Here we are, for the last character featured in the first trailer of Thor: The Dark World: fan-favourite Loki, once again portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. In the first movie, we saw how Loki’s friendship with his step-brother Thor was utterly ruined when the real origins of Loki, son of Laufey king of the Jotuns, were revealed, and his envy towards his brother grew to cosmic proportions. In The Avengers, he tried to conquer Earth allying himself with Thanos and his army of Chitauri, but was stopped (and humiliated) by a team of Earth heroes formed by Nick Fury. In this third appearance, it seems that Loki will be Thor’s uncomfortable ally in his hunt for Malekith, who has kidnapped Jane Foster. Let’s see together who the god of mischief is in the comics.
Loki’s origin story is just as twisted and complex as the character is: it was Loki himself, from our present/his past-self future, who set in motion the events that would have made him the god he was. From an uncertain point in time, in fact, Loki came back to the past, and used his magic to appear as a Jotun in a battle between the Frost Giants and the Aesir, led by the mighty Bor. The Jotuns lost the battle, and Loki, knowing Bor’s pride, allowed himself to be pursued by the Asgardian. When Bor reached what he believed to be a Jotun, Loki revealed himself, and, knowing that he wouldn’t have been able to defeat the Aesir in combat, he turned him into snow with a spell, then making himself invisible. After a few moments, Bor’s son, Odin, arrived, just in time to see his father melt before his very eyes. Odin was crowned as the rightful king of Asgard, but future-Loki followed him, and started haunting him in the shape of Bor’s ghost. In despair, Odin finally arranged a deal with the shadow following him: he would have adopted the son of the next enemy he would have found worth of his spear, and raised him as his own. The very next week, the Jotuns attacked once again, and Odin killed in duel Laufey, king of Jotunheim. In his enemy’s palace, Odin found an infant, the deformed, short-sized son Laufey had kept hidden from his own people: driven by pity, by the will of giving honor to a valuable adversary, and by the promise made with his father’s “ghost”, Odin adopted the young one, Loki Laufeyson, who would have become his adoptive son, so that he would have grown up along with his legitimate sons Thor and Balder. Happy with his achievement, future Loki vanished, coming back to the time he belonged to, while young Loki started his life in Asgard, along with a brother who he equally admired and despised.
During their very childhood, Loki and Thor grew up to be very different one from the other: while Thor was big, strong and beautiful, Loki was skinny, weak and hideous (at least, for Asgardian average); while Thor excelled in the arts of combat, Loki was more a tactician and enjoyed studying more than fighting. Envious of the attentions Odin gave to Thor, Loki started studying magic and Asgardian science, becoming one of the most powerful sorcerers in Asgard when he was still a teenager. Along with his knowledge, also his malice grew, but at first he only used his cunning intelligence for pranks (particularly famous was the one through which he turned his brother’s blonde girlfriend into raven-haired Sif), every time hiding his hate and envy towards the other Asgardians behind nasty humor. When Odin gifted Thor with Mjolnir, his war hammer, Loki enchanted the forge so that the handle was to short for that kind of weapon (that’s why Thor’s war hammer is actually a throwing hammer). Finally, with Thor’s glory rising day after day, Loki abandoned all appearances and swore he would have become the most powerful warrior in Asgard, and that he would have made everyone love and admire him just as they did with Thor. During centuries, Loki tried many time to conquer Asgard by force, manipulating one race or another from the Nine Realms, until Odin, exasperated by his adoptive son, imprisoned him in a tree. It was only some hundred years after that Loki managed to escape his magical prison, with even more resentment towards his adoptive family. He started planning and plotting, becoming an enemy also of the Greek pantheon (Zeus himself locked Loki in Haides, but Loki seemed to enjoy the time spent there and went under the name of Devil for a while); when Thor became attached to Earth, Loki started attacking our world, trying to manipulate the powerful Hulk for his plans, only obtaining to create a threat dangerous enough to force some of the most powerful Earthly superheroes to ally, forming the Avengers.
Loki Laufeyson, the god of mischief, is without a doubt one of the most intelligent and twisted minds in the universe, able to amplify his perception of reality behind the borders of dimensions and Realms. Being a Frost Giant, Loki possesses natural superhuman physical attributes, such as strength, speed, agility, senses and stamina, but his most formidable resource is his knowledge of magic and ancient arts, that allows him to cast spells, to travel in time, to shape-shift, to control the minds of other sentient and non-sentient beings, and many other things. Ambitious, evil and unstoppable, Loki is ready to do anything to achieve his goals, and his plans, often thought and developed in the course of centuries, are just as hard to understand as they are to stop.