The MCU's roster of characters has grown significantly throughout 2021, largely due to Marvel's various new series on Disney+. Still, these new shows haven't just focused on new faces. Many have centralized on tenured characters and further explored their stories while also introducing new ones; and one of the best - and most successful - examples of this was Marvel's Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston.
Loki introduced Marvel fans to the TVA (Time Variance Authority), as well as the concept of Variants, Multiversal wars, and Jonathon Majors as He Who Remains and the soon-to-be Kang the Conqueror.
While the show seemingly laid the groundwork for Marvel's Phase 4 exploration into timelines and the Multiverse, Loki also delved deeper into the soul of the God of Mischief, transforming him from villain to hero through Tom Hiddleston's masterful performance.
While Hiddleston's role as Loki has long been popular with fans, his journey on Disney+ elevated both the character and actor to new heights and accolades; and while the old Loki once would've relished the spotlight, Hiddleston used the experience to highlight the actions of others.
Loki's Tom Hiddleston Delivers Winning Speech
Upon winning Male TV Star of 2021 for Loki at the E! People's Choice Awards, Tom Hiddleston gave a touching speech acknowledging that Loki "means so much to so many people" while also highlighting the series' cast and crew, including Mobius' Owen Wilson, Sylvie's Sophia Di Martino, director Kate Herron, even Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Hiddleston began by saying how "it is a joy and an honor" to continue portraying the God of Mischief:
"Wow. I did not expect that. Thank you, everyone. I'm so delighted by and grateful for this. Thank you so much. To my fellow nominees, I hold in you the highest regard. Respect to you. I'm aware that Loki - I've been playing the character now for eleven or twelve years - I know he means so much to so many people for so many different reasons, and Loki's been around for a lot longer than I have. I'm aware, and surely if I know anything, I'm only a temporary torch bearer for Loki, but it is a joy and an honor and it continues to be."
Hiddleston then went on to recognize his co-stars, including the actors who also played versions - or Variants - of the God of Mischief, including Richard E. Grant, whose performance as Classic Loki was a big hit with fans:
"I share this entirely with the whole cast and crew with Owen Wilson and Sophia Di Martino, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Richard E. Grant, Jack Veal, Deobia Oparei, and Jonathon Majors. They were amazing, and particularly our director, Kate Herron, who guided us not just through time travel but also through a pandemic with such care and kindness."
The actor also acknowledged Feige, as well as Marvel executives Louis D' Esposito and Victoria Alonso, all of whom produced his first MCU film, Thor, and his subsequent Marvel films since then, thanking them "for the role of a lifetime:"
"The producers, the crew, everyone who helped me get up in the morning. Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, thank you for the role of a lifetime."
Lastly, Hiddleston thanked the audience and for "the affection in which he [Loki] is held by you:"
"But finally, I just want to thank you, the people, the audience. The only reason I am allowed to play this character and continue to play him is because of the affection in which he is held by you. In our story, Loki found his glorious purpose devoid of meaning and this means a great deal to me. Thank you so much."
Tom Hiddleston's Glorious Purpose
Even though Hiddleston first achieved fame playing the devious and glory-seeking Loki, the actor himself has long been known as a class act. Not only was his true character on full display throughout his speech, but it's also something audiences saw in the newly redeemed Loki throughout his inaugural season of the Disney+ show.
Hiddleston's appreciation for the character was also evident, especially since Loki died at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. The fact that Marvel Studios found a way to bring him back in a way that didn't undermine his death yet allows him to continue on in the MCU isn't lost on Hiddleston.
It's also a move that clearly wasn't lost on the fans. The fact that audiences named Hiddleston the best Male TV Star of 2021 proves there's a long-term interest in his character, and it supports Marvel's decision to greenlight Season 2 of the series.
Although, there is a chance that fans may see Loki on the big screen before his return to Disney+. Reports suggest that Hiddleston is expected to reprise his role as Loki in Marvel's upcoming 2022 film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Hiddleston's full acceptance speech can be watched below:
All episodes of Season 1 of Loki are available to stream on Disney+.