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Characters / MCU: Loki

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Loki Odinson / Laufeyson
"I am Loki...of Asgard. And I am burdened with glorious purpose."

Species: Frost Giant

Portrayed By: Tom Hiddleston; Ted Allpress (young)

Voiced By: José Gilberto Vilchis (Latin-American Spanish dub), David Brau (European Spanish dub), Daisuke Hirakawa (Japanese dub), Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi (Canadian French dub)

Appearances: Thor | The Avengers | Thor: The Dark World | Avengers: Age of Ultronnote  | Thor: Ragnarok | Avengers: Infinity War | Untitled Avengers Sequel

"You'll always be the God of Mischief, but you could be more."
Thor to Loki

The Norse God of Mischief and Lies, and Thor's younger brother. A smooth talker, Master of Illusion and skilled knife-fighter, Loki spent centuries adventuring at Thor's side, but felt painfully overshadowed growing up next to the ideal warrior.

On the day of Thor's coronation, Loki helps several Frost Giants sneak into Asgard's vault for "a bit of fun." This leads to the discovery that Loki is himself an undersized Jötunn, adopted and placed under a glamour. With his sense of self shaken to the core, Loki becomes increasingly desperate to gain the love — or worship — he feels he is owed, even if he has to wreak havoc across the Nine Realms to get it.

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    Tropes # to C 
  • 0% Approval Rating: In The Dark World, he has been tried and convicted for his war crimes on Midgard. No one approves of his actions, not even his mother Frigga. Yet her secret visits to his cell show that she still loves Loki.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: In the third act of Ragnarok, Loki manages to get back in good graces of just about every Asgardian by rescuing them from Hela—he has finally earned by authentic means the love and respect of his subjects that he had always yearned for. Even Heimdall of all people, who distrusted Loki in Thor and tried to kill him (not to mention that Loki-as-Odin wanted to arrest Heimdall for his treason after The Dark World), is glad that the reinstated prince has returned.
    Loki: Your savior is here!
    Heimdall: Welcome home. I saw you coming.
    Loki: ...Of course you did.
  • Aborted Arc: According to the Word of God, a year had passed between the end of Thor and the beginning of The Avengers, where Loki appears Ax-Crazy and sick to the point of doubling over while walking. What exactly happened to him during this time has never been addressed.
  • Ace Pilot: In The Dark World, makes this claim and proves it by being able to safely steer through a small crevice in an Asgardian rockface at high speed which is just barely wide enough for their stolen vehicle.
    Loki: If it were easy, everyone would do it.
  • Actor Allusion: Ragnarok isn't the first time that Matt Damon took on the role of Loki.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Some of his quips and tricks cause this reaction.
    • The Dark World: Loki and Thor start an argument about their dead mother that becomes so heated that Thor is about to punch Loki, but stops himself, saying, "She wouldn't want us to fight," whereupon Loki replies, "Well, she wouldn't exactly be shocked." Thor can't help but chuckle.
    • Ragnarok: When Loki meets Odin in Norway, he likely expects nothing but condemnation for putting his adoptive father under a spell and ousting him. Odin only laughs instead and admits that it took him a while to dispel Loki's magic. Later, Thor giggles when Loki refuses his proposal to talk, dryly commenting, "Open communication was never our family's forte."
  • Act of True Love: Whether justified or not, in Infinity War, Loki sacrifices everything, including the "greater good" (the Space Stone) and his own life for familial love for his brother Thor.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Loki in the movies is far more attractive than his comic book counterpart, who is often (but not invariably and less so since the '80's) depicted as being hideous, particularly in the early days. Incidentally, this is more accurate to the original version of Loki, who was described in Norse Mythology as "pleasing and handsome" (an alternate translation is "beautiful and comely," which is closer to our modern definition of a Pretty Boy).
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the comics, Loki was a straight villain for a long time, until he died during the Siege storyline, and was resurrected later as a young teenager. He then grew into a more ambiguous character, which is still the current portrayal. In Thor, he is an Anti-Villain, and he's an Anti-Hero in The Dark World and Ragnarok; he's sympathetic in these three movies. Loki makes a Heroic Sacrifice in Infinity War. Over-all, he's chaotic neutral rather than chaotic evil, which matches with how his mythological counterpart was originally depicted before the Norse tales were Hijacked by Jesus.note 
  • Adaptational Sexuality: In Norse Mythology, Loki is an Extreme Omnisexual who Really Gets Around and fathered (and mothered) several children, but his movie counterpart appears to be celibate (there is no indication in the MCU that he was involved in a romantic/sexual relationship) and childless.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: His comic book counterpart is green-eyed, but the movie incarnation has blue irises. Moreover, the mythological Loki is a redhead, not raven-haired.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Zig-Zagged. His sorcery is far less impressive compared to his comic counterpart, who is a borderline Reality Warper. That being said, he's a more capable hand-to-hand fighter who's able to go toe-to-toe with formidable warriors such as Thor or Valkyrie, whereas his comics counterpart tends to avoid an upfront fight unless deemed necessary.
  • Adoption Diss:
    • Played for Laughs twice. A straight version in The Avengers: Thor learns from his new allies that Loki killed 80 people in two days, and quickly says that Loki is adopted to distance himself from his brother's crimes. Inverted in Ragnarok: this time around Loki who has gained the favor of the Grand Master says he is adopted to distance himself from Thor, now the Grand Master's slave.
    • Played for Drama in the The Dark World. During his trial Loki attempts to appeal to his birthright as a son of the king and Odin retorts that his birthright (as an abandoned child whom Odin adopted) was to die.
  • Affably Evil: In the Thor films, Loki is fairly polite and amiable, and holds himself to regal standards of conduct even as he unfurls his various Evil Plans. In The Dark World, he goes out of his way to tell a comforting lie to his brother about how proud their father is of him, even though it gains Loki nothing. His rule of Asgard in Ragnarok is quite pleasant, if largely inept, and a far cry from Hela, who runs around murdering citizens who don't obey her later in that movie. Loki's good manners are also at their peak, which hints that a Heel–Face Turn may be close at hand.
  • Agent Peacock: He's a Vain Sorcerer and a Long-Haired Pretty Boy. But he's also a Manipulative Bastard who outsmarts King Laufey and Malekith, is able to overcome Odin with a Laser-Guided Amnesia spell and usurp the throne, and can even block Heimdall's Super Senses. A skilled Knife Nut, Loki has been repeatedly shown to be a very capable fighter.
  • Alliterative Name: Loki Laufeyson. He never uses the second part himself though.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: He's subjected to this before his Face–Heel Turn, although how much of the attitude Thor's friends have towards him is because he doesn't fit into the Asgardian idea of what's normal or because they had been burned by him before is never quite confirmed.
  • Always Second Best: Loki is repeatedly a victim to this. He has been constantly overshadowed by Thor since they were children.
    Loki: I remember a shadow, living in the shade of your greatness.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: He's a Frost Giant, meaning his true skin tone is blue, but this only appears when he's exposed to their power and when he's dead.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not clear how willingly Loki partnered with Thanos in The Avengers after his suicide attempt at the end of Thor landed him on Sanctuary. His actor said only that between Thor and The Avengers, he went "through the Seventh Circle of Hell" and had "several brushes with death" with only his wits to rely on to protect himself:
    Hiddleston: [Imagine] what it might be like to be [...] kidnapped by a terrorist cell or something, and have to survive a very, very frightening and precarious existence. [...] Whatever compassion he had left was absolutely shriveled to a minimum because of the experience that he'd had. Harrowing, I think, and scarring for life.
  • Ambition Is Evil: While he initially states that he never wanted the throne, he definitely gets a taste for it during his short rule in Thor. In The Avengers, Loki has a lot of ambition: he wants to be the King of Asgard, but he settles for taking over Earth as a substitute. This, of course, leads him to do some pretty evil stuff. In Ragnarok, he plots to stage an "accident" for the Grandmaster and seize Sakaar for himself.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!:
    • Thor: During the fight with his brother, Loki threatens to pay Jane Foster a "visit."
    • The Avengers: While being interrogated by the Black Widow, he vows to make a brainwashed Hawkeye, her old friend and comrade, kill her in the most sadistic manner possible, then give him his free will back just long enough to see what he's done before killing him, too. Natasha replies with You Monster!
  • Animal Motifs: In a deleted scene in Thor he casts an illusion to turn wine into three snakes, in The Avengers serpentine patterns (and a wolf's mask) are embossed on metal parts of his costume, and in Ragnarok Thor recalls how Loki transformed himself into a snake when he was eight. This stems from Norse Mythology, where both the world serpent Jörmungandr and the monstrous wolf Fenrir (who is redefined as Hela's pet in the MCU) are Loki's children.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
    • The Dark World: He knows how to get under Thor's skin, irritating the heck out of his brother with his shapeshifting pranks and being a snarky backseat driver to Thor while they're escaping Asgard on a stolen Dark Elf ship.
    • Ragnarok: Thor recalls that Loki, as a child, shape-shifted into a snake to surprise and then stab him. After Thor delivers to him a combo of Be Careful What You Wish For and Kirk Summation, Loki is starting to shift out of the annoying part.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He's this to Laufey, although the latter is unaware that the younger Prince of Asgard is actually the son he had abandoned as an infant.
  • Anti-Hero: Even after his Face–Heel Turn, Loki is not without heroic qualities. First shown in Thor: The Dark World, where he teamed up with Thor and Jane for his own cause, but still selflessly risked his life to save them both.
  • Anti-Villain: Loki is driven by the lack of love given by his family, and having lived his whole life with Odin never giving him the same love and affection that he gave Thor. Then he found out that he was adopted from an enemy race. His long term goal of winning approval from his adoptive father eventually drove him into insanity.
  • The Apprentice: We don't get to see it onscreen, but he was once Frigga's pupil in spell casting. By the time of Thor, Loki has already achieved the status of Master of Magic.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Thor. It's the "We're brothers!" angle that makes the conflict so personal and epic.
  • Arrow Catch: In The Avengers, Loki catches one of Hawkeye's arrows and turns to look at it with an incredibly smug look... until it literally blows up in his face a second later.
  • Arson Murder And Jay Walking: In Ragnarok, in the Asgardian play that Loki is watching as Odin (and wrote himself, as confirmed by Word of God), the in-universe actor who portrays him apologizes for his attempt to subjugate Earth, for stealing the Tesseract to open a portal and bring in the army of alien invaders... and for turning his brother Thor into a frog.
  • Attention Whore: Loki is utterly ravenous for attention. While he prefers it to be validation and affection he'll settle for fear and submission. Tony Stark lampshades this when he labels Loki as a "full-tilt diva." After he supplants Odin as the King of Asgard, Loki erects a huge statue in his own likeness and endorses a play that exaggerates his heroism on Svartalfheim.
  • Ax-Crazy: In The Avengers, Loki is much more violent and psychologically unstable. It's likely due to falling through the rift in space, causing him to "see things." Lampshaded by Bruce Banner:
    Banner: That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.
  • Backseat Driver: He plays up the "annoying kid brother" angle for all it's worth while he and Thor escape Asgard.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • He is a skilled magic user, and reading appears to be his pastime of choice while imprisoned in The Dark World — he appreciates the books given to him by Frigga. While promoting the movie, Tom Hiddleston had this to say about his character's lethal intelligence:
      Interviewer: So Thor has a hammer, and what does Loki carry with him to a fight?
      Hiddleston: His mind.
    • Although there are more powerful fighters in the MCU, he's still a lethal hand-to-hand fighter who was able to kill 80 people in 2 days as reported in The Avengers.
  • Badass Cape: Likes to add a cape to his outfit (usually a green one) when he's showing off.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Dresses impeccably when hiding amongst humans.
  • Badass Longcoat: If his ensemble isn't accompanied by a cape, then he'll add a long coat to it which is typically embellished with metallic pieces and/or green and gold accents.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Loki has always taken the "beautiful" part much more seriously than Thor or Odin. Loki's attire is noticeably more elaborate and flatters his statuesque frame leaving no doubt he's part of the ruling class. In The Dark World, Loki's Luxury Prison Suite and his Simple, yet Opulent prison uniform convey that he was once a member of Asgard's elite. In Ragnarok, he is shown being a Reclining Reigner with lovely female servants offering him Grapes of Luxury and wine.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played with. In Thor, Loki's lovely Raven Hair, Ivory Skin looks denote that he was once on the side of good before his Face–Heel Turn, and he's a sympathetic (if appallingly misguided) anti-villain. In The Avengers, he becomes an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, and his more sickly complexion conveys that he's an unsympathetic, malevolent villain. In The Dark World and Ragnarok, Loki appears healthy again, with his gorgeousness being emblematic of his potential for a Heel–Face Turn, and he's an anti-hero in both films. In Infinity War, his vulnerability and desperation in closeups are intensified because he's a Long-Haired Pretty Boy, and it makes his Heroic Sacrifice that much more grisly and disturbing.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Before entring the elevator in Ragnarok, he states that Odin's death should split him and Thor apart. He gets his wish moments later: Thor agrees that they should part ways as Loki always wanted. Loki is not happy about it.
  • Beneath the Mask: Takes great care in maintaining a confident, if not arrogant, facade to hide both his otherness and his insecurities. Beneath it, however, lies emotional desolation and a longing for acceptance that he is too prideful to openly admit. This is shown literally in The Dark World when Thor comes to visit him at his cell after Frigga's death. Loki dispels the illusion of his calm, confident self to show that he is sitting broken and disheveled on the floor and his cell is in shambles.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: In Thor — in sharp contrast to the other citizens of Asgard, who are loud and boisterous, Loki is initially soft-spoken and quiet. As it turns out, it does not make him any less dangerous.
  • Big Bad: In Thor, he's an Anti-Villain example. In The Avengers, he steals the Tesseract to take over Earth, but even then, he's simply delivering the Tesseract to Thanos in exchange for Earth.
  • Big Bad Friend: As his brother Thor finds out, his little brother is the cause of his trouble.
  • Big Bad Slippage: In Thor, he may have let the Frost Giants into Asgard in the first place, but that was more out of jealousy than actual evilness. He doesn't become an antagonist until he reveals this information to King Laufey and lets him into Asgard.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • The Dark World: Little brother in this case, when he saves Thor from Kurse.
    • Ragnarok: He comes to save Thor from their own older sister, Hela.
    • Infinity War: A terrified and broken Loki offers up both the Space Stone and his own life in order to save Thor from Thanos and the Black Order. No tricks this time, either.
  • Big Brother Worship: He adores his older brother for the first part of Thor. Also in Ragnarok, the possibility that Thor might be indifferent towards him visibly distresses Loki, and he has the proudest smile on his face when Thor unleashes the "biggest lightning bolt in the history of lightning."
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the third act of Ragnarok, he arrives with Korg, Miek and the rest of the rebel gladiators from Sakaar Just in Time to save Heimdall and the other Asgardians from Hela's troops.
  • Big Entrance:
    • The Avengers: His first appearance. A portal to the other side of the universe opens up in a crackle of blue lightning, and suddenly Loki is standing there in front of stunned S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Whom he promptly starts attacking.
    • Ragnarok: True to form, he makes sure to draw all the attention to himself when he returns to Asgard with the gladiators, standing on the ramp of the Statesman with his arms stretched out and loudly announcing his arrival.
  • Big "YES!": Loki's reaction in Ragnarok when Hulk starts to slam Thor to the ground during the match in the exact same manner that Hulk smashed puny Loki in The Avengers.
  • Black Sheep: Even before learning about his Jötunn roots, he has always considered himself a black sheep, even if no one else in his family did. The revelation of his actual parentage was the final push he needed to fully embrace his role as an outsider.
  • Black-Tie Infiltration: In The Avengers, Loki takes on the illusion of a tuxedo-wearing partygoer to infiltrate the museum gala and obtain the eye of a museum official to bypass the security system around a meteorite of rare metal.
  • Blade on a Stick: While Odin is in the Odinsleep, he uses Gungnir as both a scepter and a weapon. He takes a liking to it, as he later transforms his Chitauri scepter into a longer, bladed staff.
  • Blunt "Yes": Loki's reply in The Avengers when Thor asks whether he considers himself above the humans.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The Dark World: When Frigga asks, "Am I not your mother?", Loki hesitates for a full five seconds before he unconvincingly replies "You're not." The sad expression on his face and his reaching out for her hand afterwards prove that he doesn't mean it.
    • Ragnarok: Loki claims that he has never met Thor in his life, even though the Grandmaster had just caught the two of them whispering to each other.
    • Infinity War: Loki offers to Thanos his undying fidelity. Thanos sees through it and duly debunks the "undying" part.
  • Bling of War: His green-and-gold armor is magnificent to behold. It's more stylish than Thor's or Odin's, which is not surprising considering that Loki is a master of deception, so appearances are important to him. By Rangarok, however, his battle gear gets less shiny and more practical.
  • Blue Blood: No matter how you look at his family ties, he's the prince of something, whether it be Asgard or Jötunheim. He recognizes both his adoptive and biological backgrounds in Infinity War when he states that he's the Prince of Asgard and the rightful King of Jötunheim.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Growing up in Asgard, he was raised to fear and hate Frost Giants, so when he accidentally discovers that he is one, he is consumed by so much self-loathing that he attempts to wipe out every Jötunn in existence.
  • Boom Stick: His scepter in The Avengers fires blasts of blue energy, said to be using a similar type of blast as HYDRA's weapons in Captain America. Age of Ultron reveals that the gem in it was an Infinity Stone (the Mind Stone specifically), which means that potentially the weapon on its own is as powerful as the Tesseract.
  • Brainy Brunet: He's a master of magic, which makes him the equivalent of a Bookworm on Asgard because magic and science are the same thing in that realm.
  • Break the Haughty: In The Avengers, Bullying a Dragon gets him slammed into the ground by the Hulk. Loki is so stunned and hurt, that all he can do is lay motionless on the ground and emit a wail of misery. When all of the Avengers come after him, instead of making further claims of godhood, he quietly asks for a drink. By Ragnarok, Loki still remembers the lesson all too well.
  • Break Them by Talking: He really gets into it during The Avengers. Nick Fury, a crowd of Germans, Black Widow and the Hulk all get one... Though that last one didn't end so well for him.
  • Breakout Villain: He is the first villain in the MCU to get a continuing role beyond his first film and one of few antagonists to stay for more than two films (along with Thanos, Bucky and Nebula) and to evolve into an Anti-Hero. As the Big Bad of The Avengers, he was unquestionably the franchise's most famous villain until Phase 3. He was originally not going to appear in The Dark World at all, but his popularity gained him a role in it that was supposed to end in a permanent death. The actors played the death scene believing it was final, but after the audience refused to accept it at the test screenings, it was turned into yet another of Loki's tricks. The film crew also shot two extra scenes - Loki's trial and shapeshifting after being released. In March 2018, Loki was voted online as the most popular MCU character.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Given his natural cunning and charisma, Loki has shown various times to be a capable leader. However, Thor: Ragnarok shows him indulging himself in his own individual entertainment and pleasure, rather than take responsibility and lead Asgard.
  • Broken Bird: Learning about his true heritage messed him up, and then falling into the abyss made it worse.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In The Avengers, Tony Stark points out that Loki has met some of the most dangerous people on the planet and pissed off "every single one of them", and Loki retorts that was his plan. Later, he chooses to intentionally berate and antagonize the Hulk to his face. This earns him a Humiliation Conga that culminates in the Hulk beating it out of him by repeatedly slamming him into the floor.
  • Butt-Monkey: Although he's the Big Bad of The Avengers, Loki also slides into this role, especially towards the end of the film with many characters (like Hulk, Hawkeye, and even Coulson) getting in a good shot at his expense. It's even more apparent in Thor: Ragnarok, where a portion of the film's humor comes from Loki being physically abused or humiliated.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Quips at Odin this way in the Dark World:
    Loki: It's not that I don't love our little talks, it's just... I don't love them.
  • Byronic Hero: Loki is the embodiment of Byronic traits. He is physically attractive and charismatic, but struggles with his own personal integrity. He is intelligent, perceptive, sophisticated, educated, cunning and adaptable, but also self-centered seeing his values and passions as above others, manifesting as arrogance. He is is emotionally sensitive and conflicted and dwells on the perceived injustices of his life to the point of over-indulgence.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Thor's Abel complete with envy and (attempted) murder. It becomes Cain and Abel and Seth in Ragnarok when Big Bad Hela is revealed to be their older but estranged sister.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: After the events of Thor Loki stops calling Odin his father and in the next three films refers to him exclusively by name.
  • Captured on Purpose: In The Avengers, Loki makes no attempt to escape while Thor, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are fighting each other and waits patiently waits for them to finish. Lampshaded by Nick Fury once they get back to the Helicarrier:
    Thor: Loki is a prisoner.
    Nick Fury: Then why do I feel like he's the only person on this boat that wants to be here?
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: In Ragnarok, Loki has no desire to face off with Hela after she has shattered Thor's hammer Mjolnir and nearly killed both of them, and claims that he is better off staying on Sakaar. He even tries to betray Thor again, but is outwitted, subdued by a device that releases a neurotoxin, and left behind. In the end, when Hela's forces are about to overwhelm Asgardians on the Rainbow Bridge, Loki arrives on a spaceship with The Cavalry of Sakaaran gladiators to defend and evacuate the people, and to help Thor defeat Hela.
  • Character Development: Loki is one of the most Dynamic Characters in the entire MCU. In Thor film, he starts as a The Quiet One who Goes Mad From The Revelation that he was adopted from the Jötunn race, enemies to Asgard and monsters of children's stories. He then acts as an Anti-Villain and a Foil to his heroic brother. In The Avengers, he goes fully psychotic and becomes the Big Bad of the film. Shaken by his capture and the death of his mother, he turns into a reluctant Anti-Hero in The Dark World and temporarily sides with Thor. By Ragnarok, he is a Lovable Rogue who comes to save the day. In Infinity War, he ends up almost a martyr and dies a gruesome death for his brother.
  • Character Tics: He is fidgeting with his hands when nervous, a trait he shares with his adoptive mother.
  • The Charmer: As shown in Ragnarok, Loki using his charisma to obtain a favorable position is second nature for the Trickster. He is able to sweet talk his way into the Grandmaster's good graces and avoid being subjected to the gladiator games. Then later, he convinces Korg to let him take command of Korg's group of rebels by offering his leadership.
  • Charm Person: In The Stinger of Thor, Loki forces Dr. Erik Selvig do his bidding without the Chitauri scepter (Selvig doesn't have the Mind-Control Eyes associated with the Mind Stone, and Loki even has to touch him with the scepter in The Avengers to enslave Selvig's mind) via a Psychic Link. When Loki's "reflection" in the mirror whispers with a smirk, "Well, I guess that's worth a look," Selvig parrots his words and his grin.
  • The Chessmaster: He orchestrates all the events of Thor from behind the scenes, and initially toys with the Avengers to prevent them from uniting in their namesake movie.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Namely Asgard and Jötunheim. The fact that they hate each other messes him up royally.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor gives a brilliant Kirk Summation to Loki after he tries and fails to betray him during the escape from Sakaar, pointing out that Loki's treacherous and scheming nature has paradoxically made him predictable to a fault.
    • In Infinity War, he pledges "loyalty" to Thanos, intending to stab him, only for the Mad Titan to call his bluff and execute him with a Neck Snap.
  • Close-Range Combatant: From The Dark World onwards, Loki almost exclusively depends on daggers (and on one occasion, the sharp ends of his horned helmet) in battle—the lone exception is a Sakaaran laser rifle in Ragnarok. Since TDW marks the beginning of his redemption arc, it's part of his Character Development to vastly improve his prowess in hand-to-hand combat because melee warriors are deemed to be more "brave" and "forthright" in Asgard than "cowardly," "evasive" Long Range Fighters, which was previously Loki's specialty. He slays Dark Elves and Hela's undead soldiers with rapid stabbing motions, and he frequently blocks and dodges their attacks.
  • Color-Coded Characters: His apparel is green, gold, and/or black, and his hair is also black.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Loki is shown to be a big fan of using whatever means gives him an advantage in combat. He will often distract foes with illusions of himself and then shoot them from a safe distance.
  • Consummate Liar: Comes with the territory of being the God of Lies and Mischief. Lampshaded inThor when Thor notes he's always been a talented liar. This is right before Loki said he was glad to see Thor.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: In The Dark World, Loki helps Thor by impaling Kurse from behind and activating the black hole grenade on his belt. Kurse doesn't hesitate to turn around and impale Loki on the same blade that is still sticking out of his chest. Loki survives it.
  • Cool Helmet: It's gold and has long horns, and he's fond enough of it that the statue of himself erected on Asgard was specifically designed to feature it.
  • Country Matters: His notorious Curse of the Ancients in The Avengers: "This is my bargain, you mewling quim!"
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: A non-romantic example for his brother. He tries to rationalize why Thor is acting differently and he believes that it's all because of Jane. He planned to go after her once he was finished destroying the Ice Giants.
  • Crown of Horns: He wears a very ostentatious horned helmet. In Thor, it indicates his rank as a Prince of Asgard. In The Avengers, it represents his ambition to seize Earth and preside over it as its God-King. The helmet is absent in The Dark World after he was disowned by Odin but returns in Ragnarok after Odin reclaims Loki as his son, and Loki decides to rescue Asgard's survivors. His helmet in Ragnarok is more crown-like and more ornamental than his previous ones, which were more practical for battle. It's design is taken from Loki: Agent of Asgard and signifies his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Suffers the most gruesome death in Infinity War, as he is brutally choked to death by Thanos. With his bloodshot eyes and pale face, he definitely suffered a lot while being killed, even moreso than Thanos' other victims.
  • Cute Monster Boy: Loki was abandoned by the Frost Giant King Laufey for being too small. When Odin finds the crying and helpless infant, he resembles a blue human baby with raised lines on its skin. Although Odin had pragmatic reasons to adopt the offspring of an enemy, it's implied that he also took pity on the child as Loki was as cute as any other Asgardian baby. It's lampshaded in the play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard that Loki had in some way touched Odin's heart.

    Tropes D to F 
  • Dance Battler: In combat, his movements are always fluid and dance-like, and they're deliberately filmed to appear beautiful. In Thor he uses Gungnir as a pole to propel his body around in order to increase his momentum for a kick in the face. In Ragnarok's Final Battle Loki employs acrobatics to avoid being struck by a sword. Tom Hiddleston elaborates on his character's supple physicality in this interview:
    Hiddleston: Ken[neth Branagh] asked for me to be very lean and very strong at the same time. And he wanted me to develop a fighting style that would be much closer to, I don't know if you've heard about the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. If Thor was a big rock then Loki was like the wind. And he would just dance around this sturdy block of granite that was Thor. And so I developed a kind of fighting style that was much more balletic.
  • Dark Is Evil: While his full battle gear in the Avengers has a lot of green and gold, his basic Asgardian costume is mostly black, as is his hair, and he is the Ax-Crazy villain in the film.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In the third act of Ragnarok and Infinity War, his ensemble is mostly black with some green, and he has black hair. This is his darkest costume (barring Midgardian suits) in all appearances. Loki evacuates the populace of Asgard, saving them from Hela's Undead Mooks, and hours later, he dies defending Thor from Thanos.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Gender-inverted; he's a sorcerer who Desperately Craves Affection and who believes that his father loves him less than Thor. Loki yearns for Odin's approval while also being envious of his brother, who is a shining example of Asgardian manhood. Loki's strengths, cunning and magic (the latter is, appropriately for this trope, linked with femininity on Asgard), juxtapose Thor's brute force, and he utilizes them to antagonize his elder sibling.
  • Dark Messiah: Wants to save humanity from war in The Avengers... by conquering humanity.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a very dry wit in The Avengers and The Dark World. Downplayed in Thor and Ragnarok.
    • Thor: When Thor returns to Asgard:
      Thor: You're a talented liar, brother. Always have been.
      Loki: It's good to have you back. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to destroy Jotunheim. [blasts Thor through the wall with Gungnir]
    • The Avengers: The first conversation with Thor:
      Thor: [menacingly] You listen well, brother. I—
      [Iron Man flies by at high speed and disappears with Thor in his grasp]
      Loki: [now alone on the cliff] I'm listening.
    • The Dark World: When Thor inadvertently cuts off the head of Bor's statue with the wing of his ship:
      Loki: Well done, you just decapitated your grandfather!
    • Ragnarok: Before the Climactic Elevator Ride:
      Thor: Hey, listen, we should talk.
      Loki: I disagree. Open communication was never our family's forte.
  • Deal with the Devil: His arrangement with Thanos to have the Chituari army in exchange for the Tesseract. It's ambiguous how willingly he agreed to deal or who sought out who.
  • Death Glare:
    • Thor: Loki gives a menacing one to Sif in the throne room while he leans slightly forward in her direction. His eyes and body language says, "I dare you to talk back to your king."
    • Ragnarok: He's infuriated by Skurge's incompetence and glowers at his underling for failing to notify him of Thor's arrival to Asgard. The look is accompanied by a Finger Wag.
      Loki: You had one job, just the one!
  • Death Seeker: Downplayed in The Dark World, where he isn't particularly concerned if he lives or dies anymore. Sif, Volstagg, and Thor make it perfectly clear that they have no problem killing him if he betrays them again. Loki just laughs it off. He also encourages Odin to execute him sooner rather than later.
    Loki: If I'm for the axe, then for mercy's sake, just swing it.
  • Defiant to the End: In Infinity War, with his last breath, he utters that Thanos will never be a god..
  • Deflector Shields: Loki displays this ability when he pulls up a small magical one to protect his face when S.H.I.E.L.D. agents shoot at him at the beginning of The Avengers.
  • Demoted to Extra: He's an important secondary character in Thor, The Avengers, The Dark World and Ragnarok, but his screen time is only about 3 minutes and 15 seconds in Infinity War.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Odin's "No, Loki" has this effect on his son. Loki allows himself to be sucked into the void of space... making it a literal despair event horizon.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: On the one hand, he's a conniving, power-hungry liar. On the other hand, he's a deeply damaged young man who's convinced he's The Un-Favourite, especially after finding out he was not only adopted, but from an enemy race, and is desperate for his father's approval and affection. It's made even sadder because he already had his father's acceptance and fondness, but convinced himself otherwise.
  • Deuteragonist: After Thor himself, the morally ambiguous Loki is the most important character in the Thor films.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He never considers the difficulties involved in conquering, pacifying, and occupying Earth. He thinks if he just brings in an army, the humans will fall in line and submit to him, ignorant of Earth's military forces, the members of the Avengers, and who-knows-what-else including the other Asgardians, that will want to have words with him once the Chitauri leave. Even if his invasion succeeded, it never would have lasted. Lampshaded by Tony.
    Tony Stark: You're missing the point! There's no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it's too much for us, but it's all on you. Because if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: In Thor's arms in The Dark World. However, it turns out that he was faking it.
  • Dies Wide Open: His corpse's eyes stare open after Thanos snaps his neck in Infinity War. This is in contrast to The Dark World where he closes his eyes when he fakes his death.
  • Disney Villain Death: Falling from the Rainbow Bridge was how he ended Thor. Subverted, as he survives to be the Big Bad of The Avengers.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His plot to take control of Earth in The Avengers is largely driven by jealousy and resentment towards his adoptive brother Thor, as well as rage at being deceived about his true ancestry. He wants to subjugate the entire population of Earth — a planet which Thor treasures and protects — thereby wiping out many of the people that Thor cares about. In addition, Loki feels that he was cheated out of his rightful place as the ruler of Asgard.
    Thor: So you take the world I love as recompense for your imagined slights?
  • Dissonant Laughter: He's seen giggling, if not outright laughing, in clear contrast to his tumultuous emotional state, but in different ways:
    • In the climax of Thor, it's used as a unnerving instance of Laughing Mad — it represents him being so lost that his emotions are all over the place, and in conjunction with his increasing mood swings, shows that he's losing his mind.
    • In contrast, The Avengers uses it as one of the only real signs of his softer traits. Loki attempts to cover up situations and feelings that he would rather not acknowledge (like Thor's repeated attempts to reach out to him) with quips and nervous, often dissonant Mirthless Laughter. He also uses it as a show of bravado in the face of being surprised or intimidated.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In The Dark World, he watches calmly as Kurse frees the other prisoners while waiting for him to make his way to his own cell. When Kurse leaves him locked up, Loki is later seen quietly reading while sitting against the wall, even as there's a massive brawl a foot away on the other side of the force field.
  • Diving Save:
    • The Dark World: Loki is on the receiving end. Thor pushes him out of being sucked into a black hole in the last nick of time.
    • Infinity War: Loki pushes Thor out of Thanos's grip so that the Hulk can take care of Thanos.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: One of Loki's fighting techniques is to create illusions of himself to distract his opponent.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: In Ragnarok, he poses as The Dragon to the Grandmaster of Sakaar. Of course, Loki being Loki, he only manipulated his way up there to be spared of the Grandmaster's slave games, and to procure a position of power where can then overthrow the Grandmaster once it's convenient.
  • Drink Order: In Ragnarok, he sips wine while posing as Odin, which is appropriately kingly, and later, Loki is twice seen with a Sakaaran martini to enhance his aura of sophistication among the Grandmaster's entourage.
  • Driven to Suicide: He lets go of the Bifröst by the end of Thor, but he survives.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: After all of his fake-out deaths and surprise returns, he finally dies less than ten minutes into Infinity War when Thanos unceremoniously crushes his neck.
  • Dual Wielding: In Ragnarok he fights with two daggers.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Before his fall from grace, he would often be (gently) mocked by Thor and his friends, or have his advice ignored with a curt "know your place." It doesn't help his already fragile self-esteem. And when he does become king, Heimdall, Lady Sif, and the Warriors Three disobey his commands.
  • The Dutiful Son: In the first Thor film as opposed to the reckless Thor. In a deleted scene, Frigga tells Loki that he's a good son.
  • Easily Forgiven: In Ragnarok the Asgardians aren't that angry at him even after duping them as "Odin" for years. Thor treats his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder as expected behavior. Justified as Thor takes Loki away from Asgard right after exposing him, and when Loki returns it's as a genuine hero saving his people, rather than the fake hero of his propaganda play.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: This is especially prominent in The Avengers, where his "exile" has left him a pallid, twitchy mess ready and eager to subjugate an entire planet. In the other movies, though, he's an appealing man with Raven Hair, Ivory Skin.
  • Enemy Mine: Thor comes to him for help to stop Malekith in The Dark World, much to Loki's amusement. They're forced to work together again in Ragnarok after Hela invades Asgard.
  • Enfant Terrible: Played for Laughs. In Ragnarok, Thor tells a story of Loki disguising himself as a snake, luring Thor to pick him up and stabbing him when they were eight. His delivery and Loki's reaction, though, show that both of them consider it to be a rather harmless prank. Justified, since they're Asgardians.
  • Engineered Heroics: In Thor, Loki's plan is to allow Laufey to get close the sleeping Odin and then kill him to look like a hero in front of his adopted father. He almost succeeds, but then Thor shows up to call out his bluff.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He never stops loving his mother Frigga. After his descent into madness, this is the only genuine emotion he has left aside from rage. In his first scene in The Dark World, Loki puts on a contemptuous facade, but his mask slips when Odin informs him that he will never see Frigga again; he then stumbles as he's being led away by the guards. Furthermore, he has no problem with yelling out that Odin is not his father, but when Frigga asks if she's not his mother then, Loki, although he does answer that she isn't, hesitates so much at first that his eyes become wet with tears. He is grieving after her death to the point of trashing his cell and becoming completely disheveled, and would stop at nothing to avenge her.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: His family and friends are devastated when they believe he is dead at the end of Thor. And in The Dark World, he gets regular visits from his mother who still loves him sincerely.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's proven in Thor: The Dark World that he still loves his brother Thor when he saves his life from Kurse. Then in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos threatens to murder Thor if Loki doesn't give him the Tesseract. Loki tries to call his bluff, but when Thanos starts burning Thor's face with the Power Stone, Loki begs him to stop and complies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a strange sense in that it overlaps with Kick the Dog — when Thor tells Loki killing the humans will bring him nothing and offers his life if he spares them, Loki kills him, but the Destroyer turns and start to leave, so Loki was keeping true to his side of Thor's deal.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: He catches the eye of the Grandmaster, who is a Depraved Bisexual.
  • Evil Brit: In The Avengers. In the Thor films, he's just one of many RP-speaking Asgardians.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Frigga in Thor. They're linked through their femininity, as she's the lone woman in the royal family and he's an androgynous man. Frigga is happy being the Queen consort of Asgard with a supporting role in her husband's reign, whereas Loki is miserable having to play second fiddle to Thor, the Crown Prince. Loki's envy and resentment towards his brother eventually lead him to commit fratricide (although the enchantment Odin had placed on Mjölnir revives Thor), while Frigga is devoted to Odin and protects him from Laufey's mook.
  • Evil Former Friend: Becomes this for his brother Thor and his former comrades Sif and The Warriors Three by the time of The Avengers.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: He comes from the race of Frost Giants who have Elemental Powers over ice and whose homeworld is a frozen wasteland. Blink-and-You-Miss-It, but in The Avengers the heat signature detector in his Glassy Prison shows that he has a low body temperature. He is also the Big Bad of Thor and The Avengers. Subverted from The Dark World onward as he gradually drops the "Evil" part.
  • Evil Plan:
    • Thor: His plan was to keep his then-Jerkass brother off the throne and earn Odin's respect.
    • The Avengers: It was to conquer Earth to prove himself a king even greater than his father.
  • The Evil Prince:
    • Subverted in Thor. Loki shows all signs of being the evil prince, who wants his brother and father out of the way so that he can have the throne, except for one thing: he doesn't want the throne. He never intended for Thor to be banished to Earth or for Odin to fall into the Odinsleep. After they do, it just drops into his hands. His genuine puzzlement when Frigga orders Gungnir, the symbol of kingship, to be handed to him as the Spare to the Throne in a deleted scene, and his Motive Rant during the fight with Thor prove it.
    • Played straight in The Avengers, where Loki tells Thor and the Other that he was and should be the king of Asgard, and in The Dark World, where he ousts Odin and impersonates him in order to usurp the throne.
  • The Evils of Free Will: "Freedom is life's great lie." In The Avengers, he declares his intent to make Earth's population "free from freedom." This is a very different characterization than in either Thor, The Dark World or Ragnarok, where he vastly prefers to manipulate rather than dominate: it could be a result of his Fantastic Racism toward humanity, but it's more likely a result of his merely being a catspaw of another villain who does have this philosophy.
  • Evil Sorcerer: His abilities are referred to as "magic." Even among powerful Asgardians (such as the all-seeing, all-hearing Heimdall, whose Super Senses Loki can shield himself from), the extent of Loki's sorcery skills is not fully understood.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Downplayed; he sometimes speaks with a light rasp in his voice, especially when he wants to unnerve someone.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Loki starts off with tidy hair that doesn't reach his shoulders during Thor. When he returns as a would-be world conqueror in The Avengers, his hair is quite a bit longer and noticeably uncared for indicating that his time in the void left him considerably less stable and he is more of a straight-up villain rather than a sympathetic Anti-Villain. Come The Dark World, Loki's hair becomes more orderly while in captivity, but is longer to denote the passage of time. After Frigga's death, he becomes very disheveled due to grief. In Ragnarok, his hair is more curly than in previous appearances, giving him a softer look.
  • The Face: Before his Face–Heel Turn, he was the diplomat in Thor's group of warriors. The others remark on his silver tongue, and he's the one who does the negotiation in Laufey's court.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Even though he always had a knack for mischief, Loki Used to Be a Sweet Kid, and it is implied that for centuries before the events of Thor, he was The Lancer who fought alongside his brother. It is his act of letting three Frost Giants into Asgard on Thor's coronation day that started his Slowly Slipping Into Evil, and the subsequent Reveal of his Jötunn ancestry accelerated his descent into villainy.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: In Thor, he has a boyish, youthful, innocent-looking visage, and he's a Boomerang Bigot who attempts to annihilate the entire Jötunn species. After Thor has thwarted his plans and they're both hanging off the edge of what remains of the Rainbow Bridge, Loki glances up at Odin with Puppy-Dog Eyes, and in spite of the genocide that Loki had just tried to commit, his facial features are still childlike, which conveys visually that deep down, he's a love-starved boy who wishes for nothing more than to earn his father's respect and affection. When Odin expresses his disappointment at his adopted son's actions, a heartbroken Loki then releases his grip on Gungnir, and he almost literally becomes a Fallen Angel—he's a god who has fallen from grace and from the heavens (Asgard), and plunges into an abyss (a hell of sorts).
  • Face Palm: Makes a classic one near the beginning of Thor when his brother decides to journey to Jötunheim. Bonus points for it being a pretense because Loki himself just subtly manipulated Thor to make this decision.
  • Facial Dialogue: When he and Thor come after Odin in Ragnarok, Loki resorts to communicating non-verbally. The only word he says until Hela's arrival is "brother" after Odin's death. The rest of his "replies" are looks of surprise and pained recognition when Odin welcomes his sons and says that he loves them both, to slightly shaking his head to tell "this isn't me" when asked to lift his magic, to the "I don't know" look when Thor silently inquires about Hela, or the Meaningful Look between Loki and Thor when they decide to put aside their differences once their sister shows up.
  • Fake Defector: Loki makes a habit of this.
    • Thor: He tricks his biological father Laufey into believing that Loki wants him to kill his adoptive father Odin, only to make Laufey venture into Asgard relatively unguarded and kill Laufey himself.
    • The Dark World: He magicks up an illusion that he cut off Thor's hand and roughly hands Jane over to Malekith, but this was all a ploy to lower Malekith's guard and get the Aether in the air so Thor could destroy it.
    • Infinity War: He pretends to offer his loyalty to Thanos as a ploy to get close enough to kill him. Thanos sees straight through it, and isn't having it.
  • Fake King: In the Dark World, Loki strips Odin of his memories and banishes him to Midgard. For the next four years, he rules Asgard while impersonating his father, until in Ragnarok Thor arrives to put an end to his negligence, self-aggrandizement and poorly enacted plays.
  • Faking the Dead: He successfully fakes his own death near the end of The Dark World, and manages to rule Asgard for four years while disguised as Odin. By Ragnarok, however, Thor's caught on to him. That statue of himself was probably a bit too much.
  • Fallen Hero: It goes without saying that Loki more than likely fought alongside Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three in countless battles and adventures, performing innumerable deeds of great valor and sharing the glory, wine, and laughter of victory with his now-former friends. Even after the events of Thor, they still mourn his "death." It isn't until the events of The Avengers that cause his entire fall from grace.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: His death in Infinity War is one of the most graphic and brutal in the MCU: Thanos effortlessly lifts him up by his neck and chokes him, treating audiences (and Thor) to a real time view as his thrashing gets weaker and weaker until it finally stops altogether. His eyes are watery, and even bulge. Thanos then snaps his neck for good measure. Worse, Thanos' reaction is positively chilling: he smiles as he watches Loki struggles weaken and purposely holds Thor's gaze as he dumps his brother's wide-eyed, broken-necked corpse at his feet.
  • Famous Last Words: He's taken a liking to it:
    Loki: I could have done it, Father! I could have done it! For you! For all of us! (to Odin in Thor)
    Loki: I didn't do it for him. (to Thor about Odin in The Dark World)
    Loki: You... will never be... a god. (to Thanos in Infinity War)
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • He was raised by Asgardians who tell their children stories of Always Chaotic Evil races they've subdued, such as Frost Giants or Dark Elves. Then in Thor he learns that he is one of those and Odin lied to him for centuries to "protect him from the truth". He reacts with I Am a Monster and attempts to murder all other Jotunns with the Bifrost. By Ragnarok he tries to reframe his origin as something positive — in his play he is shown as a Cute Monster Boy turned fictional hero. The viewers don't mind it.
    • In The Avengers, Loki believes himself above humans of Earth who "were made to be ruled" and calls them ants. This likely stems from the patronizing attitude common among the Asgardians — Thor admits that they "pretend they are more advanced", and when influenced by Loki's scepter muses on how humans "are so petty and tiny", and in the Dark World Odin says that fleeting human lives "are nothing" and compares Jane to a goat at a banquet table. Being defeated and humiliated by said ants and spending a year in the dungeons change Loki's mind — by Ragnarok he no longer claims superiority.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: All his outfits are asymmetrical to some degree, except when he is wearing a Midgardian suit or his royal armour in Thor. Notably, his later outfits in Ragnarok are the ones with the least asymmetrical elements.
  • Fastball Special: In Ragnarok, Loki pretends to be injured only for Thor to hurtle him at the unsuspecting guards, knocking them all unconscious. It's implied they've done "Get Help" multiple times before even as Loki is vocal that he hates the trick.
  • Final Solution: In Thor, Loki attempts to use the Bifrost to destroy Frost Giants, who are mostly portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil. Thor stops him by destroying the Bifrost.
  • Fingerless Gloves: In Ragnarok, he sports a pair on Sakaar and in the third act when he returns to Asgard.
  • Foil:
    • To his adoptive brother, Thor, in general. Loki is a Pretty Boy and a Byronic Hero with Raven Hair, Ivory Skin wielding magic and daggers, who is The Un-Favourite, grows into a scheming Prince (and later a Fake King), becomes the antagonist, then an Anti-Hero, and ultimately redeems his misdeeds with a Heroic Sacrifice. Thor, by comparison, is a Hunk and a Boisterous Bruiser with a Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold wielding a hammer, who is the favored son, grows into a Prince Charming (and later The Good King), becomes The Hero and has the acceptance and respect of his people and friends.
    • To the rest of the Avengers in The Avengers. Loki has traits that resonate or clash with all of them. He is clever and loves theatrics (Tony Stark), blatantly disregards human life and freedom (Steve Rogers), lacks empathy (Black Widow), manipulates emotions (Bruce Banner), and disregards free will (Hawkeye).
    • To Hela in Ragnarok. Both are ambitious children of Odin who feel betrayed by their father and committed atrocities as retribution for being wronged. They have the same fashion sense and flair for the dramatic. But Hela takes over Asgard by force and ruthlessly kills everyone who openly opposes her, while Loki becomes a Fake King through trickery, exiles those suspicious of him and tries to get good publicity with overacted plays. Hela would conquer countless worlds, while Loki doesn't bother even with the Nine Realms. Hela never learns to care for others, while Loki eventually redeems himself.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Initially, Loki was the responsible to Thor's foolish. Loki — although younger — was the bookish, reasonable, responsible brother who was implied to regularly attempt to talk sense to a Thor who was childish, reckless, and volatile. However, it gets swapped throughout Thor. Thor's time on Midgard as a mortal mellows him out and he matures into a Wise Prince while Loki's insecurities lead him to attempt a plot that backfires horribly on him, and it begins his path on self-destruction and villainy.
  • Forced to Watch: In Infinty War, Thanos makes him watch his brother Thor being tortured in front of him. Loki caves in to Thanos's demands to stop the torture.
  • For the Evulz: Nick Fury notes that he "kills 'cause it's fun."
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Fans learned this the hard way in Hall H of the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, where Loki was on stage and addressed them directly, much to the crowd's excitement. In this appearance, he is Giving the Crowd the Pointer Finger, asks "Where are your Avengers now?" and makes fans Say His Name four times in a row.
    Loki: It seems I have an army.
  • Freudian Excuse: In Thor, he is revealed to be adopted. What is more, he comes from the race of Frost Giants, who are sworn enemies to Asgard, and his biological father and their king, Laufey, abandoned Loki as a child and left him to die for being too small. This combined with Odin's favoritism of Thor messes Loki up royally.

    Tropes G to L 
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Ragnarok: By the denouement, Loki replaces his deceased mother Frigga as the crafty, beautiful, graceful, Master of Illusion royal family member who assists the King of Asgard in ruling and defending their subjects and is loved and respected by them.
    • Infinity War: Loki shares Frigga's fate— both die protecting another person (Jane, Thor), both briefly use illusions (to conceal Jane, to hide a dagger), both attempt to take on a much stronger foe (Kurse, Thanos) with a short sword/dagger, both have their quick attack repulsed, and both are Defiant to the End: "I'll never tell you" / "You will never be a god."
  • Genocide from the Inside: After Loki finds out that he is actually an abandoned Frost Giant prince adopted by Odin, he murders his biological father and tries to exterminate his own race to prove himself a worthy prince of Asgard. Odin is absolutely horrified.
  • Glamour Failure: Whenever he comes into contact with the Frost Giant's power, his true heritage shows.
  • Glassy Prison: Loki tends to wind up in those. In The Avengers, he is detained in a glassy Tailor-Made Prison for the Hulk, while in The Dark World, he is secluded in a Luxury Prison Suite with a transparent Force-Field Door.
  • A God Am I: Styles himself as the God-King of Earth in The Avengers. While he has some basis to claim this, he is the only Asgardian that puts on airs.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: His costumes in the first three films, especially his full battle gear, have a lot of golden elements, he wears a golden helmet and wields golden weapons (Odin's Gungnir, Chitauri scepter) to demonstrate his perceived superiority. In Ragnarok and Infinity War his costumes have hardly any gold on them, and even the helmet becomes light and ornamental to signify his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: According to the Word of God, in The Dark World he spends a year in the dungeons. And Frigga is the only one secretly visiting him. In a deleted scene, Loki fantasizes about being crowned the King of Asgard while holding Mjölnir. He breaks the illusion only when Frigga asks whether it helps him feel better and warns him against forgetting what is real. It gets worse when he is left completely alone after her death. When Thor finally arrives and makes him dispel yet another illusion, Loki is revealed to be in shambles. He also gets extremely talkative after Thor sets him free, a common behavior after being released from solitary confinement.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Learning the Awful Truth of his true parentage causes any jealousy and insignificance he feels towards Thor to explode into full-blown madness, which further fuels his desire for acknowledgment from Odin to a maniacal degree.
  • Good Counterpart: To Hela in Ragnarok. She's what Loki would become if he lacked or rejected his redeeming qualities and allowed ambitions to consume him. Had Loki succeeded in invading New York, he would likely turn into her copy.
  • Graceful Loser: When he's finally defeated by the Avengers, he accepts his defeat and asks for the drink Tony had offered him earlier.
  • Grapes of Luxury: In Ragnarok, Loki impersonating Odin watches a play in his own honor while leaning on a couch and eating grapes, with five young female Asgardians at his side. That bastard!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: While it's not his motivation, Loki is consumed by his envy of Thor and has a heck of a time hiding it in the first act of Thor.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Gender-flipped; in his Frost Giant form, Loki is a lot more attractive than the grotesque, monstrous-looking members of his race. Another way to look at this is that Colm Feore (who portrayed Laufey) is wholly unrecognizable with the make-up and prosthetics, yet Tom Hiddleston's prettiness remains even when we see Loki with red eyes and raised patterns on his blue skin. Interestingly, this is consistent with his depiction in Norse Mythology; Loki is the sole male Giant who is "pleasing and handsome" while the other men of his kind are extremely repulsive.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: The brunet to Thor's blond.
  • Hammerspace: Loki uses it to keep the Casket of Ancient Winters in Thor (after he takes it from the vault) and the Tesseract in Infinity War.
  • Hannibal Lecture: During The Avengers, he tears into Black Widow while imprisoned on the Helicarrier. It must run in the family.
  • Happily Adopted: The fact that he's not their "real" child has no effect on Odin, Frigga, or Thor's love for him, nor on his for them.note  The only thing that changes when he learns the truth is his perception of their love for him, with tragic results. And no matter what, he still calls himself Loki of Asgard.
  • Have You Come to Gloat?: Loki's histrionic reaction when Thor turns up in The Dark World to free him in exchange for his help. Accompanied by Reverse Arm-Fold to create extra impression of confidence. Thor doesn't buy it for a second.
  • The Heavy: In The Avengers, he's an errand boy retrieving the Tesseract for Thanos and ordered around by The Other.
    Banner: [Thanos] sent Loki. The attack on New York, that's him.
  • The Hedonist: During his stint as Odin, Loki takes the time to live out an opulent lifestyle rather than take the responsibilities as king, erecting statues of himself and watching commemorative plays of his staged Heroic Sacrifice.
    Thor: Enemies of Asgard assembling, plotting our demise, all while you "Odin", protector of those Nine Realms, are sitting here in your bathrobe eating grapes.
  • Heel–Face Mole: In Ragnarok, Loki pretends to betray the Grandmaster after losing the latter's favour. He leads Thor to the Grandmaster's ships only to activate the alarms so as to get the reward for Thor's capture. Thor sees through it early enough to thwart his attempt.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Loki frequently shifts between these two roles. His fall into the void kept him firmly on the heel side throughout the The Avengers. As the Thor trilogy progressed, it was really only a matter of when. By Ragnarok Thor is even able to factor Loki's behavior into his plans. This is lampshaded in Ragnarok.
    Banner: ...So, last time I saw you, you were trying to kill everyone. Where are you at these days?
    Loki: It varies from moment to moment.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of Ragnarok, he's finally gotten his act together and is on better terms with Thor. But since this is Loki, whether or not it'll stick is another matter entirely... In Infinity War, he stays on his brother's side right until his death at the hands of Thanos, who killed him because Loki pretended to want to join the Mad Titan's forces so he could sneak attack and kill him.
  • Heel Realization: Has one near the end of Thor: Ragnarok when Thor berates him for being such a constant traitor to the point of said betrayals being inevitable and easy to see. Thor telling him that while he'll always be the God of Mischief, he could be more has gotten through to him that he can either change or stagnate and get left behind as his brother has grown beyond maintaining their feud for the sake of it.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: He wears black (and occasionally blue) leather costumes, loose or skintight, in all films.
  • Heritage Face Turn: Inverted. As a child Loki harbors curiosity rather than hate towards the Frost Giants. When he finds out he is a Jotunn himself, he decries them as a race of monsters and attempts to kill them all to prove himself worthy of being the King of Asgard.
  • Heroic Ambidexterity: In Thor, The Avengers and The Dark World he holds weapons in his right hand, in Ragnarok he is Dual Wielding, and in Infinity War he holds the dagger in his left hand when he attacks Thanos.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Dark World: He is nearly sucked into a mini-black hole after he pushes Jane away from the grenade's path; Thor saves him in the nick of time. Loki then appears to have died defending his brother from Kurse's brutal beating, but it turns out that the stab wound he received wasn't fatal.
    • Infinity War: He lays down his life for his brother. Thanos strangles him in a horrifying and very graphic fashion to bring the point home — no resurrections this time.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: Loki doesn't say it in Ragnarok, but his "Beg your pardon?!" means it when Hela orders him and Thor to kneel.
  • Hide Your Otherness: After he discovers that he's a Jötunn, he never deactivates his Asgardian Glamour because he was raised by his adoptive society to hate and fear Frost Giants, and thus he's ashamed of his true lineage and doesn't want to look like a "race of monsters." Moreover, having been wholly assimilated into Asgardian culture, maintaining his Asgardian veneer is his way of proving to others that he's still very much a citizen of Asgard despite his alien background.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Loki never quite fit in, and The Reveal of being adopted from a race of "monsters" made him struggle with his personal identity. This drives much of his actions, from the horrific attempt to prove himself to Odin in Thor, to invading Earth as a "recompense for imagined slights" in The Avengers, to commissioning a play as a means of self-aggrandizement in Ragnarok. Only by Infinity War did he find peace. His actor explains it this way:
    Interviewer: What's there left for Loki to conquer?
    Hiddleston: His own mind, I think. (...) All these motivations were actually misguided. Needing to be king, needing the love of his father. And actually, it's something in himself, this kind of self-rejection or self-disgust that he hasn't fully realized. He hasn't just relaxed into it, you know.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: In Infinity War, Loki has to choose between the Tesseract and his brother's life. He pretends not to care for Thor, then attempts to Take a Third Option by announcing Hulk's attack, but neither works. Loki then tosses the cube aside and rushes to shield Thor.
  • Humans Are Insects: In The Avengers, he is convinced that humans are beneath him:
    Nick Fury: We have no quarrel with your people.
    Loki: An ant has no quarrel with a boot.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • The Avengers: After his murder of Phil Coulson brings the Avengers together as a team, Loki is obligingly served with Humble Pies: dying Coulson says that he "lacks conviction" and blasts him through a wall; Tony Stark delivers him "The Reason You Suck" Speech, mocks him when his attempt to brainwash Tony fails ignominiously and knocks him down with a blast; Thor beats him and forces him to flee; Hawkeye shoots him down with an explosive arrow; Hulk thoroughly smashes him around like a rag doll and calls him a "Puny God"; all of the Avengers come to glower at him crawling painfully on the floor; and in the end Thor shoves him, now Bound and Gagged, before they use the Tesseract to return to Asgard...
    • The Dark World: .. and it doesn't stop there: back in Asgard, Odin tells him that his birthright was to die and disowns him as a son; sentences him to life imprisonment; and officially forbids him to see his mother, the only person who cares about him at this point, ever again.
  • I Am a Monster: He believes so after discovering his origins.
    Loki: What, because I... I... I am the monster parents tell their children about at night?
  • I Am What I Am:
    • Downplayed in Thor: Ragnarok, where he starts to realize this. With his play he openly admits that he is a Jotunn and frames it in a positive light. Before the elevator scene he also refers to himself as a "son of the crown", which is one step short of saying that he is Odin's son.
    • By Avengers: Infinity War he has finally found self-acceptance. Shortly before his death, he acknowledges that he isn't Asgardian and is indeed the rightful King of Jötunheim, as Odin had always intended, but at the same time, he understands that this does not change the fact that he's an Odinson and the Prince of Asgard.
  • I Am Who?: He's actually a Jötunn and Laufey's son, rescued from Jötunheim when Odin last defeated the Frost Giants. He doesn't take The Reveal well.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: He calls himself "son of Odin" in Thor before he kills Laufey. After Odin disapproves of his actions, he stops using the patronymic for the next three films, introducing himself as "Loki of Asgard" (to Nick Fury in The Avengers), simply Loki (to Jane in The Dark World) or "Loki of Jotunnheim" (to Malekith when pretending to betray Thor). He calls himself "Odinson" once again in Infinity War before he dies.
  • Ice King: Almost literally. When he's not being snarky or having a breakdown, he behaves in a rather aloof, proud and cool manner.
  • An Ice Person: Starts using the Casket of Ancient Winters, a relic of the Frost Giants, in Thor after he discovers that he is one of them: Loki immobilizes Heimdall with a Freeze Ray from it and covers the Bifrost activation device in ice so that it can't be turned off.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: When he's up to no good, his blue irises take on a very cold sheen.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Uses this when explaining to Odin why he attacked Earth in the Thor: The Dark World Prelude.
  • I Fell for Hours: Dr. Strange has a fair idea what Loki can do, so in Ragnarok, he neutralizes him in a pocket plane while he's talking to Thor. When Loki is finally released and crashes on to the floor, he gets pretty mad:
    Loki: I have been falling for thirty minutes!
  • Ignored Epiphany: A recurring element of The Avengers is Thor trying to reach out to his brother in the hopes of inducing a Heel–Face Turn, like mentioning that Asgard had mourned his "death" or pointing out the destruction of the Chitauri invasion, that leaves Loki taken aback, before he brushes it off and doubles down on his plans.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Loki's underlying motivation is to be loved by his adoptive family and the Asgardian people.
    • Thor: His desire to be loved is strongly intertwined with jealousy to Thor. He outright states this:
      Loki: I never wanted the throne! I only ever wanted to be your equal!
    • Ragnarok: His play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard is a means to get affection and admiration, even if not genuine. As the story progresses, Loki receives everything that he craves even more than a throne: Odin reclaims him as a son and compliments Loki on his Laser-Guided Amnesia enchantment, the populace of Asgard is grateful when Loki arrives to save them from Hela, and Thor reconciles with him. This means so much to Loki that he'd rather die as an Odinson than betray Thor again in Infinity War.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Grew up knowing that Thor was destined to be the King of Asgard, and he would just Thor's little brother with nothing particularly glorious in his future. Forging a peace between Asgard and the Frost Giants was not his idea of being "special." This is especially pronounced in Ragnarok, where as "Odin" he commissioned both a statue of Loki and a play honoring Loki's heroism during The Dark World.
  • Immune to Bullets: Bullets don't affect him, as demonstrated in The Avengers. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents might as well be shooting at thin air.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • The Avengers: Loki impales Coulson with a spear through his chest. The scene was heavily edited to avoid the R rating. Coulson actually survives it, although this is never revealed in the films.
    • The Dark World: Loki pulls this on Kurse only for Kurse to pull it on him. Loki survives it.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He seldom misses his target with throwing knives, energy blasts from Gungnir or the Chitauri scepter, and a laser rifle on Sakaar. Individual Jötnar and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, the helicopter with Nick Fury, the jet with Cap, Natasha and Hawkeye, plus a couple of cars are struck down with a single shot.
  • Improvised Weapon: Weaponized Headgear. When he loses one of his daggers during the Final Battle in Ragnarok, he substitutes it with the sharp ends of his horned helmet, effectively taking down Hela's undead soldiers with them.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He chooses to deal with his crippling self-worth issues by trying to blow up/subjugate worlds. If you want to see him lose his cool, try challenging his power and/or authority and watch him shout you down with declarations of how great and powerful he is. This is evident in several scenes in The Avengers; the less control he has, the louder and angrier he becomes.
    Thor: Who showed you this power? Who controls the would-be king?!
    Loki: I am a king!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Tony offers Loki a drink, which he rejects. After his defeat, he decides to take him up on his offer.
  • Informed Ability:
    • Overall, his informed proficiency with magic is higher than demonstrated onscreen. He is referred to as a "master of magic" in Thor and makes a derisive comment towards Doctor Strange as "second-rate" in Ragnarok, but in his appearances, Loki is a Master of Illusion with some Psychic Powers who is weak in comparison to the Reality Warpers of Earth note  or Scarlet Witch with her strong Psychic Powers.
    • In Ragnarok, Thor recounts how Loki once transformed himself into a snake when they were kids. He never uses this ability onscreen.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Loki's motivation in The Avengers follows as this — he wants to conquer Earth, because if humans are too busy worshipping him, they won't be fighting any wars. He never really figured that they just might be warring against him. Thor calls him out on this during the final battle in New York, but he doesn't care.
  • Instant Allegiance Artifact: In The Avengers, he is armed with a scepter that allows him to instantly sway Hawkeye, Eric Selvig and a significant number of other involuntary accomplices to his side. All his victims have Mind-Control Eyes that turn bright blue. The scepter won't influence Tony Stark due to his arc reactor, though. As revealed in The Stinger and Avengers: Age of Ultron, the scepter was lent to Loki by Thanos and contains one of the Infinity Stones.
  • Instant Costume Change: In The Avengers and Ragnarok, he quickly changes between Midgardian attire, casual Asgardian costume and full battle regalia with magic.
  • Internalized Categorism: Loki was raised in an atmosphere of profound racism against Frost Giants, so finding out that he actually was one at an already incredibly stressful point in his life led to him cracking up. In The Avengers (2012), Loki shows signs of projecting heavily onto Banner vis-a-vis the concept of embracing one's own monstrosity. Bonus points for S.H.I.E.L.D. detaining him in their prefab Hulk cage.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: By Asgardian standards, Loki is not "manly" enough primarily due to his Typically Feminine Interests (magic is a woman's domain in Asgard, and he loves to wear ornate armour and stylish clothing) and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's a Pretty Boy with a slim frame). To a lesser extent, this is also due to his relative Lack of Athleticism (he was a Bookworm growing up; he's a good fighter, but he's definitely not in the same league as Thor) and his relative Lack of Aggression (Loki has indulged in extreme violence, but he generally favours diplomacy and manipulation).
  • Ironic Echo:
  • Irony:
    • Loki, the God of Lies, has been lied to his whole life about his true ancestry. Frigga informs him that Odin kept it a secret because he didn't want Loki to feel different, yet Loki had always been treated like an outcast.
    • The actions motivated by his desire to prove himself to his adopted father wind up getting him disowned outright and thrown in the dungeons. Oops.
    • Furthermore, his revenge on said father results in an Actually Pretty Funny reaction, and he ends up regaining his father's love and respect. Oops?
    • Loki is impaled by Kurse in The Dark World the same way Loki impaled Coulson in The Avengers.
    • In The Avengers, Loki chides Black Widow for "bargaining for one man" while her world is "in the balance," but in Infinity War, Loki ends up in the same situation and eventually gives Thanos the Tesseract, because he can't bear watching his brother getting tortured to death. This helps Thanos getting closer to his goal of killing half the life in the universe.
    • Also in Avengers, Loki remembers living in the shade of Thor's greatness, but in Infinity War, he promises his brother that the sun will shine on them again.
  • It's All About Me: He's willing to destroy an entire planet just to work out his family issues.
  • I've Come Too Far: In the beginning of The Avengers, Loki says this almost word for word to Nick Fury. Later in the film, it is also the reason he rejects Thor's offer of redemption.
  • Jacob and Esau: Loki is the Jacob to Thor's Esau. Frigga showed him special attention to make sure he knew he was loved as a child. Tom Hiddleston confirms this in this interview while promoting the film.
    Hiddleston: Rene Russo and I, always, from the very first film, part of the backstory we created was that Frigga was really the most attentive to Loki when he was a child. And Odin didn't really know how to connect. He connected much more with Thor. They were sort of cut from the same cloth. And Frigga and Loki had this kind of beautiful, sensitive, more artistic relationship. And it was her who taught him all his magic.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Thor: Sure, he ruins Thor's big day for "a bit of fun," but he also did it to reveal how unfit to rule his brother was. He does eventually become the villain, but at the time, he spared Asgard a massive headache.
    • The Dark World:
      • He points out that Thor will outlive Jane by a very long time.
      • When confronted about his crimes, he points out that Odin killed many more people than he did to preserve peace in the Nine Realms. Considering the revelation of Hela and Odin's rampages as depicted in Ragnarok, he had more of a point than even he knew at the time.
  • Joker Immunity: He's one of the rare MCU Big Bads who averts the trend of Superhero Movie Villains Die, being able to avoid near-death to return over and over as either an enemy or an uneasy ally. Averted during Avengers: Infinity War when a failed attempt at backstabbing Thanos causes him to get his neck snapped.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He went from a Tragic Villain in Thor to a straight-up Big Bad in The Avengers. Also a case of Took a Level in Jerkass. According to Word Of God, falling through the rift he saw things that sent him round the twist.
    Hiddleston: [...] Loki disappears through that wormhole of space and time, when the Bifrost is destroyed, and he kind of goes through the Seventh Circle of Hell. And he’s on his own. He’s on his own in the dark corners of the universe, and the journey he goes on is pretty horrible. [...] You’re going to come out the other side a bit mangled on the outside, and on the inside.
  • Junior Counterpart: As an adoptive son, Loki is in many aspects a younger male version of Frigga. She taught him magic, and he also "inherited" Shared Family Quirks (fidgeting with hands when nervous), her talent for deception, her elegant comportment and her fighting style (i.e. relying on speed and agility). Both are very perceptive about other people (lampshaded by Frigga in regards to Loki), not to mention that Loki is In Touch with His Feminine Side and beautiful in a feminine manner. Loki initially tried to rein in Thor's violent, impulsive side, and Frigga does the same with Odin. They even die similarly by attempting to protect another person and ambush a much stronger foe with a short sword/dagger and being Defiant to the End.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Thor: Although it was in his interests to convince Thor his exile was going to be permanent to maintain a new truce with the Jötnar, telling him Odin died due to the stress of exiling him was just cruel.
    • Ragnarok: During his Let's You and Him Fight with Valkyre, Loki makes her relive watching her comrades get slaughtered by Hela.
  • Killed Off for Real: Upon his death in Infinity War, Thanos remarks "No resurrections this time" and Thor later tells Rocket that this time, he thinks Loki really is dead.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Commands this to a crowd of civilians, and later Captain America, when he appears in The Avengers. The civilians obey — with the exception of two men, both of whom lived through WWII. One is an elderly German man, the other is Captain America.
  • Knife Nut: He uses small throwing daggers (their effectiveness can be enhanced with magic) to attack from afar in Thor and The Avengers, and fights with longer ones that he sometimes holds in Reverse Grip in The Dark World, Ragnarok and Infinity War.
  • Kubrick Stare: Makes this kind of stare in The Avengers after arriving through the portal created the the Tesseract.
  • The Lancer:
    • Thor: Prior to his Face–Heel Turn, Loki was this to Thor during their adventures. Their dynamic is a blend of Brains and Brawn and Sword and Sorcerer, with Loki being the Brains and the Sorcerer of this pairing.
    • Ragnarok: During the Final Battle, he and Thor are Force and Finesse, with Loki embodying the side of Finesse. Their previous Sword and Sorcerer interaction resurfaces when Thor commands Loki to reanimate Surtur. Merely positioning the Fire Demon's crown in the Eternal Flames isn't sufficient; the regeneration process only begins after Loki recites the proper incantation.
  • Laughably Evil: Despite usually having a serious role, he was played humorously in The Avengers.
  • Large Ham:
  • The Leader: Armed with nothing but his charm, Loki effortlessly assumes command of Korg's rebels in Ragnarok, which makes him the Charismatic type. It's not shown onscreen, but he must have been extremely persuasive if the ex-gladiators agreed to help him defend Asgard from Hela; as none of them are Asgardian, Loki would have to convince them to risk their lives for people they don't know.
  • Lean and Mean: He's very wiry compared to the other Asgardian men, and then even more so in The Avengers. Tom Hiddleston even said he was attempting to get a "lean and hungry look" (an allusion to Cassius from Julius Caesar) when losing weight for the role.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: He has been this for Thor, who endured the loss of his hammer, both parents, all his friends, his right eye, a large proportion of the Asgardian population, and Asgard itself, but being forced to watch Loki die finally pushed him over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Along with wavy black hair down to his shoulders, Loki has big, expressive blue eyes, pale skin, a slender build, and moves very gracefully. His androgynous beauty is made even more evident in Ragnarok because he resembles a masculine version of Hela, who's a gorgeous woman with similar physical features. Even one of the actors who portrays Loki at Disneyland (whose appearance is plainly modeled on Tom Hiddleston's youthfulness and sculpted eyebrows in Thor, while the hairstyle is from Ragnarok) also falls under this trope.
  • Long-Range Fighter: He's a lethal ranged attacker with Improbable Aiming Skills in Thor and The Avengers, where his magical throwing knives and Energy Balls from Gungnir or the Chitauri scepter are his dominant weapons. However, Loki is not a Glass Cannon; he's exceedingly durable, as he can withstand (albeit in agony) a pummeling from the Hulk. Loki also readily defends himself in close quarters: he uses one of his knives against a Frost Giant who grabs his arm, and utilizes Gungnir and the Chitauri scepter as spears—Captain America learns the hard way that Loki "packs a wallop."
  • Looks Like Cesare: When he first appears in The Avengers, his eyes are sunken to an extreme degree, and his hair is even more mussed and stringy than usual.
  • Lovable Rogue: He enters this territory in Ragnarok, where his charm is noticeably more lighthearted and less sinister than in the previous movies. Although he's initially a thorn in the heroes' side when they're on Sakaar, he chooses to fight with them during the Final Battle and saves his fellow Asgardians from Hela's deadly wrath.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Non-romantic love for his father Odin, but love made him both crazy and evil nonetheless.
  • Love Redeems: Loki's final act that bookends his redemption in Infinity War is one of familial love to his brother Thor. He dies for it.

    Tropes M to R 
  • Made of Iron: His durability is implied to be far greater than that of a normal Jötunn's, as he is able to take hits from Hulk and Thor without sustaining major damage, whereas normal Frost Giants all die in one hit from either. Perhaps he uses magic like he does in the comics.
  • Mage in Manhattan: He's the trope image; in The Avengers, Loki forces the people of Stuttgart, Germany to kneel before him.
  • Magic Enhancement: He imbues his throwing knives with magic that emits a light blue glow, which presumably augments the damage they inflict on his chosen targets.
  • Magic Is Mental: In Thor, Loki is the lone spell caster in Thor's group of warriors, and he's the most intellectual among them.
  • Magic Knight: He's a talented sorcerer who frequently employs Master of Illusion spells during combat, and he's also proficient with daggers, throwing knives, and anything that can be used as a spear (like Gungnir or the Chitauri scepter).
  • Magic Staff: His Chitauri scepter in The Avengers. Its normal size is "wand," but when he dons his royal outfit, it becomes longer with a larger blade and is used as a staff.
  • Make an Example of Them: In The Avengers, he says this almost word for word before he tries to kill the one old man who refused to kneel to him out of the crowd of Germans. Captain America intervenes Just in Time to reflect the blast from Loki's scepter and save the man.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In Thor, he makes his brother venture into Jotunnheim with Briar Patching, which leads to Thor's banishment. To ensure that Thor stays on Earth, Loki then breaks him by lying that Odin died because of Thor's actions and Frigga has forbidden Thor's return. Finally, Loki acts as a Fake Defector to Laufey and makes him come to Asgard relatively unguarded only for Loki to kill him. In The Avengers, Loki infiltrates the Avengers' helicarrier as a Poisonous Captive and makes them doubt their allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight with each other. Downplayed in The Dark World, where he relies on casting illusions and mind manipulation spells (on Odin) more than on exploiting psychology per se, and in Ragnarok, where he is The Charmer.
  • Manly Tears: Loki is quite a sensitive man and can be seen crying in every movie he has appeared, for various reasons:
    • Thor: Loki's face is visibly wet with tears after he discovers from Odin that he's actually a Frost Giant. He also sheds a tear when he asks Thor, "Is it madness?", which is a sign of his emotional breakdown and he is in tears again when he desperately tries to explain to Odin that he did everything for him.
    • The Avengers: Loki displays a rare moment of vulnerability right after he stabs Thor. A tear falls from his eye as he says, "Sentiment." His eyes are also wet during the entire scene of him and Thor talking on the mountain.
    • The Dark World: It's obvious that he has been crying after learning of his mother's death. He also has tears in his eyes after he told Frigga that she isn't his mother, and when he and Thor argue on the skiff in Svartalfheim.
    • Ragnarok: He has tears in his eyes when Odin declares that he loves both his sons, and Loki looks ready to burst out into tears when Odin eventually dies.
    • Infinity War: Loki is on the verge of tears when Thor's being tortured by Thanos using the Power Stone.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon:
    • Inverted; while he has strength and magic, he relies more heavily on power gained from elsewhere rather than his own abilities. In Thor, he uses Gungnir, the Casket of Ancient Winters, and the Destroyer. In The Avengers, he's dependent on the Chitauri staff, mind-controlled heroes, and an alien army. This forms a contrast with the heroes, whose power comes from their inner strength and qualities (Cap, Banner) or something they made themselves (Stark). This reliance on external force despite claiming superiority could be a sign of his insecurity.
    • He abandons this trait by The Dark World, where he's never armed with more than a dagger, his powers of illusion, and his innate guile. This trend continues in Ragnarok, and since he's an Anti-Hero in both movies, he's less villainous when he doesn't seek outside sources to enhance his power.
  • Master Actor:
    • Thor: He uses his acting talents to play Thor like a fiddle. Thus, when he visits Thor on Earth, Loki pretends to be sympathetic and sorry to say goodbye to his brother. Thor buys it.
    • The Dark World: Even when he is pretending to betray Thor in front of the Dark Elves and denounces his own mother to the person responsible for her death, he sounds completely sincere.
      Loki: Did you really think I cared about Frigga? About any of you? All I've ever wanted was you and Odin dead at my feet!
    • Ragnarok: He manages to successfully impersonate Odin for four years with none the wiser. His love for theatrics is stressed by the fact that during his reign, he wrote (as confirmed by Word Of God) a play in his own honor.
  • Master of Illusion: Although this was the gimmick of a different figure (Freya) in Norse Mythology, movie Loki is fond of using illusionary copies of himself to distract his enemies and to taunt them. In a deleted scene from Thor, he makes wine appear as snakes. In The Dark World, he displays the ability to disguise himself or others to look like other people. Ragnarok reveals that Loki had turned himself into a snake when he was a child, although we haven't yet seen this onscreen. Whether it was actual Shapeshifting or yet another illusion has never been confirmed.
  • Mess of Woe: After Frigga dies, his normally immaculate veneer crumbles; his hair is shaggy, his shirt is tattered, the walls of his prison cell are smeared with dirty hand prints, and all of the furniture are scattered across the floor in pieces.
  • Messy Hair: On the rare occasions where his hair is less than perfect, it's when he has undergone something traumatic, like when he had survived falling into an abyss (his hair is unkempt in his first scene in The Avengers), or when he's mourning for his mother in The Dark World.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Hulk doesn't appreciate Loki's attempt to berate and antagonize him in the climax of The Avengers and shuts Loki up by literally wiping the floor with him.
    Hulk: Puny god.
    • This receives a hilarious Continuity Nod in Ragnarok when Thor is subjected to the very same treatment by the same guy during their fight. Loki is positively delighted upon witnessing it.
      Loki: YES! That's how it feels!
  • Mind over Matter: In The Dark World, he throws around the furniture in his cell by just clenching his fist, as a reaction of being told of his mothers's death.
  • Mirthless Laughter: He's always laughing and chuckling, even when angry or sad; and it makes him all the more creepy.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Thor genuinely loves Loki, but his self-absorption causes him to unintentionally demean his brother by using him as a distraction, patsy, or even impromptu projectile whereupon their "adventures" often end with Thor snatching up all the glory. This drives Loki to perform his fateful prank on the day of his brother's coronation, which drastically alters the courses of both their lives.
  • Momma's Boy:
    • The Dark World: Frigga is the only member of the family that Loki can tolerate after all that's happened, which makes his reaction to her death even more crushing. He is also shown to be his mother's son. After Odin commutes Loki's death sentence to life imprisonment, he knows that the best way to hurt Loki is to deny him visits from Frigga and to bar him from attending her funeral. It's lampshaded by Thor when he asks his brother, "You think you alone were loved of Mother?"
    • Ragnarok: It's alluded to when Odin tells his sons that Frigga is calling to him from the afterlife; he's looking directly at Loki, knowing that his adoptive son adored Frigga the most in the family, and asks him, "Do you hear it?" Loki then glances towards the horizon and tries to listen for his mother's voice. Loki misses her so much that for a split second, he wanted to believe that he might be able to hear her, too. Furthermore, Odin adds that Frigga would've been proud of how powerful Loki's spells have become, and it's obvious from Loki's facial expression that this comment means a lot to him.
  • Moral Event Horizon: An In-Universe example in The Avengers with his tactics in trying to take over the Earth. How cruel were those tactics? Odin has him doing porridge for life (and would've had him executed if Frigga hadn't intervened); Thor, Sif, and Volstagg threaten to kill him if he betrays them as he's broken out; and Jane slaps him in the face. Ironically, the film where he suffers the repercussions for his actions ends up being the one where he's at his most heroic, not the least. And he only gets better from there.
  • Motive Rant: He delivers a rather emotional one during the final fight with his brother in Thor. Loki states that he only ever wanted be Thor's equal, and that he tried to prove Odin he is a worthy son with Engineered Heroics and an attempted genocide of his own race.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Loki is played by 6'2", ordinarily-slender Tom Hiddleston, but made up and costumed to look outright skinny. However in Thor he is still able to at least briefly hold his ground against his beefy brother, and in The Avengers he beats the very muscled Captain America, and later effortlessly Neck Lifts Tony Stark and throws him out of the window. Justified, as he is an Asgardian god.
  • Mythology Gag: In Infinity War, Loki performs a Heroic Sacrifice shortly after holding the Tesseract in his outstretched hand in a manner that is very reminiscent of how his comics version held the Norn Stones (another blue shining object) during the Siege storyline before also sacrificing himself.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Loki intentionally does this when escaping Asgard in The Dark World in order to annoy Thor.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: In The Avengers, he performs a speech about how humans "were born to be ruled." One old German calls him out on this while refusing to Kneel Before Zod:
    Old German: Not to men like you.
    Loki: There are no men like me.
    Old German: [with contempt] There are always men like you.
  • Neck Lift:
  • Never My Fault: In Thor, The Avengers and The Dark World, Loki doesn't take responsibility for his actions, and he doesn't believe he did anything wrong when he attempted to conquer Earth. Even so, in Ragnarok, he stages a public apology of sorts, however sincere, by including a List of Transgressions in his play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard. By the end of Ragnarok, he also doubts that returning to Earth is a good idea.
    Loki Actor: I'm sorry. Sorry for all I've done. I'm sorry I tried to rule Earth. I'm sorry about that thing with the Tesseract... Sorry about that time I turned you into a frog.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Thor: He gets Thor exiled from Asgard by setting things up to show that his brother isn't worthy of taking their father's throne. In doing so, he humbles Thor enough for him to become worthy. Sending the Destroyer after him gave him a chance to prove it.
    • Ragnarok: Loki banishing Heimdall means he won't be in Hela's way when she hitches a ride on the Bifröst. This makes him an unknown Spanner in the Works for her, allowing him to steal the sword, trapping Hela, and be Thor's guy on the inside.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His decision to leave Sakaar for Asgard and help Thor in the fight against Hela in Ragnarok ultimately leads to his death in Infinity War mere hours later.
  • Nominal Hero: In The Dark World. His reasons for helping Thor defeat Malekith are fairly selfish, but he nevertheless puts his life on the line to achieve their mutual goal.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Downplayed. While he is technically well above any mortal in physical prowess, he isn't quite up to par with Thor in combat, preferring to compensate with his intelligence and cunning. As such, he tends to use trickery to avoid direct conflict. This changes in The Avengers, where he is willing to dirty his hands against S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are no threat to him and proves Captain America's superior during their short battle.
  • Nothing Personal: In Ragnarok, he assures Thor that, unlike all previous betrayals, this one truly isn't personal. Thor isn't particularly fussed... as he saw it coming from a mile away and has already turned it against Loki.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: In Ragnarok, he pulls twin daggers from his sleeves before he charges at Doctor Strange.
  • Not Me This Time: After the first two films, Thor casually assumes that everything is Loki's fault:
    • The Dark World: Thor's first thought when he hears about a Prison Riot is "Loki." In fact, Loki is about the only prisoner not involved in the riot and calmly reading in the corner.
    • Ragnarok:
      • Odin serenely tells Thor and Loki that he hears his late wife calling to him. Thor angrily tells Loki to lift his enchantment, but Loki's look of concern and subtle head shake confirms he's not to blame. Then Odin reveals that he had already broken free from Loki's spell.
      • Lampshaded when Doctor Strange starts to open a portal beneath Loki's feet and he exclaims "This isn't me." Thor is unconvinced and pokes the card left where Loki was just standing with his umbrella as if to check that Loki did not turn into it.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • The epilogue of Thor reveals that he's alive and well, and he returns in The Avengers more badass than ever.
    • In The Dark World, despite having a Died in Your Arms Tonight moment with Thor, it's revealed at the end that he survived and is posing as Odin.
  • Not So Different: To Tony Stark. Both are nerdy snarky egomaniacs with Daddy issues and rivalries with blond beefcakes. Tony himself lampshades this in The Avengers:
    Tony Stark: ...And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva. He wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the skies with his name plastered... [epiphany] Sonofabitch.
  • Number Two:
    • Thor: He's Thor's Lancer when they're on Jötunheim.note  Sif and the Warriors Three, who aren't royalty, "know their place" because only Loki is permitted to advise Thor and speak to King Laufey.
    • Ragnarok: From the moment Thor orders Loki to revive Surtur, Loki resumes his former role as Thor's second-in-command. It becomes official in the denouement, where Loki's status as the Prince of Asgard means that his authority is second only to Thor, the King.
  • Nurture over Nature: In spite of everything, it's still his adoptive family and his adoptive society that Loki exclusively identifies with. He looks (albeit with a glamour), talks, and dresses like an Asgardian, covets the Asgardian throne, and uses magic which he had learned from his Asgardian mother as his primary power. He has no interest in his Jötunn heritage, and no desire to rule Jötunheim; in fact, he tries to impress his Asgardian father by destroying it. Loki consistently presents himself as an Asgardian and is regarded as such by everyone he meets.
  • Oblivious Adoption: He never quite fit into Asgardian society, but he doesn't suspect that he's adopted until his skin turns blue when he's exposed to the Frost Giant's magic.
  • Obliviously Evil: In Thor, Loki genuinely doesn't consider his attempt to destroy Jötunheim as an evil action, fully expects his father to approve, and is devastated when he doesn't. After that, he embraces Then Let Me Be Evil for a while.
    Loki: I could have done it, Father! I could have done it! For you! For all of us!
  • Oedipus Complex: In The Dark World, he genuinely loves his mother and overthrows his father—whom he now loathes after being disowned and nearly executed—usurping the Asgardian throne in the process.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In The Dark World, Loki disguised as a guard places a potent Identity Amnesia spell on Odin, one of the most powerful beings in the Nine Realms. The scene of their conversation cuts before it happens.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Thor: His "damn" when Laufey calls Thor a princess and Loki realizes that his attempt to negotiate was for naught — they are fighting the Frost Giants after all.
    • Ragnarok:
      • His "Oh, shit" when Loki disguised as Odin sees Thor return to Asgard after fighting Surtur. Followed by an "Oh, Crap!" Smile moments later then Thor exposes Loki's masquerade.
      • The look on his face when the Grandmaster's champion turns out to be the Hulk. Loki clearly remembers his last encounter with him.
      • When he realizes that Thor has quietly removed the Grandmaster's Control Disk and placed it on Loki's back, having caught on to Loki's planned betrayal. Thor lampshades how shocking this must be to Loki given how easily he's been able to manipulate and trick Thor in the past.
      • His face in the Stinger when he sees Thanos's ship approaching theirs.
  • Once per Episode: Loki is seen lying helpless on his back on the ground in every MCU movie in which he appears: when weighed down by Mjölnir during the final fight with his brother in Thor, after being curb-stomped by Hulk in The Avengers, after being stabbed by Kurse in The Dark World, after being tasered by Thor in Ragnarok and after being strangled to death by Thanos in Infinity War.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: In Thor he originally sneaks three Frost Giants into Asgard as a prank, then capitalizes on the fallout to ruin his brother's reputation, and takes advantage of Thor's banishment and his father's Angst Coma to try to prove himself worthy of the throne. He is quick to make and break chance alliances with Thanos in The Avengers and the Grandmaster in Ragnarok so as to take over the Earth and Sakaar, respectively. After Thor temporarily frees him in The Dark World, he seizes the opportunity to secretly oust Odin, and becomes the Fake King of Asgard.
  • Orc Raised By Elves: This is interestingly presented in Thor. Loki had always felt different among his fellow Asgardians, but he never realized he was a Frost Giant because a Glamour had disguised his true appearance. When he discovers the truth, he's furious because while Odin did love him, Loki was nonetheless meant to be a political pawn in Odin's attempt to bring Jötunheim under Asgard's control by using his adopted son as a Puppet King who would promote Asgardian interests. Loki then strikes a deal with the Giants which would allow them to invade Asgard, and this turns out to be part of a Batman Gambit — Loki despises the Jötnar, and in a twisted way of proving his loyalty to Asgard, he had planned to wipe out his own species.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In Ragnarok, having gotten everything he ever wanted, now stealing the throne from under Odin's and Thor's noses, Loki proceeds... to do nothing but laze around. It's specifically because of his lackadaisical actions that unintentionally causes all the conflict.
  • Order Versus Chaos: According to Tom Hiddleston, Loki "prefers anarchy to order" and thinks that "chaos is more fun, if a little exhausting." It's lampshaded by Thor in Ragnarok:
    Thor: Come on, [Sakaar] is perfect for you. It's savage, chaotic, lawless. Brother, you're going to do great here.
  • Overarching Villain: While he isn't always a straight up villain, due to his habit of going through the Heel–Face Revolving Door, Loki is the one villain who sticks around for every Thor film and never truly goes away.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Wherever he goes, as soon as he says his name, people remark that he's Thor's brother, and he hates it. Loki has grown out of it by the third act of Ragnarok because he smiles with fondness as Thor unlocks his full mastery over storms.
  • Palette Swap: His two last costumes in Ragnarok are very similar, but one is blue with some violet and a yellow cape, while the other is black with some green and a green cape.
  • Parental Abandonment: Laufey abandoned him when he was a baby for being too small, and there is no mention of his birth mother. Later on, his adoptive mother dies. And then his adoptive father in Ragnarok.
  • Parting Words Regret: His last words to Frigga were to deny that he was her son. Alleviated mildly in that they both know he didn't mean it, but it's still tearing him apart.
  • Patricide: Double subverted in Thor. Loki appears to be plotting his adoptive father's murder, but it turns out to be a part of a ploy to impress Odin by apparently saving his life. But the same ploy involves killing Laufey — whom he has just discovered to be his biological father.
  • Perception Filter: When he visits his brother on Midgard in Thor, the humans can't see Loki. He also blocks himself (and Laufey) from Heimdall's Super Senses, i.e. extraordinarily acute sight and hearing that allow Heimdall to see and hear across large distances.
  • Perma-Shave: Loki appears always clean-shaven, even after spending over a year in space or prison. It is entirely possible that he uses magic to accomplish that.
  • Personality Powers: He's the God of Mischief, so naturally, he's gifted with Master of Illusion and some Psychic Powers.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • During the brawl in The Dark World, he pushes Jane out of the way of a Dark Elf weapon, nearly dying himself as a result.
    • At the end of the The Dark World, Loki posing as Odin tells Thor that he is so proud of his "son". By this time, Thor has already rejected the throne and these comforting words would gain Loki nothing.
    • In Ragnarok, where he heroically helps Thor in saving the Asgardians from Hela — again at great risk to himself.
  • Physical God: Comes from a race of Sufficiently Advanced Alien Physical Gods.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: He is the recipient of this when Thor cradles him in his arms after he is stabbed by Kurse.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Makes one to his brother in a deleted scene in Thor on the eve of Thor's coronation. And then it all goes downhill from here...
    Loki: You are my brother and my friend. Sometimes I am envious, but never doubt that I love you.
  • Poisonous Captive: In The Avengers, Loki is captured early on, only to instigate chaos from inside his glass cell. He manipulates the Avengers to doubt their allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D., who are creating weapons of mass destruction. He also makes Black Widow provoke Banner, who promptly turns into the Hulk and smashes everything in his way. And then his forces arrive to attack the helicarrier and release him... In the end, everyone agrees that the best decision is to put a gag on him and send him back to Asgard.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In The Avengers, he calls Black Widow a "mewling quim."
  • The Prankster: Loki is an Attention Whore, so pranks are his way of dealing with Thor hogging all the spotlight—if Loki can't get others to notice him in a positive manner, then the negative kind will do. Plus, it amuses him to hoodwink his chosen victims.
    • As an eight-year-old, he had shape-shifted into a snake in order to trick Thor into picking him up (Thor loves snakes), and Loki then stabbed his brother (yes, this counts as a prank on Asgard). This was apparently one of his finest ruses from boyhood because as an adult, Loki smiles fondly at Thor's recollection of the event.
    • According to the play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard, Loki once transformed Thor into a frog, and Loki-as-Odin mutters under his breath, "'Twas indeed hilarious!"
    • In a deleted scene from Thor, Loki is displeased with a male servant who chuckles when Thor belittles spell casters ("Some do battle while others just do tricks"), so he metamorphoses the wine into three snakes, which causes the servant to yelp in fear. Loki thinks this is damn funny.
  • Pretty Boy: While his appearance in the comics is very much Depending on the Artist and has ranged from withered and ugly all the way to smolderingly handsome, this is the most daintily good-looking Loki incarnation ever. This is in line with descriptions of Loki in Norse Mythology ("beautiful and comely"), and it makes him a perfect foil to Thor's Hunk looks. Loki is the sole Asgardian man who's clean-shaven, and specifically for Thor, Tom Hiddleston mentions in this interview that his "eyebrows were plucked to within an inch of their lives" for the role; thinner, sculpted eyebrows give the actor's visage a more feminine look. Loki becomes a Long-Haired Pretty Boy from The Avengers onwards.
  • The Promise: In Infinity War, Loki makes a very specifically worded one to Thor. So far, it appears unfulfilled.
    Loki: I assure you, brother, the sun will shine on us again.
  • Proud Beauty: As a charismatic schemer, Loki is inherently preoccupied with looking as elegantly handsome as possible, always adorning himself with splendid, intricately-designed apparel that emphasizes his height and his svelte build—he even has a masculine Sexy Walk to flaunt his body. He's extremely vain, and Thor knows it. Near the beginning of Ragnarok, Thor suspects that Loki is disguised as Odin, and attempts to rile his brother by asserting that Loki's statue is better looking than Loki himself because it's "less weaselly, less greasy." It takes a fair amount of effort for Loki not to break character at that instant in order to respond to the affront to his pride. Later when they're on Midgard, Loki takes offense when Thor likens his all-black, dapper suit to that of a witch.
  • Psychic Powers: Loki possesses both core powers of this type: Telepathy, including Perception Filter (in Thor when he's invisible to humans on Earth and blocks Heimdall's Super Senses), mind control through a Psychic Link (over Dr. Selvig in The Stinger of Thor), ability to induce Laser-Guided Amnesia (on Odin in The Dark World) and Touch Telepathy (used on Valkyrie in Ragnarok) — and relatively weak Telekinesis (trashing his cell in The Dark World).
  • Psychopathic Manchild: In each film, Loki's motives center primarily on gaining his father's approval, getting out of his big brother's shadow, or getting the respect he deserves from everyone. Even if it involves enslaving a planet or wiping out an entire people to do it. Plus he's the God of Mischief.
  • Psychotic Smirk: He wears an enigmatic, tight-lipped smile at least once in Thor (when he comes to bargain with Laufey), The Avengers (before ripping out an eye of his victim in Stuttgart) and The Dark World (while staring down Kurse from his cell). Being more unstable in The Avengers, he often sports a Slasher Smile instead. By Ragnarok, his expression softens to a Smile of Approval (on the Rainbow Bridge during the Final Battle) or genuine happiness (in his last scene with dialogue in the movie and in The Stinger).
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: He's a male version, as he's raven-haired with pale skin, and the juxtaposition between the two heightens the blueness of his expressive eyes. For an Asgardian male, he possesses an androgynous personality, so conveniently, he's beautiful in a feminine way.
  • Real-Life Super Powers: Even without his magic, Loki can accomplish a great deal with purely his intelligence and charisma.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He was an infant in the Middle Ages. The movies take place in the 21st century.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Loki delivers a fantastically vicious one to the Black Widow in The Avengers.
    Black Widow: It's really not that complicated. I've got red in my ledger, I'd like to wipe it out.
    Loki: Can you? Can you wipe out that much red? Dreykov's daughter, Sao Paulo, the hospital fire? Barton told me everything. Your ledger is dripping, it's GUSHING red, and you think saving a man no more virtuous than yourself will change anything? This is the basest sentimentality. This is a child at prayer... PATHETIC! You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers. You pretend to be separate, to have your own code. Something that makes up for the horrors. But they are a part of you, and they will never go away!
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • The Dark World: He appears to suffer this fate at the hands of Kurse, although it doesn't prevent him from killing Kurse in return before seemingly succumbing to his injuries. Of course, he's faking it.
    • Played straight in Infinity War. Good night, sweet prince of Asgard, Odinson.
  • Redemption Rejection: When Thor is still willing to offer Loki a chance as the Chitauri attack New York, he genuinely considers it... then shanks Thor with a throwing knife.
    Loki: Sentiment!
  • Red Herring Mole: While Thor seeks his help in The Dark World, everyone including Thor himself is quite aware Loki is going to betray him eventually. They even use this to their advantage when tricking Malekith into exposing the Aether. Loki doesn't betray Thor, but he does trick Thor into thinking he died while he goes into hiding via shapeshifting.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Thor's red as he is more a shadowy presence meant to manipulate and confuse, but he still has Asgardian hamminess.
  • The Resenter: A ticking time bomb of jealousy and insecurity from his first scenes onward. Everything he does in the first Thor movie is driven by his need to be seen as Thor's equal.
  • Revenge:
    • Thor: It is implied that part of the reason why Loki kills Laufey is to get back at his biological father for leaving him to die as an infant.
    • The Dark World: After Frigga is murdered, Loki teams up with Thor to avenge her.
      Thor: I wish I could trust you.
      Loki: Trust my rage.
    • The Dark World and Ragnarok: Loki gets back at Odin by stealing his throne. However, Loki spares his adoptive father's life. He merely befuddles Odin and leaves him on Earth at a relatively comfortable nursing home.
    • Infinity War: Loki's own death, along with the other Asgardians to a lesser extent, is what drives Thor to seek out Eitri to forge Stormbreaker and go after Thanos.
  • Reverse Psychology:
    • Thor: Loki subtly makes Thor venture to Jötunnheim by stating that Thor shouldn't do that.
    • Ragnarok: Loki is on the receiving end. During the Climactic Elevator Ride, Thor agrees that Loki should stay on Sakaar rather than return to Asgard. Loki is visibly upset and in the end goes back after his brother. Thor's reaction once Loki arrives in Asgard? "You are late".
  • Rousseau Was Right: The Aesop of Loki's character arc. As explored in Thor, he was not born evil and is not a monster. His villainy in that film is largely a product of his messed-up upbringing. Even when he's at his worst in The Avengers, a small spark of goodness remains within him, even as he tries so hard to ignore it. It's especially evident in his scene with Thor, where Loki sheds a single tear and immediately dismisses it as a sentiment. Loki's fall from grace is played up as tragic in both movies. Then in The Dark World and Ragnarok, he slowly crawls back into the light, and in Infinity War, he sacrifices himself for his brother, proving that in spite of his past misdeeds, he was truly good at heart.
  • Royal Brat: Like Thor, Loki has overtones of this. He has no problem getting guards and Jötnar killed for the sake of a prank on his brother.
  • Rule of Sexy: For Loki's Frost Giant form, the make-up department must have been given instructions not to make Tom Hiddleston look too ugly even though it has been established that the Jötnar are scary-looking behemoths. Being a runt doesn't explain why Loki's real appearance, while strange, is still gorgeous.
  • Rule of Three:
    • In The Dark World, three people promise to kill Loki should he betray his brother: Thor himself, Sif and Volstagg.
      Loki: Evidently, there will be a line.
    • In Ragnarok, Thor throws things at Loki thrice to check if he's actually there or just projecting an illusion. The first time he's an illusion; the second time he's really there and gets hit in the head. The third time, Thor naturally assumes he isn't really there and throws something out of habit — and Loki catches it.
    • It takes three times for Loki to actually die. Or does it?

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Sacrificial Lion: His death in the first scene of Infinity War demonstrates that all bets are off and Anyone Can Die in this film.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: In the Norse Mythology, Loki is Odin's blood brother, Laufey is his mother, he uses Nom de Mom Laufeyjarson, and Hela and Fenrir are Loki's children. He was later depicted with red hair and acquired an association with fire. In the MCU, Loki is Odin's adopted son, Laufey is his father, he never uses the patronymic Laufeyson himself (and views himself as Odinson in the end), Hela is his elder adoptive sister and Fenrir is her pet. Loki has raven-black hair and is An Ice Person.
  • Sanity Slippage: Falling through a rift in space at the end of Thor did nothing good for his mental health. Not that it helps his case when he's faced with the consequences of his actions in The Avengers. Early in The Dark World, he suffers another slippage after Frigga's death.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Ragnarok, as soon as Loki sees the Hulk on Sakaar he rushes to leave the wretched planet. The Grandmaster stops him.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: He's associated with green to contrast Thor's red, white and blue.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes:
    • Thor: In The Stinger, he's able to perceive everything that Dr. Erik Selvig does through a Psychic Link.
    • Ragnarok: When he applies Touch Telepathy on Valkyrie, he experiences her recollection of the Valkyries' confrontation with Hela as if he were there.
  • See You in Hell: In The Dark World, Loki tells this to Kurse when Loki defeats him after being seemingly fatally wounded:
    Loki: See you in Hel, monster.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He kills his biological father Laufey while declaring himself the son of Odin. It looked like he was about to kill his adoptive father in an attempt to appeal to his biological father, but then he kills his biological father in a (completely misguided) attempt to appeal to his adoptive father. Wow.
  • Self-Serving Memory: In The Avengers, he claims that Thor threw him into the void, apparently forgetting that he chose to fall in after Odin refused to condone Loki attempting genocide in his name.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Just like in Norse Mythology, Loki's the wily Sensitive Guy to Thor's warrior Manly Man. Loki is the Junior Counterpart of his mother Frigga, and Thor is the same with his father Odin.
    • Thor: On Jötunheim, Loki utilizes diplomacy, whereas Thor wants to incite Laufey to attack him. In the following skirmish Loki relies on magical throwing knives and illusion spells to kill Frost Giants from a distance, which juxtaposes Thor bashing them directly with Mjölnir.
    • The Dark World: After their mother is murdered, Loki experiences a complete emotional breakdown in his prison cell while Thor starts to plot to avenge her. During their clash with Malekith, Loki defends Jane (a more "passive" role) whereas Thor is the aggressor (a more "active" role).
    • Ragnarok: When they meet Hela, Loki tries to negotiate with her, and when that fails, Thor launches Mjölnir at her. On Sakaar, Loki charms and manipulates his way to the top, while Thor rejects his offer to join him at the Grandmaster's side, preferring to participate in the gladiator games. Loki sneaks away from the battle with Hela in order to place Surtur's crown in the Eternal Flames (and the incantation he utters suggests that some sorcery is involved) as Thor continues to fight her.
  • Sexy Walk: Loki has a rather sensual gait for a man; he struts like a model on a catwalk. It accentuates his tall, lissome figure—Loki is a Proud Beauty who takes pleasure in parading himself, which includes this particular walk. It's yet another detail of Loki's physicality which highlights his androgyny.
  • Shadow Archetype: Loki is a twisted reflection of Frigga. They share a lot in common, but Frigga is well-adjusted and benevolent while Loki is emotionally unstable and sinks into villainy. Being sly, pretty, fashionable, a spell caster and an agile combatant is viewed as admirable in an Asgardian woman (Frigga), but is considered to be abnormal in an Asgardian man, and Loki was disparaged by his peers for this. In turn, Frigga exhibits a hint of darkness by breaking the law and visiting an incarcerated Loki with an illusion — she is not above deviousness or treason. In the end, Loki comes to terms with who he is and accepts his Shadow.
  • Shared Family Quirks: He shares a tic with his adoptive mother: fidgeting with his hands when he's nervous. He also picked up her mischievous smirk.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: When he appears before the imprisoned Thor in Midgard, when he attends a gala in The Avengers, and when he searches for Odin in Ragnarok.
  • Sibling Murder: In Thor, Loki orders the Destroyer to kill his brother in Puente Antiguo. The Destroyer complies and strikes Thor across the face, which sends the latter flying backward and shatters his bones. Thor dies from his wounds, but is then resurrected by Mjölnir.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Princeling Rivalry with Thor because there can only be one king. However, they're forced to work together in Ragnarok when their older sister Hela shows up and takes the throne from both of them.
  • Sibling Team: It is heavily implied that he has been that with Thor for their entire lives until the events of Thor. They are more or less back at it again from The Dark World onwards. Most notably is their "Get Help" routine which involves Thor literally using Loki as a weapon, which the two have done often enough for Thor to call it a "classic" that "works every time."
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The fact that they're total opposites in personality makes it worse. He thinks that Odin only likes the athletic Thor. In Ragnarok, it's revealed that Loki is quite similar in appearance and personality to his older adoptive sister Hela, which may have influenced the way Odin treated him during his adolescence and early adulthood.
  • Sigil Spam: Loki is so extra that he puts horns everywhere: from the small ones adorning the harness of his horse in Thor to the enormous ones atop the building of the theater in Ragnarok where Thor finds him.
  • Signature Move: Creating an illusory duplicate of himself to throw off his enemies. In The Avengers, he lampshades that Thor always falls for it. By Ragnarok, Thor has caught on enough that he comes to suspect it almost immediately.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift:
    • His costumes in Thor, where he would stop at nothing to prove himself to Odin, and The Avengers, where he tries to conquer Earth, are decorated with a fair amount of gold. It highlights Loki's desire for superiority and ambition that ultimately lead to his villainy. In Ragnarok, the gold trimming is minimal. For Loki's wrap tunic, it's because he's a Fake King who already has a kingdom in his possession for the past four years. And for his leather gear in the third act, it's because he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn. In Infinity War, Loki retains the same costume, and he sacrifices himself for his brother.
    • Loki's signature color is green, but it is absent from his blue outfit on Sakaar. As costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo explains it:
      Rubeo: Loki and his [blue] color when we first see him in Sakaar, it's because Loki (...)'s [joined] the Grandmaster, who is some sort of like a tyrant. Loki's there, betraying his own people. (...) So he adopts the same kind of colors, which is uncharacteristic of him and of his actual [green-hued] costume. Then he goes back to his original costume when he finds his senses to help Thor and being a good brother again.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: In The Avengers, he lectures Black Widow on this:
    Loki: ...and you think saving a man no more virtuous than yourself will change anything? This is the basest sentimentality. This is a child at prayer... PATHETIC!
  • Simple, yet Opulent: He habitually opts for pure opulence, but after his royal rank is revoked and he's jailed as a war criminal in The Dark World, he's forced to tone down his garments. Of course, Loki's idea of "plain and simple" is still more elegant than anything Thor or Odin wears.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer:
    • Thor: Loki appeared in few shots in the trailers and TV spots for the film, even though he is the film's main villain.
    • Infinity War: Loki has about the same screentime in the film as Black Panther, Groot, Nebula, Okoye and War Machine (3:00-3:30) and more than Wong, Falcon or Bucky, but unlike all of them he never got a character poster nor made it to any of the "group" posters, and was mostly absent from trailers and other promotional material, likely because he dies in The Teaser.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When Loki holds the throne in Thor, he enjoys this posture for all it is worth. So Thor really should have known better when "Odin" was sitting that way at the end of The Dark World...
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: As shown in Thor. First, he lets three Frost Giants into Asgard for "a bit of fun", which results in the death of a couple of guards. Then he manipulates his brother into going to Jotunnheim and simultaneously warns the guards to ruin Thor's reputation, which backfires into Thor's banishment. Later he makes Thor believe that Thor is guilty of Odin's death to keep him dispirited and stranded on Earth. When Thor discovers it's a lie, Loki sends the Destroyer to murder his brother. And finally, he attempts to commit genocide by using Bifrost to destroy Jotunnheim with all its inhabitants.
  • Smile of Approval: In Ragnarok, he grins with pride witnessing Thor unleash the "biggest lightning blast in the history of lightning."
  • Smug Snake: In both Thor and The Avengers, Loki's not quite as clever or powerful as he likes to act.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: A nasty man with a quiet voice, until he's got a reason to get mad, in which he'll get mad.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: "This is my bargain, you mewling quim!"
  • Spare to the Throne: Because Thor, the Allfather's eldest son, has been exiled to Midgard, Loki, as the second son, becomes the regent of Asgard after Odin becomes indisposed due to the Odinsleep. This deleted scene makes it clearer:
    Frigga: Thor is banished. The line of succession falls to you. Until Odin awakens, Asgard is yours.
  • Squishy Wizard: Downplayed Trope. Loki is a skilled sorcerer and is physically weaker than his brother Thor, but he survived some very rough handling by the Hulk.
  • Staff of Authority:
    • Thor: He wields Gungnir, the symbol of kingship in Asgard, when he becomes its regent.
    • The Dark World: Gungnir is once again in his possession in the final scene after he deposes Odin.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: He does this to Kurse during the Prison Riot when the latter approaches his cell, wondering if he'll break Loki out. Kurse considers, but eventually walks on. According to behind-the-scenes commentary, Kurse decides against letting Loki out of his dungeon because he realizes that a guy who is locked up by himself in an Asgardian prison and does nothing but smirk menacingly at people passing by is probably too dangerous to be set free.
  • The Starscream: In Ragnarok, he gains the Grandmaster's trust while secretly plotting to overthrow him and rule Sakaar, possibly alongside Thor. An uprising starts before that plan can go anywhere, so he decides to help Thor and leave the Grandmaster to his fate.
  • Stepford Snarker: Although not so much at first, by Thor: The Dark World he is this. A few unguarded moments show that he still does care, but he spends most of his time among other people, especially the Asgardians, snarking at them to cover up both this and his pain that they now hate him. As he gains acceptance in Thor: Ragnarok, he becomes less defensive and loses much of his snark.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: He's a Rare Male Example in Infinity War; he's murdered within the first ten minutes to fuel Thor's pain and anger for the rest of the story.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING: His scream of Tell me! in Thor is made all the more shocking because Loki had almost never raised his voice above a whisper before.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After finally coming to terms with his identity, reconciling with his brother and pulling a Big Damn Heroes by arriving with The Cavalry at the end of Ragnarok, Loki dies less than ten minutes into the next movie, Infinity War.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Like all Asgardians, although he is also known as a "master of magic," which makes things a little more complicated.
    Black Widow: These guys come from legend. They're basically gods.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Ever since discovering his origins, Loki has been subtly throwing one. All bets are off in The Avengers when he clearly becomes fed up.
  • Super Reflexes: Manages to catch an arrow from the air just a split second before it hits his face and dodges sword attacks with little effort.
  • Super Strength: Most evident in The Avengers, where he kills a normal man in body armor with a single kick and throws Captain America around like a ragdoll.
  • Take Our Word for It: In The Dark World, Loki disguised as a guard comes to inform Odin of his own death. The end of the conversation happens entirely off-screen, but it is implied that Loki induced a Laser-Guided Amnesia in his adoptive father. In Ragnarok, Odin praises the strength of the spell that Loki had cast on him.
  • Take Over the World: In The Avengers, Loki wants to rule Earth so that he can have the throne he was promised, and because he believes that if he's its God-King, his less advanced subjects will be too busy worshipping him to war with each other.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Although he's normally a tall, raven-haired Pretty Boy, his all-black Midgardian suit in Ragnarok gives him a more masculine appearance, and it makes him look handsome rather than pretty.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: All three check off. He is tall (the actor's height is 188 cm and the in-universe character's height is 187 cm), has raven-black hair and loves snarking at people.
  • Tantrum Throwing: In The Dark World, after he learns of the death of Frigga, his adoptive mother, he throws around the furniture in his cell with magic.
  • Technically a Smile: Loki rarely loses that confident grin of his, which widens into a leering, arrogant, wolf-like sneer when he's enraged; and it's easily the scariest expression he's got.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: This was his eventual reaction to learning his true heritage. In The Dark World, he's conflicted, but his actions show that he still feels that he's gone too far to turn back. Ever. Then, in Ragnarok, he does, and while he does end up destroying Asgard, it was the best option under the circumstances.
  • There Are No Therapists: Everyone agrees that Loki's got a few screws loose. No one thinks he might benefit from medication or psychoanalysis.
  • They Really Do Love Each Other: Though he may claim otherwise, Loki can never quite stop loving his brother. Thanos is well aware of this and forces Loki to watch him torture Thor in order to get him hand over the Tesseract. Loki caves in seconds, and when the Hulk is unleashed moments later, he unhesitatingly tosses the Tesseract aside and throws himself over his brother to shield him from the ensuing fight. And he eventually dies trying to save him.
  • Thicker Than Water: Zigzagged throughout the series but ultimately played straight, as Loki truly considers Odin, Frigga and Thor to be his family in spite of everything. Even during the peak of his fury at Odin in Dark World he still refers to Thor as his brother and is visibly taken aback when Frigga asks if she is not Loki's mother, and by Ragnarok he looks ready to cry when Odin refers to Loki as his son and tells him he loves him. After Thor's Kirk Summation in Ragnarok he fully embraces his role as Thor's brother.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: When he arrives in The Avengers, he's a sweating, pale, sunken-eyed mess. This is our first clue that something has gone wrong in his time away. The second is the way he casually murders several soldiers before deigning to speak.
  • This Was His True Form: In The Dark World, upon his death his skin turns greyish-blue, a nod to his Jötunn origin. Of course, he was faking it. It happens again when Thanos kills him at the start of Infinity War, although it's easy to miss because of the lighting.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: When Thor gleefully tells Hulk in Ragnarok that Loki is alive, Loki's face goes blank as he stares into nothingness recalling his previous experience with the Hulk. Played for Laughs.
  • Token Evil Teammate: To Thor and Jane in The Dark World. Loki wants Revenge against Kurse and Malekith for killing his mother, and Thor needs his help to escape Asgard without the Bifrost. During their team-up, Loki promptly displays his snarkiness and jerkiness.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Loki becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds when he learns of his Jötunn heritage.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • His experiences after Thor gave him one hell of a steel edge. In The Avengers, he's considered to be exponentially more dangerous than in the previous film. Tom Hiddleston described it this way:
      Hiddleston: It's all of them against me. I am the supervillain. So it's Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury forming a team because I've gotten so badass.
    • The Dark World: Loki is a much more effective melee fighter in this movie than in his previous appearances; here, he was armed with only a simple dagger and took on several foes simultaneously. In the past, he relied on throwing magical knives from a distance, his illusion spell, or a powerful scepter, and he usually focused on one enemy at a time.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass:
    • The Avengers: He still plays Divide and Conquer against the Avengers in the first half of the film, but by the second half his overblown ego and mental instability turn the former Chessmaster and Manipulative Bastard from Thor into an easy target. He is outsmarted by Black Widow, and then every member of the main cast has a chance to get back on him during his Humiliation Conga while he experiences a Villainous Breakdown.
    • The Dark World: He starts the film as a prisoner for life and ends it impersonating Odin and holding the throne of Asgard with none the wiser, so any level he took in The Avengers is gone.
  • Touch Telepathy: Ragnarok reveals that he has the ability to access a person's memory when he touches their forehead, and he uses it on Valkyrie in order to learn how the Valkyries were wiped out in the distant past.
  • Tragic Villain: His villainy was originally well-intentioned and his goal was familial love. However, his long-lasting goal got so bad that he got twisted into insanity.
  • The Trickster: Loki is the epitome of this; he isn't called the God of Mischief in-universe for nothing. This is even lampshaded in his play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard.
    Loki Actor: I just couldn't help myself, I'm a trickster.
  • Troll: He is the God of Mischief and Trickery, after all. In all of the Thor films, he uses his powers for pranks, such as shapeshifting himself and Thor just to irritate him, and after his fall to villainy, his demeanor is generally one of mocking snark and arrogance.
    Laufey: So you're the one who showed us the way into Asgard.
    Loki: That was just a bit of fun, really. To ruin my brother's big day.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: According to Thor's story, Loki had a sick idea of what constituted a prank at the age of eight. Played for Laughs given that the Asgardians are a proud warrior race with a notable Healing Factor.
    Thor: There was one time when we were children, he transformed himself into a snake, and he knows that I love snakes. So, I went to pick up the snake to admire it and he transformed back into himself and he was like, "Yeah, it's me!". And he stabbed me.
  • Trying Not to Cry: In Ragnarok, he visibly struggles to contain his emotions when Odin reclaims him as a son after being disowned in The Dark World.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: In Infinity War, he introduces himself as "Loki, Prince of Asgard, Odinson, the rightful King of Jötunheim, God of Mischief."
  • Tuck and Cover: In The Dark World, he shields Jane from the explosion when Thor tries to destroy the Aether with Mjölnir.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Hilariously subverted; instead of killing Odin, he just erased his memory and put him in a retirement home on Earth, and he apparently spent most of his time as Asgard's ruler eating grapes and watching terrible plays that exalt himself. The worst things he did were his exile of Sif and Heimdall, and being lax on guarding the realms—although the latter is less his fault and more of Odin's since there were threats he never told anybody about, and the former may have ended up saving Sif's life since she wasn't there to get killed by Hela.
  • The Un-Favourite: He sees himself as such. He definitely doesn't fit the ideal of Asgard the way Thor does, but Odin repeatedly assures him "you are my son" and had great plans for him just as he did for Thor. He had hoped for Loki to pioneer a lasting peace and friendship between Asgard and Jötunheim instead of the fragile truce present at the time. Some of Odin's final words are expressing his love for both his sons, and telling Loki how proud Frigga would have been of his magical skill.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: How Odin views him since he was abandoned as a baby to die until Odin found him and raised him as his son. Loki repays that kindness by becoming a mass murderer.
    Odin: Your birthright was to die as a child, cast out onto a frozen rock. If I had not taken you then, you would not be here now to hate me.
    • Odin has changed his mind by Ragnarok, and Loki ultimately proves him right by helping his brother save their subjects.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Even while undergoing a Mess of Woe after Frigga's death, Loki's untidy appearance doesn't diminish his physical beauty. His long, wavy mane is all tangled, he has been clawing at his shirt, and his bare foot is blood-stained, but there's nothing to mar his delicate facial features, not even a 5 o'clock shadow.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Here, Hela's Odin's daughter and Fenris is her pet. In the original myths and comics, Hela and Fenris were Loki's offspring.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • In The Dark World, Loki advised Kurse to take side stairs out of the dungeons, which backfired quite spectacularly as it directly led to Frigga's death.
    • Loki's decision to take the Tesseract from the vault at the end of Ragnarok rather than leave it to be destroyed in the blast with the dying Asgard allowed Thanos to take hold of it in Infinity War, and the latter eventually performed his iconic Badass Fingersnap, wiping out half of all life in the universe.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Played with. The scene with young Loki shows him and Thor being adorable as they listen to Odin telling them a story about the war with the Jötnar, but in Ragnarok, Thor tells a story how Loki turned into a snake and stabbed him at the age of mere eight. However, all involved parties consider that a rather harmless childhood prank, making this a double subverted trope.
  • Vain Sorceress: A Rare Male Example; he's seen changing his clothes with magic and is quite concerned about appearances. He also keeps his Asgardian form on at most times, although that is for other reasons. Thor lampshades this in Ragnarok when he criticizes Loki's snazzy all-black suit when they're on Earth.
    Loki: I can't see into the future, I'm not a witch.
    Thor: No? Then why do you dress like one?
    Loki: [offended] Hey.
  • Vanity Is Feminine:
    • Thor: In a deleted scene, Thor derides Loki as a cow because of the latter's horned helmet.
    • Ragnarok: While they're on Earth, Thor (the macho man) has plain denim clothing while Loki (the androgynous male) is in a chic all-black suit. Thor insults Loki's fashion sense by directly comparing him to a witch.
  • Victory Is Boring: He got everything he wanted — he finally took the throne of Asgard from his father, but ruling the entire kingdom ended up being burdensome and tedious.
    Loki: Satisfaction is not in my nature.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: While Thor has evolved past his boisterous Thud and Blunder ways and learned the virtues of guile in being a hero, Loki has not evolved his perspective, and ultimately has become... predictable. This enables Thor to handily escape a backstab attempt he saw coming a mile away when they put their escape from Sakaar into motion.
    Thor: Dear brother, you're becoming predictable. I trust you, you betray me, round and round in circles we go. See, Loki, life is about growth, it's about change, but you just seem to want to stay the same! I guess what I'm trying to say is you'll always be the God of Mischief, but you could be more.
  • Villain Has a Point: To quote Frigga, Loki is "always so perceptive about everyone but [him]self."
    • Thor: He is right that Thor, at the time, would not have made a good king.
    • The Avengers: He calls out of the hypocrisy behind S.H.I.E.L.D.'s supposed moral superiority, which proves even more darkly prophetic given the revelations in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    • Thor: The Dark World:
      • He calls out Odin for raising him to be a king, despite never once having any intention of actually letting Loki inherit the throne of Asgard. This combined with Odin never revealing Loki's true heritage to him until Loki found out the hard way are both things that did real damage to his psyche.
      • When Frigga mentions the lives Loki took during his invasion of New York City, Loki rebuts that it was a handful compared to the lives Odin took. This also becomes prophetic when Odin's brutal history of conquest with Hela is revealed in Ragnarok.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Starting around the time he discovers he's a Frost Giant, and getting progressively worse throughout the rest of Thor. This does not make him less effective, however — his growing insanity coupled with his deadly cunning only makes him more dangerous.
    • He also has one at the end of The Avengers, after the Avengers start winning and he gets cornered by the Hulk, he makes the very poor decision to try and intimidate the giant green rage monster. It doesn't end well.
    • He's not back to normal in The Dark World, but he has improved somewhat. His vulnerable state eventually leads to a Heel–Face Turn in the next film.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: They're especially pronounced in The Avengers, where Tom Hiddleston's already prominent cheekbones are further emphasized with makeup, leading his face to go from "friendly and lanky" to "skull-like."
  • Villainous Legacy: He is the reason the Avengers, the team of Earth's mightiest heroes, was initially created. His actions in Thor and The Avengers helped motivate S.H.I.E.L.D. to go to more extreme measures to protect humanity in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He also set the stage for the events of Age of Ultron by bringing the Chitauri scepter containing the Mind Stone to Earth, where it was eventually used to create Ultron and Vision.
  • Villainous Valour: In The Dark World, Loki exhibits uncharacteristic bravery and willingness to put his life on the line for others during his team-up with Thor.
  • Villains Blend in Better:
    • Thor: While Thor is initially a Fish out of Water on Earth, when Loki sneaks there he looks like a Sharp-Dressed Man and is conveniently invisible to anyone but Thor.
    • Ragnarok: Loki, a mercurial trickster, is very much in his element on Sakaar. Coasting on his charm, it takes him only a few weeks to climb nearly to the top of the social ladder and become part of the Grandmaster's inner circle. Thor notes that the "savage, chaotic, lawless" planet is perfect for Loki and he'll do marvelously there.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: He regularly demonstrates the ability to magically alter his appearance and clothing (often doing this to change between outfits), and his Asgardian appearance is a Glamour to hide his true Jötunn form. Ragnarok also verbally confirms that Loki is capable of turning into a snake. It's unclear if he's projecting an illusion or ''physically'' reshaping himself.
  • We Can Rule Together: In Ragnarok, he suggests to Thor that they leave Asgard to its fate and rule Sakaar together by staging an unfortunate "accident" for the Grandmaster. Thor obviously declines.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Despite what he may have believed, he was loved by his friends and family. Then he decided to conquer Earth...
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Even though he is furious that Odin lied to him about his parentage, his ultimate goal is still his father's love and approval rather than his throne. In The Avengers, he's still driven by a need for validation and recognition, but he doesn't want it from Odin specifically, just in general.
    • By Ragnarok, this is still the case; when Thor and Loki find Odin peacefully living in Norway, he's visibly taken aback by Odin's calm acceptance of Loki's trickery and looks ready to cry when the old man tells his two sons he loves them before his death.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Part of the basis for his motivations in Thor. According to Word of God, he's this in The Avengers as well, as Loki thinks conquering the Earth is a grand idea to bring about peace, since everyone will be too busy bowing to him to fight amongst themselves anymore.
  • What You Are in the Dark: As far as Loki knew, no one would have known if he'd killed Odin after overthrowing him. Instead, Loki just wiped his memory and left him on Earth.
  • When He Smiles:
    • In two deleted scenes from Thor. Even if you doubt Loki's motives for going with Thor, it's one of very rare moments where he looks genuinely happy about something (if only for a few seconds).
      Thor: Thank you, brother.
      Loki: [beat, smiles] Now give us a kiss.
    • In Ragnarok, when after everything, the surviving Asgardians are escaping on a spaceship and Loki appears in Thor's cabin:
      Thor: If you were really here, I might even give you a hug.
      Loki: [smiles] I am here.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Despite being generally unflappable and confident, even when stranded on Sakaar, Loki is absolutely terrified when he sees the Hulk.
    Loki: I have to get off this planet.
  • Wicked Cultured: Enjoys wearing dapper clothing when blending in among humans, as well as attending classical music performances. He's also fond of theater, and (when disguised as Odin) is shown watching a play entitled The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard that he wrote himself (as confirmed by Word of God).
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He's a genocidal, ego-maniacal tyrant, but he's driven by loneliness and a desperate need to validate his own self-worth, and it's hard not to feel sorry for him.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • What's the best way to establish how far Doctor Strange had improved than by making a fool out of Loki, a god with centuries ahead of experience in magic, without even having to fight?
    • What better way to establish Thanos as a credible threat than having him easily dispatch and kill the MCU's longest-recurring villain just ten minutes into Infinity War?
  • Would Harm a Senior: When an old man refuses to bow down to Loki in The Avengers, Loki is about to kill him to make an example of him before Captain America stops him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He and Valkyrie duel with daggers on Sakaar.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: A line in Thor: Ragnarok ("We were eight at the time.") hints that Thor and Loki might have been raised as twins, and the Minor Kidroduction at the beginning of Thor shows them looking the same age (both actors were 11). However, while Thor shows that the battle against the Frost Giants was in 965 (which is also likely Loki's birth year), Thor states in Infinity War that he is 1500 years old.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He's not in full control of everything that happens in Thor, but he finds a way to make things work to his advantage one way or the other. Shown to an even greater effect in The Dark World, where he out-gambits Malekith and Odin.
  • Yandere: When Odin becomes ill just thinking about warring with the Frost Giants, Loki concludes that the best way to please his father is to blow up Jötunheim.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Loki seems to have embraced Then Let Me Be Evil, but Thor's Kirk Summation in Ragnarok that ends with Thor reassuring while he can always be the God of Mischief, he could also "be more" finally goads Loki to do something heroic.
  • You Remind Me of X: After he attempts to negotiate with Hela ("Perhaps we can come to an arrangement"), she replies, "You sound like [Odin]." While Loki is mainly his mother's son, Hela's observation reveals that his knack for diplomacy comes from his father.
  • You're Insane!: A recurring exchange between him and his brother. In the beginning of Thor Loki calls Thor's plan to venture into Jotunnheim madness. As Thor listens to Loki's Motive Rant at the end of the film, he says "This is madness!" and Loki retorts "Is it madness? Is it? IS IT??!". In The Avengers, Thor asks "Do you think this madness will end with your rule?!" and Loki answers that it is too late to stop the Alien Invasion he has caused. In The Dark World, when Thor sees where Loki is heading the ship, he reacts with "Are you mad?!", and Loki replies "Possibly." After learning Thor's plan at the end of Ragnarok, Loki mutters to himself "This is madness".
  • You're Not My Father:
    • Thor: When Loki shoots Laufey with Gungnir he makes it clear who he considers to be his true parent, even as Laufey is not aware of the relation:
      Loki: And your death came by the son of Odin.
    • The Avengers: Thor's "Our father.." in the scene atop the cliff is interrupted by Loki's "Your father." After Odin's refusal to condone Loki's actions at the end of Thor, Loki no longer considers Odin as such.
    • Thor: The Dark World: he furiously yells a variation of this when he and Frigga discuss Odin. Justified, as Loki had been disowned and would've been executed if it weren't for his mother's influence.
      Frigga: Your father—
      Loki: HE'S NOT MY FATHER!
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Subverted. Despite seizing the throne of Asgard and exiling Odin to Earth to live under an Identity Amnesia enchantment in a retirement home, Loki is ashamed at facing his father and speechless when Odin refers to him and Thor as "my sons." On Sakaar, Loki alludes to himself and Thor as "sons of the Crown."
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Inverted when he proudly refers to himself as "Loki Odinson."
  • Zig-Zagging Trope: Loki's entire character is a dance between Big Bad, Anti-Hero, The Evil Prince, Dark Is Not Evil and "Well Done, Son!" Guy. Ultimately, Thor sets him up as a bad guy who's playing both sides against the middle... to win his father's approval. He falls completely into villain territory in The Avengers, but in The Dark World, he's a Knight Templar and has returned to The Chessmaster. Ragnarok continues this, having him work almost consistently with Thor and his team although he still tries (unsuccessfully) to betray Thor on Sakaar, which prompts Thor to hang a lampshade on the matter. Loki takes Thor's advice to heart and decides to align himself with his brother once and for all, going as far as dying in an attempt to protect Thor from Thanos in Infinity War.