Loki stares at the Temporal Loom with Mobius behind him.

‘Loki’ Highlights a Journey From a Villain to a Hero

Now that Loki has come to an end, I’ve noticed a fascinating trend with the series as a whole. While I hope we still have more stories with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to come, the first two seasons write a very clear arc for Loki Laufeyson that makes him still one of the most compelling Marvel heroes in the MCU canon.

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Beginning with his introduction in Thor (12 whole years ago!), Loki has not had the easiest journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a testament to Hiddleston’s dynamic performance (and the appeal of the character as a whole) that we’ve come to love and appreciate him. Now, with both seasons of Loki, we’ve watched a hero’s journey unfold. And it has made Loki a character I want to revisit now more than ever before, which is saying something.

***Spoilers for Loki season 2 lie ahead, read on at your own risk.***

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Loki season 2 episode 4

When Loki began, the version of Loki we were getting was deep in his “villain” era. Right in the thick of The Avengers, he had not yet had his “redemption” arc. So the anti-hero we’ve come to love was a long way away. Once he discovers that drawer full of Infinity Stones, he realizes that ruling one version of Earth in an infinite multiverse isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In building friendships with Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), Loki’s journey becomes heroic, and he finally discovers his “Glorious Purpose” (which incidentally is the name of the season two finale AND the season one pilot).

Leaving him as the God of Stories for the multiverse, the finale seems finite but it gives Loki a hero’s end. For now, at least. Which is very different from the other “endings” in the Loki canon of the MCU.

Loki became a hero’s story.

When it comes to Loki’s story, he loves to have an ending. Whether that’s death or vanishing from Thor’s life, he does so in a dramatic way. This ending is no different, but this time he didn’t do it to get some grand moment at the expense of his brother or as a massive attention grab. He did it because he had to, a true self-sacrifice to save his friends and the multiverse. Becoming the glue of the multiverse was the last hope the universe had, and Loki did so because he didn’t want to kill Sylvie and found a way to usurp He Who Remains. Sitting on a throne alone for all of time was definitely not what Loki wanted, but it’s what needed to be done to save the people he loves. Which is what a hero would do.

There are so many universes in which Loki could have chosen to not destroy the Temporal Loom. There is a world where he killed Sylvie and let the TVA continue to rule. But instead, he damned himself to a world of loneliness to keep the multiverse alive. That’s the God that Loki has become. From a character fighting only for himself and his own glory to someone who sacrifices themselves to save everyone? Now that’s a hero’s journey if there ever was one. Loki’s evolution as a character was brilliantly written and well-earned.

I hope we see more of Loki in the future, with other stories and maybe even other Lokis out there. But for now, knowing that this Loki went from selfish tyrant to saving the multiverse? That’s our hero.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.