The long-awaited trailer for Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War at last brings Thanos to Earth in his search for the Infinity Stone. But while the action-packed footage focuses primarily on the conflict with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, it offers fleeting glimpses of Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy in deep space and, perhaps most notably, Tom Hiddleston's Loki with the Tesseract, with contains the Space Stone.
This shot is very interesting because some fans think the god of mischief is offering the Tesseract to Thanos or a member of the Mad Titan's Black Order. Others believe Loki actually may be preparing to use the Infinity Stone within against Thanos' forces in defense of the remaining Asgardian refugees. Although the scene is brief, and vague, its hints at an opportunity for Loki's redemption (for real, this time) by sacrificing himself and bringing his character arc full circle.
That said, let's dive deeper into why it makes sense for Infinity War to close the book on Loki, whether it's in this scene or another.
To Bookend His Redemption
Loki has a lot to atone for after repeatedly betraying the trust of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and placing Asgard in danger. However, it's his tyranny in 2012's The Avengers that truly fashions the trickster as one of the Nine Realm's biggest felons, due to his attempt to conquer Earth with the help of the Chitauri (and Thanos), as well as the Tesseract. However, everything changed Thor: Ragnarok, where the thunder god placed just enough trust in Loki to count him as an ally in the fight against Hela.
That paved the way for Loki's redemption. However, as hinted in Taika Waititi's film and confirmed by the Infinity War trailer, Loki stole the Tesseract from Odin's Vault just before Surtur destroyed Asgard. Loki turning around and offering the Tesseract to Thanos would undermine his redemptive arc. The god of mischief playing both sides has been done to death, so the best bet would be to surprise the audience by cementing him as a hero -- one who sacrifices himself to save others.
To Make Room For Other Versions of Loki
In Marvel comics, Loki has appeared in female form, occupying the body of Lady Sif as Thor reawakened the other Asgardians from their human vessels in the aftermath of Ragnarok. Loki's death in Infinity War could provide an opening for the MCU to bring the shape-shifter back -- not immediately, we hope! -- in a similar fashion.
Another form the trickster could return as would be Kid Loki. The youngster was introduced in the comics after the Void killed the adult Loki, with Thor realizing his brother removed his name from the Book of Hel, thus allowing him to constantly cheat death. Can you imagine Thor's dynamic with this problem child on the big screen? Loki's petulance and ego are only amplified in his child form, which would surely provide fertile ground for Waititi & Co. Who knows, maybe Thor could even turn to Peter Quill for advice on how he dealt with teenage Groot, making him more a father than a brother, and offering the Odinson a new and interesting angle.