The Casual Marvel Fan's Guide to Loki

slate.com
6 min read
easy
Didn't Loki die in Infinity War? Has Mobius always had that amazing mustache? And more.
This article contains spoilers for the first episode of Loki.

When exactly is this all taking place? More specifically, has the stuff that happened in the Thor and Avengers movies happened yet?

Good question! The Loki from the main, "sacred" timeline—which includes all the Marvel movies and TV shows thus far—was killed by Thanos at the beginning of Infinity War, and because Thanos actually broke his neck and didn't just turn him into space dust, Loki's death wasn't one of the ones that undoing Thanos' "snap" reversed. But during the "time heist" sequence in Avengers: Endgame—you know, the part where the Avengers hopscotch through the past in order to collect the Infinity Stones before Thanos does—Iron Man and Captain America travel back to 2012 to steal the Tesseract from Loki, and Loki escapes with it instead. (If this all seems familiar, it's because it's also the first scene of Loki.) At that point, Loki diverges from the timeline, making Loki's Loki a "variant"—one who has escaped his own future, including not only getting killed by Thanos but all the stuff that would have happened to him in the second and third Thor movies.

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Look, I barely remember last week. I certainly don't remember Marvel movies from 2013. I'm gonna need someone to run down what Loki was watching on Owen Wilson's Life-O-Movie machine. That was all stuff from, like, some Thor movie? Who is Rene Russo again?

Rene Russo played Loki's mom, Frigga, and she did indeed die in Thor: The Dark World, due in part to Loki accidentally pointing the Dark Elf Kurse in her direction. Thor's father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), died in Thor: Ragnarok, which was also when Asgard was destroyed. When Owen Wilson's Agent Mobius shows him those moments, this Loki is seeing them for the first time.

Remind me: What are Loki's powers—and what did he expect to happen when he kept throwing his arms out to the side?

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