WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME
If you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame then you probably have a ton of questions.
The Marvel extravaganza wrapped up a 11-year-long saga of stories and characters — some of them got incredible emotional send-offs while others will be sticking around for a few more adventures to come.
But what about everyone’s favourite mischief-maker, Loki? What is the state of Loki at the end of Endgame?
FINAL SPOILER WARNING FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME
Killed by Thanos with a definitive no-resurrections-this-time air at the beginning of Infinity War, the trickster, like others killed before the “snapture”, was not brought back to life in Endgame.
Though we did get two glimpses of Loki throughout Endgame — in one fleeting instance, as a prisoner on Asgard in 2013, as he was during the events of Thor: The Dark World.
He featured more heavily in the 2012 New York instance when Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Ant-Man travelled through the quantum realm to the time of Loki’s Chitauri invasion.
We see the fallout of Loki’s capture with Hydra agents within SHIELD (Crossbones, Sitwell, Alexander Pierce) trying to make off with both the Sceptre and the Tesseract.
Cap successfully coaxes the Sceptre from Crossbones and Sitwell but Ant-Man and Iron Man stuff up retrieving the Tesseract thanks to 2012-Hulk’s extreme anger about stairs.
The captured 2012-Loki, ever the opportunist, picks up the Tesseract in the ensuing chaos and absconds with it god knows where — it is the space stone after all. This forces Cap and Iron Man to go even further back in time — to 1970 — when they know the Tesseract is in a SHIELD facility to get their hands on the space stone.
At the end of the movie, Cap returns all the stones to their origin points across time. But does putting the Tesseract back in 1970 change Loki’s getaway with it in 2012?
Assuming that it doesn’t, then Loki’s act might have created an alternative timeline, reality or universe — the multiverse is a popular comic book tradition.
Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient One did stress taking one infinity stone out of the timeline creates a new timeline branch.
Though earlier in the movie, Bruce Banner/Hulk was at pains to state that changing the past will not change the future from that point (ie. 2012) until the point to which the time travellers return in 2023 — because the past has already happened?
Like, maybe time isn’t on a continuum, only your experience of it is. Or something like that. Maybe.
The time travelling thing is giving us all kinds of headaches and just when we think we get it, the logic unravels itself.
Anyway, and this is only a theory, but assuming that the Loki that made off with the Tesseract has created another reality, this could well be what makes up the confirmed Loki spin-off TV series that will debut on Disney+, the House of Mouse’s forthcoming streaming service.
Everyone had presumed that the Loki series would be a prequel given that the character is dead in the MCU timeline at the time of the announcement, but it would make sense to create a limited series around whatever shenanigans the God of Mischief would get up to with the Tesseract.
Loki could even, by the end of the TV show, somehow end up back on Asgard with the Tesseract in Odin’s vault, remerging back into the MCU timeline as we know it so the events of Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok can play out as they should.
An earlier report from The Hollywood Reporter had sources saying the Loki series may feature the trickster popping up throughout history as an unlikely influencer — and that may still be true, but it may also have been a smokescreen for until Endgame’s release.
Either way, Endgame is definitely not the last we’ve seen of Loki.
Avengers: Endgame is in cinemas now