Rejoice with glorious purpose for everyone’s favourite trickster is returning. Loki is back in the second season of his Disney+ series, appropriately called Loki. Before that comes we’re here to get you up to speed on that first season and try to untangle the web of time travelling confusion left in it’s wake.
Season One kicks off during the events of Avengers: Endgame, with Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Scott Lang travelling from 2023 to 2012 to steal the Tesseract from their 2012 counterparts during the events of The Avengers.
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During a distraction, 2012 Hulk accidentally knocks 2023 Tony over and he drops the Tesseract. 2012 Loki (Tom Hiddleston) — ever the tricky type —takes the stone and disappears.
We find him lost in a desert, when he encounters the Time Variance Authority or TVA. He’s brought to their headquarters, a sort of 1970s bureaucratic nightmare.
The TVA are an organisation that exist outside the flow of time and keep the sacred timeline in check. Whenever a variance in the timeline occurs they go to that point in time and reset the events, “pruning” the variant people from existence.
Loki is introduced to Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) a case worker for the TVA who decides to recruit him to work for them under guidance from the ominous Time Keepers, ancient beings who demand the timeline be kept.
This choice brings Mobius into conflict with his long standing — and high-ranking — friend Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who would rather see this Loki variant pruned from existence.
Joining the TVA agents Loki goes on a mission to stop one of his own variants who is killing TVA agents and taking their timeline TemPads. Loki and Mobius deduce that this variant, a female version called Sylvie (Sophia di Martino), has been using the charges to hide in various world ending events like Pompeii to avoid detection.
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Both Loki and Sylvie reach an understanding and decide to try to meet the Time Keepers and make their case for staying alive only for Renslayer and her agents to attack them.
Loki uses one of the agents TemPads to take Sylvie and himself to Lamentis-1 in 2077 a moon that is about to be crushed by a planet. Planning to board an ark, they fight their way forwards but the ark is destroyed before they reach in.
Sylvie reveals the truth to Loki, that the TVA agents are all variants of real human beings on Earth who have had their memories erased. The two form a romantic bond and Loki learns that Sylvie has been running from the TVA since she was a child. This bond creates a timeline branch that the TVA are able to track. Mobius places Loki in a memory loop of him being confronted by his childhood friend Sif (Jaimie Alexander).
Meanwhile Sylvie enchants agent B-15 (Wumni Mosaku) helping her reclaim her past life memories. Mobius learns that a precious TVA agent C-20 (Sasha Lane), who he was told had died, is alive and claiming she is a variant.
Believing Loki’s claims he releases him from the loop. Renslayer prunes Mobius for his insubordination and takes Loki and Sylvie to the Time Keepers. There Renslayer is told to delete both Loki and Sylvie but the two, along with B-15 fight the guards and take down the Time Keepers who are revealed to be nothing more than androids.
Shocked Loki is pruned by Renslayer. Loki is sent to a void at the end of time where he is confronted by other variants of himself. One a presidential warlord (Hiddleston), Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) a more stately version, Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei) who constantly lies, Kid Loki (Jack Veal) a child variant, and Alligator Loki, a Loki that is an alligator.
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The other Lokis warn Loki that a giant cloud like creature called Alioth destroys everything in the void. The Lokis escape across the Void and encounter Mobius and Sylvie. Mobius decides to return to the TVA using Sylvie’s TemPad but Sylvie stays.
Neither Sylvie nor Loki can stop Alioth but Classic Loki conjures an illusion of Asgard to draw Alioth away, dying in the process. Enchanting him, Alioth shows Loki and Sylvie the way to a citadel beyond the Void.
Back at the TVA Renslayer leaves on a mission to find Free-Will while B-15 shows the other agents they are variants by showing a variant Renslayer who is a school Vice Principal. At the citadel Loki and Sylvie encounter He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors).
He Who Remains informs them both that he ended a multiverses war between his variants by using Alioth to destroy the alternate timelines and created the TVA to maintain peace.
He Who Remains offers them a choice, kill him and allow another multiverses war or replace him as the heads of the TVA and a singular timeline.
Read more: What is the multiverse?
Loki pleads with Sylvie not to kill He Who Remains. He Who Remains warns them that his variants are much worse than he is. Sylvie sends Loki back to the TVA and kills He Who Remains unleashing a multiverse of alternative timelines.
At the TVA Loki warns Mobius and B-15 about the variants but neither recognise him. Instead Loki sees the Time Keeper statues that adorned the walls have been replaced by statues of He Who Remains variants.
Loki S1 is streaming on Disney+. Season 2 will launch in 2023.
Watch: Loki star Gugu Mbatha-Raw talks to Yahoo about Renslayer