Unlike lots of the Marvel movies or grand overarching plot lines in the franchise, Disney Plus’ Loki series is an original story. Yes, the TVA and characters like Mobius exist in the comics pre-dating the show, but the mechanics of this plot and the way it’s unfolding are something new. But, it’s just dropped its biggest link to Marvel comics lore yet, hinting that Loki has become the God of Stories… and that changes everything.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve watched Loki transition from a jealous younger brother, to a galaxy-defining villain, to a self-scarificing ally of Thor, and now a protector of all time and space as a vital member of the TVA. Somewhere in the middle of all that, the former Marvel villain was killed, and an earlier version of himself from within the timeline was displaced and brought to the TVA (you really need to watch the Marvel movies in order again to figure it all out).
The chronology might be complicated, but the point is simple: out of all the Marvel characters Loki is the one who’s been on the most significant journey. He’s traveled through time and space with many lifetimes’ worth of experience and has constantly reinvented himself along the way. As a trickster, liar, and manipulator, that’s integral to his story. Now, as Loki season 2 draws to an end and gives Loki the power to slip through time, he’s finally become what he was always destined to be.
Loki as the God of Stories
In the final moments of Loki season 2 episode 5, the titular character explains, “I can rewrite the story” after finding the power to control his time slipping. He can go back through time, at will, to change the passage of fate so it conforms to his desires and his version of what should and shouldn’t come to pass.
This is how Loki intends to fix the Temporal Loom: using knowledge from the ‘future’ to fix the destruction of the past (more than any other Marvel series, this one really is about the fate of the universe. Talking in grand, sweeping terms is kind of inevitable). The implication is that, with his new power, Loki has taken on one of his identities from the comics as the God of Stories.
Explaining comic lore is never fun: it’s like trying to recount a joke you only half-remember, but much more complicated. Still, here’s the rundown. In 2014, Marvel Comics released the Loki: Agent of Asgard storyline (and made it recommended reading ahead of Loki season 2, importantly), positioning Loki as a more morally ambiguous character than before as he sought to redeem his past misdeeds.
In doing so, Loki becomes the God of Stories rather than the God of Mischief (lies are fiction, after all, and fiction is what creates stories). Tasked with rewriting his own history, the God of Stories has the power to manipulate and alter reality. He can change his past by redefining how he’s perceived by others, and reshaping events that have already occurred in his own life.
In Loki season 2, Loki’s control over time slipping gives him this same ability, and his acknowledgment that he can “rewrite the story” shows that the character knows how he’s going to use that ability. This isn’t a 1:1 adaption from the comics by any means, but it’s the same character arc and really fits in Loki’s entire MCU journey so far, giving him a true shot at redemption on his own terms.
How will Loki’s God of Stories tease impact the finale?
Despite all the mind-bending time travel, Loki season 2 has been remarkably simple. Loki and his friends have to prevent the destruction of the Temporal Loom after the death of He Who Remains.
The finale is going to see Loki and the gang trying to fix it once and for all, using Loki’s knowledge from ‘the future’ to avoid the same disastrous outcome as before.
As the God of Stories, Loki will be able to take the characters back in time and prevent the destruction of the Temporal Loom using his foresight, so that the machine never explodes in the first place. Beyond that, though, it sets up Loki’s future post-season 2.
How will he continue to use these new powers beyond saving the TVA? Will he go back and rewrite people’s perceptions of what happened in New York in 2012? Could he reshape himself into a more overtly heroic figure? What if he makes his death at the hands of Thanos seem grander, and far more befitting of a God?
The options for Loki as the season 2 finale draws in are endless. Unless, of course, the MCU takes away his time-slipping powers. That would be a major letdown though: we want to see the God of Stories in all his glory, exploring his identity through time and space, and we want to see it now.