Loki finale ending explained – and what it means for season 2
Confused by what happened in episode six of Loki? Let’s break it down… **WARNING: SPOILERS**
Episode six of Loki finally revealed the truth behind the mysteries of the Disney Plus series – well, mostly. But as the dust settles and fans turn their attentions to the now-confirmed season two, some may be scratching their heads about exactly what happened when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) found their way to the Citadel at the End of Time.
And that’s fair enough – it was a little confusing and ambiguous, encompassing parallel realities, more variants than you can shake a TemPad at and a major cliffhanger that just left us with more questions than we started with.
Below, we break down and explain Loki’s ending – and also take a look ahead at what it could mean for season two.
Loki episode six finale spoilers
Before we go right to the end, a little background. Over the course of the series Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) have been hunting for the head of the Time Variance Authority, a sci-fi bureaucracy whose job is to “prune” unwieldy “branches” off the one true Sacred Timeline (including both our Loki variants).
Long believed to be space-lizards called The Time-Keepers, it was revealed a couple of episodes ago that this is a sham – and, after getting past a time-eating monster called ,Alioth, that was guarding a mysterious castle, Loki and Sylvie finally meet the true master in the finale, played by Jonathan Majors.
His name? Well, we’re not 100 per cent sure, but he sometimes goes by He Who Remains and he’s just flesh and blood, not some strange creature. He explains to the Lokis that he was once a scientist in the 31st Century who discovered parallel worlds, and worked with them to create new technology and help their respective universes.
However, some of his alternate selves (or variants) were less civic-minded. They took it upon themselves to destroy the other worlds to safeguard their own, resulting in a devastating multiversal war. He Who Remains discovered Alioth, a being made from tears in reality caused by this conflict, and used it to cut off, isolate and protect the Sacred Timeline (AKA our reality).
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Anything that would have diverged from that timeline and threatened a link with other worlds was “pruned” and consumed by Alioth. And so it continued for aeons, until He Who Remains laid the groundwork for these two Lokis to come to his Citadel and replace him at the head of the TVA.
And so they face a difficult choice.
Loki finale ending
Majors’ character presents them with a choice: take his place, and continue the TVA’s important work to protect their timeline from his evil alternate selves, or kill him and take their revenge for all the innocent people and timelines he had killed to that end – and face an infinite number of his variants who will start another multiversal war.
Anyway, following a disagreement between the Lokis – 'our' Loki believes that killing He Who Remains will bring worse disaster, while Sylvie believes both men are selfishly looking to their own gains – and after a short tussle and a surprise kiss, Sylvie sends Loki packing back to the TVA.
She then finally kills He Who Remains, who dies with a chuckle and a “see you soon” that hints his variants are on the way. Behind him, the Sacred Timeline splinters and branches into millions of possibilities, opening the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to all kinds of possibilities.
Meanwhile, back at the TVA, Loki finds Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaka) who had taken it upon themselves to bring down the TVA themselves, trying to warn them of what’s coming.
“Someone is coming – countless different versions of a very dangerous person, and they’re all set on war,” he says. “We need to prepare.”
But Mobius and B-15 have no idea who Loki is anymore and, as he looks out over the TVA, he sees the statues of the Time-Keepers have been replaced by one of Majors’ character, dressed in a war-like outfit familiar to fans of the comics. The end!
Loki ending explained
So what actually happened there? Well, we have some theories – and almost all of them centre around Kang the Conqueror, an iconic Marvel comics baddie with a penchant for warfare and time travel.
Notably, Majors had long been rumoured to be playing Kang in some upcoming Marvel projects and, while He Who Remains was slightly different, it appears that one or more of his variants might be the 'real' Kang. Essentially, the idea is that the man we met in this episode was a (relatively) benevolent version of Kang, a variant of a villain just like Sylvie is to the main Loki.
And the real Kang? Well, he might be on the way. When Majors tells the story of his background, all the violent variants are dressed in a version of Kang’s costume (a semi-circular collar over the torso, linked down to a belt, and with a kind of helmet that leaves the face free), while his own outfit – a purple cloak with a semi-circular collar – hints at a similar, albeit softer look.
Later, the statue of Majors in the TVA when Loki returns explicitly wears Kang’s comic-book outfit, suggesting that the 'true' evil Kang – or Kangs – is in charge (with Mobius and B-15 also mentioning a “he” they were working for).
Exactly how this happened is unclear. Was Loki transported to a parallel universe? It’s possible – the splintered Sacred Timeline could have caused Sylvie to inadvertently send Loki back to a different TVA, where Kang was explicitly in charge the whole time and they never met Loki or any version of him.
Alternatively, it could be that one of He Who Remains’ evil variants already broke through and took over the TVA, rewriting history for everyone except Loki (who might still remember what really happened as he was “beyond time” in the Citadel earlier in the episode).
Either way, it looks like Loki, the TVA and all of reality are now in a pickle. The Sacred timeline has branched, the multiverse is on the doorstep, and countless super-genius super-villains are on the march ready to destroy the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sounds like good fodder for another season.
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Loki season 2 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
In the episode’s only post-credits scene, it’s confirmed that Loki will return for a season two, with a red stamp saying as much whacked onto Loki's TVA file. It's one of the simplest post-credits scenes in Marvel history but hey – it does the job.
No details are given in the Loki post-credits scene of what we can expect next but there are a couple of hints in the finale, including the curious absence of Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who zips off earlier in the episode to search for “free will” (implied to be He Who Remains).
It could be that she escaped the reshaping of the TVA by being outside the normal flow of time, so it might be that she becomes one of the few to know what really happened. We can assume that we’ll see what she got up to in season two, and who or what she really went looking for.
It also stands to reason that season two will pick up on Loki’s struggle to prepare our reality for Kang the Conqueror – unless of course, rumours of Tom Hiddleston’s involvement in the rather relevant-sounding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (coming out before Loki season two, we would assume) suggest that the story could be continued there first, with that film acting as something of a bridge between seasons one and two.
Still, whatever happens we’ve got plenty to think about as the first arc of Loki on Disney Plus concludes. Whether you fully understand it or not, you have to admit – it was quite an ending.
Is Loki dead or did Loki survive Infinity War? Who exactly is Sylvie in Loki? Find out everything you need to know about the Loki cast and how to watch Marvel movies in order with our comprehensive coverage.
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