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Loki season 2 finale: Yggdrasil and the new MCU multiverse explained

The Loki season 2 finale just made a very clear reference to a key part of Norse mythology: Yggdrasil. Here's what that means for the MCU.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki: Yggdrasil

Loki season 2’s ending was, in the end, both of infinite proportions and also incredibly simple. As Loki replaced He Who Remains as the protector of the Sacred Timeline (and all the rest), he took a physical hold of the MCU’s sprawling multiverse and brought Norse mythology’s
Yggdrasil to life.

To understand what that means for the MCU, you’ll need to either whip out Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, or stick around here. That’s probably the better option unless you’re in a particularly scholarly mood. So, after watching our favorite Marvel character become the single most important being to ever exist (yes, really), here’s everything you need to know about how the Marvel series brought Yggdrasil into canon.

What is Yggdrasil?

In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the tree of life and is the ultimate symbol of the universe’s interconnectedness. As you can see, the visual representation of Yggdrasil is almost exactly the same as what we saw in the Loki finale, once he’d grasped the various timelines.

Norse Yggdrasil explained with symbols

Coincidence? I think not! Following on from introducing its audiences to Norse concepts like Asgard, the Byfrost, and Ragnarok, Marvel’s at it again by making Viking myth central to its story, positioning Yggdrasil as the new symbol of its multiverse. To understand where Marvel’s headed, you need to know more about its mythological roots (literally).

Effectively, in Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the cosmic hub of the universe, with three roots that connect everything together. One root leads to the Well of Destiny, where wise beings called the Norns shape the flow of destiny. Another goes to the Well of Wisdom, guarded by Mímir, who’s the god of wisdom and the protector of knowledge and secrets. The last root branches to the land of the dead: this brings everything full circle, and in the MCU Loki’s at the center of it all.

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Why is Loki’s Yggdrasil reveal important?

Aside from being a beautiful visual, Marvel’s decision to bring the Norse concept of Yggdrasil into the canon really matters.

Firstly, it establishes the future direction of the TVA. Instead of pruning the branches (now we can take that literally, given that all of time has taken the form of a cosmic tree), the TVA is now responsible for growing and maintaining Yggdrasil like a collection of keen gardeners.

But as we know that the collapsing Multiverse is integral to upcoming Marvel movies like Deadpool 3 and Secret Wars, we also know that Yggdrasil’s in danger even with the TVA’s protection.

With Loki at the heart of Yggdrasil, what will that mean for his future in the franchise? He is, essentially, the protector of reality now, and that’s most likely going to bring him into conflict with Kang. In a story like Secret Wars, in which we know timelines will be destroyed, what part will Loki now play? Will he let that happen, or will he have to face down a major Marvel villain?

So many questions, and so few answers. But, at least Yggdrasil makes the direction of travel clear now. And, as we continue to analyze the Loki season 2 ending in the coming days, we’ll undoubtedly figure out much more about what Yggdrasil means for the future of Loki, and the MCU.

If the Loki season 2 finale left you wanting more MCU fun, check out our guides Marvel’s Phase 5 and Phase 6 and beyond. Or, learn about how you should watch the Marvel movies in order, before seeing our list of the best TV series.