When Marvel Studios first announced its collaboration with Disney+ to produce television shows, the first three projects — WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki — were all proposed as limited series. The proposal certainly made sense as each program featured major Marvel Cinematic Universe stars who needed the most flexible commitments. The first two shows stuck to this plan as their stories continued (or will continue) in Marvel films, but Loki surprised viewers when it announced in the closing of moments of what turned out to be season 1 that it would return. And considering where Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston) ended up, the story definitely needed to continue.
And then, of course, things went quiet for a time. Key creatives moved on, other Marvel films and television shows grabbed fans’ attention, and Loki quietly soldiered on. But with the news in mid-May that the program will be back this October, we began sifting through our Time Variance Authority files to take a look at everything we know about Loki’s second season and how it ties to the grander MCU tapestry. Join us as we take stock of Loki’s current predicament, the likelihood of his adversary being someone new despite being familiar, and what it means for everyone’s favorite mischief-maker to start again.
In the first season, the variant Loki from Avengers: Endgame who absconded from the Battle of New York with the Tesseract soon found himself scooped up by the Time Variance Authority, an organization that operated outside of time to make sure such aberrations to the Sacred Timeline were stamped out or, as it turned out, made to work for their cause. But just as Loki became their guest, another variant Loki — known as Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) — was also causing trouble for the TVA. One middle-level caseworker, Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson), decided the best way to catch a Loki was to use another Loki, even one still burdened by his “glorious purpose.”
And then everything collapsed as it turned out the TVA was a front for He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), a supergenius who developed the Sacred Timeline to prevent devastating war between the various realities of the Multiverse. That it left him in charge was merely a by-product, of course. But when Sophie recommitted to her original purpose, He Who Remains lived no longer and the Sacred Timeline reconfigured back into the Multiverse giving characters like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) so many problems.
For Loki, though, it meant a return to a TVA where former friends like Mobius now regarded him as a stranger and the organization was more closely affiliated with someone who looks an awful lot like He Who Remains. Or, at least, the statues strewn about the office sure seemed to suggest that notion.
The second season will see Loki attempting to reignite his friendship with Mobius while also trying to convince him that the TVA’s new boss is both the old boss and something much worse. Both elements are part of what Hiddleston called a fight for the TVA’s very soul. But then, what does the appearance of a Victorian inventor named Victor Timely — as teased in the final Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania stinger — have to do with Loki’s new battle?
In addition to all of that, a trailer released at the end of July (embedded at the top of the page) introduced a new problem for the title character: He is now timeslipping, which should be impossible within the TVA. It is unclear if the slipping is an immediate bodily threat to Loki, but it has allowed him to see that “this world” is headed for an untimely end. Whether or not they become friends again, Loki and Mobius begin a hunt through time for the threat Loki saw in his timeslip. But will it be Kang, the presumed main antagonist of the Multiverse Saga, or one of his many, many variants?
Meanwhile, Sylvie and other TVA agents have missions and agendas all their own…
The main setting of the series will continue to be the TVA, although it is yet to be seen just how different it will be under the stewardship of a different He Who Remains variant. One thing that will stay the same is its cool mid-20th Century aesthetic with partially analogue technology, luxurious seating, and main thoroughfares anyone who has ever visited the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta will recognize on sight.
And just as the first season visited various time periods and doomed civilizations, it’s safe to assume Loki, Mobius, and the rest of the TVA will enjoy free travel throughout the Multiverse. That possibility could lead to some interesting settings and, perhaps, a few unexpected cameos.
(Photo by Marvel Studios)
But as this is still Loki’s show, expect these locales to have something personal for him. We might even see a universe where he grew up as Laufey’s son in Jotunheim. One place we definitely know Loki is headed thanks to Quantumania and the July trailer: Victorian England to convince Mobius that Victor Timely is the big bad they’ve been looking for.
Meanwhile, one wonders if a newfound opportunity to travel that widely means Loki will finally reveal himself to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and seek his aid in the trouble to come. As it turns out, the program is a crucial part of the overall Multiverse Saga and, at some point, Loki needs to share what he knows with the heroes. Whether or not they believe him will be up for debate, though.
Hiddleston returns as the new favorite Loki; in fact, despite the existence of variants who look different, it would be hard for the show to continue without him. Also returning is Wilson as jet ski enthusiast Mobius. Their dynamic was one of the great surprises of the first season and though circumstances reset their relationship, we expect Loki’s attempts to get his friend back will prove entertaining.
And though the star is the favorite Loki, the other favorite Loki, Di Martino’s Sylvie, will also be back. It’s unclear what she’ll be up to this season, though, as she fulfilled her purpose in killing He Who Remains. The July trailer sees her in various time periods and outfits. And it appears she will once again team up with her male variant. She also mentions, at one point, that their actions will see them “acting like gods.” According to Hiddleston, Loki and Sylvie have had some discussion about her actions in the season 1 finale, but it is currently unclear when or how this transpired.
Other returning cast include Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer — the TVA judge who fled for parts unknown when her understanding of the universe unraveled — Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Tara Strong as the voice of Miss Minutes (glimpsed in the new trailer menacing Victorian England), and Eugene Cordero as lovable TVA staffer Casey/Hunter K-5E. Richard E. Grant will also reportedly make another appearance as the comic book inspired “Classic Loki.”
Additionally, Majors also returns; this time as Victor Timely. It was unclear for some time which of He Who Remains’ variants or even how many he would play. As season 1 drew to a close, many presumed the statues suddenly adorning the TVA indicated Kang, but as Quantumania revealed, there are many Kangs in the Multiverse and not all of them go by that name. A further wrinkle: the July trailer appears to suggest that only Loki can see the many deceptions of Kang strewn about the TVA complex. Well, assuming the statues and murals are of Kang. It could also be one of the other variants like Immortus, Rama-Tut, or even Timely himself.
The last identity, thanks to his brief appearance in the Quantumania stinger pulled directly from Loki’s second season, is the one confirmed variant we know we’ll be seeing. But even in that, there are questions: Is Victor Timely Kang’s original identity? Is it another cover for a different variant? Is it the Kang seemingly killed in Quantumania hiding out? Or is it one of the multitudes glimpsed in that film’s mid-credit stinger? Although embattled with legal troubles that may end his future as Marvel’s current principal antagonist, Majors’ great strength as the Kangs seen so far was his ability to give them different personalities. Presumably, Victor Timely will also differentiate himself until a key moment of revelation or evolution.
A few new people will also join the cast: Ke Huy Quan, Rafael Casal, and Kate Dickie. Quan — who knows a thing or two about Multiverses — plays a TVA archivist addressed in the July trailer as “OB.” The roles of the latter two are, naturally enough, obscured in the mists of Marvel’s tendency to deny everything until a time they consider the most opportune. Casal’s role is said to be major, while Dickie is rumored to take on a villainous part. The former appears in a handful of shots throughout the trailer, and is even menaced by Loki at one point, but his connection to the TVA’s current woes remain unclear.
Lending further credence to Loki’s original purpose as a limited series were the departures of season 1 head writer Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron shortly after the second season was confirmed. Herron stated her intention was to only be involved in the program for one season, while Waldron’s commitments to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a now-defunct Star Wars project Lucasfilm denies ever existed, and Avengers: Secret Wars (the Avengers film said to cap off the Multiverse Saga) meant new writing leadership was needed. Eric Martin, a writer on the first season, soon emerged as Waldron’s replacement.
Taking Herron’s place are the director duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. The pair helmed the middle chapters of Moon Knight and are also known for The Endless and the VHS: Viral segment called “Bonestorm.” Before shooting the season in the summer and fall of 2022, they were said to be excited to explore another of Marvel’s outcasts.
Executive producers include Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and Waldron. In other production roles are director of photography Isaac Bauma (a veteran of Channel Zero and Servant), and the first season’s editor Paul Zucker and composer Natalie Holt.
Loki returns on Friday, October 6 for a second six-episode run. It is, of course, unclear if the series will return for a third year, but we expect that to be spelled out in the final moments of the last season 2 episode, scheduled to stream on Friday, November 10. The finale will be closely followed by the premiere of Hawkeye spin-off Echo on Wednesday, November 29.
Season 1 of Loki is Certified Fresh at 92% on the Tomatometer. The review embargo lifts for season 2 of Loki is still to be announced, but reviews for season 1 did not begin appearing until one day before the June 9, 2021, series premiere.