Loki was just the first of many major MCU characters to seemingly perish in the recent Avengers: Infinity War, but with the possible exception of Doctor Strange, no other death in the fight against Thanos has invited more scrutiny from fans hoping to find some deeper meaning in the event, with several theories even arguing that Thor’s adoptive brother didn’t die at all.
Redditor Mybustersword, however, is taking a slightly different angle with their speculation, pleading the case that not only was Loki’s death genuine, but it was deliberate, too. The user starts off by referencing a previous theory that the deity provoked the Mad Titan to kill him as a means of getting into Valhalla.
“I agree that it was a suicide, blatantly obvious that he didn’t have a chance with that tiny knife. I think it was because Loki knew Thanos. He knew Thanos has the rule of balance… He knew that he slaughters half the population when he arrives.”
Mybustersword then goes on to explain another potential motive for Loki’s actions, claiming that the character’s ‘suicide’ was a means of preserving the life of his more battle-ready sibling.
“He also knew he was [Thor’s] only (living) sibling, a half one at that, and knew that Thanos would kill one of them…for the sake of balance. So he intentionally sacrificed himself to keep Thor alive. He specifically said to Thanos, I am Loki ODINSON and looked at Thor while saying it, because he was making it clear to Thanos that he was [Thor’s] brother. There would be no confusion or tricks. if he died, Thor could live.
Loki suspected Thanos would have chosen to kill Thor, being the bigger threat and Loki having worked for Thanos in the past. Also, Loki being half sibling and adopted would have won over Thanos’ favor in the end as he has a soft spot for things that are half and for adoption. If you think about it, there was no reason to leave Thor alive. He is very powerful, has been alive for 1500 years Thanos surely is aware of the threat he possesses. Yet he just leaves him there after killing Loki.”
Finally, the user concludes that the former villain made a noble sacrifice for the sake of taking down the universe’s greatest threat.
“Loki calculated the chances of him surviving and actually sacrificed himself so Thor can have a chance to kill Thanos after regrouping”
So, does any of this hold up? Well, as with many a fan theory, you could certainly accuse Mybustersword of reading too much into things. This Avengers: Infinity War intro is clearly meant to establish Thanos as a force to be reckoned with, and showing him dispose of the heroes’ previous foe seems like a pretty fitting way to do this, with perhaps no further meaning intended for this moment.
But so long as we insist on putting Loki’s death scene under the magnifying glass, this seems like a fairly well-reasoned piece of speculation. That being said, if this really was the trickster’s plan all along, then we’d hate see to his response from Valhalla when he learns of Thor’s failure to go for the head.