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Loki Season 1 was filled with memorable moments. But Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief has been an iconic character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a decade. One staple of the character is his love of daggers. In the Disney+ series, he both wielded them and used them as a metaphor for love. For Thor, he and director Kenneth Branagh decided daggers would work best for Loki’s stealthy fighting style. And in Thor: Ragnarok, Loki did the iconic dagger flip. Although a perfect fit for the character, Hiddleston improvised the move because, well, he ran out of things to do.

'Loki' star Tom Hiddleston standing in a desert landscape during the show's first episode
Tom Hiddleston in ‘Loki’ | Marvel Studios

Tom Hiddleston improvised Loki’s dagger flip to keep up with Idris Elba

Thor: Ragnarok let its characters’ personalities shine more than they ever have. For Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth, they got to show more of their playful brotherly bond. In fact, Taika Waititi had the cast improvise much of the film’s scenes. And that resulted in some of the funniest moments, like Thor and Loki’s “Get Help” bit.

It also inspired Hiddleston to throw his daggers on the fly while filming a fight scene with Idris Elba. Hiddleston told Entertainment Weekly:

“So there’s a big sequence on the bridge at the end of the film, and we all had these sequences of choreography while Chris and Cate Blanchett were fighting together, and myself and Idris and Taika had all these pieces we had to do with the fantastic stunt department in their motion capture suits. And we were doing that run, it was an afternoon, and it was myself and Idris and maybe Taika. I can’t remember. Definitely Idris was there, and it was a two-shot of us fighting these fantastic athletes that are the stunt guys. And I ran out of choreography. Basically, I think I finished my moves before Idris, and he was still rolling, and I didn’t want to just be standing there like a lemon, not doing anything interesting. So I just flipped the knives, and caught them by chance.”

Tom Hiddleston hosted Loki classes to his cast members

This moment came from years of practice playing the God of Mischief. When you’ve played one person for as long as Hiddleston has, slipping into character becomes second nature. And that repetition makes for some great creativity during filming.

Hiddleston knows Loki so well, he taught the Loki cast a crash course while filming the Disney+ series.

“I got him to do a thing called Loki School when we first started,” director Kate Herron told Entertainment Weekly. “I asked him to basically talk through his 10 years of the MCU — from costumes to stunts, to emotionally how he felt in each movie. It was fantastic.”

Hiddleston also gave Owen Wilson some one-on-one lessons. As Wilson told SiriusXM:

“Tom Hiddleston, who of course plays Loki, he kind of or we kind of — they were almost like the Loki lectures. And so he walked me through everything and the whole lore and showing me clips from the other movies and how it all fed into this story. So, it was really kind of Tom telling me about it and telling me about his character.”

'Loki' star Tom Hiddleston sits next to Chris Hemsworth, who is holding Thor's hammer
Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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Tom Hiddleston’s Marvel training

Of course, Hiddleston’s time playing Loki wasn’t always glamorous. The actor shared a hilarious video of him doing physical training for the Disney+ series. In the clip, he’s strapped into a harness and is flung in the air. He crash lands face-first on a blue mat soon after.

“Prep is going really well,” he wrote on Instagram.

Hiddleston also trained hard for his Thor audition over a decade ago. But the training wasn’t to play Loki. It was to play Thor. He told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show:

“Basically, at the time, they were looking for sort of less well-established actors so that the audience didn’t have an association. They just wanted people to see these new characters, these new actors. And the agreement was, if you’re over 6 foot and you’ve got blond hair, you can come and have a pop at it. So I never auditioned for Loki. I only ever auditioned for Thor, which is nuts.”

Leading up to the release of Loki, Branagh told Entertainment Weekly why he cast Hiddleston as Loki instead.

“Tom has a wild imagination, so does Loki,” he said. “He’s got a mischievous sense of humor and he was ready to play. It felt like he had a star personality, but he was a team player.”

Clearly, Branagh made the right choice.