“Loki” kicks off right after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” when Loki stole the Tesseract and disappeared into thin air. We pick up seconds later as Loki is captured by the Time Variance Authority and thrown into custody. Soon enough, he links up with Agent Morbius (Owen Wilson) as the two work to stop the main universe’s timeline from becoming corrupt.
When all is said and done, “Loki” will probably work for someone who never saw any Marvel Cinematic Universe films or TV shows. You probably won’t need them to enjoy the project.
However, your experience will probably be much, much richer if you binge some of the older MCU films and learn more about Loki. That’s usually the case with these movies. So, without further rambling, I have put together the official Loki movie marathon to help you understand the character and the context of the new series. Plus it’s never a bad thing to binge some Marvel films.
And trust me — I know a thing or two about Marvel movie marathons.
The official ‘Loki’ movie marathon — 14 hours, 18 minutes
“Thor” (2011) — 2 hours, 10 minutes
It’s not a question you’ll want to watch “Thor” again if you want a primer on Loki and how he operates. You learn about his trickster style, his quick wit and his desire to become a ruler of Asgard (and potentially the universe). “Thor” is really where it all begins for Loki.
“The Avengers” (2012) — 2 hours, 24 minutes
In many ways, “The Avengers” is a direct prequel to the upcoming show “Loki.” We see Loki fight the Avengers in an epic battle in New York City. The Loki we see in “Loki” is coming off of the New York battle. So this is a good movie to watch if you really want to understand the god of mischief before his “Loki” debut.
“Thor: The Dark World” (2013) — 1 hour, 52 minutes
We learn a lot about Loki’s past here, as his origin as an elf and a god are revealed in this movie. We also see the nature of his ability to double-cross, lie and stab people in the back, which is just as important for understanding his psyche. “Thor: The Dark World” is a bit of a tough watch since the movie, simply, isn’t that great. But the Loki scenes here pop on the screen, so at least those will be enjoyable.
“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017) — 2 hours, 10 minutes
Arguably the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film, “Thor: Ragnarok” is a key watch for the upcoming “Loki” series. Not only because we see even more of Loki’s quick wit and humor, but there are some moments in this movie that come into play during “Loki.” For a full understanding of what happens in the show, you’ll need a little “Ragnarok” refresher course.
“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) — 2 hours, 40 minutes
This is another important Loki story because it shows his end. We see Thanos (Josh Brolin) kill Loki in the opening scene of the movie, saying “no do-overs this time” as he does it. Now, we know that’s not entirely the case since Loki is back in this brand new show. But this one scene comes into play during “Loki” so it’s worth rewatching. Plus, you might as well stay for the rest of the film because “Infinity War” is cracked (that means to be really good).
“Avengers: Endgame” (2019) — 3 hours, 2 minutes
The truest prequel to “Loki” is “Avengers: Endgame.” In this film, the Avengers travel back in time to the 2012 Battle of New York to steal the Tesseract, which they were protecting in “The Avengers.” When they get there, they accidentally lose it. Loki, funny enough, picks it up and disappears. And that’s where the “Loki” show picks up. Like “Infinity War,” it’s worth staying through all of “Endgame” because it’s such a fun film.
Extra credit — 11 hours, 48 minutes
These films don’t mean too much to the overall story. But if you want a little more explanation on how the time travel stuff works, these two films will help you understand it all. In fact, both of these films are good context for “Avengers: Endgame” and the time travel experience. So yeah, if you’re really looking for some extra time with your TV, check these out.
“Doctor Strange” (2016) — 1 hour, 55 minutes
“Doctor Strange” — like the Ant-Man films — deals a lot with time travel. In fact, Doctor Strange uses his own abilities to reset time as he faces off with Dormammu, so there are some good lessons to learn here ahead of “Loki.”
“WandaVision” (2020) — 5 hours, 50 minutes (combined)
I’ll say this — if you watch “WandaVision,” you may pick up on some “Loki” Easter eggs.