SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for the second episode of Loki. If you have not yet watched it, proceed at your own risk!
By the end of the first episode of Loki, Marvel fans were led to believe that they had an inkling about the direction of the macro narrative in the series. The final moments revealed that the Time Variance Authority case the titular villain is brought in on is a hunt for an alternate version of the God of Mischief, and there was the suggestion that said hunt would be the main thrust of the story. Now that Episode 2 has arrived, however, we know better. Not only does Loki manage to locate the target of his search in the sophomore chapter of the Disney+ original, but it’s also revealed that the antagonist is none other than Lady Loki, played by Sophia Di Martino.
Primarily featured in the third volume of Thor comics and the publisher’s Dark Reign event series from the same era, Lady Loki is a very popular incarnation of the Asgardian prince (especially among cosplayers), and her introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is both a big and exciting surprise. She only appears for a brief moment – after possessing a series of other characters –but the appearance immediately inspires a number of questions. For example, what was it like for Tom Hiddleston to have his performance reflected back at him in the making of the show, and how does the reveal fit into the big picture of what’s to come? Fortunately, these were interesting bits of information that I learned interviewing the star and the filmmakers behind Loki earlier this month.
What It Was Like For Tom Hiddleston To Square Off Against Lady Loki – In All Her Forms
It’s a pretty remarkable thing to think about, but Tom Hiddleston has been playing Loki for more than a decade now. He made his debut as the character in 2011’s Thor, and he has since reprised the role five times, including his Disney+ series. At this point, he knows the character intimately, and it is a massive part of his career. So, naturally, it was quite a trip for the actor to have the experience of other performers playing his own well-practiced energy right back at him with the introduction of Lady Loki.
Speaking with Tom Hiddleston during the virtual press day for Loki, my focus was primarily on spoilers from the first two episodes, and after asking about the scene in the premiere where the God of Mischief witnesses his own death, I followed up with a question about Lady Loki. Obviously he couldn’t speak in much detail, as there is much to still be revealed about the antagonist, but he made it clear that he very much enjoyed witnessing his character’s most fascinating traits being performed by other actors. Said Hiddleston,
I think certainly there's, in that second episode, there was a moment of taking these characteristics which I had found interesting about Loki – his capacity to sort of provoke and disrupt and manipulate with charm, often with charisma, with wit, and is sort of always playing chess with people. You're never quite sure if it's sincere, if you can trust him. And seeing those characteristics inhabited by other people was really interesting.
From Thor to Avengers: Infinity War, audiences witnessed Loki go through a spectacular evolution, and Tom Hiddleston deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his capacity to instill the character with all of the qualities he namedropped. In Loki, however, we’re getting to see him explore even newer territory with the role, and it’s evidently an experience that has provided him with some wonderful new perspective.
Continuing, Tom Hiddleston both expressed a certain fascination in the idea of Loki being a character infinitely larger than his own personal interpretation, and also teased what is to come from his new nemesis and Sophia Di Martino’s performance:
It was a really interesting mirror for me. And then also a very freeing feeling of like delighting in how those qualities of Loki might exist outside of me completely. And I really enjoyed it. It was just really fun. I don't want to spoil things, but you'll see where it goes because we contain multitudes, as some great psychologist once said.
It probably goes without saying that any psychologist would have a field day with Loki on the sofa, but Owen Wilson’s Mobius is doing a pretty damn good job essentially doing that job on the Disney+ show.
Loki Head Writer Michael Waldron Teases Why He Wanted Lady Loki To Be A Part Of The Series
Of course, right now we know very little about Lady Loki’s whole deal in Loki. We know that she has been very busy messing with the Time Variance Authority, setting traps and ambushes with the goal of acquiring enough reset charges to throw the entire multiverse into chaos, but her larger plan remains a mystery into which the eponymous protagonist is surely going to dig.
It’s a plot that we’re exceptionally excited to see unfold as the last four chapters play out, and while head writer Michael Waldron isn’t saying too much about Lady Loki right now, he did intriguingly tease her purpose in the series thematically during my conversation with him last week.
Without giving too much away, Waldron explained that the concept of creating alternate versions of Loki was something he knew he wanted to do from the get-go in the making of the series. Furthermore, it was an idea that he wanted to explore specifically with the purpose of making the God of Mischief confront his own identity. Said the filmmaker,
Sophia [Di Martino] is great. Her energy is amazing. She does a great job in Episode 2, and their scene together and matching his energy there. It's really fun, albeit brief. I always knew in a show about branching timelines and variants and everything, we wanted to hold up a literal mirror to Loki. And, and so, you know, this is one of the ways we're going to do it.
Loki’s second episode sets the stage for plenty of exciting things to come, and we’re waiting with baited breath for each new chapter. On that note, the countdown is now on for our next opportunity to catch up with the brilliant Marvel villain. Episode 3 will debut on Disney+ at midnight PST/3am EST next Wednesday, June 23, and immediately following its airing I’ll be back with a new featuring examining everything that goes down.