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Where the Heck Was King Loki on Loki? We Have Answers.

Tom Hiddleston in a cut scene as King Loki on 'Loki'

The Loki finale has come and gone, and we never encountered “King Loki.” In trailers for the series before the Disney+ series’ release, there’s a brief flash of what we assumed was a Loki variant in a throne room, clad in those fine Asgardian leathers and armor that the character wore circa Thor.

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After King Loki failed to materialize in earlier episodes, some fans speculated that we’d meet him in the last episode. Perhaps it would even be shown that this Loki was He Who Remains and the one who had created the TVA madness in the first place. But the sixth installment, “For All Time. Always,” revealed that Jonathan Majors’ Kang variant was the man behind the curtain. There was no King Loki to be found, and our present Loki never changed into this costume, which was another running theory of what might happen.

So what gives? Well, it’s inevitable that scenes and even entire storylines get cut as final production decisions are made. We already knew that the Loki series creatives took out a scene with Frog Thor and hoped to do more with other characters, before running into pandemic restrictions.

Loki director Kate Herron has now confirmed that King Loki got the axe. She told TVLine that those shots were cut because they didn’t fit quite right with the overall feeling they were going for.

These were actually intended not as a variant Loki but as “memory scenes in Asgard” that Loki would have seen flash by on that “This Is Your Life”-esque reel he watches in episode 1. And since they were funny, they ended up not making sense in the final reel, where Loki watches a lot of tragedy and then later his own redemption and death. Quoth TVLine:

The sequences were filmed, but they ultimately didn’t strike the right tone for the final cut of the episode, she says.

“They tended to lean a bit more into comedy, and the scenes weren’t bad. But when we were putting the edit together, they were quite near where [Loki] sees Frigga [dying],” Herron tells us. “Obviously, we didn’t want to take away from that moment, because it’s his mom dying and it’s very emotional. It’s always tricky. The scenes weren’t necessarily not good, but they weren’t quite sitting right. That’s why there’s sometimes bits that people see that don’t end up in the show.”

Show composer Natalie Holt provided more context, saying that the cut sequence was hilarious and that the “King Loki” scene was actually part of that Frog Thor transformation. Per Epic stream, Holt had even composed grandiose music for the bit, which shows it likely wasn’t removed until the last moment.

“I had actually written, I had done something with choir for it like it was this big, grand moment where Loki takes over the crown in Asgard, and then you see Thor as a frog,” [Holt] stated.

It’s a little unclear where this would have fit into the timeline as we know it from Loki’s life. As far as we’ve seen in MCU canon, he doesn’t make a bid for the throne until the events around Thor’s own coronation in Thor. But maybe the TVA was showing Loki what happened in a branched timeline, or perhaps there was a point in the brothers’ past when Loki turned Thor into a frog and briefly took over for Odin? Or an “extra” scene from the Thor events we never saw?

Prior to the creatives’ discussion of what happened with King Loki, there was speculation that he was a sort of red herring, tucked into the trailers to throw us from being able to guess what would happen on the show. This may sound wild and like a lot of extra work, but it’s happened to MCU fans before.

Marvel has included images that never made it to the movies in the past, and it was purposeful. Back in the Avengers: Infinity War days, there were several shots from the trailers that were created as an intentional misdirect by directors Joe and Anthony Russo. Joe Russo explained that they wanted to keep audiences guessing, since we “consume too much content” and have become too adept at picking things like trailers apart.

“We use all the material that we have at our disposal to create a trailer. We look at the trailer as a very different experience than the movie, and I think audiences are so predictive now that you have to be very smart about how you craft a trailer because an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what’s gonna happen in the film. We consume too much content. So at our disposal are lots of different shots that aren’t in the movie that we can manipulate through CG to tell a story that we want to tell specifically for the purpose of the trailer and not for the film.”

This does not appear to have been the case with Loki, and since the sequences nearly made it in, maybe we’ll see them one day. I must reiterate that Disney+ should #ReleaseTheThrogCut.

(image: Marvel Studios)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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