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still from Disney\'s Loki
still from Disney\'s Loki
Marvel Studios
Culture > Entertainment

If You’re Confused While Watching Loki That’s Okay. You’re Supposed to Be.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

Fall means Halloween, colorful leaves, cooler temperatures, and the long-awaited return of the TV show Loki. Having first aired in 2021, the show quickly became popular among Marvel fans, as it brought back the return of a beloved character who (spoilers!) had been killed off in Avengers: Infinity War. However, a common critique of the show that I’ve heard is that it is “difficult to follow” or outright confusing. And that’s okay. The show is confusing, but I believe it’s meant to be, adding to the appeal of the show.

Loki follows the titular character and a Time Variance Authority (TVA) agent Mobius M. Mobius. The confusion began with the initial trailer for the show, revealing nothing of the plot. As hallmarked by Marvel, the trailer was filled with flashy visuals, action scenes, a thrilling instrumental score in the background, and the occasional line from one of the characters. The only thing indication of what the plot could be was a line from Mobius, “You picked up the tesseract, breaking infinity. I want you to help us fix that.” The show—starting right after the events of Avengers: Endgame—follows the Loki from The Avengers, after this Loki picks up the tesseract and escapes, creating a new branch of reality that isn’t allowed.

This concept within itself is confusing. The Loki this show follows is not the Loki audiences have been following for the past decade of Marvel movies, as that Loki was killed at the hands of Thanos during Avengers: Infinity War. This Loki hasn’t experienced the events of any movie after The Avengers, meaning the notable character-changing events of Thor: Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarök, will not occur for him. The idea that this is the same character, yet vastly different from the one we know is hard to wrap one’s mind around, as this Loki can seem like almost a distortion of the character fans had grown to love. This distortion only lasts for the first few episodes, before it becomes easier to adopt this Loki as the new Loki and separate the two. Whew!

Loki also breeds confusion because there is no comic book that fans can turn to in order to figure out where the show is going. With many Marvel movies and TV shows, they are reliant on the source material of the Marvel comic books, meaning that fans can often find hints and indications of an ending in these books. Loki, however, has completely deviated from any of the pre-existing comic books, leaving fans in the dark. This is something that I believe is entirely encouraged by Marvel. With shows like WandaVision, another Marvel TV hit, fans were able to identify the main villain and the twists from researching and reading the comic books that featured Wanda Maximoff. This dissection of Wanda Maximoff material would lead to multiple videos on YouTube mere hours after the airing of the newest episode, discussing the events of the episode and how it signals their theories. This ability to keep fans completely in the dark, while still invested, triggers much of the confusion surrounded by the show. This variant of characters, lack of source material and constant changing of information is what keep viewers engaged week after week. So it’s okay if you’re confused while watching Loki. It’s new territory in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, spearheaded by the God of Mischief.

Isabel is currently an English major at JMU who loves dancing, crocheting, and reading romance novels. You can find her working on a new project, trying to make a dent in her TBR, or rolling dice at her weekly D&D sessions.