Change is afoot in the MCU, and Loki is at the epicenter. Loki season 2 has the antihero vying to prevent the Sacred Timeline from total collapse while also stopping Kang before he gets too powerful. Playing around with time so much leaves the universe and our protagonist open to just about anything, including a return to Asgard for a reunion with Thor, something that would be disastrous.
Marvel Studios has been vocal about the MCU’s top siblings getting back together. Apparently, the Marvel characters embracing again is “the priority” in terms of Loki’s overall arc, as Marvel exec Kevin Wright told Variety, and now that we’re coming into the finale of season 2, I’m bracing myself for the worst.
It’s not that I don’t want to see Tom Hiddleston’s Trickster God happy, or Chris Hemsworth’s Thor again (big fan of either occurring!), I simply don’t want one of the greatest deaths in the franchise reduced to a mere bump in the road. Thanos killing Loki in Avengers: Infinity War was perfect — a genuine tragedy that cemented Thor and Loki’s relationship and made everyone understand the Mad Titan was a Marvel villain beyond what we’d seen before.
After spending most of their lives at odds, thanks to the hierarchy for the throne of Asgard and their contrasting personalities, Thor and Loki had finally reached an equilibrium by burning down Asgard and starting again with their people elsewhere. Thanos took away that second chance, and in his dying moments, Loki promised Thor the “sun would shine on them again”.
It’s a beautiful line that makes a heartbreaking moment even worse. Thor then goes on the warpath, forging a new weapon — Stormbreaker — to kill Thanos, which he eventually does. Loki’s murder is a narrative benchmark for his brother and us alike. Easily one of the most popular characters of the Infinity Saga (perhaps second only to Iron Man), we knew things were truly getting real when Thanos strangled Loki because it was the first time the trickster encountered something he couldn’t wriggle away from.
Loki and Hiddleston’s popularity seemed like hefty narrative armor. I knew if, and when Kevin Feige decided it was Loki’s time, it would be big because you don’t kill off someone with that many dedicated Tumblr blogs lightly. It needs to matter. It needs to hurt in order for us to still feel it every time we see an aesthetic GIF.
Really, it was the perfect catalyst for Thanos. He was that powerful, bloodthirsty, and arrogant, and over the course of two superhero movies, we found out just how much it takes to truly return the favor. Thor and Loki being throttled by Thanos and the Black Order is a huge load-bearing scene for Infinity War and Endgame, teeing off an epic double-parter that closed out an era of pop culture.
The last thing Loki and the MCU should ever do is walk it back. The Disney Plus show gave this version of Loki, who escaped from the invasion of New York in 2012’s Avengers, a crash course on the sacred timeline so he was on the same page emotionally as the one who died. That was enough overlap with the past.
The possibility of meeting Thor again but never doing so should be the eternal ‘what if’, the thing Loki either always gets stopped from doing or decides against for reasons known only to him. Our desire can burn alongside his, lingering throughout the Marvel movies and Marvel series. The sadness of what could’ve been and what could be is a fundamental part of life, and I enjoy when art reflects those complicated emotions back at me. It comforts me and helps me understand my own pain.
Really, them meeting again will be diminishing returns because the reality never quite lives up to the dream, especially after something like Loki’s death. It’d be arbitrary, fueled by short-lived nostalgia and our want for fantasy to do things impossible in the real world. There’s no substance, just an attempt to hit us in the feels without really earning it.
The opposite of how it felt to see Loki’s lifeless body. Even in the multiverse, some things need to be eternal; otherwise, truly nothing matters.
You can catch all of Loki, as well as all the Thor movies, on Disney Plus now. Have a look at our upcoming Marvel movies guide to see what’s coming, as well as our look at The Marvels to get the scoop on that.