‘Loki’: The Glorious Debut of Alligator Loki
He’s overly sensitive, just like the rest of the Lokis.
What makes a Loki a Loki? It all might boil down to one simple thing: what color are they?
Take Alligator Loki, for example. He has horns, hangs out with all the other Lokis, and furthermore, is green. So...that makes him a Loki, right?
“The question is, ‘Is he really Loki? Or is he just green?’” Tom Hiddleston tells Marvel.com with a laugh. “It's such a funny question that [the Lokis] all bicker about. One thing about Loki is that Loki loves to be right. And they all have a different opinion about this alligator.”
Though he appears briefly at the end of Episode 4 of Marvel Studios’ Loki, “The Nexus Event,” Alligator Loki makes his grand debut in Episode 5, “Journey Into Mystery.” As Loki travels through the Void, along the way he’s aided by other Lokis, including Classic Loki, Boastful Loki, Kid Loki, and the crocodilian du jour, Alligator Loki. While all the former are obvious 100% Lokis, the jury’s still out on the latter who may or may not actually be an Alligator of Mischief.
A completely original Loki for the series, you won’t find Alligator Loki anywhere in the comic pages, so don’t bother looking. The idea to include the gator came from an early pitch meeting between Loki head writer Michael Waldron, and producers Steven Broussard and Kevin Wright.
“We were talking about [how] we want to meet many different versions of Loki in this show,” Waldron explains. “I was just like, there should be an Alligator Loki. And it's like, well, why? Because he's green.”
If Alligator Loki doesn’t immediately become your favorite Loki, he more than likely wins you over by episode’s end, considering he bites off President Loki’s hand and then prays (in alligator) before the group heads off to find Alioth. All the while, though, the Lokis aren’t sure he’s even really a Loki — but he’s been with them long enough that they all just accept his status as a trickster. He has horns, after all! Besides, as Mobius points out in the episode, maybe lying about being a Loki is the most Loki-thing of all?
“It's so stupid, but it also makes total sense,” Waldron continues. “You almost have to take it seriously, like maybe he is [a Loki]? Why shouldn't there be an alligator version of Loki? For all we know, that's an alligator universe or whatever. It's just the sort of irreverent thing that, in this show, we play straight and make the audience take it seriously.”
And after a beat, Waldron adds: “I love that little guy.” Even Hiddleston has been bewitched by him too, commenting, “Very, very, very cute. I'm sure a cuddly companion for those lost Lokis.”
Bringing him to life on-screen was done via CGI, which meant that while filming, the cast and crew needed to use an alligator stand-in, which came in the form of a stuffed animal. As Loki director Kate Herron adds, “We tragically didn't have Sean Gunn crawling around on the floor.”
Jokingly calling the stuffed alligator a “real diva” on set, Herron explains that the series’ first AD “actually stuck googly eyes on it. It was like a Muppet character on set.” But Alligator Loki wasn’t all just fun and games, as he was useful for the actors who had to interact with him, especially Jack Veal (Kid Loki), who frequently carries Alligator Loki from location to location.
“You put [the stuffed alligator] in there, and the actors can interact with it and get a sense of how heavy or how large the alligator would be,” notes Herron. “[It was filmed] in the world of imagination with our cast because sometimes they were acting to a blade of grass.”
Like all characters, Alligator Loki also went through a few different looks before settling on the version viewers see on-screen.
“We had some early versions when we were doing visual effects that probably were a bit too cute, in the sense of it was a bit more like a cartoony kind of alligator,” Herron explains. “But it just became funnier and funnier the more it looked like a real alligator that just happened to be wearing the horns. That was the sweet spot. Once we landed in that spot where it felt like a real alligator, but with a kind of slightly jaunty horns on, that's where we were like, ‘Oh, there he is.’”
However, this doesn’t answer the most pressing question: Is Alligator Loki really a Loki?
“I know, but I want people to wonder,” Waldron finishes. “I want that to be the next great Marvel debate. Is Alligator Loki really a Loki or not?”
As Mobius says himself, “It’s always the long game with these Lokis.”
Marvel Studios' Loki is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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