Originally Posted by cherokeesam
Thanos doesn't *need* to punish Loki. It was just a threat.
I'll say it again: Thanos manipulated Loki. All he wanted was to get the Cube back to Asgard, so that Thanos can get into the vault and get his cherished glove back. He doesn't need to "punish" Loki, because it was all a ruse.
I don't think it was a ruse. It was a win-win in either scenario. The Other was pretty freakin' stern about their other-dimensional ambitions once they go their hands on the cube, even raised his hand to Loki.
Nothing could be better from a story telling perspective than having the red-headed step child bringing arguably the universes' most feared right to Asgard's doorstep because of his continued poor choices. This leaves the brother and the father left with the duality of knowing the problems/deaths Loki has caused but also dealing with the desire to protect their brother/son.