5 Marvel Characters Who Could Take Loki’s Place on the Time Throne (And Why We Hope They Don’t)
Not with a bang, but with an emotionally complex, beautiful finale that none of us were prepared for, Loki is at an end.
All in all, it was a good ending. The stories that it left hanging, it left hanging in ways that the viewer could make peace with. We don’t need to discover what happened to Mobius next, it’s enough to know where he ended up — back in control of his own life. Meanwhile, the stories that wrapped up did so with grace. Loki was redeemed in poetic fashion: On a throne, wearing a crown, alone (and giving the Time Stone its color?). Better than good, it was enough.
But if the MCU has taught us one thing, it’s that enough is never enough. It would be genuinely stunning if this was the last we saw of Loki Laufeyson, given the character’s popularity and Disney’s willingness to throw money at Tom Hiddleston. In order to bring the God of Mischief back, Marvel would need to replace him on the golden throne outside of time.
There are five characters who could do the job, but here are all the reasons that we fervently hope they don’t.
No doubt about it that he’s the most qualified guy for the job. Even better, stick the Time Throne on the back of a cosmic jet ski and he won’t just be happy, he’ll be objectively no more stupid than the Silver Surfer. You heard me, nerds: If Mobius on a space Sea-Doo is stupid, then so is Jack Kirby’s homage to the fallen angels in Abrahamic Apocrypha.
Why we hope he doesn’t: Because he got the ending he deserved.
If the creative team behind Loki had just a little less self-control, the show’s last shot of Mobius would have shown him brimming with joy on the back of a personal watercraft, bouncing across the waves in slow motion, while a Polyphonic Spree song played in the background. Instead, we saw the company man divorced from the company, staring at a life that was stolen from him, wondering if he could still go home. If we ever hear from Mobius again, I hope there are zero multiversal stakes. I hope he’s living a My Two Dads fantasy life, trading off domestic life and days on the sales floor with his other self and hugging his kids a lot.
Sylvie’s a natural fit, right? She’s already a Loki, and she spent most of the first season as the sword-wielding Ginger Rogers to Loki’s Astaire, proving that she can do anything he can do, that too backwards and while holding a machete to your throat. If anyone could handle the responsibilities inherent to sitting on a chair inside a tree in space more capably than Loki, it would have to be Sylvie.
Why we hope she doesn’t: Because it’s the opposite of the point of her.
For all his talk about being burdened with a glorious purpose, Loki mostly spent his life farting around. Sylvie, meanwhile, spent every day, since she was a child, running and fighting, beholden to the TVA if only through her rightful fear of them. Her story — at least the part told in Loki — is all about her claiming independence. Not having to look over her shoulder, or live for anyone except herself. Her escapist fantasy life involved working at a McDonalds. It meant not worrying anymore. Let her do that for a while.
That Loki variant with a bike on his head from season 1
I don’t know. He seems capable enough, right?
Why we hope he doesn’t: He’s got kind of a Mark Millar, quasi-ironic post-apocalyptic Old Man Logan vibe. There’s been enough of that, right? We don’t need it carrying over into the multiverse just because the guy in charge has a subconscious crush on George Miller and a love of DIY cosplay.
Loki’s sacrifice at the end of the series continues in the time-honored storytelling tradition of having sons echo the choices of their fathers. In Norse stories, Odin sacrificed himself on a tree in exchange for wisdom. Bring his MCU version back from his dusty goodbye during Thor: Ragnarok, and there’s a sweet scene to be written about him taking Loki’s place, letting his son know that he really is proud of him.
Why we hope he doesn’t: Because Loki continues yet another storytelling tradition: The MCU giving Thor-adjacent characters perfect endings, and nobody else.
Like Loki, Odin bowed out poetically. Not fighting a CGI minotaur or straining to fire blasts of digital glowstick out of his palms, he did what parents do: He ran out of time. He told his kids that he loved them, and then he was gone. Even with the character’s habit of coming back from the dead again and again in the comics, it would be a disservice to Odin — and Loki — to do it in the MCU.
Any of the Eternals
Be honest. Would you notice if any of the Eternals disappeared into a tree forever?
Why we hope they don’t: Imagine 20 years from now, some third-generation MCU hero goes in search of the Time Throne to seek help from the God of Stories, and after an arduous, herculean journey, there’s Richard Madden, sitting in a CGI easy chair. You’d feel bad for everyone involved.
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