Everything you need to know before Loki season 2 premieres on Disney Plus

Tom Hiddleston in Loki season 2 poster
(Image credit: Marvel)

Loki season 2 premieres on Disney Plus this week, and Marvel's spin-off series centering around everyone's favorite god of mischief can't get here soon enough. Most of the recent Marvel TV shows and movies have fallen short of expectations, but the first season of Loki was well received by critics and fans alike. So here's hoping season 2 can be enough to pull the MCU out of its sophomore slump. 

With season 1 ending on a cliffhanger, fans have been eagerly awaiting the show's second installment since 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about where the series left off, what’s happened in the MCU and with Marvel Studios since the first season, and where we think Season 2 is headed.

Loki accidentally finds his glorious purpose

As a reminder, this isn't the Loki (Tom Hiddleston) we saw fall victim to Thanos in the opening moments of Avengers: Infinity War. Rather, the Loki variant from season 1 starts out firmly in the "villain" era of his villain-to-antihero redemption arc, having stumbled upon all this multiverse craziness at the tail end of the battle of New York in 2012's The Avengers. 

His plans for world domination are quickly thwarted yet again when he's taken into the custody of the Time Variance Authority, an inanely bureaucratic organization in charge of making sure all the various timelines stay on track. To evade being "pruned" for diverging from his predetermined destiny, he teams up with wise-cracking TVA agents Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) to help track down an even more dangerous Loki variant who's been a thorn in the agency's side for too long. 

Kang/He Who Remains is behind the TVA

Over the course of season 1, Loki and the variant he's after, Sylvie, find they share the same razer-sharp wit, tragic backstories, and taste for mischief. The two form an unlikely bond, teaming up to enact Sylvie's plot for revenge against the agents who pruned her and figure out what's at the center of all this TVA nonsense. What (or rather, who) they find during the show's climax at the Citadel at the End of Time is a mysterious, multiverse-hopping entity known as He Who Remains (a.k.a. Kang the Conquerer). 

Though he's known by many names, Kang is revealed to be a scientist from the 31st century who brought an end to the first-ever multiversal war by destroying certain "evil" variants of himself. The TVA's stated mission of protecting the "sacred" timelines as dictated by the three god-like Time Keepers is just a facade; its true purpose is to cull these power-hungry variants before they're able to come back into existence and wreak havoc once more. 

He gives the two Lokis a choice. They can either kill him and risk kicking off another multiversal war between alternate realities, or they can let him live and help preserve the shaky peace he's established by succeeding him as co-leaders of the TVA. With the fate of the multiverse in the balance, Sylvie ignores Loki's pleas to reconsider and plunges her sword into He Who Remains after sending Loki back to the TVA. 

Loki is currently stuck in what appears to be an alternate universe

After Sylvie sends Loki through a portal, he winds up back at the TVA — or so it seems at first. When he finds Mobius and Hunter B-15, they have no clue who he is, and he begins to realize that Sylvie’s choice has altered the course of history.

It quickly becomes clear that, wherever he is now, a new He Who Remains variant is running the show—one who is no longer content to hide behind the facade of the Time Keepers. The finale ends with Loki staring in disbelief at a massive statue of this version of Kang that's replaced the three Time Keeper statues at the center of the agency. 

Quantumania adds a new wrinkle

The next time we see Kang (or at least, another version of him) is in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where he takes on the villain role once more. Except when this Kang tried to wrest control of the multiverse from his warring counterparts, just like He Who Remains, he was unsuccessful and subsequently exiled to the Quantum Realm as punishment. 

By the end of Quantumania, Kang's defeated once more. But a post-credits scene reveals the existence of an assembly of the so-called Council of Kangs, where Kang's many variants gather to discuss their plans after hearing that the “exiled one” is gone.

It's likely we'll see what the Council of Kangs has planned in Loki season 2 as Loki and crew try to fix the breached timelines, uncover the fate of Sylvie, and bring peace to the multiverse.  

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.