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Loki‘s season finale is one of the biggest moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. ‘For all time. Always.’
The MCU’s return to our screens, big and small, has been one of the highlights of 2021. When WandaVision dropped in January, fan speculation was off the charts, with many predicting Mephisto be the arch-architect behind her anguish – to no avail.
Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige didn’t mince his words when it came to Loki, the Disney+ debut of Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief. ‘It’s tremendously important. It perhaps will have more impact on the MCU than any of the shows thus far,’ he earlier said. Now that we’ve seen the finale, ‘Come on. What did you expect?’
This is your final spoiler warning. Do not venture beyond this line if you’ve not seen Loki‘s final episode.
Going into the finale, Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) managed to enchant Alioth, a giant entity protecting whoever sat at the end of time. It revealed a Citadel floating through the cosmos, dark and seemingly abandoned… until Miss Minutes shows her pesky face.
However, despite many speculating it, she’s not behind all of the timeline tomfoolery. Soon after, ‘He Who Remains’ emerges from the shadows.
Forget the Timekeepers, forget the TVA – it’s been Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) all along (or at least one version of him), a time-travelling, classic Marvel villain expected to play a huge role in the MCU’s future.
‘Without me, without the TVA – everything burns,’ he tells Loki and Sylvie. ‘I’ve been dubbed many names by many people – a ruler, a conqueror, He Who Remains, a jerk. But it’s… it’s not as simple as a name. Eons ago, before the TVA, a variant of myself lived on Earth in the 31st century. He was a scientist and he discovered there were universes stacked on top of his own.’
As other variants discovered this, the ‘peace between realities’ exploded and caused an all-out multiversal war, which this particular Kang ended by harnessing Alioth. He offers the duo a choice: take control of the timeline and preserve his life’s work; or kill him and unleash his other evil variants into the chaos of freewill.
After a tussle (and a kiss) Sylvie plunges her blade into Kang, to which he says sinisterly: ‘See you soon.’ Back in the TVA, Loki finds Mobius (Owen Wilson) to warn him of what’s coming… only for Mobius to have no idea who he is. This isn’t the world he knew, and a statue of Kang stands tall. The Conqueror has arrived.
Michael Waldron, the show’s head writer, told Marvel: ‘Knowing that Kang was probably going to be the next big cross-movie villain, and because he is a time-traveling, multiversal adversary, it just always made so much sense.’
‘I came up with that big multiversal war mythology and pitched it out in the room one day to our producers. And they said, yeah, let’s go for it. We knew we were going to end up meeting the man behind the curtain. And then it was just on us to make sure that that meeting really delivered,’ he added.
Director Kate Herron said Kang is the ‘theme of our show. No one is completely good or completely bad, and people do fall into that grey area. I thought his reasoning with [Loki and Sylvie] that you can take me out, but I’ll be back here anyway…you’re going to awaken all these versions of me. And they are much scarier than me. I really believe him when he says that.’
With the MCU’s timeline unlike it’s ever been, this sets the stage for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s possible Spider-Verse with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and maybe even Doctor Doom and the Fantastic Four.
Majors will next appear as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Loki is confirmed to return for season two, and is also expected to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
All of Loki is available to stream on Disney+ now.
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