Loki as the Tree of Life

We Finally Got Yggdrasil in Marvel’s ‘What If…?’, and I Have Questions

In the trailers for Marvel’s What If…? season 2, Disney+ gave us a glimpse of a massive Easter egg: the World Tree, or Yggdrasil, from the series finale of Loki. But what does it mean? Why is the tree in there? Here’s what we know!

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Major spoilers for What If…? and Loki ahead!

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What is Yggdrasil in Loki?

Before we get to What If…?, let’s talk about Loki. At the end of Loki season 2, Loki breaks the temporal loom that’s holding the multiverse together. (At least, I think that’s what it’s doing. The show never really explains why Loki and company can’t just turn the loom off or something, now that He Who Remains isn’t confining time to a single timeline anymore.) After the loom is destroyed, the timelines start dying, and Loki revives them with his magic. He changes the timeline into a tree, as a nod to the World Tree from Norse mythology. (Here’s our full rundown of Yggdrasil.)

But Loki pays a heavy price for his actions. He ends up trapped inside Yggdrasil, doomed to keep the multiverse alive by himself for the rest of eternity.

Yggdrasil appears in the season 2 finale of What If…?

In the trailer for What If…? season 2, we get a quick shot of Yggdrasil decked out in Christmas lights. The actual shot in the series isn’t as festive, but it does have huge ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

At the very end of the season, Uatu the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) shows Carter an image of the multiverse—and it’s in the form of Loki’s tree. Is Loki in there? He must be!

However, no one in the show comments on the trickster god sitting in the middle of the multiverse. Instead, the appearance of Yggdrasil in What If…? season 2 seems to just be an acknowledgment that Loki season 2 changed the nature of Marvel’s multiverse.

So are Loki and the Watcher buddies, or…?

With Loki holding the timelines together, and Uatu watching every timeline in the multiverse, it would make sense for the two to be aware of each other’s existence. So what’s going on here? Are they friends? Allies? Rivals? Can the Watcher see inside the Time Variance Authority, if it exists outside time? Can Loki at least get DoorDash from inside that tree? I have questions!

Unfortunately, What If…? season 2 doesn’t have any explicit answers. If we want some clarity, we may have to wait for Avengers: Secret Wars.

(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>