Marvel’s Loki is one of the most intriguing shows on the superhero release calendar this year — and it won’t be long before it hits our TV screens. Luckily thanks to trailers and set leaks, we already know a great deal about the show, including all the “timey-wimey” shenanigans it has in store.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Loki and how it plays into the future of the MCU.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
Loki: Australian Release Date, Schedule
Loki is scheduled to kick off with its first episode on Wednesday, June 9, 2o21 via Disney+ in Australia.
Given daylight savings time and the precedent set by earlier shows, it’ll likely air between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. AEST on Wednesdays.
Currently, it’s scheduled to go for six hour-long episodes, so the schedule will look something like this:
- Episode One: June 9
- Episode Two: June 16
- Episode Three: June 23
- Episode Four: June 30
- Episode Five: July 7
- Episode Six (Finale): July 14
Loki: Story, Plot, Characters
Loki is a direct follow-up to the events of Avengers: Endgame which saw an alternate reality version of Loki (from the end of The Avengers) grab the Tesseract (aka the housing for the Space Stone) and escape through a dimensional portal before he could be taken to Asgard for trial.
As seen in the show’s first teaser, this trip doesn’t go exactly as planned. It appears the portal ends up stranding Loki in a barren landscape, where he’s soon picked up by the Time Variance Authority (TVA).
From there, he’s recruited to join the team as a ‘Loki Variant’ and tasked with repairing damage to the timeline. A second trailer (seen above) hinted it was Loki himself who’s causing the ripple in the timeline since his escape only happened because Tony Stark and Ant-Man botched the planned time heist of the Tesseract.
— Loki (@LokiOfficial) June 7, 2021
Currently, we know Tom Hiddleston is returning as Loki, Owen Wilson is joining the team as TVA member Mobius M. Mobius and they’ll be joined by Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer. Richard E. Grant is also on board in a mystery role, as is Sophia Di Martino — who fans have speculated will be playing a version of Lady Loki.
Also reportedly joining the cast (but not officially confirmed) is Jaimie Alexander as Sif (who hasn’t been seen since Thor: The Dark World/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D).
It’s a standalone story
Like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki is a standalone story that won’t crossover into other Marvel properties. That means you won’t need to watch either of these TV shows to catch up on Loki‘s story — but it will have ramifications for the MCU going forward.
Currently, we don’t know whether Loki‘s story will continue past this standalone adventure, but given early reports that a second season is currently in development we could see this story expand. (We could also see Loki in Thor: Love and Thunder, but for now it appears he’s not part of the all-star cast).
Who are the TVA?
The Time Variance Authority (TVA) are the guardians of the timeline. Like other Marvel teams, their origins lie in the comics — so while we don’t know exactly what its purpose is in the Loki TV show, we do know a bit about their story.
In the Marvel Comics, the TVA is a group tasked with monitoring the multiverse and correcting any abnormalities in the timeline. They’re also in charge of destroying realities that pose major threats to the timeline. It’s likely they share this same role in Loki.
Given Loki’s status as a ‘variant’ escaped from a rogue timeline, it’s likely the TVA has him in their sights for destroying the balance of reality.
Is Loki really D.B. Cooper?
A short clip in the original teaser for Loki showed off the titular anti-hero hijacking a plane while wearing a very iconic disguise. If you look closely, you even spot him escaping from a moving plane in a flash of light while several loose bills float away to the desert below.
The scenes are incredibly similar to the infamous plane jacking carried out by D.B. Cooper, and the trailer strongly suggests it was Loki that was behind this act.
Now look, we all know it wasn’t really Loki who stole all that money in the 1970s — but the fun hints in the trailer imply the series will explore more historic events and insert Loki in to cause mischief.
Is that Black Widow in the trailer?
Fans who spotted this scene in Loki‘s first teaser naturally assumed the figure in the scene was Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow because their silhouettes share similarities, and the landscape pictured looks like Vormir, where Black Widow sacrificed herself to save The Avengers.
But sadly, this is not Black Widow.
The first clue is in the hairstyle — when Black Widow died, she was rocking a long red plait, rather than the bob she wore in The Avengers. But the biggest clue is in the casting of Sophia Di Martino, who wore her hair in this exact style and wore a similar outfit in leaked set photos.
So sadly, we can scratch this theory off the list. You’ll next see Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in her titular spin-off film this July.
What you need to watch before Loki
The important thing to understand when you watch Loki is that this Loki is different to the one we see in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. This Loki’s timeline diverted after the events of The Avengers so he hasn’t experienced the same level of character growth as the original (now dead) Loki.
With that in mind, you can remove Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: The Dark World off your rewatch list ahead of the TV show. It does appear Loki will reference these events, as the TVA shows Loki his fate during the first teaser — but it’s likely these films will only serve as backstory.
If you just want to know this Loki’s backstory, you’ll want to watch Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012). Then, you’ll want to skip ahead to Avengers: Endgame (2019) and watch the scene where the Tesseract is misplaced and this Loki enters the time stream.
It’s likely we’ll see the consequences of these actions (and learn more about the motivations behind this version of the character) when the Loki TV spin-off airs this June on Disney+.
Stay tuned to Gizmodo Australia for all the latest news about Loki and other upcoming pop culture gems.