As Marvel Studios prepares its next exciting venture into the multiverse with What If...? premiering in a few days, discussions are still rampant surrounding the events of Tom Hiddleston's Loki on Disney+.
The series took bigger steps in the greater narrative than any Phase 4 project to date, which was largely thanks to Jonathan Majors' He Who Remains kickstarting the collapse of the ever-prominent multiverse. His death at the hands of Sophia Di Martino's Sylvie set off a tidal wave of consequences which will be felt in numerous future entries over the next several years.
Marvel took leaps and bounds in this regard, and Loki also served as an opportunity for Tom Hiddleston to explore a new side to his long-standing anti-hero through his time with the TVA. While he was still up to his usual mischievous tricks at times, the God of Mischief had to work to find himself more than once as he moved towards his new mission.
As early as Episode 1, fans saw the lead character take a step back and really look into why he's lived the life he has for over a thousand years to date. Evidently, that was an important dynamic for Hiddleston to explore as he made his seventh MCU appearance over the past decade.
A MORE SUBDUED LOKI THAN EVER
Via Reddit user thochi, Loki star Tom Hiddleston sat down with The Empire Special Spoiler Film Podcast to discuss the final episode of his MCU Disney+ series. Specifically, Hiddleston addressed why his character was so muted in comparison to Loki's expressive performances in the MCU thus far.
Through the first five episodes, Hiddleston explained how Loki's experiences broke him down "(into) something more authentic," noting how the "performative aspects" of his personality are only meant to "keep people at a distance." After meeting so many different people through those episodes, the anti-hero "is in a very different place" going forward:
"The experiences of five episodes have broken down, or broken through to him to something more authentic. And all of those performative aspects are defenses of some kind to keep people at a distance. His relationship with Mobius has changed him. His relationship with Sylvie has changed him. His relationship with Classic Loki, Kid Loki, Boastful Loki, and Alligator Loki, has changed him. He is in a very different place."
Revealing how the "fellowship and friendship generated" between Loki and Mobius specifically was "something...extremely new," the actor explained that his character gained a sense of care for other people that may even "enhance his power." With Classic Loki sacrificing himself and Loki expressing his desire for Sylvie to be ok, Hiddleston called this new version of Loki "more attentive and quieter" as he "is in new territory":
"The generosity of spirit in the fellowship and friendship generated between him and Mobius is something that is extremely new. And the understanding and actually perhaps care for others might enhance his power, as evidenced by Classic Loki. Classic Loki makes a decision at the end of episode 5 to save Loki…and Sylvie from Alioth, and in so doing enhances his power, and he loses, and they lose him. And also his relationship with Sylvie and his simple and simply expressed desire for her to be OK is really new, it doesn’t want her to get hurt. I think that’s honest. So yes, this more attentive and quieter Loki is probably someone who is in new territory.”
A NEW AND DIFFERENT LOKI
While Loki certainly took bold steps by advancing the story with the MCU's multiverse, one part of the story that flew under the radar at times was the God of Mischief's character development in a new timeline.
After seeing the rest of his life after New York flash before him in Episode 1, Loki immediately took a look at the man in the mirror to figure out why he acted the way he did for so long. This continued in spades through his interactions with Mobius, Sylvie, and the multiple Loki Variants in the Void as he tried to set things right and figure out what he would do with his new life.
Gaining a sense of caring and responsibility toward the new people in his life, the God of Mischief now has a world of trouble to deal with despite having plenty of support behind him. Now that Kang has seemingly risen to power with Mobius, B-15, and others scrambling to fix the chaos, that newfound attentiveness and kindness will be put to the test as Loki looks toward his next challenges.
All six episodes of Loki are available to stream on Disney+. The show is confirmed to continue in Season 2.