***Spoilers for Loki episode 4 ahead***
The close of Loki episode 4 was shocking, as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki variant appeared to have been “pruned” from the timeline. If you stopped watching there, you might be wondering how in Hel the Disney+ series would bring him back. But there’s a brief, incredible end-credits scene that shows us what became of Loki and descends further into delightful chaos.
In the show’s first end-credits sequence, Loki opens his eyes, wonders if he’s dead and in the Asgardian afterlife (he doesn’t expect he’ll end up in Valhalla!), and receives an answer to his question. That’s when the voice of Richard E. Grant says, “Not yet. But you will be unless you come with us.” The camera pans around to reveal a motley crew of not one but FOUR new Loki variants. Gaze upon them:
Grant (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), a veteran actor who is amazing at playing villains, had long been rumored to be playing an “Old Loki.” But the glorious surprise is that he’s not just old Loki, he’s perfectly costumed as classic comics Loki. This is Loki clothed directly out of the pages of his first appearances battling Thor in Journey into Mystery in the 1960s. That Loki was primarily a scheming, scenery-chomping villain, and I cannot wait to see what Grant does with him.
We also see Kid Loki, played by actor Jack Veal (The End of the F***ing World). Kid Loki is well-known to comics fans from Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers and latter-day Journey Into Mystery. While fans have long been hoping for a Kid Loki appearance, an unexpected Loki is with him. Kid Loki seems to be holding yet another Loki variant—a crocodile wearing a Loki crown.
This is, shall we say, another journey into mystery, but Crocodile Loki could be a Loki a) born as a crocodile because why not b) a Loki who got trapped shapeshifting and stayed like that c) a Loki who enjoys being a crocodile d) some kind of reference to the infamous comics run where Thor is a frog (“Throg.”). Whatever Croc Loki is, he’s probably going to sell a lot of toys going forward.
[UPDATE: After considerable debate online, Esquire has consulted with reptilian experts and Crocodile Loki is, in fact, an Alligator Loki. To be exact, it’s an American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Mea culpa.]
Actor Deobia Oparei (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) is playing the Loki who’s wielding a hammer, and here my speculations are running wild with possibilities. As IGN notes, in German credits Oparei’s Loki is billed as “Prahlerischer Loki.” This would translate as “Boastful Loki.” He’s now officially credited on IMDb as “Boastful Loki.” Prahlerischer also translates as “vainglorious” and “braggart,” all elements of Loki’s personality we know well.
Oparei is wielding a hammer that resembles Thor’s Mjolnir but is distinctly different. He’s wearing a sort of fur-covered armor that we more often see in the comics on Jotuns in Loki’s native, chilly Jotunheim. So my best guess for Oparei’s Loki is that he’s a Loki who never got taken to Asgard, grew up as a Frost Giant, and ascended to the throne of Jotunheim. Or Oparei’s Loki could be a Loki who, for reasons unknown, becomes the heir in Asgard (maybe he overthrows Thor, maybe something happens to Thor in his timeline), and he’s wielding a variant Mjolnir. We do know that he’s boastful—likely for good reason! This seems like an incredibly badass Loki and I cannot wait to see a Loki using Thor’s weapon of choice.
Finally, the four Loki variants appear to be in some sort of post-apocalyptic New York City. This could be a timeline where Loki and Thanos’s original Avengers plan to invade Earth succeeded, or perhaps they are just there in the 2012 movie’s aftermath. Or this could be another timeline entirely where something horrific befell New York.
That catastrophic event could be in the process of happening, as the variants are likely using Sylvie’s trick of hanging out in apocalypses to mask their movement from the TVA. And even though it’s gone unaddressed right now, Sylvie did succeed at sending reset charges into various points in time, so who knows what kind of chaos she caused?
Loki’s awakening amongst the other Lokis begs a few questions. How did he get there? When Hunter B-15 retrieved Sylvie’s sword, did she do something to Ravonna’s weapon? Or does “pruning” really just send variants elsewhere? In that case, is there a chance that Mobius could still be alive somewhere? JUSTICE FOR MOBIUS.
This new collection of Lokis (we need a word for a group of them) expands the possibilities of the Loki show, as there are clearly other Lokis now in play and invested in the timeline events beyond Sylvie. My first thought after Loki opens his eyes in a strange new world to a bizarre band of allies was The Wizard of Oz. And Loki (let’s say he’s Dorothy) had just found out there was no wizard behind the Timekeeper curtain. Alligator Loki even fits as a Toto! (Apologies in advance to Alligator Loki.)
Whether these Wizard allusions were intentional, it’s clear that Loki and his new Loki band will be on a road toward further adventure. I absolutely loved seeing them and appreciate that kicker of a reveal that changed the episode’s apparent conclusion. Hoping we might meet at least one more Loki, we’re now meeting four, and who knows how many more await?
What did you think of episode 4 and that multi-Loki reveal?
(images: Marvel Studios, Disney+)
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