- Loki has always been about a self-proclaimed god realizing how small his previous perceptions of the universe were.
- Loki’s Season 2 finale brings the God of Mischief back to the fold of Asgard with a single shot of a reborn Yggdrasil.
- Loki’s spiritual return to Asgard also mirrors the journeys of Thor and Valkyrie in the MCU.
The following contains spoilers from Loki Season 2, Episode 6, “Glorious Purpose,” now streaming on Disney+.
Aside from how it shapes Loki’s personality, his status as an Asgardian god hasn’t played a major role in his own series. The Loki The series essentially pulls the plug on all of his ambitions by revealing the true nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this case, it reduces its people and culture to another fold in time. The Time Variance Authority becomes his new reality, and aside from his familial relationships with characters like Thor, his Asgardian heritage has played no role in the proceedings. That’s not a big surprise, though. The events of Thor: Ragnarok effectively ended Asgard’s existence, and while the survivors rebuild their lives on Earth under the wise rule of Valkyrie, it has little connection to the God of Mischief.
Loki Season 2, Episode 6, “Glorious Purpose” comes full circle as Loki finally finds his destiny and becomes the ruler he always wanted to be. This is exemplified by his careful stewardship of the multiverse, which is beyond the TVA’s control and threatens to destroy all of reality before he intervenes. He then reshapes all realities into a very familiar form: Yggdrasil, also known as the Tree of Life. Yggdrasil comes from traditional Norse mythology and serves as a strong visual representation of Asgard’s unique role in the MCU. “Glorious Purpose” shows that it is reborn and still encompasses all of creation, even if it is now exponentially larger.
Loki’s Season 2 finale brings Loki back to Asgard
“Glorious Purpose” ends with a combination of supreme satisfaction and bittersweet irony. After traversing the multiverse and trying to stop the destruction of reality for centuries, Loki takes on the task of reviving and caring for the various branching realities. He ascends the broken throne of He Who Abides, gathering the threads of various universes along the way. In doing so, he transforms from the casual beige ensemble he’s been wearing all season into dark Asgardian clothing, topped with his signature horned helmet. As he assumes his position, the various threads that make up the multiverse take the form of Yggdrasil.
The concept comes from traditional Norse mythology, with the tree encompassing all of reality and connecting the Nine Realms through its roots and branches. Marvel copied it wholesale back in the 1963s, along with many other Nordic concepts Journey into Mystery #97 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, George Bell, Stan Goldberg and Artie Simek). The first Thor The film uses it to explain the fusion of science and magic that makes up Asgardian technology, and Thor himself explains to Jane Foster how it connects the Nine Realms just like in the myths. The film ends with an epic shot of Yggdrasil and Thor: The Dark World conveys the threat of its villain with a vision of the Tree of Life falling back into nothingness after reality is destroyed.
The Yggdrasil confirms that Asgardian concepts endure
The MCU has more or less moved away from the Asgardian view of the universe following the events of Ragnarok who saw their empire destroyed. The survivors were quickly attacked by Thanos at the beginning Avengers: Infinity War. The first three phases of the MCU reach a reality-shattering climax Avengers: EndgameNorse concepts like Yggdrasil were simply ignored and deemed irrelevant with the destruction of Asgard.
Instead, the franchise focused on individual Asgardian survivors picking up the pieces after Armageddon. Endgame reveals that the majority of them relocate to Norway, where their community becomes a tourist destination under Valkyrie’s benevolent rule. Thor takes a more cautious path, but achieves his goal Thor: Love and Thunder after finding peace with his adopted daughter Love. Loki, On the other hand, it avoids all but the most superfluous mention of Asgard for most of its first two seasons. In fact, the God of Mischief’s arrival at the TVA comes with an amazing dose of humility, as he realizes the true power in the universe and realizes how small and petty his previous dreams were.
That changes with Glorious Power, which essentially recreates Yggdrasil to encompass the entire multiverse rather than being limited to a single reality. Whether it comes from Loki himself or is simply part of the MCU’s cosmic cycle is uncertain. Regardless, it quickly expands the Asgardian concepts to once again encompass everything known, simply replacing the Nine Realms with the infinite realities of the multiverse. It also symbolically cements Asgard’s rebirth under Valkyrie and a presumably better future.
Loki’s journey now parallels that of other Asgardians
Loki’s rise to the top of the multiverse in “Glorious Power” ends his journey, just as Thor and Valkyrie more or less completed theirs. But unlike the two of them, he eagerly pursued power his whole life. While Valkyrie reluctantly takes up the mantle and Thor then gives up everything Endgame, Loki is finally in the place he always wanted to be. At least from his perspective, it’s a mixed bag, as it separated him from his hard-earned friends in the TVA in exchange for him essentially taking control of all of reality. Only this time, he’s earned the title through hard-earned growth and embraces the Spider-Man adage that with great power comes great responsibility.
It is a far cry from the Battle of New York, where he began his journey, marked by humiliation and loss, but also the discovery of his friends and a sense of the fragility of life after the creation of the multiverse. He gains power – true power – chastened but wiser, having finally earned what he has spent his life trying to achieve. In this way, the rebirth of the Yggdrasil represents the character himself as well as what he ultimately achieved. He saved Asgard – or at least the Asgardian embodiment of all life in the cosmos – and can now protect it in a way his brother never could.
The irony is that he loses his friends and family protecting them, even though he could potentially return to play a big role in the coming year Avenger: Secret wars. Regardless, the Yggdrasil’s rebirth marks a new beginning both for him and for the people he could finally belong to.
The second season of Loki is now streaming in full on Disney+.
The mercurial villain Loki reprises his role as the god of mischief in a new series set after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
- Release date
- June 9, 2021
- Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Tara Strong, Eugene Cordero
- Main genre