Tom Hiddleston calls himself a ‘temporary torchbearer’ for the role of Loki

Tom Hiddleston - People's Choice Awards

Tom Hiddleston decided to devastate millions of fans on Dec. 7 when he reminded the world that he won’t be the MCU’s Loki forever.

Hiddleston’s distressing comments came during his acceptance speech for Male TV Star of 2021 at the People’s Choice Awards. He was awarded the honor thanks to his stellar performance as the God of Mischief in Disney Plus’ Loki, which debuted earlier this year.

His long history with the role greatly contributed to Hiddleston’s excellent performance in the streaming adaptation. He first debuted as Loki in 2011’s Thor and quickly became a crowd favorite. His return as the primary antagonist in 2012’s Avengers cemented his status as one of the MCU’s favorite recurring characters and led the team at Marvel Studios to include him in numerous other movies, including several other Avengers titles and all of the remaining Thor films.

Hiddleston’s Loki remains a favorite among fans, many of whom were gobsmacked to learn that the actor doesn’t intend to stay in the role forever. It’s not the first time that Hiddleston has hinted as much, however, and the numerous variant versions of Loki introduced in the Disney Plus series prove that there are plenty of other actors who can assume the role.

His comments during the People’s Choice Awards seem to be preparing fans for a future with a Hiddleston-less Loki. He informed the audience that he’s aware that Loki means “so much to so many people” before launching into the heartbreaking news that he considers himself to be a “temporary torchbearer” for the character, one that’s been around “a lot longer” than him.

“It is a joy and an honor, and it continues to be,” Hiddleston said in his acceptance speech. He included the entire cast and crew of Loki in the speech and thanked everyone at Marvel Studios for “the role of a lifetime.”

“The only reason I am allowed to play this character, and continue to play him, is because of the affection in which he is held by you,” Hiddleston said near the end of his speech, addressing the audience and Loki‘s numerous fans. “In our story, Loki found his glorious purpose devoid of meaning, and this means a great deal to me.”

While Hiddleston didn’t expand on his comments regarding his role as Loki, he was likely hinting at a passing of the torch in future seasons of the character’s hit show. The introduction of Loki variants will make the task far easier than it will be with other characters⏤even Captain America had some hurdles⏤particularly considering that those characters are alternate versions of Loki himself.

In fact, we may have already been introduced to the actor who will step into the role following Hiddleston. Exactly who will take the mantle remains to be seen, but fans should pay extra attention during their next rewatch of Disney Plus’ Loki.