Is Marvel brave enough to let Lokius happen in Loki season 2?

The MCU's history of representation really isn't the greatest, but everything could start changing with Loki season 2 if Marvel is willing to embrace Lokius.

The charming God of Mischief Loki is back in a brand new season of his eponymous MCU show, and people worldwide are desperate to see if the former Prince of Asgard ends up with his gender-swapped variant Sylvie. But some fans aren’t interested in watching another heteronormative love story play out. They want Lokius.

What’s Lokius? Well, it’s the hottest ship to hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Bucky and Cap, and it involves two of my favorite Marvel characters: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his buddy from the TVA, Mobius (Owen Wilson).

In our Loki season 2 review, I called out the chemistry between Hiddleston and Wilson as one of the highlights of the second series. Still, some fans online have taken it even further, suggesting that the disagreeable duo have better chemistry than Loki and his love interest Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino).

Now, Sylvie and Loki’s relationship was one of the best things about season one, and I wouldn’t want to devalue the work that the Loki cast put in to make that work. Still, it’s undeniable that Mobius and Loki have a certain frisson, and there is something to be said for making the pairing an official thing. So, is Disney brave enough to make Lokius canon? Well, sort of, but probably not in the way anyone wants.

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We should probably begin by saying that Loki is canonically bisexual. During press for the first season of Loki, a lot was made of Loki’s sexuality. Still, there was a problem. There was absolutely zero evidence in any of the Marvel films, or Disney Plus shows released at that point (I know because I went through all the Marvel movies in order to check) beyond a quick reference to Loki having had relationships in the past with princes and princesses.

While I don’t doubt the sincerity of the gesture, I can’t shake the feeling that that’s all it was: a gesture. If I were feeling cynical, I might even call it a tokenistic one meant to placate audiences who’d been calling out for some proper LGBTQ+ representation in the MCU without really doing anything (remember, Loki season 1 was released before Eternals, when we got our first MCU gay kiss).

That said (and I have no inside knowledge on this), I do feel that the studio wanted to make good on their proclamation that Loki is bisexual, and the writers have done so where they can in Loki season 2. Specifically, the scenes between Mobius and Loki. After all, you can’t tell me there wasn’t a certain spark between the pair when they enjoyed a slice of key lime pie in the automat.

Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson as Loki and Mobius in Loki season 2

A lot of that comes down to Wilson and Hiddleston’s natural charm, and there’s an easy air between them (when they’re not arguing), which some fans have said gives off ‘husband energy,’ but it’s more than that. The pair is very familiar with each other, with little touches on the small of the back, straightening each other’s ties and deep, longing looks over the aforementioned pie. Of course, this alone isn’t proof of Lokius being canon.

Still, the pair have gone to incredible lengths for each other. Let’s not forget that Loki helped save Mobius from the Void (although he was trapped there as well, so maybe that doesn’t count) while Mobius endured the power of the Temporal Loom for Loki. Hell, Loki’s the one who seems most interested in helping Mobius rediscover the life stolen from him by the TVA, something I expect to see play out as season 2 goes on. Could that concern come from somewhere other than friendship?

I actually asked the Loki executive producer Kevin Wright about the focus on Mobius and Loki in season 2. While he believes Loki season 2 is an ensemble piece, he did shed some light on why the pair seem closer this season than last, although I must admit it’s probably not the answer many of you want to hear if you’re team Lokius.

Sylvie in Loki season 2

“I think this full season plays as a really true ensemble,” he explained. “We’ve got so much of a great cast, but in season one, I think the police work, and this was something that Tom and I talked a lot about, was always fun, but Loki and Mobius were always butting heads. So what made it fun going into this season was to make them a little bit more on the same page.”

He even mentioned the reason for Sylvie’s slightly diminished role in the first few episodes, explaining that “she doesn’t necessarily want to be there. She wants to live a life.” So, if you were being optimistic, you could argue that maybe, once our heroes have dealt with the looming threat of Kang the Conqueror, Victor Timely, and the Council of Kangs, Sylvie will abandon Loki to live somewhere off the Sacred Timeline in peace.

In theory, that leaves Loki and Mobius alone to embrace their feelings. Still, there’s a wrinkle in this theory, and I don’t want to accuse Marvel of queerbaiting, but I think anything beyond an undertone of romance between Mobius and Loki is pretty much impossible. You see, as nice as it would be to see one of Marvel’s A-list characters out and proud, there’s a high bar to entry, and it’s unfortunately not an entirely fun thing to write about.

Owen Wilson as Mobius in Loki season 2

Several markets for Disney have strict rules around the depiction of LGBTQ+ content, which has caused problems with previous releases. The most notable example in recent years is probably Eternals, which was banned in Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia after Disney refused to edit out scenes of Phastos and his husband.

It’s in the East, though, where Disney’s biggest problems lie. China is the second-largest film market in the world these days (and it’s expected to overtake the US by 2025), and the country has strict rules about LGBTQ+ content in the media. In a world where getting past the censors and getting a Chinese release can make or break a film’s box office, it’s likely we’re going to see more movie studios writing with a Chinese audience (or the government censors, at least) in mind.

So, with that being the case, will Disney and Marvel put one of their most popular characters in a relationship with another man if it could negatively impact their bottom line? I sadly don’t think they will. Now, it’s worth saying that Marvel has refused to cow to censors before, but that’s not always been the case. Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Marvel asked producer Victoria Alonso to blur a pride flag, which could be seen in Ant-Man 3 (she refused, for the record). Similarly, there are reports that Marvel removed any references to Ayo’s sexuality from Wakanda Forever to appease censors.

Marvel’s not the only studio within the Disney family where this is an issue, either. In March 2022, a group of Pixar employees wrote an open letter accusing Disney executives of “barring” scenes showing gay affection.

“We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were,” the letter read. “Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest … Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”

So, were we to make a prediction, we’d say we’ll likely continue to get hints and teases at Lokius being ‘a thing’ from the creative team. Still, we don’t see the execs who control Disney and Marvel allowing them to go the whole hog and making them an official pairing. The financial pressure is just too great, especially in a year where Disney lost $512 million in the most recent quarter. We’re as sad as you that money is a factor when making creative decisions, but that’s the world we live in at the moment.

For now, you can check out our guide to all the upcoming Marvel movies, starting with The Marvels. You can also read our full explainer on what to expect from Marvel Phase 5, and learn what’s new on Disney Plus before embracing the chaos of our theory that says Ouroboros might be Loki’s son. Yes, really.