Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is more than well established as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most popular supporting characters, thanks largely to the actor’s charismatic series of performances as the God of Mischief. After all, he must be doing something right to have remained such an integral figure in the shared mythology despite having been killed off a handful of times already and betrayed his nearest and dearest on many occasions.
Loki was a smart choice to act as the main villain in The Avengers, providing a recognizable character that people knew and loved to be the frontman of a completely interchangeable and disposable army of CGI goons that were ultimately little more than canon fodder for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Of course, the Tesseract was the driving force behind the story of Joss Whedon’s epic, but a new theory now claims that the charming trickster was actually under the influence of the Mind Stone the entire time.
You see, it makes little sense for Thanos to give Loki the scepter in the film unless he’s using it to control him without having him realize it. Avengers: Age of Ultron showed that the Mind Stone was strong enough to have its own intelligence, too, meaning that the scepter could be a decoy to convince Loki that he’s the one wielding the power.
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As ScreenRant explains:
In The Avengers, Loki and Thanos hatch a dastardly plan, involving the invasion and eventual conquering of Earth. Loki is offered dominion over the planet once it’s been toppled, while Thanos wants the Tesseract and the Space Stone within. Loki is able to partly pull off this scheme thanks to the use of a powerful scepter, gifted to him by Thanos himself. The scepter enables Loki to exert mind control over others, such as Hawkeye and Erik Selvig, and turn them into obedient lackeys. That’s because the scepter contains the Mind Stone. But, since Thanos wants to gather all six Infinity Stones in order to perform his fateful snap, giving up a stone to Loki makes zero sense.
Thanos had to know Loki was a selfish person, and renowned for his skill with trickery. Why would Thanos trust that Loki would invade Earth, conquer it, retrieve the Tesseract, and also return the scepter to him after? The answer is, he wouldn’t. Thanos is far too smart for that. Instead, Thanos used the Mind Stone’s immense power to influence Loki, without Loki being aware this manipulation was occurring. With Loki now under the control of the Mind Stone, Thanos could send him off with the scepter and not worry about being turned against.
The Mind Stone also amplifies the emotional reactions of those that come too close to it, which would go some way to explaining why Loki is irredeemably evil in The Avengers, but his subsequent appearances depict him as a much more sympathetic figure. It all adds up to make for a pretty interesting theory, and with the highly anticipated Disney Plus series set to focus on the 2012 version of the character with the Tesseract firmly in tow, we’ll find out then whether or not it holds any weight.