Thor and Loki's Top 5 Moments of Brotherly Love
Pair this week's 'King Thor' #2 with a look back at the most fascinating love-hate relationship in the Marvel Universe!
As KING THOR continues to cap off writer Jason Aaron's eight-year journey with the God of Thunder, this week's issue #2 finds Thor and Loki facing off with the fate of all living beings at stake...
Now, fighting is certainly nothing new for these two, and we all know they have a long history as rivals. But their relationship is complex, and time and again they’ve shown that, deep down, they just might care about each other.
With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at their top five moments of brotherly love.
Fighting the Angels
In Odin's family, the drama definitely isn’t limited to Thor and Loki’s sibling rivalry. In ORIGINAL SIN (2014), readers discovered that there's not just nine, but Ten Realms. The Tenth was inhabited by Angels—and was being kept secret by Odin himself. On top of that, Thor and Loki discovered that they had a long-lost sister named Angela who resided there. In the wake of this discovery, the Angels went to war against Asgard, and Thor and Loki worked together to protect their home.
It was a touching story that illustrated how, underneath all the scheming and mischief-making, Loki cares about his home and his brother. And at the end of the book, even Odin admitted he was proud of his sons.
Loki stabbing Thor...out of love
In LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD (2014), readers found out that some kind of corruption had entered Thor as a result of a recent run-in with Malekith, making him unable to wield Mjolnir. Rather than lording this over his brother, Loki decided to cure him. He obtained Gram, the sword of Sigurd, which caused those it injures to suffer the realities of the truth—so he stabbed Thor with it, forcing the corruption out of him. After that, the two of them had a sweet moment where Thor admitted to behaving arrogantly in the past and wondered if he’d changed since then. In turn, Loki reassured his brother, and readers saw how deeply they really understand one another.
After the War of the Realms came to a close, Thor and Loki each found themselves sitting on thrones—Thor as the new All-Father and Loki as the King of Jotunheim. While readers might've expected Thor to have misgivings about his brother’s sudden ascendance, he was actually genuinely happy for the God of Mischief.
In this year’s LOKI #1, Thor gave the eponymous character a lecture about the importance of being a dutiful leader, but he seemed to be offering the advice from a place of affection. And in LOKI #2, Thor showed his brother the Book of Loki, which told the story of his brother’s life. Loki learned that, supposedly, his days of drama and battling were over, and he would go on to live a life of contentment. As someone who gets bored easily, Loki wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of living out the rest of his days so uneventfully. But at least Thor had good intentions—he wanted to show his brother that, as he saw it, he finally had the chance to be happy.
After Loki (sort of) sacrificed his life in the 2010 SIEGE storyline, he was reincarnated as a child who had very few memories of his prior life. In the story that then played out in 2011’s THOR and JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY comics, readers witnessed Thor take little Loki under his wing during a time when most of Asgard was still pretty angry at him for his past deeds. And even though he was first met with antagonism for events he didn't even remember, Loki still tried to do the right thing and help Asgard.
Loki’s side of the story
In the 2004 LOKI limited series, readers saw Asgardian history from Loki’s perspective, and this time, he'd finally gotten what he’s always wanted—the throne of Asgard. There was plenty of antagonism between the two brothers in this story—indeed, it opened with Thor in chains, having been defeated by Loki, who was keeping him alive to humiliate him.
But the story also offered a deep dive into Loki’s psyche. It showed readers that, on some level, Loki felt like Thor was the only one (besides their mother, of course) who had treated him like he belonged in Asgard. And it became clear that Loki felt in some ways destined to be defeated and mocked. So while readers can’t excuse his behavior, they might be able to understand it.
Thor and Loki’s relationship isn’t easy to categorize. They’ve fought each other more times than even they could probably remember. And their battles have had some pretty high stakes. But at the end of the day, they’re more than rivals. They’re brothers who share a complicated, simply real history.