The Hidden ‘Loki Trilogy’ MCU Fans Must Re-Watch Before His Disney+ Series

Some people say one of the areas where the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) comes up short is in its villains. But few of those people would count Loki, Thor’s devious half-brother among them.

Fans generally regard him as one of the best, if not the best, villain in the entire series of 23 movies. So compelling is the character that he’s getting his own series on Disney+ next year, so far being the only villain to get his own show.

Enterprising fans have noticed that three MCU movies make a trilogy that would lead nicely into the Loki series, whenever we end up getting it. 

What is the Loki trilogy?

Loki with his horn helmet, looking directly at the camera
Loki in Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

On Reddit, a topic starter says: “If you watch the first Thor movie, the first Avengers movie and Thor 2 in order, you essentially get a fantastic trilogy about Loki taking the throne of Asgard.” The fan makes a point: Those are the three most Loki-centric, and they form a more or less complete arc. 

We are introduced to him in Thor, where we find he is the God of Thunder’s errant half-brother. In mythology, Loki is a prankster god, but in the Marvel world, he’s something decidedly more dangerous than a prankster: the spurned younger sibling.

Whether Loki wants to admit it or not, jealousy of Thor is what drives many of his schemes, which in The Avengers is to lead an alien invasion of New York City, and by extension the world. In Thor: The Dark World, Thor enlists Loki’s help, which is his pivot into “sometimes good guy.” 

This trilogy doesn’t include Loki’s substantial appearances in Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War/Endgame. As one fan pointed out: “Edit: if you watch Thor Ragnarok you see him ruling Asgard, losing it, and saving it.” In Infinity War, he dies and is sort of reborn, disappearing into the ether with that blasted tesseract. 

What makes Loki so compelling? 

Collider ranked Marvel’s villains, with Loki topping the list of 27 bad guys. The entry on the villain/antihero reads, in part: “Not a single MCU villain to date can match the pathos of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who basically stole Thor even before he was revealed to be an antagonistic force. We care about Loki, even when he’s doing awful things, and his story is ultimately one of tragedy.”

Many fans would say that the first and second Thor movies aren’t high watermarks in the MCU. In fact, The Dark World consistently ranks at or near the bottom of most rankings. But this theory makes the case that if you focus on Loki for those three movies, it makes those movies better.

As one fan put it: “I gotta have to admit that most of the time Loki is the reason I rewatch these movies.”

Hiddleston himself told the Hollywood Reporter: “I knew he was a complex figure. Intelligent yet vulnerable. Angry and lost and broken and witty. I thought it was an amazing opportunity and it’s grown into this network of movies. I could never have expected it. I feel very fortunate that this character has connected with people.”

When will we see the ‘Loki’ series?

In a simpler world, all that would remain is to watch the Loki series on Disney+ sometime next year. However, the world has become unpredictable thanks to the pandemic.

Last week, Disney announced it was delaying its entire Marvel state, moving Black Widow to November and the subsequent movies about three or four months ahead of their original dates. However, the movies aren’t the only part of the puzzle any longer.

Disney/Marvel made a big deal out of the fact that the Disney+ shows were going to connect to the movies. Specifically, Loki and WandaVision would lead to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. So now that the movies have been moved, where does that leave the shows?

No definite release dates for the shows have been announced, but now that the Doctor Strange sequel isn’t going to come out until November 2021, that might mean that the Loki show will move from early 2021 to later in the year to put it and WandaVison closer to Multiverse of Madness. It’s almost as if Loki is in charge of the release dates now.