Warning: SPOILERS up to Avengers: Infinity War
It's a good day to be a Loki fan, now that Marvel has officially confirmed Thor's brother was under the influence of the Mind Stone in The Avengers. Which raises the question... was Loki ever really a villain at all?
That will be a controversial debate in itself, since Tom Hiddleston's Loki has been the MCU's best villain to date. So good, in fact, that he racked up more starring roles than some heroes. And to prove how far he had come from his days of evil villainy, Loki was given a hero's death in Avengers: Infinity War. A death made even more tragic now that Marvel has confirmed a fan theory explaining why the Avengers villain wasn't the REAL Loki at all.
- This Page: Marvel Confirms The Loki/Mind Stone Theory
- Next Page: So, Was Loki EVER Really A Villain At All?
The Theory: Loki Fell Prey to The Mind Stone
The theory has been alluded to or proposed a number of times and to varying degrees since The Avengers, so it isn't an excuse meant to pave the way for Loki's Disney TV show (a concise version of the theory can be found here). To keep it short, the theory suggests that the scepter given to Loki by Thanos couldn't just take over the minds of those it touched (Hawkeye, Erik Selvig etc.), but was also able to influence the person holding it. A detail Thanos surprisingly failed to mention.
Thanks to hindsight, we now know that Loki's scepter secretly contained the Mind Stone, one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos had already acquired prior to assigning Loki the job of conquering Earth. And since the Infinity Stones are sentient in the comics, and the Mind Stone can override thought, Loki was just as susceptible to its power as anyone else. Thanos may or may not have known that when giving it to Loki, but either way, the disheveled and sickly appearance of Loki upon his arrival in Avengers is pointed to as major evidence of some kind of corruption.
Marvel Confirms Loki/Mind Stone Theory
Now, fans on Reddit have noted that Marvel's official character page for Loki has been modified. It isn't exactly clear when the changes were made, but without any fanfare whatsoever, the theory that the Mind Stone corrupted Loki has been confirmed as canon. We'll let fans read through the related passage, copied below from Marvel's site:
Arriving at the Sanctuary through a wormhole caused by the Bifrost, Loki met the Other, ruler of the ancient race of extraterrestrials the Chitauri, and Thanos. Offering the God of Mischief dominion over his brother’s favorite realm Earth, Thanos requested the Tesseract in return. Gifted with a Scepter that acted as a mind control device, Loki would be able to influence others. Unbeknownst to him, the Scepter was also influencing him, fueling his hatred over his brother Thor and the inhabitants of Earth.
There you have it: Loki was as much a victim of Thanos and the scepter as anyone else, potentially, since the Mind Stone was driving him to be more evil and hateful than he actually was at heart. That certainly explains the more sadistic moments Loki enjoyed in The Avengers team-up, and why he became far more reasonable in later appearances, once the influence and hatred "fueled" by the Mind Stone was removed. But if Loki can't really be held responsible for all of his villainous actions in the movie... is it possible that Loki was never a villain to begin with?