A close up of Loki looking frightened in the TVA.

Why Is Loki Time Slipping? Explained

Loki season 2 introduces a new concept to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: time slipping. But why exactly is it happening to Loki—especially since we’ve never seen it happen to another Marvel character before? Let’s dive in.

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The origins of Loki’s time slipping

Loki first starts time slipping in Loki season 2, episode 1. The affliction, in which Loki is forcibly torn apart and then reconstituted in another time and place, starts when he returns to the TVA after Sylvie kicks him through a time door in the Citadel at the End of Time. Loki doubles over in pain, and then disappears in a torrent of flailing limbs and shredded flesh. It looks like a nasty experience.

O.B. is able to fix Loki’s time slipping by pulling him out of every thread of time all at once. However, we never learn why exactly Loki started time slipping in the first place.

Loki’s time slipping returns … with a purpose

In episode 5, after the Temporal Loom explodes, Loki finds himself alone in the TVA. Much to his frustration, his time slipping has returned.

Luckily, he time slips right out of the TVA as it’s spaghettified and destroyed. Loki soon finds himself time slipping through the real world, popping in and out of his friends’ lives on the timeline. Finally, he reaches O.B., who’s a physicist and struggling science fiction writer. O.B. notices that Loki’s time slipping has taken him exactly where he needs to go (just like America Chavez’s powers in Doctor Strange 2!), and suggests that Loki see if he can learn to control it.

After a few hilarious tries, Loki gives up, unable to do it. But eventually, he finds that he’s able to time slip at will. He uses that power to go back to the TVA at the end of episode 5, so that he can try again to fix the loom.

What could this mean? There’s one amazing fan theory out there that states that time slipping could become Loki’s newest superpower, and that he could use it to fight Kang the Conqueror. The ability to time travel also has some amazing implications if Loki is becoming the God of Stories, determined to rewrite the story of the multiverse so that he can protect it from Kang.

So why is Loki time slipping? We may never find out the technical reason for it (not that it would make much sense anyway, given that the science is all made up), but right now, it looks like Loki’s time slipping is taking him where he needs to go in order to save the multiverse. Whether that’s because of some higher power, or just the luck of a trickster god, remains to be seen.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>