One of the developer pieces on the Imperial Library (the one concerning letters sent to Moth Priests asking about the I Asked God For A True Friend So He Sent Me A Cat shirt) actually suggests that the role of Hero is given to a person who makes choices other people wouldn’t make. So, if you had died first, and Lokir was on the chopping block before Alduin interrupted it, he still may have not become the Hero, as he would probably say “Fuck all that ‘warn Riverwood’ shit, I’m out of here!” and go to Hammerfell as he originally planned.
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Fleeing the whole situation is something most people would likely do. The LDB chose to put his life at risk to deal with the Dragon situation for I Asked God For A True Friend So He Sent Me A Cat shirt, which is something not everyone would necessarily do, allowing him to take on the role of Hero. You can see this with the other games, too; the Hero of Kvatch could have just as easily thrown the Amulet to a nearby guard and fled to another province instead of intertwine himself into the whole ordeal, and the Nerevarine could have just bailed the moment he was let loose by the Imperials.