Loki, love him or hate him, you cannot deny he is entertaining. From his morally ambiguous arcs, to his quick wit and taunting magic, the MCU would not be the same without the God of Mischief. So, to highlight our favorite Trickster, we decided to rank a few of those tricks he had up his sleeve throughout the Infinity Saga.
8. The Avengers “Kneel!”
The wall of Lokis. He effectively corralled hundreds of people like sheep using mere illusions of himself. He has the advantage that these humans on Earth are terrified by someone making more of themselves out of thin air, but still. We had to start this list somewhere and this seemed the place to do it.
7. Thor: The Dark World “Now You See Me, Brother”
The heartbreak this scene brought on. It was no secret Loki had a better relationship with his mother than his father — he did learn his trickster ways and magic from her, after all. He tried to keep up his emotionless facade, but Thor saw right through it, revealing the truth. We give him credit for the effort, but even more for admitting the truth.
6. Thor: The Dark World “I’m Not Even Here”
This whole montage of Loki teasing Thor with familiar faces was just a pure form of badgering chaos one can appreciate. No malice, no treachery — just Loki wanting to annoy his older brother. Which he did quite successfully, it would appear. First, as an Asgardian soldier, who was at least “better company.” On to Thor being changed into Lady Sif, but Loki, it will hurt no less if he kills you in that form. Finally, onto Steve Rogers and his surging righteousness and costume that’s maybe just a bit much (we disagree.) Thor puts an end to the prank quite quickly, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy it while it lasted. This certainly gave us a small hankering to see what life was like for these two growing up. Honestly, the more we hear about Loki’s childhood shenanigans, the more we think we need a prequel of some kind.
Plus, what’s better than Loki impersonating Steve Rogers once? Loki impersonating Steve Rogers twice.
5. Thor: Ragnarok “He Knows That I Love Snakes”
“Blegh!” This trick is ranking in at number five. While we don’t get to see it played out, we don’t need to. Thor’s reenactment leaves little to be desired, and Loki’s coy smirk at the end of the tale is enough to keep us happy. We’ll be here imagining these two eight-year-olds affectionately stabbing one another, because that really doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
4. The Avengers “You Brought the Monster”
From being captured on purpose, to utilizing a brainwashed Hawkeye, and the guarantee of an appearance by the Hulk, this plan was almost foolproof. He knew he’d get caught in Germany, but that Barton would get away with the vibranium, and then Loki would have his shot to tear these heroes (that he’s already seen don’t trust one another) apart from the inside out. We lost Coulson in the crossfires, but motivated our heroes left standing nonetheless. That was the one hiccup — Loki thought they’d never be able to put aside their differences to take on him and his Chitauri army, but he was wrong.
3. Thor “The Entire Plot”
Honestly, this entire film is just one big trick. From the very moment that Loki plants the seed of disobedience in Thor’s head and they head off to Jotunheim to battle the Frost Giants — which in turn gets Thor banished to Earth — to when Loki’s treacherous plan is finally uncovered towards the end, its just a big, tumultuous production of Loki’s scheming ways. I’ll be the first to find any form of redemption for the God of Mischief, but this one here … he’s on his own. Trying to steal the throne by first convincing Thor to make an irrational, anger-fueled decision, but ending up getting him banished was slip up number one. Number two was thinking that the four friends you grew up weren’t going to immediately catch on to your ways … the ways they’ve known for over a thousand years. Mistake number three, getting caught staring at the tesseract and not thinking your father wasn’t going to find you down there. Four, he’s Thor. You’ve grown up with him, you know he’s going to victoriously find some way to make his grand entrance and re-earn everything that was stripped of him and take you down in the process. And finally five, launching yourself into space like a sore loser. So for these shortcomings in the strategy, we have to bump this endeavor to number three. However, we do give him props for formulating the whole bait-and-switch with Laufey, the execution on that was flawless.
2. Avengers: Infinity War “Undying Fidelity”
For number two, I did pick a failed illusion, but hear me out. One, if this really is a trick and he shows up in Thor: Love and Thunder, I mean, that speaks for itself. (It’s not wishful thinking … it’s an educated hypothesis put together with science-backed evidence…) Two, the conviction in this attempt — even if this is the true ending of it — earns it its place. Loki knows the outcome of this, he isn’t stupid, he’s proved that throughout his entire tenure in the MCU. Yet he does it anyway. Fool me once, joke is on me; fool me twice, joke is on you. Loki accepts his fate, taking one fearful, deep breath before lunging forward at the mad titan before him, driven by a fool’s hope that he can pull off this stunt. While he is unsuccessful, we admire his efforts both for the ruse he put on before this (trying to make Thanos believe he was on his side) and for giving his life in an attempt to save Thor’s and the remaining half of Asgard. Perhaps the greatest trick of all was trying to pretend he’d been a villain all this time, when all he wanted was to be accepted for who — and what — he was.
1. Thor: The Dark World “All Hail the King”
We have arrived to number one. Now, this one may not hold the same entertainment value, heartbreak, or laughs as some of the others, but this is the one ruse to rule them all. We know from Ragnarok that Loki took his ailing father, Odin, down to Earth and dropped him at what seems to have been a retirement home in New York City. It’s insinuated by Thor that Odin was under a spell cast by his brother, for what we can assume was used to make Odin believe nothing was out of the ordinary in his new surroundings. Now, while Odin is gone, Loki manages to fool his brother both in his theatrical death on the home planet of the Dark Elves, and at the end of this film with Thor walking off after a conversation with who he believed was his father. But not only did he fool Thor, he managed to convince the entire realm of Asgard of his gimmick, to the point that he had statues built and dramas written and performed in his — or should we say Loki’s — honor. Of all of the Trickster’s tricks throughout his time in the MCU, this is the one that reaped the most benefits and took the most careful of planning and dedication. So for that, it has earned its top spot.
If you’re like us — still craving more of Loki’s shenanigans — you’re in luck. The upcoming show, Loki, begins filming soon and it’s been said that Loki’s trickster ways will be a highlight of the series. Seeing as we’re getting back the Loki from early in the MCU — the sneaky, manipulative, deceptive version — we’re sure it’ll give us that mischief fix.
Loki will be on Disney+ in Spring 2021.
Bonus: Thor: Ragnarok “A Strange Occurrence”
The trickster himself getting tricked. This entire scene was hilarious and perfectly crafted from Loki’s shock, to Thor’s whisperd “Loki?” up until we find that Loki has been perpetually falling for 30 minutes. We didn’t think that Doctor Strange had it in him … glad we were wrong.