The second season of Loki, hitting Disney+ on Thursday, comes two years after audiences were introduced to the standalone show about the God of Mischief—and so much has changed since season 1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever brought an end to Marvel’s Phase Four of its Cinematic Universe. Now, audiences are deep in the throes of Phases Five and Six, dubbed the Multiverse Saga—a new era established at Comic-Con last year that is set to conclude in the fall of 2025.
Season 1 of Loki played a major role in setting up the idea of multiverses, timelines, and variants. The first season took place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, which sees the Avengers attempting to reverse the destruction brought to Earth by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. While Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was killed in Infinity War, in Endgame, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk unknowingly let the 2012 variant Loki loose, kicking off the events of the first season. Here’s everything you need to remember about season 1 before Loki season 2 begins.
What happened in the first season of Loki?
After variant Loki thinks he’s gotten away in the first episode of Loki, he quickly gets captured by the Time Variance Authority, a bureaucratic entity that keeps the “Sacred Timeline” in check and monitors whether variants attempt to deviate from the main timeline—which 2012 Loki just did. He attempts to flee, but a TVA agent named Mobius (played by Owen Wilson, not to be confused with Jared Leto’s Morbius—a very different Marvel character), realizes that Loki may be able to help him with the important task and enlists him in trying to stop the “superior” Loki variant named Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino).
Sylvie distracts the TVA by setting off “Nexus events” in an attempt to break into the TVA headquarters and destroy the Time Keepers—the all-knowing beings that organized the mess of timelines into the “Sacred Timelines.” Sylvie is able to breach the TVA, and Loki suggests they team up, but the TVA almost captures them, and they escape.
Audiences learn that Sylvie is out for revenge because she was ripped from her timeline when she was a young girl. She explains to Loki that the TVA agents are all variants themselves, who have had their memories wiped and tells Mobius to spread the word. But Ravonna Lexus Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) prunes Loki, essentially disintegrating him, and sends him into an alternate universe called The Void.
There, Loki meets his other variants, which include but are not limited to Kid Loki, Classic Loki, Boastful Loki, and of course, Alligator Loki. Sylvie learns that Loki is still alive and decides to prune herself, entering the Void filled with Loki variants, and they meet up with Mobius. Loki and Sylvie team up to fight the big scary cloud monster that turns out to be guarding a castle where they meet He Who Remains (played by Jonathan Majors). He is actually the Time Keeper and is considered to be the most powerful being in the universe.
Sylvie pushes Loki through a portal back to the TVA, and she kills He Who Remains as he delivers a prescient remark as his final words: “I’ll see you soon.” Without a Time Keeper, the sacred timeline starts to splinter off and become a jumbled mess. Loki tries to talk with Mobius about what happened, but he doesn’t remember who Loki is. And when Loki returns to the TVA, he quickly finds out that it’s run by a variant of He Who Remains. Season 2 will see Loki teaming up with Mobius and the TVA to find Sylvie and Renslayer.
Will Jonathan Majors’ arrest affect season 2 of Loki?
Majors, whose character has been set up to be the Multiverse Saga’s Thanos-level villain, was arrested in March and charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment following an alleged domestic dispute with his then-girlfriend. A trial for the domestic violence case was set to begin on Aug. 3 but has been delayed twice, to Oct. 25. Majors has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Loki executive producer Kevin Wright told Variety this week that Majors’ arrest didn’t affect plans for the season, which finished shooting in 2022. According to Wright, it’s the first Marvel series to not require any additional photography. “The story that is on screen is the story we set out to make,” he said. “We went out there with a very specific idea of what we wanted this to be, and we found a way to tell it in that production period. It’s very much what’s on-screen on Disney+.”
Wright said they did not discuss making changes to the show following the arrest. “It felt hasty to do anything without knowing how all of this plays out,” he said.
How Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fit into the Loki timeline
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which came out in February, established the existence of other variants of He Who Remains in the multiverse. The variant Sylvie killed in the first season of Loki turned out to be the most tame of the variants and was the one keeping the most dangerous variants subdued. The new Ant-Man movie introduced audiences to Kang the Conqueror, who was banished to the Quantum Realm and tells Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) that he “saw how it all ends.” He tells her, “My variants throughout the multiverse play with time like children. But I saw how it ends. I saw their chaos, spreading across realities. Universes colliding. Endless incursions. I saw the multiverse, and it was dying—all because of them. So I took control.”
Toward the end of the movie, Kang gets killed by a bunch of ants (or so we think) and the movie has a somewhat happy ending. The post-credit scenes suggest there is something more sinister brewing in the background. The mid-credit scene shows hundreds of Kangs who convene to discuss “the exiled one” being taken down. The three central Kangs, Immortus, Rama-Tut, and the Centurion, begin discussions to destroy the heroes on Earth.
In the post-credit scene, audiences are taken back to the 1900s and introduced to Victor Timely—yet another Kang variant. Loki and Mobius are in the crowd as Timely speaks. Mobius, who does not know anything about Kang and his variants, attempts to downplay the severity of the scenario. “You made him sound like this terrifying figure,” Mobius says. “He is,” Loki replies.
With the premiere of season two fast approaching, there are few questions that are hoped to be answered: Who is running the TVA? What is Majors’ role in all of this? What happened to Sylvie? How does this second season fit into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe? All will be revealed soon.