Tom Hiddleston’s Loki continues to be a significant part of the MCU, but his original fate would have seen him leave the franchise in Phase 2.
- Loki’s death in Thor: The Dark World was supposed to be permanent, but public outcry convinced Marvel Studios to bring the character back.
- If Loki had stayed dead, major events in the Infinity Saga, including Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, would have played out differently.
- Loki’s continued popularity and the existence of the multiverse ensure that even when Tom Hiddleston’s time as Loki eventually ends, Marvel Studios can continue to utilize the character through different variants.
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Thanks to his knowledge of the multiverse, Loki is one of the most critical players in the Multiverse Saga, but he wouldn’t even exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore if Marvel Studios stuck to its original plan about the character. Bolstered by the success of casting Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Marvel Studios took another leap of faith by bringing in essentially two unknowns to spearhead Kenneth Branagh’s Thor film from 2011. While Chris Hemsworth landed the role of the God of Thunder, Tom Hiddleston nabbed the character of his mischievous brother Loki. Despite being an anti-hero, Loki quickly became a fan favorite.
Loki remains a pivotal part of the MCU, albeit this time, he’s functioning more as a hero. Despite his death in the Sacred Timeline at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, his variant now jumps through time and realities as he delves deeper into the mystery of Kang the Conqueror in the upcoming Loki season 2. Considering his previous interaction with He Who Remains, the God of Mischief is one of the few characters who are aware of the looming threat in the multiverse. However, the character shouldn’t have even lasted this long in the MCU, with Loki’s death in Thor: The Dark World supposed to be definitive.
Why Marvel Didn’t Kill Off Loki In Thor: The Dark World
Hiddleston himself revealed in 2018 that Loki’s death in Svartalfheim was going to be permanent. Even Hemsworth knew it too, hence why there was so much raw emotion during the brothers’ farewell moment. In any case, it seemed like the perfect way to send off the character as he was essentially redeemed by then. He had made up for his mistakes and even gave up his life for the greater good. Loki’s death was one of the best scenes in the otherwise panned Thor: The Dark World. However, the public outcry from the character’s demise changed Marvel Studios’ mind.
Online campaigns have proven to work, as evidenced by James Gunn’s reinstatement as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s director. However, it didn’t really take Marvel Studios that much convincing to reverse their stance on Loki’s death in Thor: The Dark World. The character has long been very popular; in his early years in the MCU, he would even outshine his Avengers brother. It wasn’t until Taika Waititi joined the franchise and overhauled the Thor franchise via Thor: Ragnarok that the God of Thunder gradually rose in the ranks that could rival his mischievous brother. Waititi recognized that Thor’s problem was that Loki always overshadowed him
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Knowing full well that it would be such a loss to no longer have a beloved actor in Hiddleston play a fan-favorite character, it was a no-brainer for Kevin Feige and his team to walk back on their original plan. Thor: Ragnarok didn’t really make a big fuss about walking back on Loki’s death in Thor: The Dark World. In fact, Feige had already confirmed that Hiddleston would be back in the threequel long before filming for it began. Despite another death fakeout, it was arguably justified this time, considering that it has let the MCU continue to feature one of their best actor and character tandems years after the events of Thor: The Dark World.
Loki’s Death In Thor: The Dark World Would’ve Affected 3 Major MCU Projects
Had Marvel Studios stuck with its original plans for Loki, the remainder of the Infinity Saga would have looked very different For starters, Hiddleston’s character wouldn’t be involved in Thor: Ragnarok, which saw him taking over reigning duties over Asgard while Odin spent his final days on Earth. Odin’s death would have also been changed, considering that a big part of it was him saying goodbye to his sons. Thor then would have to battle Hela on her own. While it’s unlikely that Marvel Studios would let the God of Thunder be killed in his own film, it’s curious how he would have been able to win without Loki’s help.
Beyond that, Avengers: Infinity War wouldn’t have had the strong opening that it had if it didn’t feature Loki. Aside from Thanos’ brutal defeat of Hulk, Joe and Anthony Russo used the death of the God of Mischief at the hands of the Titan to efficiently establish the villain. Knowing the burden of having to ensure that Thanos was a worthy villain for the Avengers, the Russos thought that there was no other way to quickly do that than by seeing him ruthlessly kill one of the most beloved MCU characters. It also allowed Marvel Studios to harken back to their unfinished business from The Avengers.
Loki’s brief appearance during the New York leg of the time heist in Avengers: Endgame functioned as the launching pad for his own show — Loki on Disney+. The series ensures that the character remains integral to the franchise beyond the events of the Infinity Saga. In the Multiverse Saga, Marvel Studios fast-tracked Loki’s redemption, and now, he functions more as a hero than a bad guy. This is especially important at this junction in the franchise, considering that the Avengers are all scattered while Kang the Conqueror is planning something nefarious, and Loki may be the key to defeating him.
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Will Loki Ever Truly Die In The MCU?
The MCU has long been criticized for its penchant for fake deaths. Loki has been the subject of a few of them in his more than a decade-shift in the franchise. At this point, there’s no indication that Hiddleston’s time as the God of Mischief is ending anytime soon. His series remains to be very popular, and the character continues to be beloved by old and new fans of the universe. That being said, even when Hiddleston’s stint as Loki ends, Marvel Studios can continue to utilize him in various ways thanks to the existence of the multiverse and variants.
As seen in his own TV series, there’s a string of Loki variants running around the void, and chances are, even in other universes. When Hiddleston decides that it’s time for him to wrap up his time as the beloved Asgardian Prince, Marvel Studios can simply bring in another variant of the character to be its primary version. It’s worth saying, however, that while it’s possible, it would be a massive undertaking, considering how syngamous Hiddleston is with the role.
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