Spoilers follow for Episode 6 of Loki, “For All Time. Always.”
The first season of Marvel Studios’ time travel mystery Loki ended on an enormous cliffhanger this week, with the introduction of Jonathan Majors as the ancient entity behind the TVA, and his subsequent death at the hands of Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), a moment which blew the MCU’s timeline wide open and leading to a possible “multiversal war.”
We have at least a year to wait to find out how these cataclysmic events will be resolved, as the second season of the show has not yet started production—but according to the creative team behind Loki, that finale almost ended in a very different way.
As is perhaps fitting for a series which revolves around the concept of a multiverse and infinite timelines with infinite outcomes, showrunner Kate Herron and writer Michael Waldron have revealed in a recent interview with Marvel.com that several different finales were written for Loki season one.
“There were different versions,” said Waldron. “It was something that was developed over the hiatus. It was finally kind of locked in, like, alright this feels right. We’ve maybe closed one chapter of the story and that is something that gives us thrilling propulsive energy into whatever happens next.”
Herron added that while the finale went through many iterations, they knew from the start that this chapter would end with the multiverse being born, and with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki being profoundly changed by his experiences—and his complicated relationship with Sylvie.
“He is a changed character by the end,” she said, reflecting on the moment after their kiss, where Sylvie turns on him and pushes him back to the TVA through a portal. “I feel quite emotional when I see that scene [in the Time Theater]. You see him at his lowest ebb, and you just don’t know how he’s going to move past it. Then he takes that breath in. And he’s like, no, I still have a fight. For me, that was really important to show people he still has a fight in his heart. I really wanted to just show that moment of hope. It’s cheesy, but better to have loved and lost, right?”
“It sets the table for future outings with them,” she continued. “It was a massive responsibility and privileged to bring that character to the screen. He’s such a different villain to Thanos. I remember what I saw in the outline when I first pitched [to direct the series]. I was, ‘It would be awesome if we got to do that.’ But things can change at the drop of a hat. I thought, ‘Well, maybe they’ll change it and say we’re not allowed.’ But they never did. That’s what’s so exciting about these TV shows, that they are going to interconnect with the movies in a big way. I found that really exciting, not only as a fan but just as a filmmaker.”
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