All season on Loki we kept hearing the same question over and over on our YouTube Channel and Facebook page: How can there be so many versions of Loki — Sylvie, Classic Loki, Kid Loki, Boastful Loki, Alligator Loki, and on and on — if there’s just one “Sacred Timeline” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is constantly (and eternally) policed by the Time Variance Authority? And what about all the variants that work at the TVA? Where did they come from?
It‘s a pretty good question. And while we had our theories, we didn’t have a definitive answer — until now. This week, ScreenCrush talked with Loki creator Michael Waldron about the show and put the question directly to him: How can there be a sacred timeline and a million Loki variants at the same time? (Ha.) Thankfully, he had a terrific answer that actually explained that. In the video below, we break down what he said and compare it with what we saw in Loki to see if it all makes sense:
If you liked that video about the official explanation of how variants work within the Marvel sacred timeline, check out more of our videos below, like the possible connection between Kang and Tony Stark, the true meaning of Loki’s arc on his TV series, and Kang’s potential role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Plus, there’s tons more over at ScreenCrush’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to catch all our future episodes. The entire season of Loki is now available on Disney+. Marvel’s next series, What If…?, premieres on Disney+ on August 11. If you want to read more of our interview with Michael Waldron, go here.
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Loki Episode 3 Easter Eggs
This episode is titled “Lamentis,” named after the alien world where most of it is set. Marvel’s Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1, part of a group of interlocking series about a galactic invasion from the Negative Zone, begins on “Lamentis Outworld,” which is "at the very edge of Kree space.” The scenes set there are tinted the same light purple color as the ones on Lamentis-1 in Loki.
2. Sylvie’s Crown
It was briefly visible at the end of last week’s Loki, but this week we get a much better look at Lady Loki’s (or Sylvie’s) crown, which is missing its left horn. It’s the same one worn by Loki throughout the later issues of the 2014-5 Marvel Comics series, Loki: Agent of Asgard — a book that also dealt with multiple versions of Loki at war with one another, including a young Loki and a “King Loki.”
3. Glorious Purpose
During their conversation on the train, Loki alludes to Sylvie’s “glorious purpose,” a line that’s almost become Loki’s catchphrase. He used it in The Avengers as he stole the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D. (“I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose”) and then again on the first episode of Loki — which just so happened to be titled “Glorious Purpose.” So what are Loki and Sylvie’s “glorious purpose” now? To some extent, that’s what this series is about.
4. Randy? Loki? Sylvie?
So who is this new Loki, played by Sophia Di Martino? It’s still a mystery. Last week she wanted to be called “Randy,” after she possessed a Roxxcart worker with that name. The captions in the official photos for this episode provided by Marvel describe Hiddleston as Loki but don’t credit Di Martino with a character name at all. In the closing credits for “Lamentis,” she’s listed as “Sylvie,” which is also the name she gives Hiddleston’s Loki when he keeps calling her Loki. Marvel fans have already noted that Sylvie Lushton is the name of Marvel character who became the second version of the Thor villain known as Enchantress — and Loki’s Sylvie calls her magic “enchantments.” For my money though, this still feels like a misdirection or a true Easter egg for hardcore fans than the revelation of Sylvie’s true identity. After all, when Hiddleston’s Loki keeps calling her by his name, she says “That’s not who I am anymore. I’m Sylvie now.” That suggests she took the name Sylvie at some point in her life, not that she was born with it. But we’ll see.
5. Princes and Princesses
When the Lokis talks about the definition of love, Sylvie says “You’re a prince. There must have been would-be princesses? Or perhaps another prince?” To which Loki replies, “A bit of both.” Coupled with the TVA form in Episode 1 that listed Loki’s gender as “fluid,” it confirms Loki as one of Marvel’s first queer characters, although at this point we still haven’t seen evidence of it onscreen. It’s just something the show alludes to.
6. Loki’s Mother
As Loki and Sylvie discuss their respective origins, Loki says he learned his magic from his mother. That’s Frigga, played by Rene Russo in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. The reason Loki looks so sad when he talks about her is because he indirectly caused her death, when he told his mother’s eventual killer where to find the Aether during Malekith’s invasion of Asgard. On that day, Loki learned with great power must come great responsibility. Okay, probably not. But he’s definitely still sad about it.
7. An Old Asgardian Ditty
Can’t follow most of the words sung by a drunken Loki on the train? That’s because they’re not in English. If you turn on the subtitles for this episode, they tell you that the language of the song he’s singing is “Asgardian.” Don’t ask me why the Asgardians mostly speak in English if they have they’re own language. I guess they just want us to understand what they’re saying.
8. A Thrown Glass
When Loki finishes his drink on the train, he shouts “Another!” and smashes the glass into the bar. This is a callback to the very first Thor film, when Loki’s brother winds up stranded on Earth. Jane Foster and Darcy take Thor to a diner for breakfast. He tries coffee for the first time, and likes it. Then he slams down his mug and screams “Another!” These guys are definitely brothers.
All of the signs in the Lamentis city are in an unintelligible alien language, but if you watch closely during the big pseudo-long-take action sequence, there’s one sign that’s just a big infinity symbol. I guess infinity is infinity all over the galaxy? Maybe they sell commemorative Infinity Gauntlets in there or something.
10. An Aliens Reference
The closing credits list two of the characters — I’m going to assume it’s the two guards who briefly stop Loki and Sylvie from boarding the train — as “PVT Hudson” and “Corporal Hicks.” Those are the names of the Colonial Marines played by Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn in James Cameron’s Aliens, a movie that is also set on a remote and largely abandoned outpost in space.