What Happens To Loki At The End Of 'Thor: The Dark World?' And Other Burning Questions Answered

This article contains major spoilers for Thor: The Dark World.

One of the best things about Thor: The Dark World is it leaves many intriguing unanswered questions. The biggest one involves the ripple effect of the mid-credits scene, which we'll discuss shortly. But there's also the fate of Loki. As you know if you've seen the film, there's no real definitive answer as to Loki's intentions at the end. To get an answer, I went to the source (or sources): Tom Hiddleston, director Alan Taylor and Marvel President Kevin Feige. I asked each what they thought of the film's ending, and the answers suggest it has major Phase 3 implications.

We also found out why Kurse didn't let Loki out of his cage, where exactly Thor ends up at the very end of the movie, and why the final credits tag is there at all. Below, read the quotes from the men who made the decisions. 

According to Alan Taylor, Loki's "death" scene (which Tom Hiddleston totally bought into when he first read it) was originally shot a little different.

Taylor: There were definitely more stages where he was a lot more dead than we took him, because a lot of that is visual effects that we were doing on him at the time. The original intention there was very different. There was a lot more dying. I'm really curious to see how it plays for an audience, whether they feel... I'm surprised that it makes sense at the end or whether it's like "What the fuck?"

In the film, Loki takes Odin's appearance, and accepts Thor's resignation of his rightful throne. Kevin Feige had an interesting take on that:

Feige: Clearly I like the notion that some people think he might die in this movie. That works to our advantage. I wouldn't spoil that necessarily, but I do like that afterwards people can, and there will be references... There are no specific plans, but if in specific movies somebody references Odin, that means that something else is going on up there, which I think is cool.

Hiddleston agreed that he loved the ambiguity regarding he and Odin:

Hiddleston: I love that it leaves you hanging there. I don't know [what happens next]. It's one of those things where it's a constantly evolving map or a jigsaw puzzle where the picture keeps changing and he keeps me on my toes, believe me. You know I've had such a good time playing him, I have absolutely no idea if I'll ever get to play him again.

With Loki now on the throne as Odin, where does that leave Thor in regards to Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Feige: Well if you're just talking about how that sets up into Avengers, yes [Thor on the throne] was not in The Avengers storyline that we are putting together for the next one. It would not have been appropriate for Thor to not be there [with the Avengers] and to be on a throne in Asgard, but from the beginning of the first film, that had always been his destiny. It may one day be his destiny again, but for the time being we want to free him up from that. And Joss [Whedon] was a part of those discussions as we were figuring that out.

The movie doesn't end with that happy moment though, and Taylor said leaving Thor and Jane's reunion until the very end of the credits was a huge debate:

Taylor: It's funny. We agonized for a long time. We thought the movie was about whether they got together or not and I think it came down shockingly late in the process that it felt sort of implicit that they were going to be together. So I think that point, the reveal of who you have on the throne, was such a jarring thing that you couldn't follow anything else. So just that process, the finishing of Jane and Thor, wound up being a feel good moment, but not a big story moment. I think the feeling was that instead of explaining why they were together, we just left them be together and then the final, final shot was one of my favorites. It was very late in the game.

So does that mean Thor, at the end of the movie, stays on Earth with Jane?

Feige: Well I think everything can be up for debate and a lot can change in the time between movies. Certainly at the end, he's on Earth.

A little less important. Kurse does not let Loki out of his cell when he lets everyone else. Why does Hiddleston think that is?

Hiddleston: Because... Well in my mind we are psyching each other out in that moment and I think Kurse sees precisely how dangerous Loki is. That's what I like. It's a real sort of... they are sizing each other up and that felt like a really great day at work and Alan also said the same thing. It was a moment with these two heavyweights in the ring in some way. That is one aspect of Loki that I love playing, the poker game that he has the most unreadable face. He will never show his true hand except in extremes.