Loki Finds His Glorious Purpose!
Loki Season 2 saw the end of Loki’s story as the god of mischief and a new beginning as the savior of the multiverse. Loki’s transformation from a ruthless, mischievous scamp to a selfless and noble god who earned him the title of “the god of stories” is probably one of the most beautifully written stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At last, he has claimed his throne, although not quite in the way most people were expecting. The finale may have marked the end of Loki’s villainous journey in the MCU, but it also raises many questions regarding his new role, the TVA, and the multiverse. With that said, here is the ending of Loki Season 2 explained. Major spoilers ahead:
T.S. Elliot’s Poem
After acknowledging that the Temporal Loom cannot scale for infinite branches, Loki concludes that stopping the sacred timeline from branching is the only way to prevent the meltdown. So what does he do? He uses his new powers of time slipping to return to the past, where Sylvie kills He Who Remains (Kang). Again and again, Loki fails to prevent her from killing Kang to stop the timelines from branching and eventually scolds Kang for not defending himself. Hearing this, Kang stops time with his temp pad and tells Loki he paved the way for Loki to time slip back to the citadel. This implies that there is no way Loki can change the spaghettification of the multiverse unless he kills Sylvie. Loki responds, saying, “We die with the dying. We’re born with the dead.”
Loki isn’t just saying something that sounds hopeless amid defeat. He is actually referencing a line from T.S. Elliot’s poem, Little Gidding. The line that Loki refers to is only a fraction of a verse, which actually states, “We die with the dying:/see, they depart, and we go with them./We are born with the dead:/See, they return, and bring us with them.” This line refers to the cyclical nature of life and death and how death is inevitable. When someone dies, a part of ourselves goes with them. On the other hand, a part of themselves goes with us as death serves as a reminder to appreciate life to thrive and grow. So, in the context of Loki, he realizes that first, he cannot control how all his friends will die, and second, he must sacrifice himself to allow all of his friends to live and thrive.
More Than Two Options for Loki?
After Kang tells Loki that the Temporal Loom works as a failsafe to destroy all branched timelines, Loki says that he will destroy the Loom. But Kang tells him that would unleash a multiversal war in which nothing survives, not even the sacred timeline. So Loki, determined to find another way, time slips and travels to the past to look for some answers.
First, he goes to when he first meets Mobius in the time theater back in season one. Here, he asks Mobius, “How do we choose who lives and who dies?”. Mobius then tells a story about how he hesitated to prune a variant on one of his missions as the variant was an eight-year-old boy. The timelines started to branch, and more variants started to appear because he “lost sight of the big picture.” With this story, Mobius helps Loki understand that sometimes one must make difficult choices to preserve peace. He then says that “most purpose is more burden than glory,” a beautiful reconstruction of Loki’s famous line, “I am burdened with glorious purpose.” With this knowledge, Loki knows he cannot always control his friend’s lives to benefit his own.
Later, Loki time slips to before Sylvie is spaghettified in one of the branched timelines. Here, he asks her what to do as he believes preserving the sacred timeline is the only answer, or there will be complete eradication. But Sylvie asks him who he is to decide who has free will to live. She then says, “I grew up in apocalypses, Loki. I lived through enough of them to know that sometimes it’s okay to destroy something.” When she says this, she sparks an idea into Loki’s mind, and he adds to her thought, saying, “…if there is a hope that you can replace that thing with something better.” At this moment, Loki realizes that the only way to resolve the timeline issue and still save his friends is by destroying the Loom and replacing it with something better. In other words, he must make the ultimate sacrifice and become the new Loom for all eternity.
At the end of the finale, Loki time slips back to the moment in episode four when Victor Timely goes to the Loom to increase the throughput. But this time, Loki goes down to the gangway entrance and locks the door. Having made peace and saying his final goodbyes, he opens the blast doors and destroys the Loom with his magic. With his resolve strong, he grabs all the branches with all of his might, springs life into them, and strains forward. And carrying all the timelines with him, he brings them along and sits on his throne at last.
The timelines all illuminate with an emerald glow and weave together to form the shape of a tree. This tree is the new Tree of Yggdrasil, which is first seen in Thor. Thor draws a diagram of this tree and explains to Jane that the nine realms fall under it to shape the universe. And now, Loki, having carried all the timelines and enchanted them, weaves together the new Tree of Yddrasil and literally becomes the multiverse itself. What this means for Loki, then, is that he must sit upon his throne in solitude for eternity because, without him, there is no multiverse. The branches die unless he makes contact with them and enchants life into them. Thus, he becomes the dictator of the multiverse and keeps watch over it, now earning him the title of the god of stories.
Because of this, the TVA is also given a new purpose. Throughout the headquarters, posters of the Tree of Yddrasil are hung with an image of a TVA employee watering it. This suggests that their new purpose is to cultivate the tree and remove any threats of a branched timeline’s destruction. In order to do this, they now actively seek out Kang variants, which is implied when Mobius talks to Hunter B-16 about a case file regarding the “616 adjacent realm.” Mobius states that the variant there was taken care of, nodding to the events that occurred at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania.
And so, at last, order in the multiverse is restored. Loki takes up all the branches and fuels life into them, giving them a chance to thrive, but he must sacrifice his life with his friends. Without him, the multiverse is dead, and not even the sacred timeline could exist. Moreover, the TVA now monitors the Kang variants to prevent another multiversal war. However, their effort may be in vain, as He Who Remains mentioned before that there is an infinite amount of his variants. So, with all of this in mind, fans will just have to see how future events will unfold for Kang’s return in the imminent release of Avengers: the Kang Dynasty.
Loki Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream now only on Disney+.
Loki Season 2 (2023) Disney+ Official Trailer