s death makes him a much more sympathetic character. This makes his alliance with Thor in The Dark World even better, as the hints at heroic Loki are offered, hinging on the defining scene of his emotional trauma over Frigga’s passing.

Thor- The Dark World Poster Thor: The Dark World PG-13 ScreenRant logo

Thor: The Dark World is the first sequel to Thor’s introductory MCU movie and the second release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2. Set after the events of The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World follows Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder as he tries to stop the villain Malekith with the help of his girlfriend Jane Foster, his brother Loki, and his father Odin.

Director Alan Taylor Release Date November 8, 2013 Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus , Christopher Yost Cast Tom Hiddleston , Tadanobu Asano , Idris Elba , Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje , Anthony Hopkins , Natalie Portman , Zachary Levi , Christopher Eccleston , Rene Russo , Chris Hemsworth , Ray Stevenson , Stellan Skarsgård , Jaimie Alexander , Kat Dennings Runtime 1h 52m Expand

6 Loki Faking His Death & Ruling Asgard

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The final scene of Thor: The Dark World is another that defines Loki’s MCU journey. Earlier in the film, Loki seemingly died during a fight with the dark elves, leading Thor to mourn for his brother. However, the ending of Thor: The Dark World reveals Loki’s survival, with the God of Mischief masquerading as King Odin, thus ruling Asgard.

At the time of the movie’s release, this scene defined Loki’s story as many thought he would once more turn to villainy. That said, Thor: Ragnarok confirmed that this pivotal scene in Thor: The Dark World continued Loki’s redemption. While he ruled Asgard and dethroned Odin, he did not kill the latter nor rule in a way that made him particularly evil. Similarly, Loki’s relationship with Thor changed from antagonistic to brotherly rivalry, proving Thor: The Dark World‘s final scene to be defining in a way many did not expect.

5 Loki Teaming Up With Thor To Defeat Hela

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

After Loki took control of Asgard, Thor: Ragnarok detailed how Thor uncovered his plot. The two argue for a while, before eventually teaming up to defeat Hela. After being stranded on Sakaar, Loki and Thor return to Asgard to unseat Hela and control Asgard once more. Given Loki’s past, Thor: Ragnarok flirts with the idea of him continuing his villainous ways before one defining scene solidifies his redemption arc that began at the end of The Avengers.

Loki’s MCU betrayals and tricks become a thing of the past in Thor: Ragnarok as Loki arrives with warriors from Sakaar to save the people of Asgard. While Thor fights Hela, Loki and his allies defeat her army and smuggle Asgard’s civilians onboard a ship. Afterward, Loki uses the helm of Surtur to awaken the monster and destroy Asgard, defeating Hela for good. From this point onwards, Loki’s transition to an MCU hero is complete, proving how defining his initial defiance of Hela is to his Marvel journey.

Thor Ragnarok Poster Thor: Ragnarok PG-13 ScreenRant logo

Thor: Ragnarok is the third Thor solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first directed by Taika Waititi. In the sequel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself stranded on Sakaar, ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Soon he teams with Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to return to Asgard and defeat his sister Hela.

Director Taika Waititi Release Date November 3, 2017 Writers Christopher Yost , Craig Kyle , Stephany Folsom Cast Cate Blanchett , Anthony Hopkins , Jeff Goldblum , Karl Urban , Tom Hiddleston , Mark Ruffalo , Tessa Thompson , Chris Hemsworth Runtime 2h 10m

4 Loki Stealing The Tesseract

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Ironically, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment from Thor: Ragnarok is perhaps the single most defining moment in the journey of Loki in the primary MCU. In the third act of Thor: Ragnarok when Loki is searching for Surtur’s helm, he comes across the Tesseract. Loki double-takes when passing the Tesseract before the film cuts to the battle raging outside the walls of Asgard’s palace.

Only in Avengers: Infinity War was it revealed that Loki stole the Tesseract in this moment from Thor: Ragnarok. Stealing the Tesseract proved to have a massive consequence on Loki’s MCU story, all while showcasing that some of Loki’s former power-hungry traits remained after his heroic turn. In Avengers: Infinity War, the result of Loki’s actions catch up with him, proving the scene from Ragnarok to be a defining moment in Loki’s journey in the most tragic of ways.

3 Loki’s Death At The Hands Of Thanos

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

The opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War not only solidifies Loki stealing the Tesseract as a defining moment in Thor: Ragnarok, but ultimately provides another regarding Loki’s journey. Teased in The Avengers, the Mad Titan Thanos desired the Infinity Stones in the universe in order to impose his will over the galaxy. One such Infinity Stone is the Tesseract, which Loki possessed after Thor: Ragnarok.

At the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, it was revealed that Thanos tracked down Loki, Thor, and the fleeing Asgardians so that he could obtain the Tesseract for himself. After murdering 50% of the Asgardians on the ship, Thanos incapacitated Thor and tortured him so that Loki would reveal the Tesseract. Thanos takes the cube and unearths the Infinity Stone from within, prompting Loki to try and kill the Titan. However, Thanos foresaw this and killed Loki, ending his prime MCU journey in a defining scene.

Avengers Infinity War Poster Avengers: Infinity War PG-13 Where to Watch

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Avengers: Infinity War is the third Avengers movie in the game-changing Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film is positioned as the beginning of the culmination of everything that has transpired in the franchise to date. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who previously helmed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, have assembled the largest ensemble in a superhero film to date. Nearly every living character in the MCU is included as the Avengers join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take down Thanos in a battle that has massive repercussions for the future of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. A sequel, Avengers: Endgame, was released in 2019 and marked the end of the Infinity Saga.

Director Joe Russo , Anthony Russo Release Date April 27, 2018 Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus Cast Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Elizabeth Olsen , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Sebastian Stan , Paul Rudd , Chadwick Boseman , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Josh Brolin , Tom Holland , Evangeline Lilly , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner Runtime 149 minutes Expand

2 Alternate Loki Stealing The Tesseract & Joining The TVA

Loki Season 1 (2021)

While Avengers: Infinity War marked the end for Loki, Avengers: Endgame gave him a new beginning thanks to the multiverse. As the Avengers traveled back in time, Loki from 2012 stole the Tesseract and fled New York. Creating a nexus event, Loki was apprehended by the TVA, the Time Variance Authority. Stealing the Tesseract was a major defining moment in giving Loki a second lease of life, despite being a different version from the prime MCU character.

The TVA is set to appear in the upcoming MCU film,
Deadpool & Wolverine
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Stealing the Tesseract then led Loki to the TVA, which he swiftly joined. After seeing clips of prime MCU Loki’s life, the underlying goodness of 2012 Loki was unearthed. This was yet another defining moment in the new timeline, as evil Loki transitioned once more into good Loki and dedicated himself to protecting the Sacred Timeline and traveling the multiverse.

Loki Season 2 Poster Loki Where to Watch

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Having escaped from a different timeline, Loki stars in his own titular series, where he learns about the life of his predecessor and discovers the truth of time and space. In the show, Loki reluctantly becomes a part of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an interdimensional governing body that keeps time in order. On the chopping block, Loki is given a chance to save himself by helping the TVA hunt down someone more dangerous than himself – another Loki.

Cast Tom Hiddleston , Richard E. Grant , Erika Coleman , Gugu Mbatha-Raw , Sophia Di Martino , Owen Wilson , Wunmi Mosaku , Sasha Lane Release Date June 11, 2021 Seasons 2 Writers Michael Waldron , Eric Martin Directors Kate Herron Showrunner Michael Waldron Expand

1 Alternate Loki Becoming God Loki At The End Of Time

Loki Season 2 (2023)

The defining moment that saw Loki join the TVA led to his myraid adventures throughout Loki season 1 and season 2. As of the ending of Loki season 2, the biggest defining moment this side of the original Loki’s death in Infinity War takes place. After failing to save the TVA from complete collapse, Loki realizes that he must take accountability and save the multiverse himself. Loki breaks open the multiverse and, rather than let them die out, Loki uses his power to give every branching timeline life.

Loki grasps every single thread of the multiverse in his hands, keeping every single one alive. By the end of the sequence, Loki crafts a multiversal Yggdrasil tree with him at its center. At the End of Time, Loki remains in solitude holding the multiverse together figuratively and literally. Not only was this an emotional end to Loki season 2 and his second character arc, but it intrinsically links the God of Mischief to every single MCU story in history by retroactively making him the person responsible for the entire multiverse’s existence.

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