‘Loki’: Loki’s Ascension and the Ambiguous Ending of Episode 6
“He started this show wanting a throne, and now he's sitting on a throne, but does he want to be there?”
Loki finally has his throne — it might just not be the throne he was expecting.
As the second season of Marvel Studios’ Loki draws to a close, the Sacred Timeline and all the other timelines are finally safe from destruction, thanks to Loki. Realizing that no matter what he and everyone else at the Time Variance Authority do to try and stop it, the Temporal Loom is always going to overload and destroy everything. This forces Loki to make a tough decision. With one last look at his friends, he tells them, “I know what I want. I know what kind of God I need to be. For you. For all of us.”
With that, he heads out through the radiation doors and his TVA garb slowly begins to disintegrate, replaced by a familiar-looking set of horns and accompanying cape. It’s Loki who deals the fatal blow to the Temporal Loom which shatters into a million timelines; it’s then Loki who saves the timelines grabbing them one by one. As Sylvie notes, “he’s giving us a chance.”
Is this the destiny Loki envisioned for himself when he first landed in the TVA, threatening to burn the place to the ground? Definitely not. But as Executive producer Kevin Wright notes to Marvel.com, Loki is by far “the best man for the job holding it all together.”
“We spoke a lot about [Loki], in that moment, being Atlas kind of holding the world on his shoulders,” Wright continues. “I think that my favorite way to look at it is based on that conversation that he has with Sylvie in Episode 4 in the automat, which is, maybe we can build [the TVA] into something better. That maybe means that more bad things could still be coming. But he is framing it and giving everyone the best possible chance to drive their own destiny.”
Season 1 and Season 2 of Loki were always envisioned as being “two chapters of the same book,” and as Wright continues, “because of the cliffhanger of Season 1, we knew we wanted to give some real fulfillment and closure by the end of this season.”
All season long Loki has been on a quest of self-discovery, and now he’s finally figured out who and what’s important to him — namely the likes of Mobius, Sylvie, Hunter B-15, Casey, O.B., and everyone else wandering the halls of the TVA. This is his new family. As Wright notes, “Entering the TVA in Season 1 completely gave this character a new lease on life, literally but also metaphorically.”
Though he might have not realized he was on a hero’s journey this whole time, Loki’s trek across the timelines has come to an end. As he grabs more timelines a throne begins to materialize in front of him, and Loki takes his place atop. Taking a bigger look at what’s just happened, Loki’s created a whole new structure. The timelines are no longer linear; they’re branched like a tree.
So, what does this mean? The season ends with one last look at Loki on his new throne in the “AFTER” period as a million timelines swirl around him. Feel free to interpret this as you want — the creative team hopes you do.
“He started this show wanting a throne, and now he's sitting on a throne, but does he want to be there?” Head writer Eric Martin muses. “I want people asking those questions, rather than me telling you the answer. I think there's a lot of interesting stuff there, but I don't think it's black and white either way.”
“That sequence is the culmination of six films and 12 episodes worth of character development over the span of 12 years, masterfully brought to life as only Tom could do it,” Wright adds. “But there is a reason why the entire sequence is without dialogue. The cinematic power of music, sound, and image articulate more than any words I or my fellow filmmakers could offer as an explanation. The answers are all there on screen."
It’s also a fitting spot to leave Loki in, considering all he’s sacrificed up to this point for those he holds near and dear. He’s been in search of a glorious purpose, and he found it in the last place he ever would have thought to look.
“Loki was after family, he wanted a place,” Martin continues. “He found his place on this island of misfit toys at the TVA. Everybody is there from somewhere else. He's there from somewhere else. He's never fit in. He's always been the person there from somewhere else, and so he fits in. But to protect that for everyone else to be safe, he can't be there. I think it's beautiful and tragic, and it's just so Loki. “
For all time, always! Loki Season 2 is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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