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Warning: spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War! Don't read any further if you do not want to know what happens in the recent MCU blockbuster!
Few Marvel movies have ever reached the emotional heights of Avengers: Infinity War and even fewer ever reached those heights so early on in the runtime. The film opens with the devastating death of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), which sets the stage for Thanos (Josh Brolin) to stage his assault on Earth and obtain the rest of the Infinity Stones. That death is an emotional scene for many audiences to cope with, and according to Hiddleston himself, it means a lot to him because Loki finally accepts his place as a son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). In a recent appearance at ACE Comic Con in Seattle, Hiddleston explained:
When I came to shoot the scene in Infinity War, I think it's very powerful he calls himself an Odinson, and that closes the whole journey of Loki and what he can do. It [Loki's death] set the stakes up emotionally. It takes the stakes up dramatically. You know that Thanos is someone who's more dangerous than anyone we've seen before.
It's no secret that Loki arguably has one of the most comprehensive and thorough character arcs in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. From the moment of the realization of his lineage in the first Thor, the perpetual trickster grappled with his place in the universe and his constant oscillation between villain and anti-hero. Per Tom Hiddleston's remarks during his appearance at ACE Comic Con in Seattle (via Comicbook.com), that showdown with Thanos represents the moment in which Loki finally accepts his place as Odin's son, and dies as a hero while setting up the bigger threat of the film.
With all of that said, it's impossible to ignore the fact that Loki could very well appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at least one more time. There are rumors that Avengers 4 could potentially include time travel as a storytelling device, which means it remains possible for the surviving MCU heroes to bring the character back, or at least go back and see Loki again during an earlier point in his life. Nevertheless, there's a good chance what happens in Avengers 4 won't change the fact that Loki's chronological end comes during the showdown with Thanos on the Asgardian refugee vessel, and Tom Hiddleston is pleased with the emotional resonance of that ending.
Avengers: Infinity War is still in some theaters, so make sure to check it out if you have yet to do so. Moreover, watch out for the next (and decidedly smaller) Marvel Cinematic Universe outing next month when Ant-Man and The Wasp makes its theatrical debut on July 6. If you want a better sense of everything audiences are currently saying about the Ant-Man sequel, then check out our reaction roundup!