Warning - This article contains spoilers for Episode 4 of Loki.
Though the two had only just become acquainted, an unexpected romance blossomed between the two Loki Variants, Tom Hiddleston's and Sophia Di Martino's, which has certainly caused a stir among fans. Leading actor Hiddleston weighed in on the topic , explaining how the formation of this relationship is truly about Loki learning “to accept himself and all his flaws.”
Meanwhile, the Time-Keepers and the Time Variance Authority that they oversee were ultimately revealed to be a farce, though the puppet master behind it all is still keeping their identity a mystery .
In typical Marvel Cinematic Universe fashion , Loki managed to sneak in a post-credits scene to tease what’s to come in the show’s final act…
A MAN OUT OF TIME
After seemingly being vaporized by Ravonna Renslayer’s pruning in the episode’s final moments, “The Nexus Event”’s post-credits stinger revealed that the God of Mischief had somehow avoided death once more.
Loki woke up in an unknown location, questioning whether he had been transported to Hell or if he is still alive at all.
Luckily for Loki, an off-screen voice offers some answers:
“You will be [dead], unless you come with us.”
Seeking the source of these words, Loki turned to find a quartet clearly burdened with glorious purpose: four other Loki Variants.
First is the so-called “Boastful Loki,” portrayed by DeObia Oparei. The actor previously confirmed his involvement in the series and was seen in a brief moment from an early trailer, but it has finally been revealed that Oparei is indeed playing a Variant.
This version of Loki seems to be the brawler of the bunch, sporting Asgardian battle armor and a fur cloak. His appearance deviates heavily from the leaner physique of Tom Hiddleston, being much bigger in stature. Boastful Loki's focus on raw strength could be explained by the makeshift hammer in his hands.
Unlike his brother's more graceful weapon Mjolnir, Boastful Loki's hammer seems to be cobbled together with spare bolts, a wrench handle, and a block of metal. This does seem to be deliberately mimicking Thor's own hammer as indicated by the similar strap at the end of the contraption which the God of Thunder uses to fly with.
Loki has wielded Thor's hammer many times in the comics and even claimed it for his own during an illusion (or delusion) of grandeur in a deleted scene from Thor: The Dark World . Perhaps this Variant was deemed worthy of holding Mjolnir in his timeline but was prevented from progressing further by the TVA.
Dejected and disappointed that he was robbed of what was owed to him, he then may have taken it upon himself to get as shredded as his sibling and created his own hammer to compensate for his losses. Therefore, this Variant may be boastful because he gloats about the fact that he was able to wield Mjolnir before his fall from grace and the other Lokis couldn't.
By his side is "Kid Loki," as played by Jack Veal who mischievously teased that he would be appearing in the series beforehand. This Variant's look is ripped straight out of the comics, adapting Kid Loki's short-horned, winged helmet piece and golden chest emblem.
In the pages of Marvel Comics, Kid Loki arrives as a resurrected version of his former self with no memories of his time as an adult. Given how wacky Loki has already been up to this point, it is entirely possible that this Variant could be the result of the God of Mischief managing to cheat death once again.
Alternatively, this Variant may have been plucked from his timeline at an early age similarly to how Sylvie was. There is also a good chance that Loki may just prefer to stay in child form, using it as a means to aid his trickery or to save money on clothes shopping.
The introduction of a child version of the God of Mischief also lends itself to a Young Avengers project that many fans are hoping for . Marvel Studios has already introduced a few kid heroes such as Eli Bradley and Tommy and Billy Maximoff and is set to introduce even more with Kamala Khan, Kate Bishop, and America Chavez in the future.
Kid Loki would be a wildcard choice to join this theoretical crew, undoubtedly bringing conflict and chaos to this younger bunch of do-gooders.
Not all Lokis come in human form. Arguably the most shocking member of this chaotic crew was a crocodilian version of the trickster god. Crocodile Loki is exactly what it says on the tin: a crocodile with a Loki helmet. While this transformation may seem like a bizarre avenue to go down, there is precedence for Loki to take on more animalistic appearances.
Thor briefly describes a story where Loki had masqueraded as a serpent in Thor: Ragnarok :
"There was one time my brother transformed himself into a snake, because he knows how much I like snakes. And so I picked the snake up to admire it, but then he turned back and went 'AAHH! It's me!' And then he stabbed me.”
While his shapeshift was brief here, Loki may have gotten a taste for the reptilian lifestyle. Becoming an animal does have its perks, after all, being free of all the responsibilities that come with adult life.
What is perhaps even more exciting than a croc Loki is the possible appearance of a frog Thor . Throg is a version of the God of Thunder that gained the powers of Thor after touching a fragment of Mjolnir that broke off from the hammer. This became the amphibian's own version of the weapon, and he would eventually join the Pet Avengers in the comics.
Crocodile Loki may be strange on their own, but their appearance could signal even weirder things to come.
Last but certainly not least is Richard E. Grant's Variant referred to as "Classic Loki." Adorned in a gaudy comic-accurate marvel of a costume based on the character's first Marvel Comics appearance, this version is a much older incarnation of the character.
This Variant could be the chief of the mischief here as he seems to be in charge of this ragtag group. Given that he is much older and is based on the character's early costume, could it also be possible that this is the first Loki Variant? His clothing is certainly from a bygone era, possibly hinting that this Loki was pruned early on in the days of Asgard where this fit was all the rage.
This may be the gateway into the mainline Loki learning more about just where in or outside the Nine Realms he now finds himself.
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
Wreckage surrounds the Lokis, with dilapidated buildings littering the skyline behind them. One skyscraper noticeably stands out, that being the ruins of the Avengers Tower . This seems to take place in a similar location previously released in a clip where a UFO and pirate ship are being left to rot . This random assortment of objects may indicate that they have been pruned from the Sacred Timeline and left to waste in this landfill.
Given that Loki was not smited when he was pruned and that several historical rejects and relics have been dumped in this location, it is possible that this could be the MCU's version of Limbo.
In the comics, Limbo was a pocket universe that existed outside the timestream and was ruled over by Immortus, the future version of Kang the Conqueror. It is also possibly the home of Chronopolis, Kang's primary base of operations. The Time-Keepers and their subsequent 'demise' already hinted toward the time-traveling villain's imminent arrival, but a trip to Limbo may indicate that Kang is on his way sooner than fans may have expected.
Since Loki was sent here, does that mean Mobius could also still be alive? The duo finally seemed like they were on the same wavelength, only for this moment to be robbed by hostile Minutemen. It's possible that Loki could scoop his favorite TVA agent up from this temporal wasteland and get him that jet-ski ride that he's been craving.
MORE VARIANTS TO COME?
If these versions of the trickster god have been sent here, it is almost certain that Loki has more Variants over the horizon.
A version of Loki has been in several promo spots, adorned again in his costume from The Avengers. As the Avengers Tower is present in this realm and Tom Hiddleston's character is clearly inside the building in this scene , could Loki return to where he suffered his greatest defeat? Alternatively, there may be another Loki housing himself in the wreckage, moping around as he contemplates his glorious purpose.
President Loki has been a prominent part of the Disney+ series' marketing materials and evidence suggests that he could be appearing soon.
Boastful Loki can be seen battling against this version of the God of Mischief and is noticeably separate from the mainline Loki as he is worriedly avoiding conflict in the background of the shot. Perhaps President Loki is ruling a segment of Limbo, and the mischief gang needs an extra Loki to get the edge on this tyrannical Variant.
Other humans joining forces or being at odds with President Loki does suggest that other Variants have been sent here as well. Jaime Alexander made a surprising return as Lady Sif in "The Nexus Event" after the show's head creatives teased MCU cameos , but could there be an opportunity for more Variants of Marvel characters to rear their heads?
The Infinity Stones from the series premiere hinted at several characters that could have been pruned and banished to Limbo, so perhaps there is a chance that a discarded Mad Titan or a former HYDRA leader could show up.
STUCK IN LIMBO
The stage is set for a grand and mischievous team-up between a couple of trickster gods, allowing Loki to learn more himself and setting him on the path to reuniting with Sylvie. Learning about the machinations of the God of Mischief has been one of the most compelling aspects of Loki as a series, and it will be thrilling to find out even more about what Loki was, is, and will be capable of.
Episode 4 of Loki is streaming now on Disney+.