Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has always been a fan favorite ever since making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut a decade ago in Thor, and he’s surely regarded as the most popular villain the franchise has ever seen. However, despite such solid credentials and enduring status as a key part of the series, he hasn’t exactly proven to be particularly good at the whole ‘mischief making and world domination’ thing.
Having been thwarted by his brother and the Avengers on numerous occasions, it must have been a kick in the teeth for Hiddleston’s trickster to discover that the majority of the variants he’s encountered during his travels through time and space in his self-titled Disney Plus series have proven to be a lot more successful in their various endeavors than he’s ever been.
Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie is an incredibly powerful enchantress, a skill that Hiddleston’s Loki struggles to replicate, while Richard E. Grant’s older version can conjure the entirety of Asgard, such is the strength of his abilities. Kid Loki’s Nexus event was created by killing Thor. Another variant became President, while the canonical MCU version keeps getting either imprisoned or killed.
In a new interview, Loki creator and lead writer Michael Waldron explained why he made the conscious decision to establish that Hiddleston was the least successful God of Mischief in the multiverse, and it makes sense in regards to his character arc.
“He’s the Loki that was supposed to stay on the timeline. All those Lokis who had all those successes were Lokis who got pruned by the TVA. As Mobius says, ‘It’s your job to lose so others can become the best versions of themselves’. That’s the part Loki is meant to play on the Sacred Timeline. The question is: can you change?”
You can’t have Loki positioned as a winner right from the outset when it only serves to lessen the dramatic stakes. Turn him into a loser instead, and it gives him something to shoot for as he tries to finally become the best version of himself after stumbling upon the infinite mysteries of the multiverse and his place within it.