Thanos Has Loki Killed For His Betrayal
Given what had been shown in previous trailers and footage, this scene isn't all that shocking. Loki is all that's left of the Asgardian ship's crew and passengers (we assume), explaining why Hulk is impressed by Thanos for his conquering abilities. Although much of that credits goes to his underlings, shown in this same shot as the first look at Marvel's Black Order in action.
The elite members of Thanos's personal army, rarely seen united in one place. Surrounding Loki, awaiting orders from Thanos... with some kind of powered staff pointed straight at his head. Sure, that in itself isn't confirmation of what's about to happen to Loki (Thanos may simply banish him to somewhere else in the Marvel Universe, or dissolve him in mystical energy to return at a later date).
But the trailer also seems to show what Loki and the Children of Thanos are all looking at. And even worse, who's being made to look back. Or, more accurately, who Thanos is forcing to watch.
Thanos Makes Thor Watch as Loki Dies
From the first viewing, it's easy to mistake the above shot as a true demonstration of the power of Thanos (he's already got the Power Stone at this point). But as impressive as it might be to make an Asgardian scream in pain by squeezing his skull with your bare hand... that doesn't seem like the most likely scenario.
For starters, it really doesn't seem like Thanos is "squeezing" at all. Examining the beginning of the shot more closely, it's clear that Thor is resisting his head being turned, not crushed. And even opening one eye grudgingly. After all, this isn't just a lesson for Loki to realize the cost of betraying Thanos. It's also a punishment for Thor searching out Thanos for years since his vision in Age of Ultron.
Again't that's our speculation on what's being shown here - but it's getting harder and harder to claim that it's not also the most likely scenario playing out. The good news, if there is any, is that Loki will die a hero, not a villain.
And that Thor will have a brand new reason to become the God of Thunder that the Norse people revered as a divine warrior.
Following the presumed execution of Loki, Thanos leaves Thor for dead (a tactical miscalculation, part of the plan, or evidence of Thor possessing greater divinity than Loki?). He is instead picked up by the Guardians of the Galaxy, a group that happens to include no shortage of people looking for revenge against Thanos. Fate works in mysterious ways in Marvel's Universe, too.
But before Thor can wage his war on Thanos and avenge the death of his people and his brother, he must have a weapon worthy of the task. No more Mjolnir, a hammer designed to help Thor fly and pummel enemies with brute force. The time has come for Thor to forge the Stormbreaker Axe, an instrument of true warfare.
As part of our biggest questions and secrets in the Infinity War trailer, we wondered why the time had come for Thor to restore his red cape, as well. But if Thor is aiming to show Thanos exactly who he has messed with, and take his revenge in the name of Asgard, it's only right he should look the part.
If not for the onlookers or movie fans, then for the historians who will one day tell the story. Assuming the villainous plan doesn't succeed, and Thanos fails to wipe out life in the universe, that is.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018