Loki’s head writer Michael Waldron details some of the series’ biggest events and offers a glimpse into what’s to come in the next two episodes.
In Disney+’s Loki, God of Mischief has found himself in an unusual predicament. When Avengers: Endgame sent him to his branching timeline, he was recruited into the Time Variance Authority (TVA), where he learned of a power higher than the Mad Titans and Infinity Stones: the Time Keepers. But as revealed in “The Nexus Event,” not everything is as it seems. After another Loki variant called Sylvie beheads one of them, they turn out to be nothing more than robot puppets for another mysterious villain. Now, it was up to Loki, Sylvie, and the other variant cadres to finish it — or try to die.
Speaking to CBR, showrunner Loki Michael Waldron detailed some of the biggest events in the series so far and offered a glimpse of what’s to come in the final two episodes. He discusses how each of the new Loki variants honors the comics and teases his excitement for viewers to get to know Loki’s crocodile. He explains how a conversation with Loki star Tom Hiddleston helped him understand the “fundamental pillars” of the character, as well as why the God of Mischief was always destined to fall for Sylvie. He also reveals why Sif is a perfect fit for Loki’s time loop memory, his favorite memory from the set, and more.
Michael Waldron: I don’t want to go into too much detail. Next episode we’ll probably see more of those guys. You know, I think it took inspiration from the comics, of course. You can see a young Loki whippersnapper there that one would recognize from the comics. I liked the idea of meeting him. Richard E. Grant in a slime green outfit, it’s an ode to the original Loki costume. So it’s just trying to pick out some of the iconic versions, as well as an alligator.
I enjoyed seeing Richard Grant as Classic Loki in that scene too. Tell me a bit about the costume, from nailing the comically accurate look to convincing her to wear it.
I mean, again, it’s a testament to our director Kate Herron, who managed to convince a lot of amazing actors to do crazy things in this show. Christine Wada, our costume designer, created this stunning comic strip suit for her to wear. Richard E. Grant — he’s an asshole. He used the game to do it. So what fun! What a treat for us.
Thanks to TVA, you can pit Loki against himself. What allows you to do with this character that you might not be able to do in other series like that?
I think it’s a character who, in my opinion, has resisted self-reflection, self-examination to date. The great thing about our show, with this variant and everything, is that we can force it, that TVA forces you to face your reflection and face a different version of yourself.
So, Sylvie is a reflection of Loki and she sees herself in him and can see things about him that she finds annoying, which she might never be able to identify without, but she can also find things to empathize with. So getting to know another version of him, maybe that gave him a better understanding of who he is.
As it has become somewhat famous, Tom Hiddleston gave a sort of lecture on the character to the crew. What’s something he shared with you about Loki that you know you need to include in the series?
We talked a lot about the first Thor film and the work he did with Kenneth Branagh, building that character and everything. Something that struck me was that Tom identified Loki’s loneliness as a basic pillar of the character. That’s rich, I thought.
I find it an interesting thing to dig into the show and especially in Episode 4 in the interactions with Lady Sif and the time loop and all. That loneliness, the fact that he was alone, was part of what made his life so difficult. It was the thing that came straight out of the conversation Tom and I had together.
Director Kate Herron recently commented that Sylvie is a “completely original character” for the series. Was there any comic book influence at all when you worked out his personality?
I would say that the biggest inspiration for Sylvie was Loki. You know, he’s ultimately a variant of Loki, but someone who is himself and has been shaped into more than himself separated from the Loki we know, played by Tom, of course, by the fact that he was born a woman and only life is he lived on the run from TVA. So, we want to always make sure there’s Lokiness attached to it.
Then, you see inspirational stuff like Enchantress and everything — Sylvie Rushton, another comic character version of Enchantress that we picked up. We just have to figure out, “Okay, which part of this can we break into this character to make it interesting.” That’s the great thing about this work, there are so many great ideas in the comics; You just have to figure out which one to rip.
The decision to make Loki and Sylvie fall in love was bold enough but oh so right for someone who is a master narcissist. At what point did you realize this was the way to go?
That was the cornerstone of my pitch from the start. I knew that was where I wanted to go, and our entire writing room and creative team were excited about it. We knew it was a bold and exciting decision, and we were happy about it. Everything about it felt a little dangerous, and it was like, “Well, that’s why we have to.”
I think as I said in another interview, at the end of the day, this is a man who has to learn to love himself, first and foremost. It appears in the first episode, telling Mobius, “I’m a villain.” That was his honest self-assessment. It’s interesting, through his relationship with Sylvie, that he’s come to see himself in a new light.
How worried are we about Mobius? After all, the purge didn’t kill Loki, and I don’t want to make any assumptions about the fate of our favorite TVA agent.
I mean, you see what happens when you get trimmed and it looks awful! We see Loki there, in the end, but we don’t see Mobius. I think, if it was their last moment together with Loki and Mobius, it was a good strong moment between them and I’m glad they had it.
On the other hand, there’s still a lot about Ravonna that we don’t know. How much more are we going to learn about his background before it’s all said and done?
Well, I guess you saw how Episode 4 ended, [with] Sylvie saying, “You’re going to tell me everything.” So we’ll see! [laughs] We’ll see how much that happens.