The season finale of Loki has come and gone, and the multiverse will never be quite the same. The god of mischief played by Tom Hiddleston has had an extraordinary journey during his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He began as a villain, clashing with his brother Thor and the Avengers, before growing into a roguish antihero who was as eager to thwart characters like Hela and Thanos as he was to serve his own agenda.
But with the season 2 finale of Loki, “Glorious Purpose,” Loki has become a hero in his own right. There’s no other way to frame the incredible sacrifice he made during the final moments of his Disney+ show. Hiddleston broke down this turn during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, discussing how it serves as a “poetic redemption” for Loki.
Beware MAJOR SPOILERS for the Disney+ series ahead.
“I knew we were trying to chase an answer to that question: What is Loki’s glorious purpose?” Hiddleston explained. “Season 2 is asking: Are we in charge of our own story? Can a leopard change its spots? Can Loki change? Can the TVA change, given a second chance with enough introspection and responsibility? Is there free will? Are we truly in control of our destiny? That seemed to me to be very, very deep water to be working in, and we found it thrilling at every turn. I hope the audience does as well.”
The search for “glorious purpose” goes beyond just Loki. Hiddleston pointed out how it applies to characters like Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino), both of whom are also searching for their place in life.
Everyone is in a state of existential crisis or existential doubt — and doubt is an interesting place to learn. Doubt gives rise to curiosity, and within curiosity is this profound search for meaning. That’s something I think we can all relate to because we all want our lives to mean something. We all want our lives to have purpose, and that’s in the DNA of the show.
Tom Hiddleston came up with Loki’s final line
Hiddleston has been talking quite a bit since the finale aired about what a full circle experience it was for him. He first played the god of mischief 14 years ago in Thor. There’s a ton of history and development to keep track of, and by the sounds of things, no one has paid more attention to it than Hiddleston.
During the filming for the Loki season 2 finale, he suggested an addition to Loki’s final line before he goes out to the Temporal Loom to assume his throne outside of time: telling his friends that he’s doing it “for you, for all of us.” That’s a callback to 2011’s Thor, where it was Loki’s final line to Odin before he fell off the Bifrost bridge following his final battle with Thor. It’s a beautiful turn to bring that back for the finale of Loki as a symbol of the sacrifice the character is making by going into exile to stabilize the multiverse.
“It was 100 percent Tom,” Loki executive producer Kevin Wright explained in a different EW interview. “We had already done a few takes of the first part of that line, which was ‘I know what kind of god I need to be.’ And on the final take, Tom said, ‘Hey, can I try this?’ As soon as he said it, all of us were like, ‘This is going to be the take.’”
Hiddleston said that the addition came about when the production was several days deep into shooting in the “loom room,” capturing all the different variations of Loki’s time-slipping for the finale. With the end of filming near, Hiddleston decided to go for a run around Pinewood Studios in the UK to clear his head.
“I was actually jogging around the lot,” the actor explained. “It was a sunny day, and I was listening to a piece of music. I think it might have been the music from the first Thor film. I was listening to Patrick Doyle’s score, and I realized it was just a full-circle moment. It just came to me, like, ‘I should say that.’ It’s something Loki says in the first Thor film, and I felt like it had a whole other meaning.”
Despite Wright wanting to give Hiddleston full credit for the idea, that actor very classily credits how the production team was willing to experiment and collaborate for why the scene—and the series—worked as well as it did. “The set never felt locked or constricted,” he said. “It was a very alive place, alive to invention or imagination. So, Owen Wilson could come up with some absolutely golden line as Mobius, or Sophia Di Martino could have an idea about a particular energy that Sylvie needed in a scene. To have that environment where the best idea wins is just the dream. And it doesn’t happen every time.”
Incidentally, the mantra that “best idea wins” is one of Marvel Studios’ longest-standing credos. It’s talked about quite a bit in the MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios behind-the-scenes book as an ideal which Kevin Feige sought to make an integral part of the studio’s approach, dating all the way back to its very first film, 2008’s Iron Man.
Will Tom Hiddleston return as Loki in the MCU?
Marvel has a habit of bringing its characters back in future movies and TV shows…but there’s something about the ending of Loki season 2 that rings with finality. Loki could absolutely come back in any number of ways. But it’s also such a beautiful ending for the character that if he didn’t, it’d still be very impactful.
It should come as no surprise that Hiddleston has been asked about whether he’ll play the god of mischief again following the finale. He says it’s “hard to say” whether he’ll return…but is keeping the door open.
I’ve made the mistake in the past of tying things up with a bow and saying goodbye and thinking it’s all over. And then, the phone rings a year later, going, ‘Hey Tom, what are you doing in a couple of months?’ So, I’m keeping an open heart and an open mind. But it does feel that there is a poetic redemption to where we are, and I felt very honored to perform that.
“I feel very proud of where we’ve landed in the end,” Hiddleston added. “Where we are right now is all I know, and it felt really meaningful to come full circle.”
Loki season 2 is streaming now on Disney+.