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God of Daggers: Tom Hiddleston explains how Loki's love of knives went from early idea to MCU canon

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Jul 8, 2021, 12:10 PM EDT

There are a few things you expect from Loki in just about every MCU outing at this point. There's Tom Hiddleston's fiendish smile, a good wardrobe (he even makes the TVA jumpsuits look good), and of course, the daggers. Thor may have his hammer and Heimdall may wield the mighty Bifrost sword, but give Loki a knife he can summon into his hand with a flourish any day.

The God of Mischief's love of daggers in just about any fighting situation has become a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whether he's flipping them on his way to a fight or using them to try and outwit the Mad Titan Thanos. They event became a point of contention among the various Lokis in the most recent episode of his Disney+ streaming series. So, how did the God of Mischief become the God of Daggers? According to Hiddleston himself, it all started as a very straightforward way to distinguish his fighting style from that of his bigger brother, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

"The idea of throwing knives came from something that evolved out of a conversation with [Thor director] Kenneth Branagh, which is that Loki's fighting style is quick, efficient, and lethal," Hiddleston told Entertainment Weekly. "That Thor was like a block of granite, but Loki was like the wind. You couldn't really pin him down. Thor was solid, stable, immovable, and enormously powerful, and Loki was dancing around him like a sprite or as unpredictable as the wind. And then the knives, I suppose, stuck in the canon."

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The knives stuck in the canon to suck a degree that they became a part of just about every Loki appearance, and earned a distinctive place in various MCU battle sequences. Over time, Hiddleston evolved his knife technique to include things like that awesome no-look double flip of his blades in the climactic sequence of Thor: Ragnarok, something he notes came about just because he thought he should be doing something dynamic in the frame at the time.

"And we were doing that run, it was an afternoon, and it was myself and Idris and maybe Taika. I can't remember. Definitely Idris was there, and it was a two-shot of us fighting these fantastic athletes that are the stunt guys. And I ran out of choreography," Hiddleston explained. "Basically, I think I finished my moves before Idris, and he was still rolling, and I didn't want to just be standing there like a lemon, not doing anything interesting. So I just flipped the knives, and caught them by chance."

The knife flip got laughs when the cast and crew watched the playback that day, and Ragnarok director Taika Waititi ended up using it as a key Loki moment at the end of the film.

"I've since tried to do it. Every time I try to do it with wooden spoons, it never works, and I always drop one," Hiddleston added. "So it was one of those things, but lightning never strikes twice."

The final episode of Loki arrives Wednesday on Disney+, so maybe the God of Mischief has one last knife flip in him after all.