Re: SUPER UBER SPOILERMANIA: The Ending... What Does It Mean?
I think that whether or not Loki really died or whether it was all his magic, I think it was all part of his plan to escape and retake the throne.
He knew that Thor was just going to throw him back in prison, so his best chance to escape was to fake his death. Even the way he protected Jane was probably part of his self interested scheme: by keeping Jane alive he kept alive Thor's more immediate desire to NOT take the throne and NOT hang around Asgard. Much as I like the idea of Loki of proving that he cares about Thor by being willing to die for Thor or save Jane...keeping it real, I think he had this all planned out. He spent two years sitting in that cell stewing in his craziness and planning for everything.
(I will say though, that Loki, IMO, tends to couch the truth within his lies: I think a lot of the things he said to Thor at Svartalfheim and when he was disguised as Odin were probably true -- he just couldn't say them without being able to to himself that it was all part of a game and that he didn't really mean them.)
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