‘Loki’: How Loki Found His Heart and Became a Hero at the TVA
“It took growth for him to re-accept aspects of himself, he's a God."
Forget about the timelines, jet skis, and key lime pie. The real crux of the story of Marvel Studios’ Loki Season 2 simply boils down to the friends Loki has made along the way — and the friends he’s willing to risk everything for to try and save.
As Season 2 races towards the finish, Loki realizes that there’s no way to save the timelines. The Temporal Loom is going to overload no matter what happens because He Who Remains designed it as a fail-safe to protect the Sacred Timeline and nothing else. And he, unfortunately, realizes that the only way to stop this is to kill Sylvie before she kills He Who Remains (and that’s not something Loki wants to do). After one last heart-to-heart with her and Mobius at different points in time, he realizes that there is a way to save everything — Loki finally knows what kind of God he wants to be. So, with one last look at his found family, he goes out onto the bridge to save the timelines.
It’s a complete 180° for the character viewers were first introduced to in Marvel Studios’ Thor, and one who would later command a group of people to kneel before him. But, by the end of Season 1 of Loki, he was a changed man and cared about the people at the Time Variance Authority. He had found a new glorious purpose to work towards. Season 2 is now about him saving all of them.
“Driving so much of his action through this season is him trying to save his friends and save the people that he cares about, he was just going about it the wrong way,” Executive Producer Kevin Wright tells Marvel.com.
While a lot of the beginning half of Season 2 is Loki trying to troubleshoot the flailing timelines, the back half of the season is Loki accepting that not everything can be fixed so neatly, and that includes himself. Viewers have watched Loki race across different timelines recently, but that doesn’t negate his past deeds, good or bad, and who he is at his core.
“It took growth for him to re-accept aspects of himself, he's a God,” Wright adds. “He is destined for bigger things. Through two seasons, he's been sort of playing time cop, and that to find the solution to this impossible problem of how to save the TVA, how to save these people he cares about, it meant that he had to kind of re-embrace a past — not that he had forgotten about, but that he had sort of sidelined.”
“I think it's following where the character's been, and where he is, and letting him tell the story,” Head writer Eric Martin explains. “I think we do that with all the characters and that's where the richness comes from. We know Loki’s rich past. A lot of those issues are things that you can never let go of. You just continue to deal with them in different forms.”
Back in Episode 4, Sylvie even reminds Loki that the two of them are Gods, but it still takes another little nudge for Loki to get there. It takes the thought of Loki losing everything that he holds so near and dear now to send him on a completely different glorious path.
“I think that is what allows him to kind of go from lowercase g ‘god’ to a capital G ’God,’” Wright continues. “In doing that, it's like you can do all the things you've been trying to do this season. You can save your friends. You can give everybody the best version of their life. You can give the TVA a chance to restructure into something better and more noble.”
However, there’s just one small problem in doing this, as Wright adds, “[Loki] can't be a part of it.” The only way to save everyone is to sacrifice himself. “That would be the true test of, is this guy truly going to become a hero? Because oftentimes, in real life, people that are doing the heroic thing will not get the benefits of it themselves.”
Star Tom Hiddleston himself was a big supporter of this idea of Loki’s complete change of heart, with Wright noting, “He would talk very frequently about, as you are evolving as a person, you can never really progress to a better version of yourself until you embrace yourself, your past, your flaws, all of that. And once you accept those things, you can grow into something bigger.”
It was easy for Martin to script this for the character because Hiddleston was so willing to wear everything on his sleeve. “Tom's an actor, so he speaks in emotion. And I'm a writer and that's what I'm driven to do. Our conversations were always about that. Where is Loki's heart, and where is that telling him to go, and where are the missteps along the way?”
In the end, when faced with the toughest choice of his life on this timeline, Loki did what he needed to do. He’s a changed God.
“The most intriguing thing is, when he finally has that opportunity, would he make that huge sacrifice and show that he has truly changed?” Wright asks. “You see what he does. He does. He does it.”
For all time, always! Loki Season 2 is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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