The Lonely God: How Loki Season 2 raised a villain into a heartbreaking hero

Loki Season 2

We always knew Loki was burdened with a Glorious purpose. Nowadays, when it comes to the internet, those two words make any internet nerd instantly know what you’re talking about. The catchphrase for Marvel Studios’ greatest villain, and its most heartbreaking hero.

With Loki, Marvel Studios had their first major hit with the Multiverse Saga. Several different shows and films set within the overarching narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe proved to largely miss their marks with the fans, yet Loki himself reigned supreme as the MCU’s best cinematic achievement following 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

However, in order to obtain his most coveted throne…a sacrifice would have to be made.

SPOILER ALERT: Season 2 Episode 6 Spoilers Ahead!

The story of Loki

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

I don’t really think I need to explain who Loki is. If you’re a fan of Marvel, you know full well about the notorious God of Mischief. The one who attempted to steal Asgard’s throne. The one who attempted to take over Earth with an army of Chitauri. The one who faked his death and stole the throne of Asgard right under Thor’s nose. The one…who met his glorious ending at the hands of the Mad Titan, Thanos.

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Yet, so many are left unaware of Loki, the true dastardly villain from the comics. Though Loki’s history in Marvel’s comics pages is filled with lots of dubious intrigue. In a true callback, Marvel’s The Avengers actually did something right when adapting the comics to the screen, as it was the threat of Loki that brought the Avengers together in both the film…and their first comic book team-up appearance.

However, Marvel Studios also knew that his inherent nature wasn’t evil or horrible. While his morals are questionable at best, The God of Mischief has done a fair amount of good. For example, Loki actually saved the universe simply by creating a story in Agent of Asgard from 2013.

A complex God

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(L-R): Owen Wilson as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL.

Adapting the character to the big screen was dutifully a true challenge, though English actor and worldwide heartthrob Tom Hiddleston has played his role expertly since 2009. Through three Thor films, three Avengers films, and 2 seasons of his own show, the anti-hero has certainly evolved in the fourteen years he’s been portrayed.

And yet, Loki has followed two distinct paths. Two paths lead to one, unyielding conclusion: Loki will always be alone. Alone in Death, and alone in Immortality.

His death in Avengers: Infinity War sent shockwaves through the fan base, being the first major victim of the film. His death ultimately told the story that no hero was safe in this story, and it paved the path for Thanos’ ultimate victory. And yet, the path to Thanos’ ultimate defeat is what gave way to the second conclusion: Loki’s Ascension.

A God lost in Time

Tom Hiddleston Loki

Avengers: Endgame was a brilliant culmination of years of amazing and mediocre stories, all told to give weight to the final conclusion that began with Iron Man in 2008. However, the film also dropped seeds and hints at what was to come after, with Loki, in particular, having his future altered to such an extent that led to him becoming the God he never wanted to be.

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Upon being pulled out of time by the Time Variance Authority, his arc took a sharp turn into a redemption tale as Loki attempted to not only save his new friends but save the timeline. However, as revealed in Loki Episode 206, his Glorious Purpose was burdened with despair.

A true Purpose

(L-R): Ke Huy Quan as O.B., Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios' LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL
(L-R): Ke Huy Quan as O.B., Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Owen Wilson as Mobius in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, Season 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gareth Gatrell. © 2023 MARVEL

Season 2 finds the titular character gripping with a new ability: Time Slipping. Forced to go forwards and backward in time seemingly randomly, Loki finds himself struggling to deal with the ramifications of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) death at the hands of Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino). With the physical embodiment of the timelines deteriorating, Loki goes on a mission to stop the end of all time and prevent the rise of He Who Remains.

Yet, as the season wanes on with twists and emotional turns, he is forced to truly confront his true nature as he loses his friends along the way, revealing not just to himself but to the audience that, the only thing he truly wants in life is to not be alone.

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Isolated from his brother due to his nature. Isolated from his kingdom due to his identity. Isolated from his reality by a villain he never knew existed. Loki has fought for years for the power to demand respect, love, and appreciation.

Yet in his show, he has to come to terms with his reality in order to save his friends. Faced with the impossible decision after an insurmountable task, he makes the ultimate sacrifice, giving up his life to hold and watch over the timelines as the new He Who Remains.

The Mischievous God of Time

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Following Season 2’s epic Season Finale, fans all around the world seem to have misunderstood the finale’s message and the true test Loki had to endure.

Loki’s show has shown the path that Loki has taken to become a hero but in a very unconventional and actually poignant and bittersweet way. See, the fans of the show have watched Loki evolve for the last 12 episodes from tyrant and expected ruler of earth…to a God who stands alone on the Throne of Time. They are also incredibly upset, as Loki is alone, the one thing he is afraid of.

But that’s just it. Loki has solidified himself as a true hero, and forgone his selfish and evil past deeds in favor of doing the one thing every single hero has had to do since they chose to don a mask and fight bad guys.

He had to make the hard choice.

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Throughout all the time-slipping adventures, the literal centuries of time Loki went through from the moment he could control his new power, his ultimate goal was to save the timelines and save his friends for a true, happy ending. But heroes don’t get happy endings. The people they save, do.

So, to spell it out for you all: Loki is alone because his choice was to kill a friend he loved and leave a villain on the Throne of Time, or sacrifice himself to create a new path of Time. Loki, knowing full well that if he sacrificed himself, he would likely never see his friends again, did so. He destroyed the Temporal Loom and rebuilt it into Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.

The Asgardian misfit made the hard choice to become a hero by sacrificing his life to uphold time. He’s alone because he chose it.

His glorious purpose.

What’s next?

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The story has come to its only logical conclusion. Without our hero holding time together, it would all fall apart. So, he has to stay behind the scenes, keeping time together. Though, now Earth-616/Earth-199999 has a new version of Loki…Sylvie.

Sylvie has the chance to make further impacts on the MCU as she is finally free to live the life of her choosing.

As for Kang/He Who Remains, it’s currently unknown where and when he will show up again. The next Marvel Studios production to release won’t come until January at the earliest, with What If…? next on the horizon and Echo releasing in February. Kang/He Who Remains may appear in some capacity within the next season of What It…?, Maybe The God burdened with Glorious purpose will return as well?

We have no idea how Loki Season 2 will affect the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, but if you want to be the first to get updates on the future of the MCU, along with other major news from the entertainment realm, follow us on Twitter. We’re always watching.