Thor and Loki have one of the most complicated sibling relationships in all of comics, which the movies have expertly highlighted time and again.
There’s genuine love there, but a lack of trust and disappointment on both sides. Each of them hopes for the best from the other, but they are so ideologically different on so many levels that it's hard for them to relate to one another.
Thor is direct, whereas Loki is manipulative and cunning, Thor earns trust, while Loki earns fear and skepticism. Thor is the God of Thunder, whereas Loki is the God of Mischief.
Their differences are what define them, and those differences are made most clear, visually, through their different powers.
While there are some abilities that they do share, as both Thor and Loki are nearly immortal and both have some degree of flight and super strength, their larger skill sets are extremely different.
Thor relies much more on raw strength, whereas Loki is more of a thinker, and has to evaluate and assess every situation in order to see how he can gain the upper hand.
In this list, we’ll be looking at their powers, personality, and general skillsets to determine all of the things that Loki can do that Thor can’t.
With that said, here are the 15 Things Loki Can Do (That Thor Can't).
Even characters as cunning and as powerful as Loki aren't able to escape the eventual grasp of mortality.
However, even then, Loki has an unexpected handle on things.
Loki is able to reincarnate, returning in various forms over various periods of time.
This happened recently in the comics, when he returned as a much younger version of himself, first as a boy and then as a teen.
He’s also returned to life as a woman before. Part of this stems from his own ability to shape shift, but in general, Loki’s ability to reincarnate makes sure that even if he’s defeated and there’s no way out-- despite whether he gives his life for either good or evil-- he will be back in some form or another.
14 Shape Shift
Loki has often used this on screen in the MCU, as shape-shifting is one of the most important powers Loki possesses in the comics.
Even if it’s not always seen, this is referenced in the movies, especially when Thor notes that Loki turned into a snake just to bite him when they were children.
In Thor: The Dark World, Loki transforms several times, taking the shape of an Asgardian soldier, Lady Sif, and even Captain America in order to get a rise out of Thor.
His best use of the power, though, has been taking the form of his father, Odin, for years at a time after faking his own end, which we saw in Thor: Ragnarok.
13 Energy Projection
Most magical abilities in Marvel comics manifest themselves as energy projection. No matter what applications magic can have, the use of it almost always ends in a fight, as these characters are constantly drawn into conflict.
It’s very hard to have a direct conversation in the Marvel universe without descending into some degree of violence.
Loki’s energy projection doesn’t have much of a purpose on its own, but it’s a great defensive measure even if his energy blasts aren’t as strong as some of the characters that are more known for possessing that kind of power.
This is one very visual power that hasn’t really made it into the movies, surprisingly enough.
As a trickster and a master manipulator, hypnosis is one of those powers that most comes in handy for a character like Loki.
In fact, Loki’s hypnosis is even responsible for the founding of the Avengers in the first place.
Knowing that he could use the Hulk’s intense power to his advantage, Loki hypnotized him and sent him on an uncontrollable rampage.
The only things that have ever really kept Hulk at bay are his own heart and conscience. Without control over those things, he became a serious threat and it took the combined efforts of Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, and Wasp to bring him down.
Over time, Loki has hypnotized dozens of other characters into doing what he wants.
11 Cast Illusions
This is one of the powers that Loki is most known for, especially in the movies.
It’s a power that truly separates him from Thor. With strength and lightning, Thor is so much more direct with his enemies.
Loki’s illusions, on the other hand, allow him to manipulate his environment so that he can make an attempt to orchestrate the outcome without his enemies ever even really knowing what is going on.
His illusions work best, obviously, when they are undetected.
Sometimes, that doesn’t always work out for him. However, as he pointed out in The Avengers, there are characters like Thor who will constantly fall for the exact same trick over and over again.
10 Force Fields
Loki’s force fields can be powerful and he has gotten incredible use out of them over the years.
He even casted one force field to protect Asgard as a whole at one point.
There are still characters who are known for force field projection as their defining trait and thus have a leg up on Loki in that department, such as the Invisible Woman, but that doesn’t negate just how powerful Loki can be when it comes to using force fields.
This is especially the case since they prevent characters who could easily pummel him into the ground—such as Thor—from ever really getting too close.
It doesn’t always work in his favor, though, as Thor has found a way to smash through Loki’s force fields on more than one occasion.
9 Astral Projection
Most mystical characters in the Marvel Universe possess some ability for astral projection, from Doctor Strange and Wong to Scarlet Witch and obviously Loki.
The God of Mischief has a need for sending his consciousness out in order to get a feel for how events are transpiring around him. After all, he can’t manipulate his environment unless he knows everything that’s going on.
This ability also makes it into the MCU in the post-credits tag in Thor, with Loki spying on Selvig, Fury, and the Tesseract, and even making his way into Selvig’s mind in the process.
While he’s not as adept with this ability as a master like Doctor Strange, Loki has been practicing astral projection far longer and therefore always has a trick up his sleeve.
8 Give Superhuman Powers to Others
While it’s not one of Loki’s most well known or celebrated powers, the ability to give powers to others is something that he has gotten frequent use out of over time.
It’s one of his most useful abilities, especially since he spent so much time in the comics as a villain who always hired people to do his dirty work for him, rather than taking the opportunity to do things for himself.
In that respect, Loki has sometimes served as a magically inclined mirror to the Kingpin. While Kingpin has used money and resources to create powerful foot soldiers and assistants, Loki uses his mastery of magic to imbue people with powers.
He also has expanded the powers of those who already possess them as well.
As one of the most iconic magical abilities in the general scope of pop culture, Loki’s knack for transfiguration hasn’t made it into the movies just yet, but it has been referenced.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor mentions the time that Loki turned him into a frog, which was an Easter egg for fans.
Throg, as it was called, was one of the most bizarre things to ever happen to Thor in the comics, and therefore one of the most memorable.
Loki’s powers of transfiguration aren’t simply limited to turning people into animals, however.
If he wanted, he could turn someone’s keys into a snake or their car into a puddle of water. It’s an ability that he has a genuine mastery over and one that most frequently gives him the upper hand in a fight.
6 Influence the Emotions of Others
Thor takes people at face value and deals with things in a direct manner. He doesn’t know what to say to get people to do what he wants them to do or feel how he’d like them to feel.
Not only can Loki manipulate people into thinking what he wants them to believe, but he also has a genuine power to manipulate the emotions of others.
It’s perfect for situations in which talking just won’t get the job done. Sometimes someone is too angry to be persuaded.
In other cases, someone might be so pure hearted and good that they would never be angry enough to turn against their friends or fellow heroes. That’s when Loki can make good use of a power like this one.
Both Loki and Thor are strong healers, but like most talents on this list, Loki has the aid of magic on his side, while Thor generally doesn’t.
Not only does Loki already have a degree of accelerated healing, but he can also use magic to heal himself if need be.
It’s part of why he’s lasted so long. Loki has come into conflict with virtually every hero in the Marvel Universe over time, from the Avengers to the Fantastic Four to the X-Men and everything in between.
He rarely comes out on top, so he needs to make sure he can make it out in one piece and regeneration and a healing factor are both good ways of ensuring his survival.
4 Bring Inanimate Objects to Life
Loki can use transfiguration to make objects useless and turn them into virtually anything. However, he can also manipulate objects in another, much more useful way.
When he chooses to, Loki can play puppet master and bring inanimate objects to life.
Usually, this means statues or suits of armor that can come alive to aid him as cheap and effective muscle in a fight.
When Loki needs fighters on his side or just needs to cause a distraction, this power proves to be extremely useful.
This can even, occasionally, be used for raising the unliving in order to have a few mindless zombies at his back. Though other characters are much more known for necromancy, Loki is more than capable and has had to do it in the past.
3 Immunity to Magic and Certain Abilities
Given that Loki is so well practiced in the area of magic, he’s immune to most magical abilities.
He has a strong resistance to magical energy that can come in handy when he’s fighting people who are known for their use of magic, like Scarlet Witch or Doctor Strange. However, this ability doesn’t stop there, either.
Loki is even immune to certain and surprising superpowers.
At one point in the comics, when he is drawn into a conflict with the heroes as he usually is, Loki is grabbed by Rogue. Instead of draining his energy and absorbing his powers as she usually does, Rogue discovers that her powers actually have no effect on Loki whatsoever.
These unexpected immunities are part of what make Loki so dangerously unpredictable.
2 Extensive Knowledge of Magical Artifacts
Much of being a skilled, smart user of magic comes down to simply knowing the tools of the trade. Loki is smart and he likes to know what he’s dealing with.
He especially likes to know what items could be used to give himself more power, potentially even unlimited power.
This is clearly evidenced in the movies, given his obsession over the Tesseract and the amount of power that it contains.
Loki’s knowledge of every mystical artifact might not be quite as adept as, say, Doctor Strange, but he still knows what he’s talking about.
This is his field of interest and he’s been around accumulating this knowledge for a very long time.
1 Mastery Over Technology
Maybe the most forgotten power of Loki’s is that he’s actually quite skilled with technology in addition to simply being one of the most powerful magic users in the Marvel Universe.
Loki can create machines and tech to use to his advantage in situations when his magical abilities simply don’t seem to do the trick.
A famous example of this in the comics would be when he used a machine to tamper with Iceman’s powers, causing the X-Man to be almost useless in a fight, never knowing exactly how his powers would work or what they would do, sometimes causing way more ice than the situation called for.
This is an all-but forgotten talent of Loki’s, but one that he’s used to his advantage many times.
Can you think of any other powers or abilities that Loki has that Thor doesn't? Sound off in the comments!