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Characters / MCU: Loki Laufeyson
aka: MCU Loki

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Main Character Index > Other Individuals and Organizations > Cosmic > Asgard and the Nine Realms (Loki Laufeyson | Loki Laufeyson (Variant L1130) | Sylvie Laufeydottir | Other Loki Variants) | Knowhere | Nova Empire | Sovereign | Skrulls | Eternals

Spoilers for all works set prior to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.

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

Birth Name: Loki Laufeyson

Known Aliases: "D.B. Cooper"

Species: Frost Giant

Citizenship: Jotun, Asgardian

Affiliation(s): Asgard, Thanos (formerly), Revengers

Portrayed By: Tom Hiddleston, Ted Allpress (young), Chris Evans (illusion in Thor: The Dark World), Brett Tucker (illusion in Thor: The Dark World), Anthony Hopkins (illusion in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok)

Voiced By: José Gilberto Vilchis (Latin-American Spanish dub), David Brau (European Spanish dub), Daisuke Hirakawa (Japanese dub), Alexis Victor (European French dub), Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi (Canadian French dub), Marcin Bosak (Polish dub), Reginaldo Primo (Brazilian Portuguese dub)note 

Appearances: Thor | Captain America: The First Avengernote  | The Avengers | Thor: The Dark World | Thor: Ragnarok | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame | Loki note  | Hawkeye note  | Thor: Love and Thunder note 

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

The Norse God of Mischief 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 shattered, 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.

Loki met his demise at the hands of Thanos (whom he had served for a time) in an unexpected act of defiance... at least in the main timeline.

For his L1130 variant, see here.
For his L1190 variant, see here.
For his other variants, see here.

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  • 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. 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 theinvoked 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 not been addressed until 2019; the official MCU website finally revealed that Loki was influenced by the Scepter, which greatly increased his anger towards Earth and Thor.
  • Accidental Hero: Back when he was posing as Odin to take his place as King of Asgard, Loki banished Sif because she could potentially expose his impersonation. This act ended up saving Sif from being killed along with the Warriors Three by Hela when she came to conquer Asgard.
  • Ace Pilot: In The Dark World, Loki makes this claim and proves it by being able to avoid the Asgardians firing at them by zig-zagging and then 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.
  • 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 and that Loki’s sorceress mother would have been proud. Later, Thor openly smiles 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. Loki's inability to watch Thor get tortured to death (regardless of the cost of stopping it) demonstrates his humanity and further distances him from the nature of his birth father — his fears of being a monster are wholly unfounded.
  • 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 the MCU, Loki only acts as a straight villain in the first Avengers movie. In other movies, he is an Anti-Villain (Thor) or Anti-Hero (The Dark World and Ragnarok), and in Infinity War, he makes a Heroic Sacrifice, staying on the side of good until his death. Overall, he's more of a Wild Card than outright good or bad, 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. His movie counterpart has never been involved in a romantic/sexual relationship on-screen and is childless. However, his prisoner records in Loki describe his gender as 'fluid' and it was confirmed by himself that he was, at least, interested in both males and females.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: In the comics, Loki (at least until Thor came out, at which point he was altered to appear more like his MCU counterpart) is a conqueror and trickster who seeks power or trolls others for his own amusement, and detests the All-Father's presence on what he believes is rightfully his throne. In Thor, he sets up the Frost Giants' invasion of Asgard knowing full well his brother's own rash behavior would cause Odin to inflict harsh punishment, as he feels that Thor's Blood Knight tendencies make him ill-suited to rule, and is utterly crushed when he learns he was the abandoned son of King Laufey, ruler of Jotunheim, and Odin took him in as his own son for political purposes. In the rest of the films, especially in Ragnarok, Loki is indeed a victim of his own predictability, and he dies at the hands of Thanos just when he finally starts to do better. His self-titled TV series reveals that the Time Variance Authority refuse to let Loki redeem themselves because it goes against the "Sacred Timeline", and he must die a villain.
  • 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.
    • As a villain, he is less of a threat than in the comics, where Loki is extremely dangerous if he plays his cards right, even becoming the Big Bad who plays his fellow A-List supervillains like a fiddle. In The Avengers, he's an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who constantly gets either outplayed or overpowered by the Avengers. Also, in the comics, Loki repeatedly dupes his fellow Asgardians into trusting him even though common sense should make it clear that he can't be trusted. But by Ragnarok, Thor easily sees Loki's treachery a mile away and out-gambits him, though this is more a case of Adaptational Intelligence on Thor's part rather than Loki being dumber, showing the God of Thunder's growth by having him wizen up to Loki's tricks which have started to become predictable.
  • 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 (ironically enough, Tom Hiddleston is a natural ginger).
  • Adoption Angst: In the first Thor movie, Loki finds out he's not a true Asgardian but was adopted. He doesn't take it well, both because it focuses all of his buried insecurities about playing second fiddle to Thor and because it also reveals to him that he's been a Frost Giant, one of the Asgardians' ancient enemies, all along. Ironically, his adoptive parents had kept the knowledge from him specifically so he wouldn't feel Adoption Angst!
  • Adopted into Royalty: Odin adopted him as an infant to be raised as his son and a prince of Asgard.
  • 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 Grandmaster, says he is adopted to distance himself from Thor, now the Grandmaster's slave.
    • Played for Drama in 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. For instance, 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 also 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 wielder, Loki has been repeatedly shown to be a very capable fighter.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite his actions, his supposed suicide at the end of Thor is met by a Big "NO!" from Thor and a Little "No" from Odin and is accompanied by sad music. His parents and brother are shown grieving afterwards as they believe Noone Could Survive falling off the Rainbow Bridge. When Loki turns out alive and well in the next film, Thor says that all of them mourned him.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Raised as an Asgardian, he has no problems understanding humans and communicating with them. However, he does not seem to know Mongolian, given the apparent language gap when his Variant lands in the Gobi Desert.
  • Alliterative Name: Loki Laufeyson. He never uses the second part himself though as he prefers going by Odinson.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In Thor, Thor's friends keep away from him, laugh at him when Loki fails to convince Heimdall to let them through the Bifrost, and are immediately distrustful of Loki when he takes the throne while his father is in an Angst Coma. Thor himself shuts Loki down with "know your place" when Loki tries to give a sensible advice in Jotunheim. As revealed in Loki, sometime before Thor Lady Sif told Loki that he is a pathetic worm who will always be alone, furious after Loki cut her hair as a cruel prank.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In The Avengers, he manages it three times:
    • He infiltrates the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, kills or subjugates the agents present, steals the Tesseract and leaves before the facility collapses in on itself due to an explosion caused by the Stone;
    • Then his Brainwashed and Crazy soldiers assault the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier, taking down one of its engines, pushing Banner over the edge and releasing Loki, who kills Coulson and sends Thor falling down inside a Glassy Prison;
    • Finally, he takes over the Stark Tower to open the portal for the Chitauri army from its rooftop. It is becoming predictable, and Tony Stark guesses his plan:
      Tony: He made it personal. [...] That's Loki's point. He hit us all right where we live. [...] He wants to beat us, he wants to be seen doing it.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: His biological father is Laufey, the king of Frost Giants, but it is unclear who his biological mother was and what happened to her — she is never seen, mentioned or alluded to on screen. Word of God does not provide much clarity either, stating only that Loki is a bastard and hinting that his mother was not necessarily a Frost Giant. This makes sense given that Loki is uncharacteristically small for a Jotunn and the only one of them who is shown to have hair. note 
  • Ambiguously Bi: In the films. Although Loki has occasionally expressed interest in women, there might be more to the scene where he shares looks with the Grandmaster — he did somehow get the access codes to the Grandmaster's garage with ships, including the one for orgies. The ambiguity does not get resolved until the Loki series, ten years after the release of Thor, where Loki is confirmed to be bisexual, like his comic and Norse mythology counterparts.
  • Ambiguously Related: Loki and Hela, adoptive siblings who look remarkably alike. Taking into account that Loki is not a full Frost Giant and that Hela is Thor's paternal half-sister, it is entirely possible Loki and Hela's mothers were related.
  • 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 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 Laufey is unaware that the younger Prince of Asgard is actually the son he had abandoned as an infant.
  • Anti-Hero: First shown in The Dark World, where he teams up with Thor and Jane for his own cause, but still selflessly risks his life to save them both. In Ragnarok, he initially refuses to help Thor but ultimately arrives with reinforcements to defend Asgardians, thus making a Heel–Face Turn. And in Infinity War, he fights at Thor's side and is killed by the Mad Titan.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: He exhibits a formal and slightly antiquated manner of speaking, especially in The Avengers:
    Loki: You need the cube to bring me home, but I've sent it off, I know not where.
  • Anti-Villain: Loki has lived his whole life with Odin never giving him the same love and affection that he gave Thor. Then he finds out that he was adopted from an enemy race, and his long term goal of winning approval from his adoptive father eventually drives him into insanity. After falling into a wormhole and meeting Thanos, he is far less sympathetic in The Avengers, though he never becomes a Card-Carrying Villain, settling on delusional Dark Messiah.
  • Appeal to Inherent Nature: The way he attempts to justify his crimes in Ragnarok in the In-Universe play he wrote: "I just couldn't help myself. I'm a trickster!" Thor contests it later in the movie when he notes that Loki could both be who he is (the God of Mischief) and change for the better.
  • 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 Jaywalking: 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.
  • Astral Projection: In The Avengers, he projects his consciousness across light-years of space to the distant lair of the Chitauri army while sitting in an underground base on Earth. He is holding the scepter with the Mind Stone, but in a deleted scene he is later communicating with the Other without it. In Ragnarok, he appears before Thor in the dungeons as an intangible illusion while physically being elsewhere. Loki learned this ability from Frigga.
  • 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.
  • Barefoot Loon: In The Dark World after their mother's death, Thor finds grief-stricken Loki sitting on the floor of his cell barefoot, a foot bloody from broken glass, in torn clothes, and with unkempt hair. All furniture is turned upside down and broken into pieces, there are dark impact smudges from the thrown objects on the cell's white walls, books torn apart, and bloody footprints on the floor. Once released, he switches to his usual appearance and snarky persona.
  • Bash Brothers: He was this with Thor before the former's jealousy and insecurities got in the way.
  • Batman Gambit: Loki's whole scheme in Thor is contingent on keeping his brother out of the picture. Without him, Loki's claim to power is undisputed (so long as Odin remains asleep or dies, which Loki also accounts for). Loki makes several attempts to ensure this happens (first by deceiving Thor, then by simply trying to kill him, and finally trying to trap him in Midgard) but they all fail (the first two setting Thor onto the path to reclaiming Mjolnir and the last because he didn't kill Heimdall but just froze him) and Loki is exposed once Thor returns to Asgard.
  • 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.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Loki attempted to murder all Jotunns and take over the Earth, craved the Asgardian throne and power granted by the Tesseract, tried to kill Thor twice, refused to admit he did anything wrong, rejected Odin as his father, and gave in to the Avengers when he realized he was losing. The same person helped rescue the citizens of Asgard from Hela, stopped caring about the Asgardian throne, tossed the Tesseract aside as if it was nothing, tried to save Thor thrice, publicly apologized for past misdeeds in a play he wrote, proudly called himself Odinson, and attacked Thanos knowing that he hardly stood a chance.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Before entering the elevator in Ragnarok, he states that as Odin brought them together, it's poetic that his 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.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: In the past he was acting as D.B. Cooper on Earth; the result of a bet that he had lost to Thor.
  • Beneath the Mask: He 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.
  • Beyond Redemption: His friends and family initially try to reason with him, but his tactics in trying to take over the Earth in The Avengers make him a hopeless case in their eyes. 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, after they've given up on him, he turns a new leaf in Ragnarok.
    Thor: You should know that when we fought each other in the past, I did so with a glimmer of hope that my brother was still in there somewhere. That hope no longer exists to protect you.
  • Big Bad: Loki is essentially the secondary antagonist of the Infinity Saga, even briefly serving as one of Thanos' minions. His schemes and grasps for power always cause trouble whenever he appears.
    • Thor: Loki is an Anti-Villain trying to prove his worth to Asgard in a gambit involving lying, scheming, and committing mass murder.
    • The Avengers: Loki forms an alliance with the Chitauri to invade Earth, but even then he's simply delivering the Tesseract to Thanos in exchange for the planet.
  • Big Bad Friend: As his brother Thor finds out in the first film, 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 Bad Wannabe: While he's the main antagonist of The Avengers and leader of the Chitauri invasion, in the end he is nothing more than a self-absorbed pawn to Thanos. Thanos's emissary, the Other, easily bullies him into submission, and according to the Evil Plan Loki will get Earth, but Thanos will get the vastly more important Infinity Stones.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Little brother in this case. Despite having attempted to kill Thor himself, from The Dark World on when the chips are really down, he shows he does love his brother and will come to his aid.
    • The Dark World: 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.
  • 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 Is Heroic: He briefly wears a blue costume in Ragnarok to blend in better on Sakaar, but is primarily featured in it in promotional materials (posters, art books, etc) after Infinity War whenever they need to refer to his more redeeming side. Thus in the "Marvel Studios Visual Dictionary" he is dubbed "villain and hero" and shown in green to the left (as a villain) and in blue to the right (as a hero).
  • Blunt "Yes": Loki's reply in The Avengers when Thor asks whether he considers himself above the humans.
  • 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.
  • Boring, but Practical: Admittedly, Loki's magic is nowhere near as powerful or flashy as Dr Strange's spells or Wanda's reality-warping capabilities. However, Loki's shape-shifting or use of illusory magic complements his ability as a Magic Knight, allowing him to get the drop on his opponents whenever he's in a bind.
  • 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 Character: He started as a Breakout Villain, but from The Dark World on moved past villain territory. When shooting Loki's death scene in Infinity War, the actor once again believed this is the end of the line for the character. Shortly before the movie release, Loki was voted online as the most popular MCU character. Later that year, Disney's CEO confirmed that Loki's set to star in his own show for Disney+ with Tom Hiddleston returning to the role. In fact, it's the only Marvel TV series to have a second season greenlit, unlike its sister shows WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldiernote . Hiddleston has repeatedly thanked the fans, claiming the series would not be possible without them.
  • 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 (along with Bucky and Nebula). 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.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Given his natural cunning and charisma, Loki has shown various times to be a capable leader. However, 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.
  • Bungled Suicide: At the end of Thor, he lets himself fall into the abyss below the Bifrost after his father Odin rejects his actions, but he survives the fall despite his family's expectations.
  • But Not Too Bi: The Variant who diverged in Endgame confirms himself to be bi in a passing reference, as he had shared life experiences up until that point this would go for the primary Loki as well, which makes his romantic bond with Sylvie stand out all the more.
  • 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 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. He sees his values and passions as above others, manifesting as arrogance. He is emotionally sensitive and conflicted and dwells on the perceived injustices of his life to the point of over-indulgence.
  • Bystander Syndrome: He adopts this attitude in Ragnarok as he begins to forge a new life for himself on Sakaar despite knowing that Hela has been unleashed on Asgard. When Thor arrives later, Loki attempts to convince his brother to take a similar stance. However, Thor, as the hero, rejects this option. Loki then changes his mind.
  • 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.
  • Canon Immigrant: Most of the traits of the MCU's version of Loki (general appearance, status as an anti-villainous Wild Card) were adapted in the comics by Loki's reincarnation, Ikol.
  • Captured on Purpose: In The Avengers, Loki makes no attempt to escape while Thor, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are fighting each other and 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?
  • Casting Gag: Matt Damon, who took on the role of Loki actor in an In-Universe stage play in Ragnarok, is an actor who played a disgraced angel called Loki in Dogma.
  • 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. He also assumes a pose with wide-open arms whenever he tries to assert himself or talk his way out of an unpleasant situation. The pose often includes a grin and a head tilt.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The scepter that Loki uses in The Avengers ends up being significantly important over the course of the MCU, in no small part due to it being left on Earth after being imprisoned on Asgard. While it already seemed to be a powerful weapon that can shoot energy blasts and brainwash people, it's later revealed that the scepter contains the Mind Stone inside of it. Furthermore, HYDRA and the Avengers' experiments with the scepter end up enhancing Wanda and Pietro Maximoff's abilities, and also lead to the birth of the Vision, one of the most powerful beings in the world. For all the trauma Loki caused for the Avengers, he also indirectly gave them some of their greatest assets.
  • 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.
  • Child Supplants Parent: In The Dark World, he overthrows his father—whom he now loathes after being disowned and nearly executed—usurping the Asgardian throne in the process.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • In 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 "fidelity" to Thanos, intending to stab him, only for the Mad Titan to call his bluff and execute him with a Neck Snap.
    • Loki's history of constant betrayals is discussed in the second episode of Loki:
      Mobius: Loki, I've studied almost every moment of your entire life. You've literally stabbed people in the back like fifty times!
      Loki: I'd never do it again, because it got old.
  • Chronic Villainy: As revealed in Loki, he was always going to remain a villain on the Sacred Timeline because this is the destiny the Time Variance Authority enforced for him, finding and getting rid of all his Variants who would decide to stray from this path and "fix themselves".
  • 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.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Loki is particularly wacky, crazy and unpredictable in his various antics like a Looney Tunes character.
  • Color-Coded Characters: His original apparel is green, gold, and/or black, and his hair is also black, which is fitting for a villain. By Ragnarok, gold in his costumes got toned down, and he acquired a secondary association with blue (the true color of his skin, his Sakaaran leather suit and the Space Stone he once owned) and yellow (due to his Sakaaran cloak, his last movie poster and card in Creative Closing Credits) in line with his more heroic role.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He will often distract foes with illusions of himself and will not shy away from using any weapon (magic staff / polearm, throwing knives, daggers, gun or his fancy helmet), attacking from behind (Coulson in The Avengers, Kurse in The Dark World) or blowing an enemy up with their own grenade.
  • Consummate Liar: Comes with the territory of being the God of Lies and Mischief. Lampshaded in Thor when Thor notes he's always been a talented liar. This is right before Loki says he is glad to see Thor.
  • 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.
  • Cool Shades: He puts on a pair of black sunglasses as part of his D.B. Cooper disguise during the plane hijacking.
  • Country Matters: His notorious Curse of The Ancients in The Avengers: "This is my bargain, you mewling quim!" that of course would be an older variant on the modern term whining c*nt. It's about as close to the C-bomb as any Disney movie is willing to dare.
  • Cradle To Grave Character: We see Loki as a baby being adopted by Odin (in a flashback), and we see him die (after a few earlier fake-outs) in Infinity War (although a copy of him from another timeline escapes to unknown whereabouts in Endgame, appearing later as a variant in Loki managing to redeem himself after shaking off his destiny as a villain the Avengers and co. need to overcome to grow); though he never appears elderly, he was hundreds of years old at that point.
  • 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's other victims. Loki makes it worse when it's shown that his file doesn't end on Thanos choking Loki to death, but on Thor holding Loki's corpse as the Statesman explodes, which means that Loki was only hanging by a thread when Thanos broke his neck, and the explosion finished him off. This is Truth in Television, as snapping a person's neck does not immediately kill them.
  • Cultural Rebel: While Asgard has access to magic and experts in using it, they are a Proud Warrior Race who prefers more mundane forms of warfare, magic used as more of a Status Buff than a way of life. This makes Loki stand out significantly, as while he is stronger than the average human and is competent at hand-to-hand, he is nowhere near the same level as Thor and his allies, preferring cunning, charisma and illusion magic to gain the upperhand.
  • 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, 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.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: In Infinity War, he's murdered within the first ten minutes to fuel Thor's pain and anger for the rest of the story.

  • 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 [...] 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 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 (magic 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: In The Avengers, he claims that he wants to bring peace to humans and prevent them from slaughtering each other by conquering them and "freeing" them from freedom, which he deems life's greatest lie. In the first episode of Loki, he says that he wants to "make it easy" for others, who always take wrong paths on their own, and calls himself a liberator.
  • 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: He gets close to it in the beginning of Thor, when he learns he's an adopted member of an enemy race. But he sets out to prove his worth to his adoptive father, Odin instead. In the end Odin's disappointed "No, Loki" renders all his efforts useless. Loki loses the will to go on, lets go of Gungnir he was holding to while hanging over a wormhole and 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.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He doesn't know himself what he wants. Sometimes heroes foil his schemes, other times he gets what he desires (be it respect, admiration, authority, power, worship, revenge, safety, pleasure). But regardless of the outcome he then abruptly abandons his previous goal and finds a new one to chase. And when he finally understands who he truly is and what he is after, Thanos kills him.
  • Determined Defeatist: In Infinity War, he swears fealty to Thanos whom he failed and left years ago and tried to lure into a trap moments ago, gets close and then attacks the towering purple giant who has two Infinity Stones with an ordinary dagger. He is frightened and fully aware that his chances are next to none. But he does it anyway because he has nothing left to lose. Thanos doesn't fall for his pretend devotion, easily thwarts his attack and kills him.
  • Deuteragonist: After Thor himself, the morally ambiguous Loki is the most important character in the Thor films.
  • Devious Daggers: Loki is a mischievous shapeshifting Trickster God who often uses knives and daggers as his primary weapons, being stated in Loki that he literally backstabbed people fifty times.
  • 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. Though it turns out that he somehow survived.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In Infinity War, he is strangled to death by Thanos. In the comics, he's died or been killed a variety of times, but never by Thanos.
  • 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 appears to die.
  • Disappointed in You: Quiet expression of disappointment by those he cares about has more effect on him than any amount of angry shouting ever would. In Thor, when Odin condemns his actions with a Little "No", he lets go of Gungnir and his former life and appears to commit suicide, but is instead Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. In Ragnarok, when Thor calmly admits that he once thought the world of Loki but has given up on him because Loki refuses to change, Loki makes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • 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 returns the favor by pushing Thor out of Thanos's grip so that the Hulk can take care of Thanos. It doesn't work.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: One of Loki's fighting techniques is to create illusions of himself to distract his opponent.
  • The Dragon: To Thanos in The Avengers, leading his Chitauri in conquering Earth.
  • 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.
  • The Dreaded: He established himself as a dire threat to humanity during his campaign to conquer Earth.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: In Ragnarok, Loki sips mead while posing as Odin, which is appropriate for the king of Asgard. Later, he's twice seen drinking whatever's being served in a cocktail glass (maybe a Sakaaran martini) which he holds incorrectly by the bowl instead of the stem: just another mooch working his way through Grandmaster's entourage.
  • Driven to Suicide: He lets go of Gungnir and allows himself to fall into the abyss below the Bifröst at 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 the Berserkers with two daggers.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Before his fall from grace, he would often be mocked by Thor and his friends; when he's trying to talk Thor down from starting a combat they can't possibly win, he's curtly told to "know your place!" It doesn't help his already fragile self-esteem. After Thor's banishment, Loki pleadingly starts "Father..." and Odin shuts him down with an Angrish roar — no one asked for his opinion. And immediately after he legitimately becomes king, Heimdall, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three disobey his commands just because they are suspicious of him.
  • Dumb Struck: In Ragnarok after Odin greets him as his son despite all their quarrels, he does not dare to say a word until his father's death.
  • 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: By Asgardians in Ragnarok, who aren't that angry at him even after duping them as "Odin" for years. 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. Humans, however, consider him a war criminal and a planetary threat, and Thor tentatively suggests that his brother may be "not so bad" only to decide that Loki is indeed "the worst" in Infinity War shortly after.
  • 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.
  • Emerald Power: He is a Master of Illusion and is referred to as a "master of magic", and all his spells are green.
  • Empty Promise: In Infinity War, when the Asgardians have been defeated, and both he and Thor are at the mercy of Thanos, he tries to reassure his brother. Then he is killed, and by the end of Endgame, his promise remains unfulfilled.
    Loki: I assure you, brother, the sun will shine on us again.
  • 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 then 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: Laufey's attempt to assassinate Odin appears to be carried out with Loki's consent but is actually a scheme to make it seem as though Jotunheim breached Asgard and struck the first blow, allowing Loki to kill Laufey and justify a counterattack on their world. This is all done in full view of Odin in Odinsleep, allowing his father to see him be the big hero and thus dupe him into granting him equal power to Thor.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: His henchmen in The Avengers are racially diverse. Where they're from is never specified though; Hawkeye just refers to them as enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He never stops loving his mother Frigga. 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 do anything 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 The Dark World that he still loves his brother Thor when he saves his life from Kurse. Then in 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.
    • Despite denying having any feelings for him, Loki is crushed when he witnessess Odin die in Ragnarok.
  • 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 sorcery and trickery which contrasts to Thor and Odin upfront combat attitude. 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 Is Hammy: In Thor and The Avengers, he alternates between being frighteningly intense and unsettlingly collected.
  • Evil Orphan: Loki had this trope forced on him, seeing as he was lied to his entire life about his parentage. He doesn't become evil until he finds out he is adopted.
  • 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 him merely being a catspaw of another villain who believes that destiny triumphs over free will.
  • 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.
  • Ex-Big Bad: He is the Big Bad in Thor and The Avengers, but after his defeat by the Avengers turns into a reluctant Nominal Hero and a Token Evil Teammate to Thor and Jane in The Dark World, and then a Lovable Rogue who initially minds his own business but in the end arrives with The Cavalry to save the day in Ragnarok. Finally, in Infinity War, he is brutally killed by the film's Big Bad, Thanos after attacking him.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: In the vault in Thor, Loki is shown from behind. Then he turns to reveal that his skin became blue after he touched the Casket because he is a Frost Giant.
  • 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.
    • Ragnarok: Loki pretends to betray the Grandmaster after losing his 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.
    • 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 Angel: He becomes one in Thor when Odin expresses disappointment at his actions, and a heartbroken Loki releases his grip on Gungnir — he's a god who has fallen from grace and from the heavens (Asgard), and plunged into the abyss. His actor directly compared his experience in the year that follows to going through "the Seventh Circle of Hell." He returns in The Avengers to mess with the human race who are under protection of Odin and his son Thor. Humans are not the ones to judge him for his sins though — in The Dark World he is brought before Odin, and found guilty.
  • 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's struggles weaken and purposefully holds Thor's gaze as he dumps his brother's wide-eyed, broken-necked corpse at his feet.
  • 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 Puny Earthlings who "were made to be ruled" and calls them ants. Thor admits that the Asgardians "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", but Loki takes it up a notch. Being defeated and humiliated by said ants and spending a year in the dungeons change his 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Self-absorption and self-doubt. He is so preoccupied with proving his worth that he doesn't notice how much damage he inflicts in the process. In Thor and The Avengers, he would murder all Frost Giants and orchestrate an Alien Invasion of Earth to get the praise or worship he craves and would kill his own brother for stealing the spotlight. Frigga's death in The Dark World leaves him broken. He slowly starts to realize that he was loved by his family and cares for others, which leads to several Pet the Dog moments followed by a Heel–Face Turn. In Infinity War, the last thing he does in his life is selfless.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Subverted. In The Avengers, the Other threatens him with one on behalf of Thanos should Loki fail to bring the Tesseract to the Mad Titan. However, when he comes face to face with Thanos again in Infinity War, Thanos casually strangles him to death after Loki attacks him.
    The Other: You think you know pain? He will make you long for something sweet as pain.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In The Avengers, he still remains polite and graceful when speaking. But it doesn't do much to contain the bitterness and declining sanity that was slowly overcoming him.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Despite having a varied set of magical abilities such as energy projection (which his L1130 variant uses) and telekinesis, Loki primarily falls back on conjuring weapons for him to fight at close range.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: He's the most daintily pretty interpretation of the character so far and has a fighting style based far more on grace, speed and agility than brute strength.
  • 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.
  • Five Stages of Grief: After he learns about his true origin, he cycles through the stages:
    • Thor: He starts with Denial, clinging to the hope that he is not different, just cursed. When Odin confirms his worst fear, he reacts with Anger, shouting at his adoptive father in the vault. He then tries to Bargain, believing that if he'll be a "good Asgardian" (by wiping out their enemies, that is, his own race), he can be recognized as such. When Thor uncovers his scheme, he resorts to Anger again during their fight. Finally, when Odin disapproves of his actions, he literally plummets into Depression by diving into a wormhole.
    • The Avengers: During an argument with Thor on the mountain ledge, he recalls his past with Anger.
    • The Dark World: He is back at Denial when he brings up his "birthright" during his trial, of which he has none, and in a deleted scene when he fantasizes about being crowned king of Asgard while locked in the dungeons. Reminded of grim reality, he undeservedly takes his Anger out on Frigga.
    • Ragnarok: After four years of peace and quiet, he has nearly reached Acceptance. He rationalizes his backstory by writing a play and shares it with all of Asgard, jokes about being adopted and steps back as soon as Thor shows up without further claims to the throne.
    • Infinity War: He has fully Accepted who he is:
      Loki: I, Loki, Prince of Asgard, Odinson, the rightful King of Jotunheim, God of Mischief, do hereby pledge to you my undying fidelity.
  • 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 The Wise Prince (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 regularly attempted 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.
  • Forehead of Doom: He has a prominent forehead, further emphasized by his slicked back black hair.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: In Infinity War, after Loki's death Thor cries at his body, keeps mentioning him while talking to the Guardians, and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge him and the Asgardians. Five years later, in Endgame, Thor never once mentions his brother nor pauses to look or talk to Loki's past version when he has the chance.
  • For the Evulz: While he does not commit evil merely for the sake of it, he enjoys being in control. In Thor, he tells Laufey that he had fun ruining his brother's coronation, and in The Avengers, he smirks when he rips a guy's eye out. 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.
  • Freak Out: In Thor, Loki has one after learning that he is a Jotun. Rife with self-loathing, he then goes from mean-spirited trickery to ruin his brother's reputation to a genocidal scheme that involves trying to kill Thor and using the power of the Bifrost to destroy Jotunheim.
  • 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.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: When he is talking in The Avengers about living in his brother's shadow, Thor points out that sorting out family issues and seeking recompense for imagined slights is a slim excuse for conquering a planet.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: It's implied that Sif and the Warriors Three didn't like him and only tolerated his presence because of their friendship with Thor. They make jokes at his expense and, as seen in a memory in Loki, Sif insulted him to his face after he cut her hair as a prank. Thor was genuinely fond of him but even he eventually grew tired of Loki's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: In a Hostage for MacGuffin situation. 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.
  • 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."
  • Genius Bruiser: A clever manipulator and sorcerer who's also a skilled fighter who's good at using daggers, spears, and other weapons.
  • 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.
  • Gentleman Thief: While hijacking the plane as D.B. Cooper, Loki always remains polite and affable to the flight attendant, much like Cooper himself was during the Real Life hijacking.
  • Glamour Failure: Whenever he comes into physical contact with another Frost Giant or an artifact of Frost Giant power, Odin's spell to mask his true heritage starts to fail and his blue skin and red eyes come out. However, this is always temporary.
  • 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. That is, until Hela shows up.
  • God-Emperor: His ultimate goal in The Avengers is to become one by conquering humanity. During his variant's trial in Loki he incorrectly assumes that the Avengers travelled through time to prevent him from becoming "God King".
  • 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 theinvoked 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, an understandable 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.
  • Good Feels Good: By coming to aid Thor and protect the Asgardians in Ragnarok, he finally earns by authentic means the love and respect that he had always yearned for. In the denouement and The Stinger, Loki is at his most joyful in the films. It doesn't last.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: He always wears his black hair slicked back like a proper villain / weaselly type should, both in Thor and The Avengers where he is the Big Bad, and in the next three films where he is an Anti-Hero. However, in The Avengers where he is at his worst his hair is very styled and oily, while later as he shows his softer side it gets looser and notably more curly.
  • Graceful Loser: When he's finally defeated by the Avengers, he accepts his defeat and asks for the drink Tony had offered him earlier.
  • Grand Staircase Entrance: In The Avengers. he shows up at a museum gala in Stuttgart, Germany, strolling down a huge marble suitcase in an impeccable suit to the soothing strains of a string quartet. Then, in time to the quartet, he whacks a guy with his staff and stabs another in the eye.
  • Green and Mean: He has an affinity for the color green and is the main villain in his first two appearances.
  • 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.
  • Groin Attack: He once got kneed in the balls by Sif after he cut her hair in her sleep as a prank.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: He is the "evil" scheming brunet to his brother Thor's "good" cheerful blond.
  • Hair Flip: Starting from The Avengers, he wears his long hair loose, so he does it all the time in action scenes or whenever he rapidly turns around or gets up from the floor. It even got parodied during Ragnarok's promotion.
  • 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. His actor joked that Loki has "magic pockets" where he hides stuff.
  • Hannibal Lecture: During The Avengers, he tears into Black Widow while imprisoned on the Helicarrier. It must run in the family.note 
  • Hated by All: In The Dark World, he has been tried and convicted for his war crimes. He is hated by his fellow Frost Giants he tried to slaughter in Thor, humans he tried to subjugate in The Avengers, the Greater-Scope Villain Thanos whom he failed, and his former minions who've been released from his mind control. His adoptive father, brother and former friends have given up on him. Even his adoptive mother Frigga condemns his actions, although her secret visits to his cell show that she still loves Loki.
  • 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 up 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 Door-Slam: By the end of Ragnarok, Loki has finally settled on the "face" side and made amends with Thor... then he's killed by Thanos in the opening of his next appearance, Infinity War.
  • 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 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.
    • 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 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.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": In Ragnarok, Loki-as-Odin is hosting a play that's a recap of The Dark World, only rewritten by him to depict himself as a Woobie who heroically saved Asgard. Thor is unimpressed.
  • 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 writing 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.
  • Holy Halo: In Ragnarok, Asgardian frescoes depict him with it.. in dark green clothes, complete with a Kubrick Stare and a menacing grin. They were commissioned by Odin as part of official propaganda, likely before the events of Thor and The Avengers that made Loki utterly unworthy of such imagery. And then he dies a painful death trying to save his brother, eyes to the sky.
  • Horns of Villainy: He wears a helmet decorated with two long devilish horns and is the villain in two films.
  • Hot God: He's a Long-Haired Pretty Boy who's also The Norse God of Mischief.
  • 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 Not Your Father: In Thor, he becomes suspicious after a touch from a Frost Giant doesn't burn his skin but colors it temporarily blue. He confronts Odin, who tells Loki that he was found by him in the aftermath of the great battle against the Frost Giants as an abandoned infant and that Odin took Loki hoping that he could bring peace between Asgard and Jotunheim through him.
  • I Am What I Am:
    • Downplayed in 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 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 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.
  • Identity Breakdown: Loki is not the most mentally stable person to begin with. Discovering that he's really a Jotunn who was adopted by Odin and raised as an Asgardian in Thor makes him confront his father in a rage. The rest of the film is him having one long mental break which features misguided attempt to adopt the identity of a true Asgardian heir, going so far as to attempt mass genocide by destroying Jötunheim. The rejection of his actions by Odin at the end of the film causes him to resolve his identity issues by leaning fully into villainy.
  • 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 be 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 "glorious." 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.
  • 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.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Loki's not the most competent villain in the MCU. He's The Unfavorite of his family, and constantly gets beaten up by his adoptive brother and the other heroes. But considering his motivation and the background he grew up with, you can't help but root for him sometimes.
  • 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!
    • By the time of Thor: Ragnarok, he's mostly grown out of it. Seeing how his people gave him a Historical Hero Upgrade after his "death" and he was legitimately missed by them and Thor, he seems to have figured out that it's better to gain respect and adulation being a hero than a villain.
  • 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. Also in Ragnarok, we learn he did some kind of memory-wipe on Odin off-screen, but he doesn't use this on-screen.
    • According to Marvel's official page, his abilities include among others levitating, molecular rearrangement and teleportation, all of which we did not get to show on screen yet. His Variant does show energy blasts and uses telekinesis to stop a falling building and re-erect it later on, but its never explained why he never used them prior.
  • 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.
  • Insufferable Genius: Massively intelligent even by the standards of an Asgardian, Loki is a calculating mastermined who doesn't mind reminding people how great he is.
  • 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, 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.
  • Interspecies Adoption: He is a Jotun who was adopted by Asgardians.
  • Invisible Introvert: Loki initially appears to be one of these, being much more introspective and way less outspoken than his brother, while his powers of illusion are at first put to use in evading danger and sneaking around rather than combat or bombastic displays. However, it quickly becomes clear that his quiet nature isn't due to him being shy or even particularly asocial - indeed, in The Avengers (2012) he proves quite comfortable giving speeches in front of a crowd, while in Thor: Ragnarok, he's happy as a socialite, and even leads a crowd in a sing-song during Loki (2021); instead, it's due to him being calculating, bitter, and ambitious.
  • 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 Loki was taught it by his mother, 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:
    • In Ragnarok, Hela tells him "kneel" just like he ordered a crowd of Germans to do in The Avengers. Loki can't believe his ears.
    • In Infinity War, he repeats Tony Stark's line from The Avengers: "We have a Hulk". But in the latter Tony is a hero who says it to Loki (the villain), while in the former Loki is an Anti-Hero who says it to Thanos (the Big Bad).
  • 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 adoptive 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.
    • Shortly after Thor jokingly says "get help, my brother is dying" in Ragnarok, Loki actually dies in Infinity War.
  • It's All About Me: He's willing to destroy (in Thor) or subjugate (in The Avengers) an entire planet just to work out his family issues. Ragnarok features a literal monument to his vanity, and while posing as Odin, he's written an epic tragedy about his "fallen son", ergo, himself. Thor, having deduced that Odin is actually Loki in disguise, almost gets him to give himself away by prodding his ego, making insulting remarks about Loki as though he isn't there.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: In The Avengers, Loki leads the Chitauri invasion of Earth for Thanos, but since the Avengers never even find out about Thanos' existence until Infinity War Loki receives most of their animosity - especially after killing Coulson.
  • 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.
  • Jack of All Trades: He is tougher and stronger than humans, super-soldiers and most asgardians, but less durable and weaker than powerhouses as Thor and Hulk; is smart, but not a technological genius like Stark; is good with magic, but not to the levels of Strange or Wanda; is quick and nimble but he is no Quicksilver; is a skilled close-ranged fighter but no match for the Valkyrie, and Winter Soldier demonstrated similar proficiency with knives.
  • 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 Dark World.
    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 God: He is the God of Mischief, and in Thor and The Avengers he hopes to earn the appreciation (or worship) he craves and exact revenge on his brother by attempting first to kill every Frost Giant in existence and then to subjugate the entire population of Earth. Zig-zagged, because after that he gets a slow redemption arc in the next three films.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Overlaps with Villain Has a Point when he points out in Thor that his brother is unfit to rule and Odin was wrong to hide Loki's true heritage, in The Avengers — S.H.I.E.L.D.'s moral ambiguity, and in The Dark World — the number of people Odin has killed himself and Jane's short life span compared to Thor's.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Loki may backstab or deceive Thor and anyone for ulterior motives or to save his own ass. But he ultimately cares, even though it takes him a while to admit it.
  • 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. His immunity is revoked in Infinity War when a failed attempt at backstabbing Thanos causes him to get his neck snapped to make it clear Nothing Is the Same Anymore... only for Endgame to then have an Alternatve Universe version of him from the end of The Avengers who escapes with the Tesseract instead of being imprisoned, completely avoiding his original version's eventual death and allowing him to be able to star in his own Disney+ series instead.
  • 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 his actor, 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 adopted 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: Lying to Thor that Odin died due to the stress of exiling him and that their mother, Frigga, has forbidden his return was just cruel. And that is shortly after Thor failed to lift Mjölnir and realized that he was truly powerless.
    • The Avengers (2012): Telling Natasha that he'll make mind-controlled Clint (her closest friend) kill her, then lift his mind control so that Clint will be horrified by what he's done before Loki kills Clint too.
    • Ragnarok: During his Let's You and Him Fight with Valkyrie, 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. Endgame reaffirms this with the finale, with only those who suffered the snap getting revived. Both Loki and Vision, who were killed directly by Thanos, are explicitly not included. While the events of this film result in a timeline where past Loki escapes S.H.I.E.L.D. custody with the Space Stone, this new version explicitly becomes a separate character.
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    • The Avengers: He commands this to a crowd of civilians, and later Captain America. 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.
    • Ragnarok: He is on the receiving end — Hela demands that he and Thor kneel before her. The brothers don't comply.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: He won't fight if he can't win. In the beginning of Thor, Loki sees that they are outnumbered by the Frost Giants and urges his brother to back down from the fight. When his defeat in The Avengers becomes imminent, he surrenders and asks for a drink. After Hela demonstrates her power by destroying Thor's hammer in Ragnarok, he immediately opts for a retreat with the Bifrost. Inverted in Infinity War, where he would stand up to Thanos no matter what, with a fatal result.
  • Kubrick Stare: He makes this kind of stare in The Avengers after arriving through the portal created with the Tesseract, has this expression on the posters for The Dark World (serves as the page image) and Loki series, and is depicted with it on an Asgardian fresco in Ragnarok. His Forehead of Doom helps to make the look more menacing.
  • 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 having a serious role in Thor, he was played humorously in The Avengers. In the first part of that film, he is the one snarking at heroes, and in the second part he is the butt of their jokes.
  • Large Ham:
    • Far less than Thor or Odin, but he does get his moments. In Thor, just after The Reveal about his true heritage:
      Loki: You took me for a purpose. What was it? [pause]... TELL ME!!!
    • In The Avengers, any time he gets to talk at length he starts looking for scenery to munch on.
      Loki: Kneel before me! I said, KNEEEEEEEEEL!
    • Occasionally in The Dark World, too.
      Thor: What good were you in your cell?
      Loki: Who put me there?! WHO PUT ME THERE?!
    • And in Ragnarok.
      Loki: [arriving in full battle regalia] YOUR SAVIOR IS HERE!!
  • Large Runt: With his height of 6'2", he is so small for a Frost Giant that his biological father Laufey, who himself towers over 7'5" tall, left him to die as an infant.
  • 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: Downplayed. He's committed some of his most reprehensible acts while wearing bright gold armor and claiming that whatever horrible thing he's doing is really for the good of the people he's terrorizing, such as during the Chitauri invasion.
  • Like Father, Like Son:
    • Both Loki and Odin were once ruthless conquerors who showed disdain for other races. However, as Hela remarks, both would rather choose diplomacy. Both rejected each other. Both saw the error of their ways, tried to change and accepted each other before their deaths.
      Loki: I went down to Midgard to rule the people of Earth as a benevolent God, just like you.
    • Loki is also the only child of Odin shown to master his father's prized staff, Gungnir. Both of them use it to launch magical blasts at their enemies (Odin in The Dark World, Loki in Thor), while Thor and Hela treat it in Ragnarok merely as a ceremonial scepter or a big stick to physically hit each other with.
  • 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 edge.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy:
    • In all appearances after Thor, Loki has wavy black hair down to his shoulders, expressive blue eyes, pale skin and a slender build, and moves very gracefully. In Ragnarok, he resembles a masculine version of Hela, who's an attractive woman with similar physical features.
    • At Disneyland, one of the actors who portrays Loki is youthful and has sculpted eyebrows like Tom Hiddleston's Loki in Thor, while his long hair is from Ragnarok.
  • 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 adoptive father Odin and his desire to be loved as a son on par with Thor drives all his schemes in the first film. He becomes a (literal) Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and when Thor calls him out on his actions, his composure deserts him:
    Thor: This is madness!
    Loki: Is it madness? Is it? IS IT!?
  • Love Makes You Evil: In Thor, his strive to be acknowledged and loved leads him to attempt fratricide and genocide.
  • Love Redeems: Loki's final act that bookends his redemption in Infinity War is one of familial love for his brother Thor. He dies trying to defend Thor from his former master, Thanos.
  • Mad God: Mad Physical God in The Avengers, who is sincerely convinced that him falling through a wormhole in space in Thor was his father and brother disposing of him rather than the suicide attempt it really was and that enslaving humans to become their God-King is a grand idea.
  • Mage in Manhattan: In The Avengers, Loki leads an invasion of modern-day Earth while wielding a magic staff and decked out in all his green and gold regalia, ushering in The Unmasqued World in the process.
  • 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.
  • Make Way for the New Villains:
    • Ragnarok: Hela is introduced when she demands that Thor and Loki kneel before her. This flabbergasts Loki who was big on this demand himself. Then he immediately tries to flee back to Asgard, only for Hela to knock both him and Thor out of the Bifrost beam.
    • Infinity War: He suffers this again when Thanos casually breaks his neck ten minutes into the movie for trying to stab the Mad Titan. Ironically, this is a situation where Loki is acting with good intentions.
  • 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 may be devious and unpredictable, but he is quite a sensitive man and can often be seen crying:
    • Thor: Loki's face is visibly wet with Broken Tears after he discovers from Odin that he's actually a Frost Giant. He also sheds Berserker Tears 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: His eyes are wet during the entire scene of him and Thor talking on the mountain. Loki also displays a rare moment of vulnerability right after he stabs Thor. A Single Tear falls from his eye as he says, "Sentiment."
    • 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. Blink-and-You-Miss-It, but he sheds a Single Tear when he closes his eyes once it is over.
  • 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 byinvoked 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.
  • Meaningful Look: When he calls himself Odinson before Thanos in Infinity War, he turns to look at Thor, and his eyes say it all — it's an expression of brotherly love, an apology and a goodbye. He dies shortly after.
  • Mess of Woe: After Frigga dies, his normally immaculate veneer crumbles; his hair is shaggy, his shirt is tattered, the white walls of his prison cell have dark impact marks from thrown objects, there are bloody footprints on the floor, and all of the furniture is 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), when he's mourning for his mother in The Dark World, or when they've lost the fight to Thanos in the opening scene of Infinity War.
  • 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 to being told of his mother's death. His Variant shows that these powers were more potent, but the Sacred Timeline Loki didn't get to show those powers.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The first film begins with Thor and Loki as children being told the story of Asgard's fight with the Frost Giants by Odin, with both of them showing elements of their personalities: Loki eagerly seeks his father's approval.
  • Mirror Character:
    • To Gamora in Infinity War. Both are adopted children who had misguided/callous father figures (Odin and Thanos) and fought against their siblings (Thor and Nebula), albeit with Gamora (like Thor) being the more favored and heroic child and Loki (like Nebula) being the less favored child, driven into villainy against all of the heroes. Both have reconciled with their siblings before Infinity War, where both are forced to witness Thanos torture their siblings gruesomely, ultimately save them by giving up an Infinity Stone or its location, and meet their deaths at the hand of Thanos.
    • To Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy. Both of them are members of a blue-skinned race who end up becoming The Dragon to Thanos, use a weapon embedded with an Infinity Stone in their respective campaigns, as well as having a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits as their primary oppositions. Despite their mutual fear of Thanos, Loki showed no signs of attempting to betray Thanos and he ended up surviving his fight against the Avengers. Ronan, however, chooses to turn his back on his overlord and ended up getting killed by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Loki does eventually end up meeting his demise in the literal hands of Thanos.
  • 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 adopted 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.
  • More than Mind Control: His reasons for allying with Thanos in The Avengers are open to interpretation, but according to Marvel's official site, "unbeknownst to him, the Scepter was also influencing him, fueling his hatred over his brother Thor and the inhabitants of Earth." So Thanos and the Other used the Mind Stone to amplify his evil tendencies, but the decisions were always his own.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: He was abandoned and left to die of exposure as an infant before Odin found and adopted him.
  • Motor Mouth: After Thor sets him free in The Dark World after a year of solitary confinement, Loki gets very talkative. Thor has to Hand Gag him to ensure that the guards don't hear and catch them.
  • 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.
  • Narcissist: In Thor he was just trying to prove himself Thor's equal but by the time of The Avengers, he's become a full-blown megalomaniac who wants to conquer Earth to force humanity to worship him as a God-Emperor in order to prove himself as great a king as Odin, justifying it as bringing peace to Earth. He's highly manipulative, vain, feels entitled to a throne and often resorts to violence just to work out his self-worth issues.
  • 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:
  • Nervous Tics: Loki often fidgets with his hands when he is nervous. Moments where he can be seen doing this include him standing in front of Odin in chains in The Dark World, and him watching the gladiator fight after the champion is revealed to be the Hulk in Ragnarok.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In The Dark World, Loki shows the ability to assume other people's forms — after his release from the prison, when he comes before Odin disguised as a guard and when he pretends to be Odin. Said ability wasn't used in his previous appearances in Thor and The Avengers, and was absent from the original script of The Dark World. The scenes were added/edited late in production to enforce his Joker Immunity after test audiences found Loki's death too upsetting. The ability is then used or discussed in Ragnarok and in Endgame.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Thor: Create Your Own Hero case. 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.
    • The Avengers: Had Loki decided to operate under the radar and avoid instigating as much conflict between him and the Avengers, it's possible that Loki would've been able to take over the Earth as Thanos ordered him to do. But his love of theatrics and ever-hungering need for attention gets him on everyone's bad side, which inspires enough willpower to them to come together as a team and defeat Loki, sending him back to Asgard to be imprisoned.
    • Ragnarok: Since he banished Heimdall, Heimdall is not in Hela's way when she hitches a ride on the Bifröst. This makes Heimdall an unknown Spanner in the Works for her, allowing him to steal the sword, trapping Hela, and to 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.
  • 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 well above any mortal in physical prowess, he isn't 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, or to rely on the Destroyer / brainwashed minions / alien army to do the fighting for him. In The Avengers, he readily dispatches S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are no threat to him and proves Captain America's superior during their short battle, but when he has to deal with the Hulk, Hulk throws him around like a limp noodle:
    Hulk: Puny god.
  • Noodle Incident: Given that he's the God of Mischief and basically chaos incarnate, it's not too surprising that his life's story consists of a few of these.
    • According to the Asgardian stage play "The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard" which...Loki himself wrote, he once turned Thor into a frog.
    • When he and Thor were children, he once transformed himself into a snake, knowing Thor loved snakes too much to resist picking up to admire it. Once he did, he transformed back into himself and stabbed him. They were eight at the time.
    • At one point, Loki pulled a prank on Sif that resulted in a Gag Haircut, though to her it was more of a Traumatic Haircut. She was so pissed at him that she kneed him in the balls, punched him and essentially hated him ever since. For what it was worth, Loki also found this incident to be a source of shame for him as the TVA forced Variant L1130 to relive the moment in a time loop.
    • Loki was D.B. Cooper, and apparently it was all the result of a bet he lost to Thor that Heimdall was in on as well. L1130 passes it off that "he was young" back then - in 1971.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: A twofer when it comes to his physical prowess and magical talent.
    • When it comes to physical strength, Loki isn't all that special when compared to the royal family. But among humans, he's a borderline juggernaut who was able to overpower super soldiers like Captain America with relative ease.
    • His magic isn't all that special when compared to the likes of Doctor Strange, but when fared against enemies with no experience in dealing with mystical threats, it gives him an edge over them.
  • 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 is 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 confirm 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.
    • As of Endgame, an alternate version of the 2012 timeline Loki is out there alive and well, with the Tesseract, and the Loki series explains what happens to him after Endgame.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Tony realizes and lampshades the similarities between him and Loki 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.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He claims that humans must be enslaved in order to bring peace to them and starts an Alien Invasion to build his empire on Earth. Keyword is his because that's what it is all about, getting consolation for not ruling Asgard. He alludes to himself as a boot that is going to crush the ants, so their welfare is not among his priorities. In an extended scene he also says to the Other that he is going to rule mankind "unmercifully."
  • 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!
  • 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 a Jotun 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: As shown 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 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." During his rule as "Odin" he promptly fails to bring order to the Nine Realms. 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.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • The Avengers: He is one for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the human Avengers. As Natasha tells Clint, dealing with a mad Physical God with magical powers is "nothing [they] were trained for."
    • Ragnarok: Doctor Strange briefly becomes one for him. Since he wasn't expecting any powerful sorcerers on Earth, Strange is able to trap him in a pocket dimension.
  • 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.
    • As the MCU began embracing more of the fantastical elements of the comics, Loki's own magical capabilities end up paling in comparison to sorcerors that were introduced later on. To note, Dr Strange after just one year of training was already capable of accomplishing far greater feats than Loki ever did.
  • 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 left him to die when he was a baby for being too small, and there is no mention of his birth mother. According to his actor, this had a huge effect on Loki who internalized the shame of being abandoned and alone. 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.
    • The last words he hears from Thor himself are that he is the worst brother. When Mantis later reads Thor's emotions, she lists tremendous guilt among other things.
  • 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 (completely misguided) 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.
    • Subverted, when at the end of The Dark World Loki disposes of Odin offscreen and impersonates him to take the throne. Four years later, Ragnarok revealed that Loki actually didn't kill him, just wiped his memory and banished him to Earth.
  • 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.
  • Persona Non Grata: At the end of Ragnarok, Thor decides to fly the ship to Earth — with Loki onboard. Considering what happened the last time he was there, Loki points out how unlikely it is that he'll be welcome:
    Loki: Do you really think it's a good idea to bring me back to Earth?
    Thor: Probably not, to be honest.
  • Perspective Reversal: In Thor, Loki is initially cautious and diplomatic, while Thor would recklessly plunge into battle. By the end of the film, Thor becomes much more peaceful and tries to reason with his enemies, while Loki resorts to violence and tries to demolish an entire world to achieve his goals.
  • 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 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 prepared to leave, and these comforting words would gain Loki nothing.
  • Physical God: He hails from a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and calls himself the God of Mischief. Downplayed compared to other members of his adoptive family — unlike Odin, Thor, and Hela, Loki doesn't have innate godlike powers, and all his skills come from learning.
  • 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.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: It does not take Loki long to escape from the Helicarrier after he has been Captured on Purpose and has set up the Avengers against each other in their namesake movie.
  • Poisonous Captive: In The Avengers, Loki is captured early on, only to instigate chaos from inside his glass cell. He manipulates the Avengers so that they start 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: If Loki can't get others to notice him in a positive manner, then the negative kind will do.
    • 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). 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.
    • At some point pre Thor, he cut off a chunk of Sif's hair as a little bit of fun. This led to her berating him as a "conniving, craven, pathetic worm", slapping him in the face, and then kneeing him in the groin. What is more, according to Word of Saint Paul, Loki slept with Sif right before that.
  • 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.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Loki has blue eyes and his usual outfit has yellow/gold elements. His true Frost Giant form has blue skin and red eyes. The outfit that he acquired from Sakaar is primarily dark blue and yellow.
  • Prodigal Hero: For centuries, he was living in luxury as a Prince of Asgard. Then he learns that he was adopted from a race of enemies, tries to commit both Fratricide and genocide, and by letting himself fall into the abyss goes into self-imposed exile. He lives a destructive life, is imprisoned, escapes, becomes an impostor who pretends to be the rightful king while taking no responsibility, is exposed, goes into hiding and leisuring around again... Until he returns to help Thor save the Asgardians from their evil ruler, Hela. The first thing he hears when he is back is "welcome home," from Heimdall.
  • Proud Beauty: As a charismatic schemer, Loki is preoccupied with looking as elegantly handsome as possible, always adorning himself with intricately-designed apparel. He even has a masculine Supermodel Strut 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 in order to respond to the affront to his pride. Later 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).
  • Psychological Projection:
    • His default mode in The Avengers:
      • He gives the crowd of Germans a lecture on how the mad scramble for power and identity diminishes their life's joy, something he is reluctant to admit about himself.
      • He refers to Bruce Banner/Hulk as a "mindless beast" that "makes play he's still a man," asks how desperate Nick Fury is to summon "such lost creatures" to defend him and constantly taunts Banner with looks. When Black Widow calls Loki a monster he just replies "No, You've brought the monster." In Thor, Loki called himself a monster after finding out his true parentage, and in The Dark World he says that Thor must be truly desperate to come to him for help.
      • During his speech to Black Widow, he's as much talking about himself as he's talking about her. Bonus points for showing his own reflection in the glass that separates them:
        Loki: Your ledger is dripping, it's gushing red. [...] 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!
    • In The Dark World, he taunts Thor about potentially losing Jane, while he himself is still mourning their mother's death:
      Loki: You'll never be ready! The only woman whose love you prized will be snatched from you!
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Loki's motives initially center on gaining his father's approval, getting out of his big brother's shadow, or getting the respect and adoration 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. Though, he at least tries to appear composed and regal. Lampshaded in The Avengers:
    The Other: Your ambition is little, and born of childish need.
  • 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).
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: He has expressive, big blue eyes that easily turn wet and shiny when he is emotional, the trait his actor has in real life. Especially in Thor, when Loki watches Thor get banished, when he's ranting to Odin about his true parentage or in his last scene when he tells Odin that he did it all for his family and Asgard.
  • The Queen's Latin: Like all of the Asgardian characters, he speaks with the "classical" English accent (as opposed to, say, a Scandinavian one). American Jaimie Alexander who plays Lady Sif said other actors used Tom Hiddleston (who went to Cambridge and didn't need to fake it) as their goal reference.

  • 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. Also regardless of his origins, he was a child when Thor was and they became adults at the same rate too.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Loki delivers a fantastically vicious one to the Black Widow in The Avengers.
    Black Widow: 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!
  • Reclining Reigner: 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!
  • Redemption Demotion: As the Big Bad in Thor he nearly kills his brother and plans on destroying a planet with all inhabitans, and in The Avengers heroes come together to stop him from conquering Earth. He is imprisoned or bound for most of The Dark World, though he still uses magic and trickery to achieve his ends. In Ragnarok where he makes a Heel–Face Turn, Doctor Strage humiliates him, he loses a fight to the Valkyrie, and Thor sees through his illusions. In Infinity War, he attacks Thanos with a plain dagger and is easily killed off. Justified because he initially uses a lot of external sources of power note  which he later stops relying on, and Thor wisens up to his tricks.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • The Dark World: Subverted. 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, where he tries to kill Thanos and is strangled to death for it. Tom Hiddleston confirmed it. Good night, sweet prince of Asgard, Odinson.
  • Redemption Rejection: When Thor is still willing to offer Loki a Last-Second Chance as the Chitauri attack New York, he genuinely considers it... then shanks Thor with a throwing knife and sheds a Single Tear.
    Loki: Sentiment!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In Thor, he gets blood-red eyes and blue skin when he touches the Frost Giants' source of power, showing he is one of them. Under Glamour, his eyes are blue.
  • Red/Green Contrast: He possesses a prominently green color scheme, while Thor, his brother and opponent / rival wears a flowing red cape.
  • 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.
  • The Red Mage: Of the Magic Knight variety. Loki's magic is limited to conjuring, illusion-casting, shapeshifting, low-scale telekinesis and mental manipulation, most of which serve to complement his fighting style. Compare this to other magic-users like Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch or even Agatha Harkness who all use their spells in a more offensive manner and are thus capable of far more destructive feats. His older variant, Classic Loki, scoffs at the other Lokis' reliance on knives over magic, and shows how powerful a Loki could be had he invested his efforts in magic than blade work.
  • 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.
  • Replacement Goldfish: To Odin, who took Loki in as an infant after banishing his eldest biological child, Hela. It is no coincidence that under Glamour with his black hair, pale skin, blue eyes and lithe build he looks like her male version. Having him repeat Hela's (and Odin's own) worst mistakes was not Odin's intent though.
  • 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.
  • Retroactive Idiot Ball: The Avengers (2012) has Loki allowing himself to be captured so that he can be led to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier, where he uses his powers and the Scepter to mess with people's minds in various ways. A year later, Thor: The Dark World shows that Loki's powers go beyond simple mind manipulation/reading, and include shapeshifting, of himself, his surroundings, and/or other people if he wishes to, which makes his attempts at messing with the good guys in the former movie come across as him not really trying very hard.
  • Revenge:
    • Thor: 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: In Thor, he subtly makes Thor venture to Jötunnheim by stating that Thor shouldn't do that.
  • 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 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.
  • Royal Brat: Loki has overtones of this in the first film, though not to the extent of Thor. 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.
    • As of Infinity War, Loki gets killed by Thanos after having Disney Deaths in the first two Thor films. This time he didn't fake his death.
  • Sacrificial Lion: His death in the first scene of Infinity War demonstrates that all bets are off and Anyone Can Die in this film.
  • Sadist: The Avengers: He announces his arrival on Earth by killing a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with the evil spear of doom that Thanos gave him. He then proceeds to kill many more people over the course of the movie. And he does it with a creepy and sadistic grin in his face. However, when Thor makes him look down at all the chaos he's unleashed from atop the Stark tower, Loki looks horrified and quietly says that it is too late to stop it before stabbing Thor, shedding a Single Tear and fleeing.
  • 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 his final moments), Hela is his elder adoptive sister and Fenrir is her pet. Loki has raven-black hair and is An Ice Person.
  • Safety in Indifference: After the events of Thor, he deperately tries but fails not to care. He disowns Frigga as his mother, but the words don't come easy, and he becomes a mess after her death. He repeatedly states that Odin is not his father, but is hurt when Odin says that Loki's birthright was to die, Dumb Struck when Odin reclaims him as his son and ready to cry when Odin dies. He shouts that Thor is not his brother, tries to kill him, and then is angry that Thor doesn't visit him in his cell; says that they should part ways, but is upset when Thor agrees; and finally, prompts Thanos to torture Thor, and then can't bear it.
  • Sanity Slippage:
  • Sanity Strengthening:
    • The Dark World: He starts to regain his sanity in the second half of the film. He's on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and unstable but not Ax-Crazy, and while he displays Death Seeker tendencies, these are subverted when he fakes his death to usurp the Asgardian throne.
    • Ragnarok: After four years of peacefully ruling Asgard, he's downright sane again, his manic tendencies gone in favor of casual charm. His hatred of Thor and Odin has cooled, he acts willing to share power and is much more relaxed about getting it.
  • Satanic Archetype: In The Avengers, he's a Fallen Angel who has lost the favor of the Top God (Odin), fallen from the heavens (Asgard) and arrived to wreak havoc among the humans, and an evil tempter who sways decent people to his side with an Instant Allegiance Artifact. He's prideful, condemns conventional morality (freedom, friendship / love) in a patronizing manner and wears a helmet decorated with two ostensive Horns of Villainy. The original Loki from Norse Mythology also came to be associated with Lucifer after Christianization.
  • Save the Villain: His brother and father try to save him twice in Thor, to no avail:
    • Subverted during the climactic fight between him and Thor, when he is left clinging to the Bifrost by his fingertips and pleads Thor to help him only for Thor to find out that it is one of Loki's illusions.
    • Defied when Odin tries to save both of his sons after the destruction of the Bifrost, but Loki lets go and allows himself to fall into the abyss.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: He wears long stylish scarves with his Badass Longcoats when he puts on human clothes in both Thor and The Avengers.
  • 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: Indirectly, Loki is responsible for both his parents' deaths.
    • Loki directing Kurse to where the Aether was led to Frigga fighting him to protect it and dying in the process. Mobius, replaying the events, states Loki killed her.
    • After Odin passes away on Earth, Thor says that it was "Loki's doing". Thor also later remarks that Loki "stranded him on Earth to die". Whether or how Loki contributed to Odin's death from old age is never explained.
  • 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. He also speaks of his "exile", but it is actually self-imposed and Thor begs him to come back home. Loki's faulty memories are due to him spending a good year in the graces of Thanos and/or other sinister forces (the actor refers to his offscreen experiences as "the Seventh Circle of Hell") and then having his negative emotions amplified by the scepter (as revealed in supplementary material). Years later, in Ragnarok he correctly retells the story of his fall to Sakaarans ("I let go").
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He is the wily Sensitive Guy to Thor's warrior Manly Man:
    • 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 an emotional breakdown in his prison cell while Thor starts to plot to avenge her. During their clash with Malekith, Loki defends Jane whereas Thor is the aggressor.
    • 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 as Thor continues to fight her.
  • Shadow Archetype: He is a twisted reflection of Frigga. Both are sly, fashionable, spell casters and agile combatants. But Frigga is benevolent, puts others first and is content with not being number one. She is admired by the Asgardians because she is what is expected from the Queen. Loki could never compete with Thor in Odin's eyes, and was disparaged by his peers, Proud Warrior Race Guys for being different. The need for validation made him self-centered, ambitious, and ultimately villainous and violent. In the end, he comes to terms with who he is and shows that he cares for those he loves more than his own life, just like Frigga.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: In Thor, Loki is revealed to be under a glamour that hides his true form — a blue-skinned Frost Giant. Since Loki thinks of himself as Asgardian and hates his true species, he keeps the glamour on afterward.
  • Shapeshifting Trickster: Loki is notorious for manipulating people through lies and trickery, and where Thor uses brute force, Loki uses his mind and magic. He is also a shapeshifter and he uses this powers to disguise himself to further his own goals.
  • 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: While on Midgard, he has a particular fondness for black suits: 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.
  • Shipped in Shackles: In The Dark World, he is escorted to his trial in heavy handcuffs, legcuffs and a metal collar interconnected with chains that are also wrapped around his waist, and is accompanied by ten Einherjar, elite Asgardian warriors holding those chains. When it comes to the God of Mischief who has just tried to conquer Earth, you can't be too sure.
  • Short-Lived Leadership:
    • Thor: He becomes the king of Asgard as the next in line after his father Odin falls into Odinsleep and his elder brother Thor is banished for attacking a neighborhood state. It only lasts for a couple of days until Odin wakes up, and ends in Loki's attempted suicide.
    • After tricking Thor at the end of The Dark World, he again takes the throne, this time disguised as Odin. This lasts for four years, until the beginning of Ragnarok.
    • Ragnarok: He briefly assumes leadership over the Sakaaran gladiators. It ends in his death at the hands of Thanos in The Teaser of Infinity War.
  • 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 Thor 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. He initially tries to Remove The Rival by goading Thor into making wrong decisions, lying to him and attempting to murder him. However, they're forced to work together in The Dark World after their mother is killed and in Ragnarok when their older sister Hela shows up and takes the throne from both of them.
  • Sibling Team: 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 onward. Most notable is their "Get Help" routine that 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: In Thor, his brother starts as a Boisterous Bruiser who takes in the attention without realizing how destructive and reckless he is. Loki is the opposite, being quiet and preferring to use trickery and illusions. By The Avengers, Thor has learned to stop, listen, think and be humble. Loki has learned to fight, to take control and assert himself and has become a villain, again the opposite of Thor. By Ragnarok, they have learned from each other as Thor like Loki becomes more mischievous and scheming and Loki like Thor becomes more selfless and even heroic.
  • 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.
  • Silent Treatment: In Ragnarok, he is briefly subjected to this when he shows up as an illusion in the gladiator dungeons to talk to his brother, until Loki exasperatedly tells Thor to say something.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: In The Avengers, he mocks Black Widow's strive to "wipe out the red" from her ledger:
    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.
    • Endgame: Unlike other dead characters, he is missing from every single trailer and TV spot, and all posters but two. He still appears briefly in a couple of scenes.
  • 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.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Loki is known for being an arrogant narcissist with delusions of self-entitlement which sometimes gets him into trouble like when he insulted Hulk within Avengers Tower, calling him a "dull creature" which caused him to be thrashed around like a ragdoll and called a "Puny God".
  • Smile of Approval: In Ragnarok, he smirks 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, often letting his inferiority-superiority complex get the better of him. His overconfidence shows when he boldly declares "Nothing Can Stop Me Now" in the third act of both movies only to be brought down by Thor or by the Avengers' combined effort shortly after:
    Loki: [in Thor] You can't stop it. The Bifrost will build until it rips Jotunheim apart.
    Loki: [in The Avengers] The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that. What have I to fear?
  • The Social Expert: In The Dark World, Frigga notes that Loki is very perceptive about others. In The Avengers, he quickly gauges his foes' personal weaknesses to set them against each other, and in Ragnarok, effortlessly climbs to the top of the Sakaaran social ladder and later becomes the leader of the gladiators he has just met through sheer charisma.
  • 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!"
  • Sorry That I'm Dying:
    • The Dark World: When he is "dying" in Thor's arms, he says that he is sorry thrice before Thor stops him. Subverted, because he is faking his death.
    • Ragnarok: The scene of his death from The Dark World is reenacted In-Universe in a play Loki wrote himself, but the lines got more elaborate, and the delivery — more cheesy. Played for Laughs.
  • 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.
  • Speed Blitz: When he pulls out the knife in Infinity War, Ebony Maw is startled and Proxima Midnight is still aiming her deadly spear at him — they were both not quick enough to react. Thanos, however, saw it coming and stops Loki with the Space Stone before the dagger reaches his neck.
  • Spiky Hair: He overused the styling gel in The Avengers, resulting in spiky ends sticking out in all directions as if he went for the "evil Christmas tree" look. Being the Big Bad has downsides.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: He became this in The Dark World, with him upstaging Malekith — who is the actual main villain — and the filmmakers removing some of Malekith's scenes to make room for more Loki. That said, Marvel then put him on the sidelines: his Cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron was cut, and he disappears for four years until Ragnarok, where he has less screentime than Banner/the Hulk and Valkyrie, and Infinity War, where they Dropped a Bridge on Him in the first 10 minutes of the film.
  • 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 Kurse 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 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 Ragnarok, he becomes less defensive and loses much of his snark.
  • Stone Wall: For human standards. Physically, Loki only seems to have the same level of strength as Captain America, but the Captain is unable to harm him.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: He can vary from being a physical god like his brother, to being more or less on the same level as Captain America depending on what suits the plot.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • Thor: His scream of Tell me! when Odin finally reveals that Loki is adopted is made all the more shocking because Loki had almost never raised his voice above a whisper before.
    • The Avengers: When Loki is commanding a group of people in Stuttgart to kneel:
      Loki: Kneel before me! I said... KNEEEEL!
    • In The Dark World:
      • When his mother visits him in his cell:
        Frigga: Your father—
        Loki: HE'S NOT MY FATHER!
      • Later, when Thor and Loki start to argue and Thor says that Loki hasn't been of much help in his cell:
        Loki: Who put me there? WHO PUT ME THERE?!
  • 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.
  • Supermodel Strut: 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.
  • 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.
  • Super Toughness: He shrugs off gunfire like it's nothing, treats most of Captain America's hits like they're minor inconveniences, takes an explosive arrow to the face which would've blown a normal human to pieces, and later survives getting slammed to the ground multiple times by The Hulk and still being able to walk properly after getting up later.

  • Tainted Veins:
    • The Dark World: When he seemingly dies, his skin turns ash-grey and his veins become highly visible.
    • Ragnarok: When he attempts to betray Thor, his brother incapacitates him with a neurotoxin, which turns his veins dark purple.
  • 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 or regret their life's choices. In Loki, he goes on to explain that he then intends to conquer Asgard and the Nine Realms.
  • 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 (1.88m or 6'2''), 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.
  • Taught by Experience: In Infinity War, he claims that he has learned from his unsuccessful attempt to "pacify" Earth in The Avengers, but Thanos won't listen:
    Loki: If you're going to Earth, you might want a guide. I do have a bit of experience in that arena.
    Thanos: [unimpressed] If you consider failure experience.
    Loki: I consider experience, experience.
  • 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:
    • After he learns his true heritage, as a member of the Always Chaotic Evil race, he embraces the role of the villain. 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. In Loki, he confesses to Mobius that he does not enjoy hurting people. But he deems himself a villain so he does it to maintain the illusion.
    • Inverted in Ragnorok. Combined with a little Tough Love Thor’s telling him he could be more than just the The God of Mischief even after all he’s done, that convinces Loki to change for the better and pull a Big Damn Heroes on rescuing the Asgardians from Hela.
  • 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.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Ted Allpress plays Loki as a kid in Thor, while Tom Hiddleston plays him as an adult.
  • 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: 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 and becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds when he learns of his true heritage.
  • Too Clever by Half: This is one of the reasons why he's defeated in The Avengers. He initially had the upper hand, nearly driving the Avengers apart, damaged the helicarrier and successfully opened the portal for the Chitauri invasion force. Unfortunately, him killing Coulson was what gave the Avengers (primarily Tony and Steve) the motivation to set aside their differences and work together to defeat him.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Thor, he is a Tragic Villain and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. In The Avengers, he is a psychopath who enjoys ripping a guy's eye out, and directly or indirectly kills around 200 people (80 people in the first two days — according to Black Widow, including those who died in and after the explosion caused by the Tesseract, unknown number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents during the attack on the Helicarrier, plus 74 causalities during the Battle of NY — according to General Ross's data in Captain America: Civil War).
  • 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.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Oh boy.
    • Almost immediately after watching his brother be exiled — something he was reasonably upset about — Loki discovers his true heritage as a Frost Giant by accident and subsequently realizes he was never to be permitted to inherit the throne of Asgard. On top of this the stress causes his father to enter the Odinsleep.
    • In the finale of the first film he crosses the Despair Event Horizon after being faced by disappointment and disapproval by Odin for his plan to wipe out the Frost Giants. After voluntarily letting go and falling through the rift in space something happens that causes him to be far more violent and psychologically unstable by The Avengers.
    • After his plan to conquer Earth fails he's sentenced to an eternity in prison after Odin cruelly salts the wound of Loki never being intended to inherit the throne of Asgard.
    • Then he learns that Frigga — whom he still loved — has been killed.
    • In Ragnarok he and Thor reunite with their father and Odin reconciles with Loki, only for Odin to pass away minutes later.
    • After Loki has mended fences with Thor and finally is happy in his role as Thor's brother. Then Thanos catches up with their ship in Infinity War. After Thanos forces Loki to watch him torture Thor, Loki attempts to attack Thanos and is graphically killed.
  • Trickster God: Loki isn't called the God of Mischief in-universe for nothing. 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.
  • Twofer Token Minority: The Loki series reveals that he's genderfluid and bisexual.
  • 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 lazing around hedonistically 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 exiling Sif may have ended up saving her life since she wasn't there to get killed by Hela.
  • The Unapologetic: Zig-zagged. In Thor, The Avengers and in the first half of The Dark World, Loki doesn't admit he did anything wrong when he attempted to destroy Jotunnheim or conquer Earth. In the second half of The Dark World, he repeats "sorry" to Thor thrice while faking his death. In Ragnarok, he stages a public apology of sorts, however sincere, by including a more detailed List of Transgressions in his play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard.
    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.
  • Underestimating Badassery: In The Avengers, he starts ranting at the Hulk as a mindless brute and his inferior. While this is a stupid act on anyone's part, Loki is quite arrogant, and most importantly, a god. The idea that the Hulk could defeat him probably never entered into his mind. The Hulk proceeds to beat the "puny god" down like a rag doll.
  • Unexplained Recovery: In Thor, he makes a suicide attempt by letting himself fall into a black hole, something that other Asgardians consider impossible to survive, and then reemerges in The Stinger. In The Dark World, he is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice and seemingly dies in Thor's arms, but reappears again at the end. It is unclear how he managed to stay alive in both cases.
  • The Un-Favourite: As an adopted son, he would not be Odin's heir or wield Mjolnir, even though Odin hoped he would rule Jötunheim as an ally. Loki also didn't fit the ideal of Asgard and probably reminded Odin of Hela, so while Odin considered him his son, he found it hard to connect. In his madness, Loki views Odin's disapproval of the genocide he tried to commit in his name in Thor as the final confirmation that he will never be enough. In turn, in The Dark World Odin publicly disowns him for his crimes on Earth. In Ragnarok, 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. Loki struggles to hold back tears. In Infinity War he calls himself "Odinson".
  • 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: In the original myths and comics, Hela and Fenris were Loki's offspring, and in the myths, Loki is the mother of Odin's eight-legged steed Sleipnir. Here, Hela is Odin's daughter, Fenris is her pet, and Sleipnir is Odin's steed and so old that he is depicted in the hidden mural showing Odin and Hela's conquest in Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • In The Dark World, Loki advises Kurse to take side stairs out of the dungeons, which backfires quite spectacularly as it directly leads 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 allows Thanos to take hold of it in Infinity War, and Thanos eventually performs 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 Loki'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: At the beginning of Ragnarok, 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 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 and that Odin should have told him who he was from the beginning instead of raising false expectations and letting him find out the hard way.
    • The Avengers: He calls out of the hypocrisy behind S.H.I.E.L.D.'s supposed moral superiority, and is immediately proven right in the same film and even more so — later in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    • The Dark World:
      • When Frigga mentions Loki's victims 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.
      • He correctly points out that Thor will outlive Jane by a very long time.
  • 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.
    • After being apprehended by the end of The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D manages to claim ownership of Loki's scepter, which is later used by HYDRA to give the Maximoff Twins their powers, and by the Avengers/Ultron to create the Vision. Had Loki never brought the scepter to Earth, two of the world's most powerful Avengers would've never come into existence, and the aforementioned Ultron would've never been constructed.
    • Outside of the Avengers, his actions had lasting effects on the people of New York, with Adrian Toomes in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Hammer Industries in Luke Cage creating weapons out of those left behind in the battle, and his attack on New York allowing people such as Wilson Fisk in Daredevil to take advantage of the situation and rise in power.
  • Villainous Underdog: As a villain he is easily overshadowed by Thor and the Avengers, but he uses his cunning to be a threat.
  • Villainous Valour: In The Dark World, Loki exhibits bravery and willingness to put his life on the line for both Thor and Jane, a mortal dismissed by Odin as a "goat at a banquet." Given that most members of Thor's team have threatened or assaulted him and Thor has offered him no sympathy after their mother's death, promised to bring him back for 4000-year solitary confinement and was about to beat him up while he's shackled and incapable of defending himself, it's a wonder that Loki doesn't just let Thor die in battle and skip off to the hills. Before his fall, Loki similarly defended Fandral during the attack on Jotunnheim.
  • 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.
  • Warrior Prince: Downplayed. He's a Magic Knight fully capable of holding his own against multiple opponents and is the reason the Avengers were formed. However, he lacks the sheer power and Blood Knight attitude of his brother and tends to prefer trickery and illusions to accomplish his goals.
  • 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:
    • Thor: His actions are ultimately for the good of Asgard. He is trying to show that he's worthy of his father's trust and every bit the equal of Thor. But his plan involves a genocide against the people of his race whom he wishes to reject.
    • The Avengers: Subverted. According toinvoked Word of Saint Paul (Tom Hiddleston in The Art of The Avengers), he 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. But all he truly wants is for him to rule it.
  • 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: He often dons wide fake smiles, but in the rare moments when his reaction is genuine, it is subdued, and Thor can't help but mirror it and ease up on him.
    • Thor: In a deleted scene, Thor accuses him of insincerity but softens when he sees Loki's expression.
    • Dark World: In Svartalfheim, Thor is about to beat him up, but when Loki jokes about their mother and smiles nostalgically, Thor backs off and briefly smiles in response.
    • Ragnarok: When after everything, the surviving Asgardians are escaping on a spaceship and Loki appears in Thor's cabin in person:
      Thor: If you were here, I might even give you a hug.
      Loki: [smiles] I'm here.
      Thor: [smiles back]
  • 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.
  • 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 (asinvoked confirmed by Word of God).
  • Wild Card: He has changed or pretended to change the allegiance so many times that you'll get tired of counting. Loki is always on his own side, the rest "varies from moment to moment".
  • 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.
  • 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), 1053 years before the events of Infinity War, in this film Thor states 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. He also attempts to murder his brother Thor, the favorite who gets in the way. When Odin decidedly disapproves of his actions, Loki is devastated and tries to take his own life.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After all his inner struggles he finds some measure of peace and acceptance at the end of Ragnarok, only to witness half of those he chose to protect slaughtered and his brother tortured in Infinity War. Then Thanos brutally kills him.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Loki has 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 Have Failed Me: According to the writers' and directors' commentary, he is killed in Infinity War for "disobedience".
    Stephen McFeely: Remember, [Thanos] had a relationship with Loki, even if it was off-screen where he entrusted him with a duty in The Avengers and Loki failed.
    Joe Russo: [Thanos] is making him pay.
  • You Killed My Mother: In The Dark World, when Kurse is leaving the dungeon, Loki suggests that he take "the stairs to the left." This saves Kurse at least some time and hassle on his way to disable the shield generator, regroup with Malekith and ultimately kill Frigga on Malekith's orders. Loki's filled with sorrow, rage and guilt. After Thor frees him they unite to hunt down Malekith and Kurse together; Loki destroys Kurse in retaliation.
  • 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.
    • 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!
    • 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."
    • 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 Nominal Hero 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.

"You... will never be... a god."

Alternative Title(s): MCU Loki