The formation of the Avengers forms the spine of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As they charted this path, the brains at Marvel Studios knew that they needed a good excuse for that group to form. Each of their superheroes was capable of handling most situations on their own. Getting them together in The Avengers would require a major threat.
Due to various circumstances, including character deaths and actor departures, they had to get Loki in the role. This turned out for the better, as the character, played brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston, would become one of the MCU’s break-out stars.
Son of Odin
Other than Thanos, Loki is the only character to be the primary antagonist in two MCU films. The first is in Thor, where the title character and the audience only realized his villainous nature near the end of the film. Throughout the movie, he is presented as a passive sidekick to his brasher brother, hesitant to take the throne after their father falls comatose. However, it turns out that Thor’s warmongering actions were part of Loki’s machinations to bring the kingdoms into conflict and secure his place. He is nasty, and that edge remains in his subsequent appearances.
Despite all that, there is more to Loki than being a manipulative creep. His insecurity is not a cover for his sinister side — in truth, these aspects of him feed off each other. Loki has serious issues with his family, partly because he is adopted and not even Asgardian, partly because he feels that his father loves him less than Thor. He feels that he has no real place in his home. That is why, when he finds himself dangling from the broken bridge, his plans unraveled, he feels fine with letting go and floating into space.
With Glorious Purpose
Loki proved quite popular with MCU fans. While other MCU villains were hammy and fun, he was both of those things combined with some dramatic depth. When it came time to find a threat big and bad enough to bring the Avengers together, Marvel Studios knew they had to choose Loki. The decision was not simply a nod to the comics, but a reflection of the potential they saw in the character. Even his plunge into space granted Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon the opportunity to bring him back with an army of alien warriors.
Moreover, now that we knew of Loki’s dark side, Whedon embraced it and allowed the character to relish in his evilness. Hiddleston ramps up the smarm without losing the charm as he delivers delicious monologues about power and claws at character insecurities. He may come off as a tryhard, which is in line with his development at this point. After all, he is bouncing back from a catastrophic miscalculation, with an army at his back, taking on a world full of people weaker than him. How else could he be?
Your Savior is Here
Curiously, Loki’s popularity proved so persistent that MCU creators simply could not keep him out of the movies. Even a dramatic death in Thor: The Dark World could not stop him from returning in Thor: Ragnarok. Most curiously of all, he turned from total heel to antihero, switching back and forth between selfless and self-serving. With his unpredictable moral compass and his sarcastic sense of humor, he stole every scene in which he appeared. Despite his death in Avengers: Infinity War, he still had a cameo in Avengers: Endgame and will return with his very own miniseries for Disney+.
Loki could have been cast aside as a one-off like the majority of MCU villains. Instead, he became as much a draw as some of the heroes. For a long stretch, he was even more popular (and better written) than Thor himself. Now that is a twist that the God of Mischief would certainly appreciate.
The Loki fandom remains strong on the internet. If you know any Hiddlestans, you can find some impressive gifts for them at Your WDW Store. We have a fun selection of Loki merchandise and Thor merchandise, as well as an array of cool products related to the MCU as a whole.