Chris Hemsworth as Thor reaches for his hammer next to Tom Hiddleston as Loki in 'Thor: Ragnarok'

Is Loki in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’?

The answer is as ambiguous as a certain trickster god...

Can you imagine a Thor movie without Loki in it? Ever since the first movie came out in 2011, the dynamic between the two brothers—one strong, noble, and brash, and the other cunning and ambitious—has been one of the main sources of tension in Thor’s journey from immature prince to Avenger to reluctant king. In Thor, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) set Thor (Chris Hemsworth) up to fail by encouraging him to attack the Frost Giants. In Thor: The Dark World, Loki turned out to be the one person who could smuggle Thor out of Asgard, saving Jane’s life and capturing the Aether. And in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor and Loki finally teamed up to escape the Jeff Goldblum-run Sakaar and defeat their evil sister Hela. But is Loki in Thor: Love and Thunder?

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The first teaser trailer

The first teaser trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder—released on Monday, April 18, 2022—didn’t give a whole lot away, even if we’re not talking about Loki. The entire thing seemed designed to misdirect audiences, with Thor mostly talking about retiring from the life of a superhero, and footage likely used in a completely different context than we’ll see in the final film. While we did get some reveals in this first look at the movie, Loki’s return would be a huge deal, and this teaser was never going to give it away.

However, we did know early on that we would get, uh, a version of Loki in the movie—though not any non-TVA-approved variants.

One Confirmed Cameo

You’ll recall that in 2018’s Thor: Ragnarok, Thor returns to Asgard after several years of hunting Infinity Stones to find the Asgardian nobility watching a play. In the play, several actors act out the events of Thor: The Dark World, with Loki dying a heroic death in Thor’s arms. The play itself was funny, but the most hilarious part was the actors, once the audience realized who they were. The part of Thor was played by Chris Hemsworth’s brother, Luke Hemsworth, and Loki was played by Matt Damon in a surprise cameo.

In 2021, some set photos from Love and Thunder leaked, revealing that the new movie would use the same plot device to catch viewers up on the events of Ragnarok. Along with Luke Hemsworth returning as Thor and Melissa McCarthy playing the role of Hela, the photos revealed Matt Damon back in his Loki costume. (I’m glad all those Asgardian actors survived Ragnarok and Thanos’s attack!)

So, in a sense, it was confirmed early on that Loki would be in Love and Thunder! Sort of. Yay?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. As funny as it is, Matt Damon playing an actor playing a fake Loki isn’t really Loki. What about Tom Hiddleston? Does he make an appearance?

Sadly, in an interview with Empire (via Digital Spy), Hiddleston flat-out denied any involvement in Love and Thunder, saying that the first three Thor movies “explored about as much as we can about these two brothers.”

BUT. There are two things we know for certain about the Marvel universe. One, Loki has been a core element of the Thor franchise, not to mention Thor’s life, since the very first movie, and it would just feel really weird to have him be completely absent from the next and possibly final Thor movie. “Loki defines himself in opposition to Thor,” Hiddleston said back in 2017 when asked about the possibility of a solo Loki movie. “There is not Thor without Loki, there is no Loki without Thor.” This was, of course, pre-Loki and Disney+ series, but the sentiment stands for many Thorverse fans.

And two, actors denying their involvement in Marvel movies means less than a hill of beans. Spider-Man: No Way Home proved this in abundance. Just because there’s absolutely no proof doesn’t mean we can’t get wildly speculative, which is exactly what we did before Love and Thunder came out!

Some possibilities

In Thor 1-3, Thor lost every member of his family one by one, until by the end of the first scene in Infinity War, he’s left all alone (and deeply depressed about it). But thanks to time travel and an afterlife that seems remarkably accessible to the living, Thor is still able to communicate with his family.

In Ragnarok, Thor has an out-of-body experience while he’s getting beaten up by Hela. He’s suddenly standing in the same grassy field where Odin died. There he sees Odin himself, standing before him to give him a pep talk from beyond the grave.

Later, in Endgame, Thor goes back in time to 2013 Asgard to steal the aether as part of the Avengers’ time heist. Once there, he accidentally runs into his mother Frigga, who was killed by Dark Elves in The Dark World. Thor gets to sit down with Frigga for some more emotional support, plus the closure he never got the day she was killed.

Odin, Frigga, and Loki are the three members of Thor’s immediate family (unless you count Hela, which … I’m not going to, because she’s The Worst), so it would be thematically satisfying to have the Sacred Timeline’s Loki appear to Thor to give him some guidance in Love and Thunder, thus completing the trifecta.

More significantly, the Disney+ series Loki introduced us to a Loki variant, sucked out of the timeline after his attack on New York in 2012. That Loki is still out in the multiverse somewhere, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he shows up somewhere else in the MCU. And thankfully, the Loki variant was caught up on how the “other” Loki eventually mended fences with his brother.

Plus, in an interview with Variety, Hiddleston himself acknowledged that maybe the story of Thor and Loki isn’t over yet, saying that he knows fans “want [Loki] to repair that relationship with his brother and step into the hero that he can be.” With the new Loki having gained a lot of self-awareness and the resolve to turn over a new leaf, there are suddenly a ton of new and exciting possibilities to explore if the two meet up again. Will Thor trust Loki? Will Loki apologize for turning Thor into a frog and stabbing him a gazillion times throughout the years? It feels inevitable that fans will get to see their reunion at some point.

The final verdict: sorry, Loki fans

Alas, now that Thor: Love and Thunder is out, we know for certain that Loki doesn’t appear in it. We’ll have to wait for Loki season 2 before we get more mischief, and even longer before we get that reunion.

However, Thor: Love and Thunder does contain a couple of sweet tributes to Loki. In his prologue, Korg describes how Thor lost his family, and we see shots of Frigga, Odin, and Loki from previous movies. Korg tells the story of how Thor lost his brother a whopping three times.

Then, in Omnipotence City, when Zeus flicks off Thor’s clothes, we see that his back is covered in tattoos. The biggest tattoo is a picture of Loki’s horns, with the words “RIP LOKI” written in a runic font above them.

Will Thor and Loki see each other again? Here’s hoping it happens in the next Avengers movie.

(image: Marvel Studios)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>