The season finale of Loki (yes, season finale, not series!) answered some of the big questions we had throughout the past six episodes, but it also opened the door to a much bigger conflict. Between the introduction of a major new character and a few shocking reveals, there’s a lot to get through. Here’s everything to remember as Loki leads into the next batch of Marvel TV and movie projects.
Let’s start with the biggest piece of news: Jonathan Majors’s introduction as “He Who Remains,” who is all but confirmed to be a variant of the big-time Marvel baddie Kang the Conqueror, set to appear next in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In the comics, the time-traveling supervillain Kang is a near-unstoppable force, but there’s a twist, too: Eventually, a version of him, called Immortus, becomes the servant and prisoner of the Time Keepers and is ordered to undo the damage he did as Kang.
When Loki and Sylvie finally reach the Citadel beyond the Void, they meet He Who Remains, who lays out the basics of what’s been happening up until this point. He Who Remains is a variant of a 31st-century scientist who discovered the multiverse. Although the multiverse lived in harmony and cooperation for a while, other variants of He Who Remains were interested more in conquering, which set off a multiversal war that only ended when this version of He Who Remains put an end to it and created the Time Variance Authority (TVA) to avoid the creation of more multiverses.
Sylvie and Loki fight — verbally and physically — over what to do next. Sylvie wants revenge and to restore total free will, while Loki argues that killing He Who Remains and letting the chips fall could end up causing more damage in the long run. This lines up with He Who Remains’s warnings: If they kill him and let the multiverse run free, infinite variants of him will pop up again and cause even more chaos. Despite Loki’s attempts to talk her down, Sylvie sends him through a portal back to the TVA (though not before kissing him), then kills He Who Remains, who creepily laughs, “See you soon” before dying.
All this happens at the same time as Hunter B-15 and Mobius’s efforts to set the TVA free and reveal the truth to their fellow agents. B-15 starts by luring a group of fellow hunters to a seemingly random classroom, where they encounter a schoolteacher who is clearly a variant (or, to be more accurate, the “correct” version) of Judge Renslayer. The variant of Renslayer that we’re familiar with, meanwhile, rejects Mobius’s offer to help rebuild a better TVA, and instead heads off on an unknown quest for free will.
Loki‘s season finale seems to essentially set up the next major phase in the Marvel universe as the final minutes of the episode play out. After Sylvie kills He Who Remains, the Sacred Timeline splinters into infinite branches, each one its own multiverse (as in, perhaps, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?). Loki himself returns to the TVA and tries to warn Mobius about what has happened, but Mobius doesn’t recognize him. When Loki turns around, he sees that, where there used to be a statue of the Time Keepers, there’s now a statue of He Who Remains, suggesting that a variant did take over in this timeline, as predicted, and that Kang the Conqueror will be playing a bigger part going forward.
Then, there’s the post-credits scene, which isn’t really a scene at all. Like so many Marvel projects before, there’s a simple but exciting statement at the end: a stamp on Loki’s file that reads, “Loki will return in Season 2.” It’s the first live-action Marvel TV show to be confirmed for a second season. The concept of the multiverse will presumably continue to play an increasingly large role in the overall Marvel universe over the next several years, and we can’t wait to see how another season of Loki ties in to what’s next!