This article contains spoilers for Loki, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers, and Avengers: Infinity War. So, read with caution.
Loki has gone back and forth from villain to anti-hero a few times before entering the realm of straight-up hero-ish. But he has a long list of villainous acts, including letting the Frost Giants into Asgard in an attempt to kill Odin, using the Tesseract and the Mind Stone to try and take over Earth, banishing Odin to Earth, and impersonating Odin to take the throne of Asgard.
But throughout his arc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe he also had some heroic moments, though some might seem less heroic because Loki was basically helping Thor clean up the mess he made.
Loki does have some truly heroic moments. Here are some of his most heroic moments, along with some of his mistakes that he at least tied to fix.
Thor and Loki’s fight with the Frost Giants
There are sometimes questions about whether or not Loki fighting the frost giants with Thor qualifies as a heroic act. After all, Loki was the one to let the Frost Giants into Asgard in an attempt to kill Odin. After this “surprise” attack, Loki encourages Thor to go to Jotunheim, with him by his side, and together they kick some Frost Giant butt. This ends up getting Thor banished to Earth, which Loki is fine with.
Thor and Loki escape from Asgard to kill Malekith
After Malekith kills Thor and Loki’s mother, the brothers team up to avenge her. Loki knows of secret portals to allow them to exit Asgard without Odin knowing. This allows the brothers to team up and kill Malekith successfully. It also gives us one of Loki’s most memorable lines, “Trust my rage.”
Saved Jane Foster from Malekith and the Aether
Loki was also instrumental in drawing Malekith to Jane Foster and tricking the Dark Elf into extracting the Aether out of Foster, which saved her life. In addition to using his previously mentioned knowledge of secret portals, he also used his illusion talents brilliantly. Which he also utilized to fake his death and took the throne of Asgard masquerading as Odin.
Helped Thor fight Hela
This is a prime example of Loki helping to clean up a mess he is basically responsible for. Unlike the Frost Giant incident, he wasn’t pretending to back Thor up to get rid of him. He truly wanted to save his fellow Asgardians and defeat the literal Goddess of Death, Hela, their sister. He showed up with the Grandmaster’s ship, fought Hela’s army, and finally resurrected Surtur, causing Ragnarok and destroying Hela.
Even though Loki helped defeat Hela, he also contributed to the events of Infinity War since he stole the Tesseract, instead of it being destroyed when Surtur destroyed Asgard, which would have stopped Thanos. But then the Marvel Cinematic Universe might have gone in a totally different direction. So maybe Loki was still pretty heroic in his own unique way.
Tried to stop Sylvie from killing He Who Remains, a Kang variant
This moment from Loki was arguably one of the character’s most heroic. There was so much growth for him throughout the series. By the end, he ultimately turned down the chance to rule the TVA and simply wanted Sylvie to be OK. His character really became the hero we all knew he could be.
Attempting to warn everyone about what happened
After getting his heart broken by Sylvie, instead of reverting to his old narcissistic personality, he tried to warn Mobius and Hunter B-15 about what happened and how they made a huge mistake, and they needed to be ready for the Multiversal War that seemed imminent.
Even the variants of Loki hold some heroism in them. Our honorable mention is Classic Loki sacrificing himself to Alioth so Sylvie and Loki can access the Citadel at the End of Time and He Who Remains. Glorious purpose indeed.