“I never wanted the throne, I only ever wanted to be your equal!”—Loki.
“When I put on the costume, the make-up, and wig for the first time for this film and looked in the mirror, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, there he is.’ It was like seeing an old friend. It was good to see him, in a way. I feel like I know him.”—Tom Hiddleston.
Loki Laufeyson is a powerful sorcerer and the God of Mischief. The adopted son of Odin of Asgard, Loki spends his childhood playing pranks on and competing with Odin’s biological son, Thor, the God of Thunder, for their father’s attention. Being physically weaker and smaller than Thor, Loki develops his magic and trickery to keep up with his brother’s brute strength, but he never possesses the heroic qualities Odin praises in Thor. Defined by his envy toward his brother, Loki is a hyper-intelligent, five-steps-ahead-of-you schemer who loves control and seeks positions of power to prove his worth.
Morally ambiguous and always selfish, yet witty and undeniably charismatic, Loki is a classic Marvel character who is riding a tidal wave of recent popularity with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor and Avengers series. Here are 42 crafty facts that will make you fall for the charm of the God of Mischief.
42. Home Sweet Home
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Loki belongs to a people called the Frost Giants who live in a place called Jotunheim. He was born much smaller and weaker than the other Frost Giants—who can grow up to 25 feet tall and are covered in ice—so his father, King Laufey, used to keep him hidden in the castle and eventually abandoned him. When Odin attacked the Jotun, he found the forsaken prince and decided to raise him as his own in Asgard alongside his biological son, Thor. Loki did not find out that he was adopted until he was an adult. Talk about a bombshell.
41. Tricky Trickster
The Marvel character takes inspiration from the Norse god Loki, who is a trickster figure, meaning Loki would give others a hard time and play pranks on them with his magic—but he is never truly evil. The purpose of a trickster figure in myths is for them to help the hero grow by overcoming the trickster’s challenges and deceptions. So, Thor should actually thank Loki for making him stronger.
40. Pretty in Pink
Loki’s first official appearance in the Marvel comics was in 1962, in the issue Journey Into Mystery #85. However, Loki made an earlier appearance in Timely Comics—which would later become Marvel—in 1949 in Venus #6. He looked completely different, donning a bright red crew cut and a pink suit with shoulder pads that made quite a fashion statement.
39. Fear Me
Loki has a wide variety of powers in the comics that have not been shown (yet?) in the MCU. What is shown is that Frigga, Odin’s wife, and mother to Thor and Loki, trained Loki in magic, and his limitless wit and intelligence are, of course, always on display. Loki is also gifted with something called “speed of thought” which allows him to think faster than lightning and respond swiftly in battle. Because he is a Frost Giant, he can change the size of his body to shrink or grow into a giant. Take that, Ant-Man.
He is also fireproof, as seen in Loki: Agent of Asgard #7. He is in fact so powerful that X-Men mutant Rogue, who has the ability to drain others of their power through physical contact, becomes overwhelmed when trying to drain him. And let’s not forget that Loki’s body is extremely durable, which viewers of the first Avengers movie will recall, illustrated in the scene where Hulk liberally slams around Loki like a rag doll and he doesn’t even lose consciousness.
38. Man, I Feel Like a Woman
Don’t get too attached to any one version of Loki. The God of Mischief can change his age and appearance to suit his purposes, even transforming into a woman in order to disguise himself and manipulate others. Loki is gender-fluid and pansexual, as explored in the 2014 issue Loki: Agent of Asgard. He adapts to whatever (or whoever) the circumstances around him require.
37. Green Much?
When Thor was eight years old, Odin gave him the gift of a magical hammer meant to help him control his power. This instance was the first time Loki displayed envy of his older brother and the attention and affection he received from their father. When the hammer, Mjolnir, was being made, Loki interfered, which resulted in the handle being too short.
36. Avengers Assembled
In both the comics and the first Avengers movie, Loki is the one responsible for bringing the Avengers team together. His desire to cause chaos on Earth and get back at Thor ended up backfiring on him to the pleasure of fans everywhere. You’re welcome, world.
35. Earth’s Mightiest Villains
At one point in the comics, Loki adopts the Avengers’ strategy and gathers together Earth’s mightiest villains. He dubs the group the Prime Movers and their goal is to destroy the Avengers. The group included Red Skull (the villain featured in Captain America), Magneto (the mutant villain from X-Men), and Dr. Doom.
34. Mad Scientist
Loki gets a bad rap as a villain, but digging deep under the surface, he’s not interested in gaining power or control, as he makes it out to seem. He loves watching the results of the experiments he performs on those around him, but he seeks respect and wants nothing more than to be seen as an equal to Thor.
33. Root for the Underdog
Part of what makes Loki’s character so likeable—even though he does so many morally dubious things—is the fact that he’s the underdog and he garners a lot of sympathy. After all, he’s an orphan who grows up in a family in which he constantly feels like the outsider. He has never felt fully accepted. In strong contrast, his golden-haired brother Thor is unquestionably loved and accepted by not only their parents but by the people of Asgard. We’d be a little jealous, too.
32. Asgardian Idol
Loki and Thor’s mother Frigga revealed that Loki has a stellar singing voice and wanted him to perform for public events in Asgard. In Loki: Agent of Asgard, readers get a special treat in seeing Loki sing in the shower. What is he singing, you may be curious? Broadway. Yes, Loki, God of Mischief, loves the musical Wicked and even came up with a special rendition of The Wizard and I for himself.
31. Loki Says
Loki has the keen ability to read people’s insecurities and manipulate them based on their fears. Using his wit and charm, he can convince almost anyone to do what he wants them to, all the while thinking it was their decision.
30. Color Me Impressed
In the MCU, Loki is played by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston is an English/Scottish actor who attended the prestigious Eton College in his youth and was a classmate of Prince Harry. He went on to study Classics at the University of Cambridge, where he got into theater. He then graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
29. Thor, Is That You?
Hiddleston originally auditioned for the role of Thor. He worked out, went on a strict diet and even gained 20 pounds of manly muscle to take on the God of Thunder. Ultimately, however, it’s safe to say that director Kenneth Branagh made the right call in suggesting he screen test for Loki instead.
28. Et Tu, Brute?
Hiddleston has admitted, as much as he loves Loki and Thor, that DC’s Superman is his favorite superhero. Sorry, Marvel.
27. In an Alternate Universe
Other actors considered for the God of Mischief’s role include Josh Hartnett, known for his lead role in 2001’s Pearl Harbor. That’s not to mention Jim Carrey, who we all know and love for his role in The Mask, where everyday guy Stanley Ipkiss transforms into a crazy, powerful character by putting on … the mask of Loki. It certainly would have been a “full circle” moment if Carrey had been selected.
26. Three’s Company
Hiddleston based his interpretation of Loki’s character on three cinematic legends. His recipe for greatness is made up of one-part mysterious and reckless Peter O’Toole (known for his role in Lawrence of Arabia), one-part angry and glaring Clint Eastwood, and one-part crazy and charismatic Jack Nicholson. Turned out delicious.
25. Not My Brother’s Keeper
Hiddleston has revealed what he thought of Loki’s lack of growth from the first MCU Thor movie to the most recent film in the series, Thor: Ragnarok. In his view, Ragnarok is centered around the brothers’ relationship and displays how much Thor has grown in relation to Loki. Instead of trying to save Loki and stop him from doing wrong, Thor becomes indifferent toward his younger brother and decides to leave him to his own devices. He figuratively washes his hands of Loki in order to move forward. Loki, on the other hand, is still in the same place, mentally and emotionally, as he was when we first met him.
24. I Love You, Man
Actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor on screen, got along with Hiddleston from the get-go, citing their similar level of enthusiasm and bonding over the filming process, as Thor was the first real break out role for both of them. The pair has developed a deep friendship and their chemistry both on and off screen has fans buzzing about their adorable bromance. Hemsworth even said he has adopted Hiddleston into the Hemsworths, and Hiddleston has said he wishes they were brothers.
23. Dead Fish
Fans agree one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Thor series is the filial bond between Thor and Loki. Although their relationship is conflict-ridden and complicated, its humorous moments stand out. In Thor: Ragnarok, Hiddleston and Hemsworth were asked to improvise the scene where Thor throws Loki at some guards in a skit called “Get Help.” The skit was originally called “Dead Fish” by director Taika Waititi, inspired by what games kids would have possibly played on Asgard.
22. Winning the Popular Vote
According to a survey done by Hitfix, Hiddleston’s Loki is more popular with moviegoers than Hemsworth’s Thor. It’s almost unheard of for a villain or anti-hero to have more fans than a hero, but Loki has been mischievous enough to pull it off.
21. Make Midgard Great Again
Loki’s constant search for power eventually leads him to Thor’s beloved Midgard (AKA Earth), where he decides to run for President of the United States. “Vote Loki” explores Loki on the campaign trail, charming and manipulating the everyday people into supporting him with zeal. The comic series was written in 2016, reflecting a highly melodramatic election campaign that took place at the same time.
20. Make Over
In Thor #617, Loki is reborn as a child in the streets of France who survives by pickpocketing tourists. Named Serrure, which means “lock” in French, Loki has no previous memory of his God of Mischief-self. Thor eventually finds him and recognizes his younger brother, who now claims to be morally good. Thor, excited that they’re both on the same side, mentors Young Loki and has him join the Younger Avengers team. Until Loki decides to break bad, again.
19. I Hate Me
All Marvel heroes have an archenemy, a villain who seems to be their equal, or even stronger than they are, that they are destined to fight. Loki, however, is in a bit of a different situation, since he’s not a hero in the first place, but he does have more enemies than are possible to name. His worst enemy of all is actually himself from the future — King Loki.
18. Did Someone Say Weapons?
Loki has some serious equipment that enhances his abilities. He has a sword called “the sword of Bram,” which apparently belonged to the very first Asgardian hero. Also, in Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 Loki has a coat made of a material called “shadow thread” that allows him to turn invisible whenever he pleases and puts Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak to shame. Not to mention, Loki uses the Norn Stones, which seem to affect everyone differently depending on the degree to which they accept the user, but at the least enhance natural abilities. In the MCU, in contrast, Loki is only seen with a scepter.
17. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
In the comics, specifically Loki: Agent of Asgard #13, Loki has a cell phone, and a Stark phone at that. At one point when someone calls him, his ringtone is revealed and no, it’s not more Broadway show tunes. It’s Daft Punk.
16. Elusive is My Middle Name
Interestingly, Hiddleston has said does not understand Loki’s ultimate goal, even after playing the character for all these years and studying him closely. Loki is just that mischievous.
15. Generations of Mischief
Loki has a daughter named Hela, the Goddess of Death, who was born in Jotun, the land of the Frost Giants. Her name should sound familiar to moviegoers, as she was played by Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok; however, in the movie, she is Odin’s first born and Thor’s sister, not Loki’s daughter, as she is in the comics. Needless to say, in the comics, Hela follows her father’s footsteps in creating all sorts of problems and mischief in her attempts to overthrow Odin’s throne and take down Thor.
14. Daddy Dearest
Loki has two other children with the goddess Angerboda, a giant and sorceress. Along with Hela, they have Jormungand, called the Midgard Serpent, and Fenris, a 15-foot wolf with human intelligence who can shapeshift.
13. Move Over, Steve
Loki recently became the Sorcerer Supreme in the comics, taking over the role in the place of Dr. Strange. Dr. Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the MCU adaptation, lost to Loki in a sorcerer’s tournament held by the Vishanti, a trinity of ancient magical beings, and as such was demoted. Alright, technically he didn’t lose, but the Vishanti changed the rules in the third round and decided to select Loki as Sorcerer Supreme because they didn’t want another mortal to hold the seat.
12. All You Can Eat
One fact that might save Earth from Loki’s plots of complete destruction is that he considers the food here to taste much better than the cuisine on Asgard.
11. Eight-Legged Freak
In Norse mythology, Loki gives birth to an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir. Transforming himself into a mare to help the gods out of a deal they no longer wanted to uphold, Loki distracted the stallion of a mason building a defensive wall to make sure he did not complete the wall in time. Loki returned from that encounter with an eight-legged foal. Odin claimed the gray horse as his own, as it grew up to be the fastest horse in the world and could run over any surface, even water.
10. Just the Two of Us
Loki only has one real friend—If you don’t count Thor, and we’re sure he doesn’t. Her name is Verity Willis, and as her first name suggests, she can see through any kind of deception, from a small exaggeration to the hardest level of Asgardian magic, so Loki has no choice but to be truthful with her. They met during a speed dating night, where Verity could see through Loki’s teenage disguise and he became intrigued by her powers.
9. Cheers to Tom
Hemsworth has said in interviews, confirmed by Branagh, that Loki was never supposed to be featured in this many Marvel films. In addition to the first Thor movie, Loki has been featured in The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. His reoccurring appearance is all due to Hiddleston and what he brought to the character in the original Thor movie. In fact, Hiddleston’s fanbase has become so large and popular that they’ve given themselves a name: Hiddlestoners.
8. Don’t Touch My Girl
Loki will do almost anything to get to Thor, including going through his friends. One of Thor’s closest friends—as well as on and off love interest—since childhood is Lady Sif, a shield maiden charged with the responsibility of protecting Odin and Asgard. Loki turns Sif’s hair pitch black from golden blond and at one point tries to coerce her into marrying him.
7. Just Another Tourist
Spider-Man had quite an adventure with Loki when the two happened to be independently searching for Morwen, the First Sorceress of Chaos. Loki is searching for her because she has taken over the body of one of his illegitimate children, Tess Black, but he is not able to defeat Morwen in direct combat. Seriously, how many children does Loki have?! Spider-Man shows Loki around New York City while they wait to find Morwen again, and the two have a hot dog together.
6. Watch the World Burn
Loki is linked to a prophecy to fulfill Ragnarok, the endless cycle of death and rebirth of Asgardian gods. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok means “the end of days.” In the comics, a prophetess named Volla foresaw Loki would be integral to Ragnarok coming about; Loki would trick a blind god named Hoder into harming his brother Balder. Although there are occasions on which he joins forces with Thor and Odin to stop the end of the world, Loki is responsible for enacting different cycles of Ragnarok.
5. Pool Party? RSVP: Never
Every hero or villain has to have a weakness, as is the case for anti-hero Loki. Loki’s powers do not work in water, as it is revealed in Journey into Mystery, so he avoids getting wet whenever he can. The comics also hint at him not being able to swim at all.
4. He Loves Me Not
Loki kills Thor when he tells him he loves him. Not to worry, he had the God of Thunder’s permission first. Thor asked Loki to kill him so that he could go to Valhalla to summon a warrior named Valkyrie—and after all, there’s only one way to get to Valhalla. While Loki was reluctant to kill his brother, knowing how it would look, he eventually gave into Thor’s prodding and did the dirty deed.
3. Hammer Time
At one point, in Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9, due to a spell that affected the ethics of heroes and villains, Loki became the God of Heroism and Truth, deeming him worthy enough to wield Thor’s famous hammer, Mjolnir. As expected, once Loki could control the hammer—one of his dreams finally come true—he proceeded to pay Thor back for his many years of suffering under Mjolnir and pummeled his brother almost to the brink of death.
2. Brotherly Love
For all of his schemes to take down Thor and all the hatred he shows toward his brother, when Loki is about to be killed by Void in the comics, his last words are to Thor. He says, “I’m sorry, brother,” before being torn apart, tearing apart our hearts in the process. Ironically, in Avengers: Infinity War, before Loki is strangled by Thanos, Thor’s last words to Loki are: “You really are the worst brother.”
1. Please Don’t Go
As mentioned above, Loki is the first to die in the MCU’s Avengers: Infinity War. But is he really dead? After all, he’s died and come back to life many times. However, before Thanos strangles him, he tells Loki, “No resurrections this time,” making the God of Mischief’s death sounds pretty final. In addition, Hiddleston noted in an interview he has known about Loki’s death for the last two years—he met with the Russo Brothers prior to filming Thor: Ragnarok, so he knew about his character’s ultimate fate the entire time he filmed that movie. He may be ready to say goodbye to his beloved character, but fans certainly are not. A petition was started after Infinity War with over 40,000 signatures demanding Loki make a return to the MCU. What Marvel decides to do in Avengers 4 remains to be seen.