Spoiler Warning & Disclaimer: This article reveals key events of Thor The Dark World. Also, sometimes I change my mind about the purpose behind Loki’s machinations. It’s not my fault. He’s too damn ambiguous to pin down. As with all opinion pieces posted here, it’s all purely speculative, so take it with a grain of salt.
When Loki told a crowd of Germans to kneel before him in The Avengers, he put himself in a very open position to get captured. A bold and foolish risk, after going to such effort to gain access to our planet in the first place.
If we look at this scene on a superficial level, it can easily be argued that Loki was riding high on a ‘I’m King of the World’ power trip, and this display of self-gratification was just aimed to further prove it to us.
He didn’t need to make such a public display of bringing humanity under his sceptre. He didn’t need to gouge a man’s eye-socket during a high-society function packed full of people. He could have taken the eyeball discreetly – when the eyeball’s owner was in the loo, or back in his hotel room, or wherever it is that men with important eyeballs go when they want to be alone.
But he didn’t, because he wanted to be seen. He wanted to be caught. He wanted the invasion of Midgard (aka Earth – to my non-listening partner as I read this aloud) to fail, because for him, it was never actually a fail.
But why would he want to be caught?
Could it be that he wanted to escape Thanos and return to the relative safety of Asgard? Or was it part of a long-reaching plan to get himself back to Asgard’s throne…
A part of what makes Loki so complex as a villain, is that even when he’s seems defeated, he’s still three steps ahead of everyone else. (Okay not always, grant you.) Being caught so easily – not once but twice – only happened because Loki allowed it.
Granted, he had clearly lost his mind and may have delusional enough to think he could actually take over an entire planet with an army of thick-as-mud Chitauri, but come on… Loki had no interest in ruling Midgard. Besides, he must have known Thor would find a way to claw his way back to Earth to stop him. And I’ll be you that’s precisely what Loki was banking on.
The attack upon Midgard was just one element of a far-reaching scheme. One that began after he found himself trapped in the jungles of the universe following the events of Thor, and ended with him sitting high and mighty upon the throne of Asgard by the conclusion of Thor 2.
He just gets lost in the wrong districts of the universe. You know like the dark alleyways, the backstreets. And the people he meets are not kind. And he really has to survive on his wits. And also with this kind of reservoir of pain based on the events of that film. Really we just kind of established that there’s this terrible, almost year long journey that he goes on through the jungles of the universe, and it is deeply scaring. And it hardens him.
– Tom Hiddleston, Nerd HQ [x]
Loki struck a deal with Thanos to deliver him the Tesseract and gain Midgard in return. It probably seemed a fantastic deal to Thanos and his lot at the time..
Your ambition is little, born of childish need. We look beyond the Earth to greater worlds the Tesseract will unveil.
– The Other (The Avengers)
But they didn’t really know the Trickster very well did they? Of course not. I doubt even Loki knows Loki very well anymore.
The God of Mischief never cared for ruling a world as weak and worthless as ours – this deal was just his means to escape. What Loki really wanted (and this is where the Mad Titan was thoroughly duped) was access to Asgard.
The plan was the perfect Xanatos Gambit – a plan that could not fail for Loki, no matter the outcome. If he won the attack on Midgard, he’d win. And if he lost, he’d still win.
Why? Because Loki knew that with the unlimited power of the Tesseract at stake, the Allfather would ultimately ensure Loki would wind up carted back to the Realm Eternal. And that was precisely where he wanted to be all along.
The theory that Loki planned to ‘lose’ in The Avengers, is nothing new. It’s an idea that was discussed long before the big reveal at the end of Thor 2. And because Loki’s such an ambiguous little bugger, it’s also a theory that can easily be contested.
Why would Loki want to go back to Asgard as a captive? Why would he want to rot in prison for years on end, or risk a death sentence? How could he know Malekith would attack the realm? How could he hope Thor might free him and ask for his help?
Why… Why would he want to rule Asgard when he told Thor he never wanted the throne in the first place?!?
Why? Because he’s the Trickster. And he’s damned good at making the most of any opportunity handed to him.
Of course I’m not trying to say he engineered the entire events of Thor 2 – I doubt he knew Jane would wind up in Asgard with a bad case of Aether-indigestion, or that Malekith would invade the realm to reclaim it. He never predicted or intended Frigga’s death because Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, and regardless of whether or not he faked his death, I don’t believe he faked his sincerity to Thor in his ‘dying’ moments (for all his schemes, he has moments where he’s genuinely full of feels – it’s a universal reason for loving Loki’s complexity. Don’t. Take. That. Away. From. Us.)
Loki’s an opportunist, and he knew sooner or later, through fluke or pure trickery, he’d gain his freedom. And let’s face it, he’s not afraid to take a gamble.
Besides, what’s a few years in in a comfy well-furnished prison cell to someone whose life expectancy spans thousands of years?
Whether getting captured in The Avengers, or surviving Thor 2’s mortal wound was all a part of Loki’s design, or an improv he made along the way – it effectively put him on path to the Grand Scheme.
In the end, he fooled everyone and took what he wanted all along. The throne of Asgard. The Nine Realms at his feet. A vault filled with lots of fun toys and trinkets that can do all sorts of Marvelous Stuff. And thanks to his possession of the Tesseract, access to whatever worlds might exist beyond…
But is this the end of Loki’s story or Loki’s schemes? Of course not. The question still remains of what he’ll do with his new-found Position of Ultimate Power. He does have a smidgen of potential to be a great king albeit a ruthless one, should he choose that path. Will he use this opportunity to prove himself? Or will he succumb to greater evil?
Oh, and let’s not forget he still has Thanos to answer to. Assuming he wasn’t working with him all along…
Stay tuned for
the next article another upcoming article in a long list of upcoming articles when we discuss… Did Loki fake his death? And more importantly… Did he fake his sincerity?
Latest posts by The Mighty Thor (see all)
- Marvel release official Thor Ragnarok synopsis – at last! - January 6, 2017
- Unworthy? Thor Ragnarok promo poster - December 3, 2016
- New Thor Ragnarok costumes for Loki, Thor and Odin - September 3, 2016