Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stand beside each other as Thor summons his hammer.

Let’s Examine This “Loki Is Alive” Infinity War Fan Theory That Kevin Smith Endorsed

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Fan theories that Loki survived the events of Avengers: Infinity War have been making the rounds for months now. Over the weekend the idea got quite the boost when director Kevin Smith tossed his two cents in.

Many of us were loath to see our favorite God of Mischief dispatched so quickly and brutally at the beginning of Infinity War. Since the Asgardian/Jotun antihero survived being “dead” twice before, however, it isn’t beyond the bounds of reason to suspect that he could give death the slip again. Loki fans have clung to that hope, even as Thanos pointedly declared “no more resurrections this time” as he strangled Loki.

Right after Infinity War‘s release, a fan theory gained some traction that Loki was not dead but had in fact shapeshifted into Bruce Banner and was sent to Earth in Bruce’s stead. This theory seemed to hinge upon the fact that Bruce couldn’t turn into the Hulk throughout the movie, and that Loki is, as a rule, sneaky and opportunistic and interested in self-preservation.

I didn’t give this one too much credence because there are too many plot holes therein: if Loki is masquerading as Bruce, where is Bruce? And if Loki can appear as any form, why not illusion himself to also look like the Hulk so as to avoid further suspicion? I feel pretty confident tossing this theory out, especially since the Russos have explained that Bruce and the Hulk have some complicated couples therapy to work through in order to figure out their issues, which were foreshadowed in Thor: Ragnarok.

But there is another fan theory that makes an incredibly crucial observation that does seem to throw open the doors to the idea that Loki is still alive. A user on Reddit pointed out that while we have always seen Loki fight with a dominant right hand, in Infinity War he uses his left hand in his attempt to stab Thanos. The Redditor claims that the only other time we’ve witnessed Loki fighting left-handed is when it is not Loki himself but a projected illusion—or when he is at least up to some seriously crafty magics.

Loki is right handed. If you look, in movies since the Thor 1 to Avengers 1 to Ragnarok, he wields with his right hand. He holds weapons with his right and the sceptor in Avengers with his right.

There are two occasions he uses his left hand (that I’ve found). One, when he fakes his own death in Dark World. You can find him holding the dagger with his left hand during the entire scene. Two, when he stabs Thanos.

So, Loki’s illusion uses his left hand because he’s a mirrored version? The Loki that was killed in the beginning of IW was an illusion and he’s still out there, maybe disguised or just in hiding.

The idea that the man we saw die was simply a “mirrored version” of Loki makes a lot of sense. Loki has the capacity to create both illusions and doubles that do his bidding, and he disappears for a while at the beginning of Infinity War before reemerging to challenge Thanos. There was both the time and the opportunity for Loki to substitute a magical replica in his place.

Many Loki-watchers felt like his abrupt move to stab the Mad Titan was extremely out-of-character: Loki is the only one on board The Statesman spaceship who knows who Thanos is and what he is capable of, yet he tries to attack a hugely powerful being who already wields some Infinity Stones with a tiny knife?

For a genius-level god and powerful sorcerer, it’s a pretty dumb move, even if he gets to give his final speech declaring himself a prince of Asgard and the rightful king of Jotunheim and an Odinson again in proper ultra-dramatic Loki fashion.

A much better plan, which explains this apparent folly, would be if Loki had sent a double in his place to give said dramatic speech and “die” in order to give the real Loki the chance to escape. He could have taken an escape pod that we know the ship had because Valkyrie and company got away, or used his arts to somehow survive in space. Thor did okay just kind of floating around until the Guardians found him, so it’s not inconceivable.

When the “mirrored version” Loki theory was suggested to Kevin Smith on his Fatman Beyond podcast, the director and avid comics fan thought it sounded plausible—especially because rewatching Infinity War had ignited his own suspicions about Loki’s death. According to Uproxx:

After being presented with the evidence, Smith responded, “You’ve got a point, because I’m sitting there watching, I re-watched Infinity War again last night and I was like, I can’t believe they killed f*cking Loki.” The Clerks director continued, “Last night when I was watching it, [there’s a] line I hung on, which is where he goes, ‘The sun will shine on us again brother,’ and then he gets killed and Thor should have been like, ‘I guess you were wrong, f*ck!’ But you know, he doesn’t and that made me think like maybe there is a play here and stuff.”

Smith hit upon another element of that scene that Loki fans have been debating for ages. Shortly before he dies, Loki says to Thor, “I assure you, brother, the sun will shine on us again,” which is just frankly kind of an incongruous thing for Loki to say and seems to lack any context whatsoever in the moment.

Is he promising to meet Thor someday in the afterlife? Why would you phrase it like that? Instead, Loki seems to be implying that the both of them will survive this thing, whether that’s a product of simple overconfidence or—and this is critical—because he already has a plan to escape Thanos by magical trickery. The more you look at the “sun will shine on us again” line, the weightier it seems. Loki only has a handful of lines in Infinity War, and in this one, he appears to be sending a direct, if mysterious, message to Thor and to the audience. Hence Smith’s assessment of that moment as “a play” in the greater scheme of things.

We know that Tom Hiddleston will likely be appearing as Loki in some capacity in Avengers 4. He was spotted on set in Avengersera costume alongside Chris Hemsworth, leading some to believe—if that appearance wasn’t a purposeful red herring—that the film would involve time travel and we’d get to see Loki in the past. But if he’s still alive, and able to rejoin his brother, that means that the current-day Loki could also be in on the remaining Avengers’ plans for the events of Avengers 4.

While we have no idea if the Loki TV show that seems bound for the Disney streaming service (and in which he should be pansexual) will take place after the events of Avengers 4 or in a different period of time, it’s clear that the MCU is not done with Loki. While we’re here, may I suggest that the Loki TV show be set between the events of Thor and The Avengers? Marvel, call me, I have many ideas and all of the scripts pre-written.

How do you think the sun will shine on Loki again in Avengers 4?

(via Uproxx, image: Marvel)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.