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Loki: Glorious Purpose

“I am burdened with glorious purpose!”

Who would’ve thought all those years ago, when Loki uttered those words with such egomaniacal glee, that he would one day learn exactly what that purpose would be.

Using the best elements of a time loop story, this entire season was ultimately all about redemption. There were so many layers to this, just like in those final moments when Loki was pushing through the temporal radiation and his TVA costume melted off until all that remained was his true self. It was striking imagery, as all his illusions and misdirection were literally ripped away to reveal the somewhat sad man wearing a heavy crown.

To me it felt like a wonderful ending to a beloved character. I guess ending is the right way to put it, because there could be ways of bringing him back. But wow, looking back to his first appearance in Thor, I am deeply impressed by a tremendously engaging and thoughtful character arc. To sacrifice his own free will for everyone was a heroic and godly act, a glorious end for a character we have known for fourteen years.

Which is how I took this ending, and I thought my opinion would be how this affected everyone. Of course that was wrong, but I was so thoroughly impressed that it took a dissenting opinion to get me to think about that ending a different way. Loki is a fun character, mischievous and dynamic. He is selfish and occasionally villainous, but this ending, while heroic, could easily be considered a fate worse than death.

And it made me think, is Loki capable of this kind of servitude? To be the foundation of the universe? Won’t he grow incredibly bored with sitting on a throne? Even if he can view the entirety of the multiverse, he can never be a part of it. That’s pretty heavy. Because while Loki has grown tremendously over the last two seasons of this show, learned the value of love and selflessness, of placing the needs of others above his own, is that lesson enough for this level of sacrifice?

Or even more basic, does Loki deserve this fate? Was this more of a judgment placed upon him? To serve out his days to be “doomed to wander through the world and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared!” (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol). That’s a curse, not a blessing. A fate of endless sacrifice, and while it was one he chose, it's a harsh reality to endure. No matter the contented look we got on Loki’s face, it is a dark end, for sure.

Which brings me to the crux of this episode, the time loops. What did Loki actually experience? We know he spent centuries learning about physics and technology from OB and Timely, but what else? How many times did he try to stop Sylvie? How many times did he attempt to fix the Loom? Sure, some of those instances were barely minutes of time, but again and again and again, it was clearly a vast quantity of time. He had gotten to the point where solving this riddle was his own form of prison. Where he couldn’t move forward without a solution.

His final solution, while perfect and fitting from a writing perspective, fails on one level. This was a reaction to a problem. Now he has endless time to think about it, and I cannot imagine he won’t have moments of regret. He got what he wanted, he found his glorious purpose and he found his throne of gold. He unlocked the multiverse, created Yggdrasil the World Tree, and by doing so freed his friends and the universe to move forward.

So I guess that’s where we are now. Loki has been written out, for good or bad depending on your point of view. Sylvie has been positioned to potentially take over for Loki in the MCU, and I doubt this will be the last time we see OB, B15, Renslayer, Casey, Miss Minutes or Mobius. We have already seen variants of He Who Remains, specifically with the offhanded reference to the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania in the final TVA scene. Victor Timely was reset and allowed to live his life without the influence of the TVA, and that’s it.

Is this truly the end for Loki? I’m honestly not sure, but if it is the end, it was very powerful. Perhaps on an even level with Iron Man’s sacrifice in Endgame.


I loved how we did return to the moment where Loki and Sylvie faced off against He Who Remains, and this time Loki got the win. It was very satisfying.

Mobius finally getting to see his timeline, but to never be a part of it, was very bittersweet. What a wonderful performance from Owen Wilson.

I loved OB’s reaction to getting Miss Minutes back up and running, because it does feel like a potentially dangerous situation.

No after credits scene or any indication there would be more from this series.

It was interesting that He Who Remains knew about Victor Timely, and seemed somewhat angry and dismissive of him. Perhaps he knows that Victor is the best of himself and he hates that.


Mobius: "Most purpose is more burden than glory, and trust me, you never want to be the guy who avoids it, 'cause you can't live with the burden."
Loki: "How do you live with it?"
Mobius: "Scar tissue."

Loki: "We die with the dying. We're born with the dead."

Loki: "What good is free will if everyone's dead?"

Victor: “My Loom will never be able to accommodate for an infinitely growing multiverse. You can't scale for 'infinite.' It's like trying to divide by zero. It can't be done.”

Sylvie: "I grew up in apocalypses, Loki. I've lived through enough of them to know that sometimes, it's okay to destroy something."

Loki: "O.B., how long will it take me to know everything that you know about mechanics, physics and engineering?"
OB: "How much do you know?"
Loki: "Let's assume I don't know much. But I'm a fast learner... and I'm a god."
OB: “Decades.”
Victor: “Centuries.”

No matter how you feel about Loki's fate, this was a fantastic episode that really forced me to consider all the angles of such a final moment for a long running character.

4 out of 4 Friends Left Behind

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. Loki was such a wonderful, complicated, three-dimensional villain and I completely understand why they chose a massive redemption arc for him. But I can't stand the idea of leaving him this way, in a sort of God limbo. I don't like it. They'd better come up with a huge MCU movie that involves rescuing him.

  2. I'm going to miss Loki, or at least this version of them. That said, I found myself missing Loki while the season was still ongoing. I loved that he got a chance to reinvent himself, but at the same time, I think season 2 kept missing its narrative marks. It started to take itself so seriously that it just wasn't very fun to watch.

    I wanted to watch Lokis being Lokis. I wanted shenanigans, character moments and chaotic energy. Instead, we got TVA internal politics, Victor Timely and people running maintenance with the Loom, explaining the Loom, looking at maintenance manuals of the Loom, digging through Loom-related equipment, giving demonstrations of the Loom... Over and over again. It's baffling: did the writers really think that anyone cared how the McGuffin works?

    T think it's the curse of so much meh MCU content. Marvel and Disney seem to think that we care about their plots, when we really care about the characters.

    1. I so agree. I confess, I haven't seen all the episodes of Season 2, and that's because I wanted Season 1 to be more fun. There's a reason (or many) so many people love Loki. I wanted more of that. When the trailer for Season 1 came out, I was so looking forward to it. I felt Owen Wilson would be a perfect companion for Loki, and they showed snippets of scenes that were so "him" (like the DB Cooper scene). What I got was so-o-o-o-o serious. I admit, I do love the idea of bringing "glorious purpose" full circle... but these two seasons of such unending heaviness wasn't it for me.

  3. I agree that the last episode was great fun, though.

  4. I enjoyed this season, although I think I've got a case of Marvel burnout. Watching it in a vacuum--rather than feeling like everyone's talking about it, as I felt pre-pandemic--has lessened my enthusiasm.

    Having said that, Loki is definitely my favorite MCU show, and I was so, so pleased with the ending. I also like that it leaves the door open for more Loki down the line, and ultimately gives him what he originally wanted, sort of: back in the first Thor movie, he wanted Odin's power. Now he's got Odin levels of responsibility.

    In my reading, this ending also leaves the door open for re-casting Kang, right?

    1. Possibly, I think the whole Johnathan Major's scandal is still in motion and I don't think Disney is ready to pull the trigger and fire him until he is actually convicted. There is a lot riding on his character. But yes, they could absolutely recast him at this point.


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