Marvel is about to step up its game. Avengers: Infinity War is on the way this month, and there’s no stopping Thanos and his Black Order from coming to Earth and wreaking the place. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has so often steered away from killing off their heroes in the past, they’ve somewhat backed themselves into a corner with this one. To properly set the stakes in Infinity War, people are going to need to die.
That takes us to where the movie will likely begin, with Thanos taking on Thor, Loki, and the remaining Asgardians following the end of Thor: Ragnarok. We’ve seen bits and pieces of this in the trailer, and it appears that Thanos is going to lay waste to what’s left of Thor’s people. But one major character may not make it out of the first few minutes with his life: Loki.
Let’s look back on Loki’s story in the MCU, and why it seems inevitable that he’ll be the first major death in Infinity War.
Loki wants the crown too much
The character was first introduced to us in Thor, played by Tom Hiddleston. He’s Thor’s mischievous brother with an eye on the thrown, and he manipulates the would-be king into starting a confrontation that Loki knew would make their father, Odin, very angry. Indeed, Odin punishes Thor by stripping him of his power and banishing him to Earth.
It’s then that Loki ends up taking up power in Asgard, while his father goes into one of his very deep naps. He does whatever he can to keep Thor away, but eventually, the God of Thunder returns to Asgard to end the reign of his misguided brother. This is a major first step in the progression of Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Next: Loki is adopted.
Loki finds out he’s not Asgardian
One of the biggest moments in Thor is when Loki learns that he is not actually Asgardian, nor is he of royal blood. Odin tells the story of finding a little blue baby during battle in Yodenheim, left there to die by some unknown parent. He took pity on the boy, bringing him back to Asgard and raising him as his own, with the idea that Loki could one day bring peace between the bickering worlds.
Having been lied to his entire life, you can imagine that Loki didn’t take that well. He’s the God of Mischief, but he grew up in the shadow of his bigger, stronger, more popular older brother. Learning that Loki isn’t the true son of Odin is a major moment where we can peak into the soul of the character and really understand his motivations, even if we disagree with them.
Next: Loki is no stranger to Thanos.
Loki teams up with Thanos
Having been thwarted and lost from Asgard at the end of Thor, Loki reappears at the beginning of the first Avengers movie. He has been gifted a scepter from an unknown benefactor, and shows up on Earth ready to steal the Tesseract (which holds the Space Stone, one of the Infinity Stones) and bend humanity to his will.
Considering that Loki is the god of mischief, not an evil supervillain, this was a bit much for the character. The brother that Thor grew up with was still in there, even if he had decided to attempt to rule the planet like a dictator. In the end, the Avengers overcame his forces and sent him back to Asgard with Thor. Little did we know at the time, Loki had cut a deal with Thanos, who probably isn’t too happy with his failure on Earth.
Next: Loki pulls another trick.
Loki redeems himself, or so we think
After being deemed a war criminal and thrown in a cell, Thor comes to Loki for help in avenging the death of their mother in Thor: The Dark World. It’s in this battle that Loki sacrifices himself to save Thor, dying in his brother’s arms. It was a touching moment, and it may have been a fitting end for Loki, but it wasn’t.
The whole thing was just another one of Loki’s tricks. He returned to Asgard in disguise, put Odin under a spell, and assumed the throne in his father’s form. It was a clever move and confirmed once again that Loki hadn’t changed at all.
Next: Loki finally does the right thing.
Loki helps Thor defeat Hela
But once Thor discovers Loki’s scheme, the pair return to Earth together to find Odin. They track down their father just in time to speak with him before he passes, which frees their sister, Hela, from her imprisonment. After some fun hijinks on a planet run by Jeff Goldblum, Loki once again attempts to betray Thor. This time, however, Thor was a step ahead. It has become painfully obvious to everyone involved that Loki refuses to grow as a person.
Eventually, he returns to Asgard to help Thor defeat Hela and save their people from annihilation. Finally, some character growth! The remainder of Asgard escapes in a massive ship while their world is completely destroyed in Ragnarok, intent on heading to Earth to take refuge.
Next: Loki just can’t help himself.
Loki steals the Tesseract
Here is where things get truly interesting. In a late scene from Ragnarok, it’s heavily implied that Loki takes an extra moment to steal the Tesseract from Odin’s vault. That’s key, because the mid-credits scene showed Thanos’ ship — which makes the ship holding the Asgardians look tiny — arriving on the scene. We’re left only with the impression that this will be where Infinity War picks up.
The assumption here is that Loki stealing the Tesseract somehow signaled Thanos and allowed him to track them down. The trailer for Infinity War shows Loki holding the Tesseract, and the second trailer shows Thanos crushing it open to remove the stone. Things are starting to come together, and it doesn’t look good for Loki.
Next: Loki seems to be in trouble.
Predicting what may happen in Infinity War
In the trailers for Infinity War, things have gone from bad to worse for Thor and Asgard. We first see Thor floating aimlessly in space, and on the ship, we can see fire, destruction, and the lifeless bodies of Asgardians lying on the ground around Loki. Where is Heimdall? Where is Corg, the giant rock warrior from Ragnarok?
To properly introduce Thanos in Infinity War, Marvel needs him to do something to show viewers what a danger he truly is. Wiping out all of Asgard and sending Thor out into the vacuum of space? Check. Stealing the Tesseract back from Loki? Check. And while there probably could be a case made for Thanos keeping Loki alive, our guess is that he doesn’t.
Given everything we know, it’s just hard to imagine Loki surviving the confrontation with the Mad Titan. There is an established beef leftover from The Avengers, and few things could make Marvel fans truly hate Thanos more than seeing him kill off Loki early in the movie. It just makes too much sense to not do it.
Next: Another major character may be in trouble, too.
Will Vision also die?
Loki’s not the only one who may lose his life. One character we should all also be worried about is Vision. Thanos is hell-bent on collecting as many of the Infinity Stones as possible, and the Mind Stone is embedded in Vision’s forehead. There is a scene in the original trailer that shows one of Thanos’ minions attempting to ripping it straight out of Visions head. Not the most pleasant experience, one would think.
It’s unclear what would happen if the Mind Stone is removed, but the assumption is that Vision wouldn’t necessarily die but would instead lose his powers. At the same time, he’s essentially a magic, humanoid robot. It’s not a stretch to think that the Mind Stone is what’s keeping him alive. Either way, once Thanos has what he wants, it’s hard to see him keeping Vision alive.
Next: Will Tony Stark be safe?
Iron Man could also be on the chopping block
The very first hero to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Iron Man, all the way back in 2008. Robert Downey Jr. has made at least a brief appearance in nine movies as Tony Stark, if you include Infinity War. He’s scheduled to appear in Avengers 4, as well, but that’s no guarantee. Could Stark be on the chopping block?
In practicality, the usefulness of Stark/Iron Man is kind of running out. In a world where he’s pretty much on his own, with Thor in Asgard, the Hulk not having been created yet, and Captain America still on ice, he’s extremely necessary. But Marvel has brought in a cavalcade of new heroes and created the Avengers, and Stark has played a major role in that. His story arc may be simply coming to an end here.
Next: What about Steve Rogers?
Where Captain America stands
The same that is said of Iron Man could be said of Captain America. The guy is over 100 years old, at this point, and it’s not eminently clear what the purpose of keeping him around beyond Infinity War would be. Marvel can’t fight its way out of this movie without losing several of its heroes and still keep the stakes high for Avengers 4. Steve Rogers has gone through his own progression, standing for what he thought was right and throwing down his shield at the end of Captain America: Civil War.
It’s cool that Infinity War is bringing Rogers back, this time with long hair, a beard, and no red, white, and blue outfit. But what happens with Rogers if he survives in fending off Thanos? He probably has to just go back in hiding and wait until Avengers 4, right? If you’re a major Captain America fan, you should be nervous. This is another major character whose story has pretty much been told to its maximum, and it may be coming to an end.
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