Looking back on the past eight years of Marvel Studios films, there are certain events in particular that we can look to as being truly major moments and decisions. The casting of Tom Hiddleston as Loki in "Thor" and making Loki the main villain of "The Avengers" both qualify. With an impressive mix of psychotic charisma and shocking pathos, the God of Mischief has been established as one of the great cinematic comic book villains, and we can’t wait to see more of him in "Thor 3." But those of you hoping that his stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will last beyond that may not want to count your chickens until they hatch.
Of course, nothing has been made official by Marvel or Tom Hiddleston (do you expect them to give away the death of a big character?), but we’ve been staring into our Crystal Ball of Speculation and have put together some pieces suggesting that Loki’s days on the big screen may be numbered. What could seal his fate? Read on to find out.
1. Hiddleston’s Star Is Rising, And Skull Island Is Coming
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki may be a fan favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that doesn’t change the fact that being a villain means that he’s perpetually playing second fiddle. As the titles suggest, "Thor,""The Avengers," and "Thor: The Dark World" largely focus on the hero characters and their respective stories, and Loki has been deemed a supporting character in all of his appearances so far (though Marvel has, of course, made a habit of playing up his role a bit). As charismatic and enchanting as Loki has been in the Marvel movies, Hiddleston couldn’t actually be blamed for wanting to be the legitimate lead of his own big blockbuster franchise. And that’s where the actor’s newest project comes in.
As we reported last week, Tom Hiddleston has officially signed on to play the lead in "Skull Island," the new feature from Legendary Pictures that will take movie-goers back to the mythical birthplace of King Kong. The part is the biggest that Hiddleston has landed since he was first tapped as Loki, and while we don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, there is some pretty obvious franchise potential to be mined here. As much fun as the actor has playing Loki, I don’t think many of us would be surprised if he decided to move on and pursue something bigger for himself.
2. Ragnarok Is Calling
While it has yet to actually be mentioned within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ragnarok plays a pretty massive role in the legacy of Thor comics. Based on the stories of Norse mythology, the event is a prophesized apocalyptic battle also known as the Twilight of the Gods that leads to the utter and complete decimation of Asgard. In the comics, it is said that it is Loki’s destiny to bring about these end times, and if that’s an element that is introduced to "Thor 3," it could wind up spelling out the end for the God of Mischief.
Nothing has been actually officially confirmed about the plot of "Thor 3" yet, but if you take into account comments made by Chris Hemsworth last year about an Armageddon-themed direction for the franchise, then that could spell very bad things for Loki. As we’ve seen play out in the comics, the events of Ragnarok once again pit brother against brother, but the massive stakes could just be too much for Thor, leading him to actually put a permanent end to his crazy sibling’s reign of terror (potentially via decapitation). This would certainly be a very sad moment for Hiddleston fans, but it would also be a massively emotionally big-screen moment for the series and could have consequences that stretch across the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
3. It’s Time For Thor To Move On
It may have been sold as featuring Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith as the central villain, but "Thor: The Dark World" was really more about further developing Thor and Loki’s relationship. Shifting focus away from the Dark Elves and their mission with the Aether, one could easily argue that the movie is actually more about how the God of Thunder’s perception of and relationship with his brother had changed since the events of "The Avengers." This certainly yielded interesting results, but at the same it also did its part to limit Thor’s growth as an individual character. Eventually the hero is going to need to move beyond his very special sibling rivalry if he wants to progress, and potentially the best way to pull that off would be to kill Loki in "Thor 3."
Given that "Thor: The Dark World" ended with Loki sitting on the throne of Asgard with Thor none the wiser, "Thor 3" is most certainly going to have a plot involving the God of Mischief (be it Ragnarok or another), but it could be in Marvel Studios’ best interest if they end the villain’s arc there. Thor comics are filled with all kinds of cinematic possibilities, from the story of Beta Rey Bill (one of the few individuals in existence other than Thor who can lift Mjolnir) to the hero’s battles against The Enchantress and The Executioner, and if Loki isn’t around as a distraction, the movies can give these characters the cinematic treatment they deserve.