Remember all those memes when Thor: Ragnarok came out that pointed out the strong resemblance between Loki and Hela? The MCU threequel introduced the Goddess of Death as the third child of Odin, and his second biological offspring. We know Loki’s the adopted one, but with both Loki and Hela having black hair, pale skin and a taste for the dark side, Thor kind of seems like the odd one out. This intriguing theory suggests the real reason behind their connection, though, as it asks what if Loki is actually the son of Hela and not her sibling?
To begin with, what do we know about Loki’s origins? It’s shown in the first Thor film that he was the son of Laufey, the king of the Frost Giants, who was discarded for his diminutive size and brought up by Odin. When the Asgardian monarch first holds the baby, Loki transforms into a humanoid appearance. We’re left to assume that this is Odin’s magic at work here. But what if it’s actually a sign that Loki is not a full-blood Frost Giant and there’s a reason for his small size?
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It’s also worth noting that Hela is the only other great sorcerer in the family, as neither Odin nor Frigga seem to be as expert magic-users as Loki is. The timeline for Hela’s imprisonment is hazy enough that we can infer she was locked up for around 1,500 years, shortly before Odin came to Jotunheim and found the cast-off Loki, perhaps the result of a love affair between Hela and Laufey.
If this is the case, it would be a neat inversion of the relation between Loki and Hela in the comics and the original Norse myths, where she’s Loki‘s daughter. There’s no way for that to work in the MCU, but there does exist enough leeway for us to imagine a parental bond between them nonetheless.