Okay, I've written a lot of articles about Loki, and I have made it pretty clear that he is one of my favorite characters of all time. While many of you have seen my side in defending the Asgardian who waged war against Earth, a number of viewers still think that I am crazy for trying to defend such a major villain. Well, this is why I defend him, because I see his side of things. Hopefully you will as well after reading this.
Part 1 - Thor
Since childhood, Thor has been told that he would one day be king. Even though Thor and Loki are brothers, Thor is seen as being more worthy (a theme that recurs often), and Loki has to sit and watch as Thor is groomed for leadership. Through childhood, Loki starts to realize that Thor might not make the best king, as he rushes into most problems head-on and ready for battle. Seeing that he would make a more intelligent ruler, Loki makes up his mind that he is going to fight for the throne.
As they grow older, Loki feels unwanted. Odin very visibly prefers Thor over Loki, although their mother Frigga spends much of her time with Loki. As Loki spends time with Frigga, she realizes that he is smart, and decides to impart to him her knowledge of the mystic arts. Loki becomes an expert in magic, and he instantly becomes known for his illusions and tricks.
As Thor grows nearer to becoming king, Loki realizes that he has to put his plan into action. He figures that if Odin sees how brash Thor really is, he won't let Thor become king. Loki, being the next-in-line, will be the clear choice for his replacement. He travels to Jotunheim, the home of Asgard's enemies (the frost giants) and shows them a way into Asgard's treasure room. Of course Loki knows that the Destroyer would be able to defeat the frost giants, and Thor's ascendance in kingship is delayed due to the invasion.
Thor, being easily angered, assembles a team (including Loki) to charge head-first into Jotunheim. Before they leave, Loki tells Odin about Thor's plans, so that Odin would be able to provide aid. Thor gets easily enraged by Laufey, the leader of the frost giants, and a large battle ensues. It is during this battle that Loki realizes he is different, as his skin turns blue when it comes into contact with the giants.
Odin appears and ends the battle, although Laufey acknowledges the attack as a declaration of war. When they get back to Asgard, Odin banishes Thor to Earth, ending his claim as king. When Sif and the Warriors Three confront Loki, he says that he didn't know that Thor would be banished. This is true, Loki didn't know that, but it serves his plan nevertheless.
Still curious about the blue-arm incident on Jotunheim, Loki goes to the Asgard treasure vault to experiment with the frost giant's Casket. As he suspects, his arm, and the rest of his skin, turns blue. Odin finds Loki, and reveals that Loki is actually Laufey's son, and that Odin took him to use him as potential diplomatic leverage.
Now imagine how Loki feels. He had grown up his entire life feeling unwanted and unloved.Now,he just found out that not only was he adopted, but only for diplomatic gain. Odin never loved him, Thor wasn't his real brother, and Loki was now feeling more alone and desperate than ever. As Loki expresses his anger and starts to freak out, Odin crumples and passes out, falling into the Odin-sleep.
Now this wan't Loki's fault. In fact, Loki is genuinely concerned at this point. He frantically calls the guards and they come and help with Odin. Seeing as Odin is unconscious and Thor is banished, Loki finally ascends to his rightful place as king. However, Loki still has several concerns. First of all is his "brother" Thor.
Loki had grown up in Thor's shadow, as an insignificant flea that Thor could flick off of his shoulder. Needless to say, Loki wasn't the most fond of his brother. Knowing that he needed to keep Thor in Midgard, he sends the Destroyer to keep Thor busy as he executes the next part of his plan.
He had just found out that he was the spawn of one of Asgard's biggest enemies, so his major priority was to erase that part of his lineage. He presents the frost-giants with easy access into Asgard, initially coming off as an ally. When Laufey tries to kill Odin, Loki kills Laufey, which is one of the best moves that he made.
By killing Laufey, he saved Odin's life, showing to Frigga that his true allegiance was to Asgard. He also killed his biological father, showing that he considers Asgard to be his real family. Not to mention he eliminated one of Asgard's biggest threats. Knowing that the frost giants would just keep coming, he decides to use the bifrost to destroy Jotunheim once and for all.
To be fair, he had good reason. The frost giants were large, strong, and many in number. By destroying Jotunheim, he secured that Asgard would reign unopposed.
Unfortunately for Loki, Thor returns to pose yet another problem. Loki finally gets his chance to enact vengeance to the bane of his existence, and he engages Thor in an epic battle. If there was one person that you had resented your entire life, and you had a chance to fight them, I'm sure some of you would have taken that opportunity as well.
Loki actually gains the upper-hand against Thor, and Thor only prevails by physically destroying the bifrost, bringing Loki's plans to a close. The destruction sends Loki over the edge, and Thor grasps his hand in attempt to save him.
Even though Thor still wants Loki to live, Loki weighs his options. He could go back to Asgard, rot in a cell, and further continue his miserable existence in the shadow of the oh-so-impressive Thor. He goes with his second option: death.
Part 2 - The Avengers
Spoiler alert, he doesn't die. Instead he comes across Thanos, arguably the most powerful entity in the nine realms. When he is offered a chance to carry out revenge on those who had wronged him, he was only to eager to accept the opportunity. Thanos and the Other present him with a magical scepter and assign him orders to obtain a mystical force called the Tesseract.
Loki is sent to Earth through a portal, and he ends up in a secure S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Loki was no stranger to humans, and he knew that they proved no threat to him. He used the power of his scepter to obtain himself a few mercenaries before leaving with the Tesseract.
If I haven't pushed this point enough yet, Loki is incredibly intelligent. He retrieves the technology he needed for the Tesseract, and he devises a plot to let himself get captured. He learned all he needed to about the Avengers from Clint Barton, so he knew exactly how to push their buttons.
Loki made a scene of himself in Germany just so that he would gain the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., which he did. While he was being escorted to the heli-carrier, Thor appeared, as Loki knew that he would. Thor wouldn't hesitate for an instant after Heimdall spotted Loki, so Loki has to think of a way to prevent Thor from taking him back to Asgard.
Luckily, Iron Man and Capt took care of that. Loki could have easily escaped during the battle in the forest. He could have made an illusion of himself and then run away through the trees, but his plan was to get captured all along. He patiently waited, analyzing the apparent discord between Earth's mightiest "heroes".
When he is brought on-board the heli-carrier, Loki is delighted to see that Banner is already on the ship as well. That just makes his job easier. He stands up against interrogations as he waits for Barton to make his move, but he slips up slightly during his conversation with [Black Widow](movie:1070824). He didn't expect humans to be so clever, but ultimately his plans aren't ruined.
Barton arrived as planned and laid waste to the heli-carrier. Banner was Hulk-ified, and as expected, Thor runs to make sure Loki was still locked up. Loki tricks Thor (because he is all-so gullible),and sends him to his death. If there has been a weak-point in Loki's plan so far, it hasn't presented itself yet. Loki has successfully out-smarted a weapon-making genius, a war hero, and an entire organization of spies. Kudos to Loki.
Although he lost Barton in the battle, he still set up his master plan to release the Chitauri. At least that's what he wants the Avengers to think is his master plan. After the Chitauri invade and cause a whole lot of destruction, does Loki contribute to the battle? No, he doesn't. He brawls a bit with Thor, but he doesn't even put up a fight against the rest. That's because he wants to lose. That's right, after all that happened in [The Avengers](movie:9040), the battle of New York was just another trick.
As Loki just lounges in Stark Tower, the Avengers finish up the fight below. Why doesn't Loki fight? He could easily kill Black Widow or Hawkeye, but he doesn't. His losing results in Thor taking him back to Asgard, where he can carry out the final piece of his plan.
Part 3 - [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462)
When Loki is brought back to Asgard, he has to stand before Odin once more. Odin, the man who stole him as a child. The man who lied to him all of his life. The man who treated him as if he were nothing. While Loki approached him with a smirk on his face and a couple of quips ready, he was furious. Is there was one person he hated more than Thor, it was Odin.
He gets thrown in a cell, where he has nothing to do but wait. He has a basic plan ready, but all he needs is a catalyst, something to make Thor desperate enough to break him out. It was going to happen at some point of course. Asgard has no shortage of allies, and Loki sure brought Asgard to the attention of all of the nine realms after the whole bifrost snafu.
Naturally, trouble comes for Asgard in the form of Kurse, Malekith the dark elf's right-hand man. When Kurse begins his break-out attempt, Loki doesn't ask to be set loose. He can't be affiliated with this assault, although he does give Kurse a bit of advise, telling him to take the stairs to the left. Now all he has to do is wait for Thor to come to him.
After the battle, it isn't Thor that comes to him, but a guard. The guard reports Frigga's death, and Loki realizes that he just made a major mistake.
His adopted mother, the one person he still cared for, was just killed, and Loki had just helped her murderer. He takes this extremely hard, destroying his cell in pure rage.
Thor finally comes to Loki and asks for his help, and he gladly obliges. His initial plan was to trick Thor, but Loki wants revenge on Frigga's murderers. He allies himself with Thor long enough to confront Kurse. When he sees Kurse beating Thor to a bloody pulp, he could have just sat there and allow Thor to die. He doesn't. Thor is not his enemy at the moment, Kurse is.
Seeing as Kurse is much larger and much stronger, Loki makes a clone of himself to stab Kurse in the back. Kurse reacts by impaling Loki, before Loki uses Kurse's own grenade against him. Loki leaves his illusion for long enough for Thor to see him die, and then he dissipates his illusion, creating a new one to make himself look like an Asgardian guard.
He goes back to Asgard to report his own death while disguised. While all of Asgard believes Loki to be dead, he uses a mixture of magic and manipulation to imprison Odin and don a new illusion to make himself appear as the ruler of Asgard. He finally gets his revenge on the man who ruined his life, and his largest opposition believes him to be dead.
It took a long, long time, but Loki's plan has finally come to fruition. He can be a true ruler of Asgard, the ruler the he rightfully should be.
Loki's life was ruined by Odin, and he was treated as though his existence didn't matter. While he himself was more fit to be king, his oaf of a brother was chosen above him. To Loki, he took control of his own life and claimed his rightful place atop Asgard's golden throne. How can he be possibly be conceived as a villain after that?