Debunking the falsehoods and truths of Loki in the MCU
PUBLISHED 17 July 2020  19:48
Written by Ollie Kendal | @breaather

He sits across from me, fiery red hair swarming on his scalp, a terrifying glint in his eyes. It is finally the day that I can confirm that the Norse god of mischief, Loki, looks nothing like the way Marvel has portrayed him. 

That, however, is not the only difference that world-famous comic book company Marvel has made to Loki.

Embodied by British actor Tom Hiddleston, the dagger-wielding anti-hero has made remarkable ground on Marvel’s cinematic front, appearing in six different films up to date. He has become known for his endless inane attempts to trick his brother, Thor, and his constant betrayals against his family. However, more recently in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), it seems like Marvel has put an end to his mayhem, as audiences watched mad titan Thanos suspend Loki from the ground, snapping his spine.

During the interview with Loki, he mentioned that despite deviating from his actual image, he was “flattered by the dignified likeness” the British actor presented Loki Laufeyson in, especially highlighting the essence of trickery Marvel’s Loki presented. For instance, he listed one of the stories Thor brought up in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)—it included Loki disguising himself as a snake, preying on Thor’s affection for reptiles, such that when Thor was close enough, Loki could revert into a human and stab him. 

“In spite of it being fiction, this does seem like something I would have done,” he said. 

On a more personal front, he went on to mention how he felt a connection with Marvel’s Loki. He zeroed in on Loki’s ever-changing stand with his family—as Loki tries to wrestle his way into the throne of Asgard with his deceitful methods, but still fights by his brother in times of need. Within the films, not only is a subtle affinity between the brothers revealed, but even with Odin, Loki’s father. Originating from the fact that Odin adopted him, Loki is shown to beseech acceptance from his father, even after his successful temporary attainment of the throne.

This, along with the portrayal of Ragnarok, was one of the greatest discrepancies Loki brought up during the interview.

“I seek no man’s acceptance,” he said, the slightest hint of anger in his voice. “I am a god—I may do things for my family, but my actions do not justify that I withhold any affection.” It was then he raised the issue of the outright misconceptions Marvel set his family in.

Image taken from Thor: Ragnarok (2017), featuring Odin and his sons, Thor and Loki (Marvel Studios)

“Thor and I were never brothers,” he said, “Odin and I are blood brothers. Unlike the blatant love that the Loki in the movies displays for both of them, I can assure you that I do not share a single shred of those emotions. Odin and I are merely bound by war, by battle, by blood. I find this depiction disgraceful, to me and the rest of my family—centuries of our history, now falsely advertised to the entire world.” 

On the subject of his family, I questioned Loki about his children—Hela, the goddess of death, Fenrir, a gigantic grey wolf, and Jörmungandr, a serpent that eventually became Thor’s arch-nemesis, all of which were birthed to him by his mistress, Angrboða, or better known as the ‘mother of monsters’. Loki expressed his frustrations at Marvel by making Hela Odin’s daughter, and by transforming Fenrir into Hela’s pet.

Such actions disparaged the terrifying image each of his children thrived in, he felt. “Fenrir is nowhere near a domestic house pet,” Loki lamented, “would a house pet have the ability to nearly yank off your arm at the tender age of two?”

When it came to discussing Ragnarok, Loki was noticeably more outspoken. Here in Norway, Ragnarok is one of, if not the most significant events to exist. It was said to be a ‘reboot’ of the world, fated to completely wipe most of the Norse gods from existence, before starting anew. This apocalyptic theme is similar in Norway and Marvel.

NORWAY: image of the duels and destruction fated to happen in Ragnarok, between Thor and Jörmungandr, Odin and Fenrir, and Loki and Heimdall (BaviPower)

In a Marvel comic, Thor,  dated all the way back to 2004, Ragnarok was portrayed as a result of Loki’s actions—the god of mischief laid waste to the lives of many Asgardians, before consequentially, his brother Thor decided to put an end to his madness, unwittingly involving Surtr, a fire giant, in destroying the entirety of Asgard. With yet another inaccurate portrayal from Marvel, Loki clarified the role he played in Asgard’s predicted doom.

“Ragnarok has yet to happen. but it has already been fated and circulated; Marvel would have heard of this,” Loki said, “While it is uncertain the concrete cause of this cataclysmic event, all our fates have been dictated. In one sole area, Marvel is right to depict that by the time the devastation occurs, I will no longer be on my brother’s side…” I observed that Loki paused slightly, seeming slightly distraught at his statement. However, he quickly continued, “I will battle with Heimdall, the guardian of Asgard, before he kills me, and I, him. A worthy way to depart from this life.” 

Despite the false depiction, Loki also mentioned that “it was nice to envision the possibility” of his family being preserved post-Ragnarok, if fate would have them. He then went on to justify one of his key character motivations behind the Marvel Universe—Loki’s pursuit for Asgard’s throne.

“I had never tried to claim the throne. Ragnarok sentenced us all to an imminent death, to claim the throne would be to deny the events waiting to unfold,” he said. “Odin was made to rule until Ragnarok descended upon us, and whatever shall happen next, our fates have spoken, and when fate speaks, we listen. There is no need for any further complications.” 

To this day, it remains unsure as to when or whether Ragnarok will ever occur, but I doubt the god of mischief’s scheming ways will change before he and his family meet their demise. 

For the last eight decades, Marvel has been continuously churning out fiction that has kept audiences worldwide entertained. How much of this fiction is based on actual truth? Maybe it is simply our belief that allows these franchises to thrive. With an ever-increasing influence on the world, the truth is getting harder to obtain. 

“I have given you what I deem my truth,” Loki concluded our interview with a final statement, “yet like most things in this deceptive world, the truth is subjective. The choice to believe is yours.” 

Marvel’s portrayal of the Norse god might have it’s inaccuracies, but when it comes to his trickster ways, no amount of falsehoods can hide them. Loki, a partisan of complete and utter disorder, is a true representation of how tenuous the lines between good and evil truly are. We can only hope that behind all his facades, he plans not to end us all. 

Source Documentations:

BaviPower. https://bavipower.com/blogs/bavipower-viking-blog/who-won-ragnarok-in-norse-mythology

Macleod, Samanatha. “Norse Loki v. Marvel Loki” WordPress, 25 Feb 2016

Marvel. “Thor: Ragnarok” Marvel Studios, 10 Oct 2017

McCoy, Daniel. “Norse mythology for smart people” McCoy, 2012—2019

McMillian, Graeme. “The ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Ending vs the Comics”
The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Nov 2017

Mythopedia. “Encyclopedia of Mythology” Wasai LLC, 2019

Plante, Corey. “‘Thor Ragnarok’s Ending’: Here’s how it compares to the comics” 
Inverse, 11 July 2017 https://www.inverse.com/article/38145-thor-ragnarok-ending-compared-to-marvel-comics

Leandre Huang (Class of 2024) is reliant on coffee to conquer submissions. She reads and ponders realist fiction that she never writes. The reportage is a manifestation of an uncured Marvel obsession that explores a familiar topic—the truth.