Tom Hiddleston has played the god of mischief, Loki, in six Marvel Cinematic Universe movies over ten years. Sometimes he was the antagonist. Other times he was more of an anti-hero. He was always, however, an emotive trickster who had no problem showing his feelings of disgust, exasperation, and/or determination in camera closeups.
With Disney+’s limited series, Loki, premiering on June 9, we’ll get a whole lot more of Odin’s second son, albeit a version of him from when he was peak villain in 2012’s The Avengers. To get us revved up for more Loki goodness (or badness?), here is a list of Loki’s most iconic looks to the camera (or just off-screen) that chronicle his journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thor - Loki watches Thor and Odin quarrel over the frost giants he secretly let into Asgard
This glance takes place 11 minutes into the first Thor movie, when we’ve all only just met Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and, of course, Loki. Frost giants have invaded the Asgardian vault, and Thor and Odin are arguing over what to do next. Thor, who’s headstrong early on in the movie, wants to invade. Odin is of a more peaceful mind, however, and puts his son in his place, much to the secret delight of Loki, who looks on silently. We don’t know this yet, but it was Loki who let those Frost Giants in! His plan all along was for Thor to fight the Frost Giants and get in trouble (which, he does). If you look closely at Loki’s face here, you can see a little bit of that deviousness just below the surface.
Thor - Loki is King of Asgard and can’t quite keep his feelings about his brother off his face when Sif asks to end Thor’s banishment
Loki gets what he wants about halfway through Thor, and is acting king after Odin banishes his brother before subsequently falling into “Odinsleep,” which renders him unable to rule. It’s clear that Loki loves power. It's also very clear that he really doesn’t like his brother. The look he gives Sif (Jamie Alexander) when she asks him to end Thor’s banishment is a withering one. This is the look that makes it clear that Loki is up to no good.
Thor - a messed-up Loki is astral projecting around Erik Selvig and loving it
The end of Thor sees Loki fall into space to who knows where. We don’t have to wait too long to find out where his astral self is, however. The post-credit scene has Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) meeting with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) about a certain blue cube we now know as the Tesseract. Selvig takes a look at the Tesseract, and in a reflection, we see Loki (looking a bit worse for the wear) give the camera a devilish smile. “Well, I guess that’s worth a look,” Loki says menacingly, and Selvig repeats his words. What does Loki's presence there mean?! We had to wait a year until The Avengers premiere to find out.
The Avengers - Loki arrives through the Tesseract and is ready to conquer Earth
Loki is the big bad villain of 2012’s The Avengers, and he has a lot of maniacal faces to help him play the part. One of the best, however, is his sinister return to Earth via the Tesseract. At the beginning of the movie, he lands in the middle of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s super-secret lab and takes no time to kill some agents and take over the minds of Dr. Selvig and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Based on his evil grin once he lands, you can tell he’s having a good time being evil.
The Avengers - Loki smiles as his plan comes together and Banner becomes Hulk
Loki is as mischievous as ever, even when planning for world domination. One of his plans was to have Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) turn into the Hulk and go on an uncontrolled rampage on the Helicarrier. Hulk eventually appears, and Loki has a lovely grin when he gets the news.
Thor: The Dark World - A grieving Loki in prison
Loki takes a turn after he’s defeated in The Avengers. In Thor: The Dark World, he’s locked up in Asgard, and when Thor visits him after their mother dies he ultimately removes his illusions and shows Thor how he’s truly grieving. That doesn't mean that he's done with his mischievous ways, however, and you can see a little bit of that as well in his look to his brother.
Thor: Ragnarok – Loki’s ‘aw shucks’ look when Thor knows he’s impersonating Odin
Even though Loki (kind of) turned a leaf in Thor: The Dark World, he’s still up to his trickster ways in Thor: Ragnarok, where we first see him on Asgard impersonating his father, Odin. Thor sees through Loki’s illusion, however, and forces him to change back by threatening to have Mjolnir smash him in the face. Once he’s outed, you can tell he’s a bit punchy about the whole thing, but who wouldn’t be, after all?
Thor: Ragnarok – Loki saves the Asgardians by arriving with a rescue ship
Loki flirts with betrayal a few times in Ragnarok, though Thor manages to thwart him. When his brother leaves Loki on Sakaar and says that he’ll never change, Loki decides to prove his brother wrong. He ends up joining the battle against his sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett), arriving on Asgard on a large ship and declaring to his people that “your savior has arrived!” Loki remains far away in this shot, but you can still make out his eyes fervently taking in the gratefulness of his fellow Asgardians.
Avengers: Infinity War – Loki knows he’s probably going to die
The most touching scene of Loki’s is his “last” in Infinity War, when he faces Thanos and attempts to assassinate him. Before his attempt, he casts a glimpse to Thor off-camera, saying he was Odinson (aka, the son of Odin) and telling his brother that he would honor their father. Loki (this version at least) had finally come to the right side of things, even though it killed him.
Avengers: Endgame – When 2012 Loki steals the Tesseract
Even though Loki died in Infinity War, we see The Avengers version of him in Endgame during a time travel mission to steal the Space Stone (aka the Tesseract). That plan fails, in no small part because Loki manages to get his hands on the Tesseract and disappear. The look in his eyes at this happy accident is priceless, and is also what sets up the whole premise of Disney+’s Loki, where this version of the god of mischief ends up being forcibly recruited into the Time Variance Authority because of the havoc he’s wrecked to space-time. We'll soon see what new glances and glares he'll direct our way when we watch Loki every Wednesday.
All images: Marvel/Disney+