We’re still reeling from the Loki season 2 finale, which saw the titular God of Mischief also become to God of… well, just about everything. Now at the epicenter of time and reality, Loki is literally holding all of Marvel’s multiversal timelines together as he steps up to finally take a throne, and fulfill his glorious purpose.
If that all sounds incredibly grand, it’s because it is. This is by far the MCU‘s largest-scale TV series, as Loki and the TVA fight to stop the destruction of all time. Someone else who tried to do that was Kang’s most arrogant variant, He Who Remains. In the end, Loki circumvented HWR’s master plan, but the Marvel series‘ ending has everyone asking the same question: has Loki become He Who Remains?
Does Loki become He Who Remains?
It depends on how you look at it, but it’s fair to say that yes: Loki has become He Who Remains from at least one perspective.
The He Who Remains, who Sylvie killed, is a Kang variant, and as Loki steps into the role of the protector of time at the end of season 2, he hasn’t literally become a Kang variant. They’re two entirely separate individuals with unique goals and powers.
However, you can also see He Who Remains as being a job title rather than an identity. The Kang variant He Who Remains was actually called Nathaniel Richards. He used He Who Remains almost as a job title: a nod to his residence at the Citadel at the End of Time and his role as the guardian of the Sacred Timeline.
In that sense, Loki has taken on the job of He Who Remains. He now sits on the Kang variant’s empty throne and is responsible for maintaining the flow of time. He just views things differently, allowing all of the various branches to flourish rather than just preserving a select number. He’s the protector of time on his own terms: a ‘better’ version of He Who Remains if you will.
What does Loki’s new role mean for his future?
Whether you see Loki as the ‘new’ He Who Remains or not, his role as the protector of time establishes him as having one of the most intriguing futures in the MCU. There are two options, really, as we see it.
Firstly, it could be that Loki has now effectively been written out of the MCU. He has, quite literally, got his hands full. To continue the pun, he’s all tied up. Now occupying He Who Remains’ throne, he’s sitting at the axis of reality and maintaining the multiverse: that seems like a full-time job, and not one that he can dip in and out of. This looks like it’s Loki’s fate for the rest of time.
On one level, this is the most likely option, and it means that we might never see Loki really get involved in the plot of the MCU again because he presents too much of a storytelling problem. After becoming the most powerful Marvel character ever to exist, they needed to figure out some way to write him out of the story. Otherwise, he could always use his time slipping to solve any issue.
Having said that, we love Loki too much to let him go. The (better) second option is that he now becomes more important to the story than he’s ever been. As the multiverse plot heats up, with Loki tying everything together, he could be a central character in the likes of Deadpool 3, Kang Dynasty, Secret Wars, Doctor Strange 3, and so on.
As the ultimate protector of time, he could be the character that our heroes visit to ask for advice and help. Or, he could be like Avenger Prime and unite the Avengers once again, in a Nick Fury-esque capacity, to prevent threats to the multiverse.
Though we’re certain that he’ll remain bound to his throne, we’d vastly prefer this second option. Loki’s one of the few characters who’s been around since the start: he’s the closest thing we have left to an OG Avenger. Having him to remain at the heart of the MCU would serve as a brilliant thread of continuity. So, fingers crossed.
If the Loki season 2 finale left you wanting more Marvel fun, check out our guide to all the upcoming Marvel movies in Phase 6 and beyond. Or, learn more about Deadpool 3, which could have serious ties to the franchise’s best TV series.