- "I am Loki of Asgard. And I am burdened with glorious purpose."
- ― Loki, The Avengers
Loki is a major character in The Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, serving as the main antagonist of Thor, a cameo antagonist in Captain America: The First Avenger, the main antagonist of The Avengers, the tritagonist as well as the secondary antagonist of Thor: The Dark World, the deuteragonist of Thor: Ragnarok, a supporting character in Avengers: Infinity War, a minor antagonist in Avengers: Endgame and the titular main protagonist of the Disney+ series Loki.
Loki is the biological son of the king of Jotunheim, Laufey. Being unusually small for a Frost Giant, Loki was abandoned in a temple to die shortly after his birth. In the wake of the war between the Frost Giants and Asgardians, Loki was found by Odin. Odin took the baby with him, altered his appearance with sorcery to resemble an Asgardian, and raised him as his son alongside his own child, Thor.
Growing up, Loki sometimes felt as though he was living in Thor's shadow. This feeling grew as the brothers did, as Thor was always a crowd-pleaser- infinitely confident and loved by the people as their future King. Loki often hid a degree of jealousy that Thor was to become King, and felt that Odin perhaps favoured Thor over him. As Thor was always the center of attention, Loki found himself longing for a spotlight over the years, which manifested itself in extreme attention-seeking behaviour.
Loki was interested in sorcery rather than the typical Asgardian warrior arts, and thus was rather lonely for much of his childhood, lacking the friends from battle that Thor himself had acquired. Loki instead spent much time with his mother Frigga, who taught him everything she knew about sorcery.
Besides learning magic with Frigga, it was also said that Loki played many tricks on people as a child, some with Thor, some on him. Thor would later recount a tale of the time when Loki used his shape-shifting magic to transform himself into a snake deviously, in the knowledge that his brother adored snakes- when Thor picked up the snake "to admire it", Loki turned back into himself and stabbed him, perhaps demonstrating how his tricks had began to get a little out of hand.
Loki's jealousy only continued to grow as he did, and he was eager to prove himself to Odin to win his appreciation. His innocent mischief turned into more complicated plans and he began to manipulate people. Loki became ambitious, and was willing to go to great lengths to achieve recognition and power.
Loki was with Thor before the commencing of Thor's coronation. The brothers had a friendly chat, during which Loki teased Thor about his helmet's feathered design. When Thor joked that Loki could never be sincere, Loki said earnestly that Thor was his brother and his friend, and although he was sometimes envious, Thor should never doubt that he loved him. Later, Loki watched the coronation quietly as Thor basked in the glory and praise the people showered over him.
However, unbeknownst to his family, Loki had allowed several Frost Giants to enter Asgard to try and steal the Casket of Ancient Winters during Thor's coronation. He did so for mixed reasons- to interrupt the coronation, as a trick that perhaps went too far, and even subconsciously to attempt to draw the spotlight away from his brother for once.
Loki, Thor and Odin went to Odin's vault to investigate, and found the bodies of the Frost Giants and the Asgardian guards who had been murdered. Thor wanted to march into Jotunheim and attack the Frost Giants for breaking the peace treaty between the two realms. Odin, however, refused, furthering Thor's anger. The two started arguing, while Loki stayed silent and listened.
Regardless of Odin's opinions, Thor opted to launch a counterattack on Jotunheim with a number of his closest friends, and while Loki initially tried to dissuade his brother, he eventually relented and went along with the plan.
Upon their arrival at Heimdall's observatory, Loki attempted to use his cunning to trick Heimdall into letting them enter Jotunheim. Smoothly, he tried to talk to the Gatekeeper, who already had knowledge of what Loki had done, and hinted this to him, causing Loki, for once, to be embarrassingly lost for words. Volstagg remarked mockingly to Loki that his "Silver Tongue" had turned to lead. Nevertheless, he allowed them to pass, and the group used the Bifrost to travel to Jotunheim.
Once on Jotunheim, Thor spoke angrily with the Frost Giant King, Laufey, who insulted Thor quietly, but allowed them to return home. Loki, realisiing that this was their only chance to return safely, attempted frantically to whisper to Thor not to rise to it, naturally to which his brother decided to do the opposite. Thor's recklessness, arrogance and eagerness for glory led them into conflict and he attacked the Jotuns even after being granted safe passage home. During the ensuing fight, Loki fought competently with his throwing daggers and illusion magic, but had his wrist grasped by a Jotun. Expecting his skin to freeze, Loki was immensely surprised as the Jotun's touch did him no harm, a revelation that led him to question his upbringing in a way he never had before.
Despite the groups' best efforts, they eventually became gravely outnumbered, and during the fray, Fandral was impaled through the chest by a shard of ice. While the rest of the group began to retreat, Thor continued his assault, blind to his friend's peril.
A large Frost Beast awakened during the battle, and attacked the group, but was slain by Thor moments before it could strike. As the remaining Jotuns surrounded the group, the Bifrost activated and dropped Odin, mounted upon his octopedal horse, Sleipnir, into Jotunheim. He attempted to talk Laufey into a peace, but Laufey continued the attack, forcing Heimdall to activate the Bifrost and bring the Asgardians home.
Back on Asgard, Odin vented his fury on Thor, calling him vain, selfish and greedy for having quite possibly just restarted an ancient war that could have been avoided. Thor argued to justify his actions, and a furious row ensued- Loki stayed quiet, watching at first with some interest, and then with horror, as Odin grew more and more furious at Thor, stripping him of his royal disks by hand. Whilst Loki had intended to get Thor in trouble, he had never intended for him to be banished. Thus Loki intervened, trying to defend Thor, and was silenced by Odin, who announced to Loki's immense worry, that Thor was to be banished to Midgard. Once Thor's banishment via the Bifrost was complete, a stunned Loki made his way back to the palace.
Later, in the healing chamber, Loki revealed to Sif and the Warriors Three that he in fact told Heimdall to inform Odin of their trip to Jotunheim. Upon the other's indignant questioning, Loki told them his reasoning was sound- that he felt Thor was foolish to seek battle with the Frost Giants. He went on to admit that he did not, however, expect Odin to banish Thor for his arrogance and stupidity. The others began to suspect from his strange behaviour that Loki was perhaps involved with the Frost Giants' infiltration of Asgard, and even further, with Thor's banishment.
Loki was unaware of this: one thought consumed him, and that was what he had discovered about himself on Jotunheim. Having suspicions about his true heritage, he headed to Odin's vault, where he picked up and held the Casket of Ancient Winters. At that moment, Odin came up behind him, but it was too late- Loki's suspicions had been confirmed, and he looked at himself in desperate horror, as the immense cold of the Casket turned him briefly to his Frost Giant form. As Odin tried to explain, Loki demanded that he tell him the truth, to which his adopted father responded with the story of how he had found Loki as a baby in Jotunheim, abandoned and left to die. With tears in his eyes, Loki asked why he had never been told- Odin said sadly that he had not wanted him to feel like an outcast. A painful mixture of fury and devastation at learning he had been lied to his whole life, Loki began to rant at Odin through tears, asking sarcastically whether he was "just another trinket" to be brought back home to Asgard and put in the vault. However, before Loki could finish, Odin collapsed on the floor before him, having fallen into a comatose state known as the "Odinsleep", where Odin recharges the force of his powers. Horrified and upset, Loki called for the guards, and was later told that with Thor banished and Frigga unwilling to leave Odin's side, he was left acting King. Although greatly worried for his father and traumatised by what he had learned about himself, Loki accepted the duty- he was at first almost disbelieving, having his dream come true in such an awful way, but quickly grew to enjoy the power and recognition it allowed him.
Being suspicious of Loki's actions and wishing him to help them revoke Thor's banishment, Thor's friends proceeded to the throne room for an audience with the King- but rather than find Odin, they found Loki, who explained the present situation to them. Sif pleaded with Loki to revoke the banishment of his brother, to which Loki replied that it would be unwise to have his first act as King a direct converse to the act of his predecessor. Loki now saw Thor's banishment as a convenience to him, and realized that if Thor were to return, he would no longer have the power he so desired. Being very perceptive, Loki also noticed Sif's suspicions of his motives, and decided to visit Thor down on Earth with a plan to ensure that he did not return any time soon.
Thor, meanwhile, was being questioned by Phil Coulson back on Earth. When we was left alone briefly, Loki appeared in the room with him wearing Midgardian clothing, and lied directly to Thor, mournfully telling him that Odin was dead and he could not come back to Asgard. He then left, leaving Thor distraught. Loki noticed Mjolnir on his way out of the S.H.I.E.L.D facility, and surreptitiously, to sate his own curiosity, endeavoured to lift it. To his disappointment, the hammer remained unmoved- he was unworthy, despite the fact that he felt what he was doing was for the good of Asgard.
Back on Asgard, Loki travelled on foot to the Bifrost to converse with the Frost Giants. On Jotunheim, he explained to Laufey that he would allow him safe passage into Asgard to kill Odin and have their casket, and return in peace. He boasts mockingly that his previous show of loyalty to the Frost Giants, allowing them into Asgard during the coronation, was "just a little fun" to ruin his brother's "big day" and protect the Realms from the idiocy of his rule for just a little longer. Little did Loki reveal that this was in fact merely another trick. Since learning that he was one, Loki's hatred for Frost Giants had merely maginifed, and he in fact planned to kill Laufey, saving Odin and perhaps looking good in front of his people in the process. When he returned via the Bifrost, he engaged in a brief argument with Heimdall, who noted that Loki had been hidden from him. Loki commanded him to pay respect to him as his king, then relieved him of duty, to which Heimdall responded that in that case, Loki was no longer his king. As he rushed to attack and subdue Loki, he calmly drew out the Casket and used it to freeze Heimdall solid, briefly revealing Loki's Jotun form as the ice touched his skin once again.
When Thor's friends disobeyed Loki to bring word of his actions to Thor, Loki responded by sending The Destroyer after them to eliminate Thor. This action proved his undoing when Thor's courage in confronting the automaton paved the way for his return. Loki, meanwhile, welcomed Laufey to Asgard and showed him the way to Odin. Just as Laufey was about to kill Odin, Loki betrayed him and killed him with Gungnir. Right after this, Thor returned and confronted Loki, leading to a fight ensuing between the brothers.
The resulting fight quickly moved to Heimdall's Observatory where Loki had opened a portal that would destroy Jotunheim by tearing it apart. Loki told Thor that they were never brothers, and failed to see why he couldn't destroy Jotunheim and massacre all the Frost Giants. Thor explained to no avail that Loki could not kill an entire race, and told him that they were brothers, no matter of heritage. Loki laughed in disgust, both at Thor's newfound "love" of Frost Giants, and his apparent naivity- he explained that he despised the race even more now that he knew he was one. He started mocking Thor and even threatened to kill Jane Foster, which inspired Thor into a fit of aggression, throwing Mjolnir at Loki and pinning him beneath it.
The Bifrost was still destroying Jotunheim, and Thor realised that the only way to stop it was to destroy the Bifrost. He shattered the Rainbow Bridge with Mjölnir, and the Bifrost was plunged into the abyss, much to Loki's horror.
Thor and Loki began to fall into the abyss, but the spear in Loki's hand was grabbed by Thor who in turn was anchored to the remnants of the bridge by the newly-awakened Odin. Loki appealed to his adoptive father that by annihilating the Frost Giants he was doing what was best for Asgard, and that he did it all for his father. Odin sadly rejected this, and with his Asgardian life now in tatters Loki released the spear and allowed the void to claim him, seemingly killing him.
However, later Loki was seen mind-controlling Erik Selvig down on Midgard. As Erik was shown the Tesseract by S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Nick Fury, Loki smiled from his illusion in the mirror, and said triumphantly that the cube seemed "worth a look".
Thor: The Dark World
Loki was taken in handcuffs and chains to see Odin, so that a fitting punishment could be inflicted upon him for his actions on Earth. As he first met his mother, he gave a convincing appearance of his usual confidence, asking sweetly whether he had "made her proud", to which she responded with a mixture of sad anger, begging him not to make the situation worse than it already was. Nonchalantly, he sauntered up to his father's throne, putting up his strongest uncaring attitude. Throughout his father's sentencing, Loki continued this façade, making sarcastic remarks and smiling smugly- it was only broken when Odin announced that Frigga was the only reason Loki was still alive, and he would never see her again. At this, tears were brought to Loki's eyes, and he was sentenced to a life imprisonment for his crimes.
Loki had spent several days in his cell when Frigga came to visit him, despite Odin's decree that he was to remain in solitary confinement. She asked him how he was, questioning whether the books she had sent had interested him. Loki retorted sarcastically that that was "how he was to while away eternity- reading". Frigga told him sadly that she had done everything she could to make him comfortable; Loki scornfully asked whether Thor and Odin shared her concern. When Frigga tried to calm him, Loki burst out furiously that Odin was not his father. Frigga queried as to whether she was then his mother, to which Loki replied that she was not. Already guilty about having shouted such things, Loki turned to take his adopted mother's hands, at which point the illusion of herself she had cast to come and visit her son disappeared, leaving him alone on the verge of tears.
Avengers: Infinity War
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Loki possesses a formidable strength as a result of his Jotun lineage, that is comparable to his Asgardian contemporaries.
- Superhuman Durability: As a Jotun, Loki has a resilient body with a tolerance for trauma well above what a human body can endure. Of particular note is his pronounced tolerance for cold.
- Superhuman Longevity: Loki has the capacity to live for thousands of years.
- Superhuman Stamina
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Loki has a healing factor that is above an average human. When smashed to the ground repeatedly by the Hulk, after some time, Loki was able to recover from the attacks.
- Cold Immunity: Due to his Frost Giant physiology, Loki is immune to the otherwise damaging touch of Frost Giants.
- Illusion Manipulation: Loki can make duplicates or illusions of himself to fool his enemies. He can also change his or someone else's appearance to another person, and he created an illusion of his sell in the Asgardian Dungeons.
- Hypnosis: Loki manipulated Erik Selvig into researching the Tesseract.
- Invisibility: Loki can make himself invisible to the people he wants to.
- Arcane Lore: Loki has a great deal of skill in his use of arcane lore. He uses his knowledge primarily to conjure illusions and manipulate others to do his will. He has demonstrated the ability to cause the Casket of Ancient Winters to seemingly disappear into thin air, although it is not immediately clear if this was entirely Loki's doing or or in some way bound to an inherent property of the item. He also claims to know of secret pathways between worlds that allow him to travel without using more common transportation methods. As ruler of Asgard he also gained control of The Destroyer for a time.
- Gifted Intelligence
- Master Manipulator
- Expert Tactician
- Expert Combatant: Loki has extensive combat training that allowed him to fight off and kill several Frost Giants in Jotunheim, defeat and kill several S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, and hold his own against Thor and Captain America for a time, the latter even commenting on his fighting skills. He was though quickly defeated by Hulk.
- Gungnir: Odin's spear, that Loki has wielded when on the throne of Asgard.
- The Casket of Ancient Winters: Loki used the Casket to freeze Heimdall.
- Loki's Scepter: Loki wielded the scepter during his attack on New York. Thanks to the Mind Stone in it, it has the power of mind controlling.
- Knives and daggers
- "I remember a shadow, living in the shade of your greatness!"
- ― Loki, The Avengers.
Thor and Loki spent a lot of time together as children. However, Loki was always jealous of Thor and felt like he was living in his shadow. Loki claimed that he loved Thor, but soon after his lies and tricks the truth came to light. Loki tried to kill his brother several times and said that he only wanted to be his equal. Thor still loves his brother, but after the events of The Avengers he lost the hope of Loki's redemption.
Odin is Loki's adoptive father. After hearing his true heritage, Loki tried to prove himself to his father by trying to eliminate Asgard's enemies, the Frost Giants. Odin did not approve of this, which caused Loki to let himself fall into the abyss. Loki was angry at Odin for keeping his origin a secret, and accused him of preferring Thor and treating them not equally.
Frigga was Loki's adoptive mother. The two were really close, and Frigga was the one who taught Loki many of the magic spells he knows. Loki loved Frigga dearly, and her death caused his complete breakdown.