@lovethynerd
Love Thy Nerd
Love Nerds + Engage Culture + Build Community

The Dangers and Blessings of Free Will in Loki Ep 1

Each week, as new episodes of Loki release on Disney+, LTN writers will reflect on each episode. You can find what we think about the Sacred Timeline here.

Loki follows the eponymous God of Mischief from the moment of his escape during Avengers: Endgame into a fascinating new realm the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never seen before. Loki is apprehended by the Time Variance Authority (TVA for short), who oversees the maintenance and protection of the Sacred Timeline—one continuous string of events that is supposed to happen. Time travel and alternate possibilities have long been a staple in many comic book stories, but this is the first time since Endgame’s release where we see a direct focus on it.

Loki, seeing himself as a god and above such notions as having one’s fate predetermined for him in a planned series of events, scoffs at his current predicament. He sneers at Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius that his capture by the TVA is but a momentary detour on his ascent to the throne. This is where we get what I think was the meatiest part of this episode, the back and forth between Loki’s view on how everything in life works, and Mobius’ reactions and counterarguments.

This plays out by showing Loki all of his significant life choices (at least the ones the audience may remember seeing on the big screen), many of which include killing and inflicting pain on others. Mobius questions him if he enjoys hurting other people to get what he wants, but Loki dances around the question until the very end of the episode where he becomes much more vulnerable. He admits that he doesn’t like hurting others, but feels as though he’s always had to in order to survive.

Loki claims in this episode that freedom is life’s greatest illusion and that without it we wouldn’t suffer any pain from our mistakes and the wrong turns that we make. It turns out that he knows this better than most, as it becomes clear that deep down, he does want to be loved for who he is, despite all the mistakes he’s made in his life. Loki’s character development throughout the MCU has been fascinating, and I have no doubt that this series will continue to find new and interesting ways to explore his story.

Free will and making choices are a part of what makes the human experience the way that it is. We get to choose what to have for breakfast, where to go for college, who we spend our time with, and so many others that the idea of making a choice sounds so mundane. When we, or someone, make the ‘wrong’ choice and end up hurting someone, we sometimes ponder if having the opportunities to make our own choices is even worth all of this pain and its consequences.

Mobius shows Loki that his actions helped create the Avengers, bringing out the best in a lost group of people so that they could save others. Even Loki gradually had the best brought out, through his relationship with Thor over the films, which culminated in Loki’s sacrifice to try to save Thor and his people from Thanos’ grasp. The Loki in this series may not have been able to experience all of that for himself, but it’s apparent that the desire for redemption still exists in him, and he may just yet have a chance to receive that himself. We may have a chance for redemption too, no matter what we’ve done or who we’ve hurt. Our choices may have brought out the best in others even if they were ‘wrong,’ but they can lead us to redemption and blessings as well.

The Loki in this series may not have been able to experience all of that for himself, but it’s apparent that the desire for redemption still exists in him, and he may just yet have a chance to receive that himself.



Andrea is a dyslexia teacher who enjoys gaming, reading, playing with her pugs, and always learning something new about the world around her. Follower her on Twitter @AndreaR56 to get new insights on games, films, among other things.

Reader Comments

Related Content

Back Row | Week 152 | Moon Knight, the MCU & Mental Health

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe had progressed and expanded on Disney+, we keep seeing shows and movies diving deeper into the mental health of our heroes. In honor of Mental Health Awareness week, Radio Matt & Mo use the MCU as a launchpad for some deeper discussions.

Free Play 151 | Bad Bunny, Bueno Muerto?

What’s happened in the past, and where does that leave us with the next big ideas of Apple VR and Apple Glasses? That’s what we want to talk about this week on the Free Play Podcast.

Back Row | Week 147 | Turning Red & the Christian Ban-Wagon

This week, Radio Matt & Mo are taking about Turning Red, the good and bad of the movie, and the Christian social media reaction.

Pull List 68 | Please Don’t Sue Us

Chris & Hector take you through their latest pulls and the biggest news of the comics industry. They also discuss the Immortal X-men controversy of a character claiming Jesus was a mutant.

Pull List 67 | How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Speculation

Chris is back from his illness to talk about the good to be found in a slow comic season, so strap in and prepare yourself for we've got comics sign!

Church Nerds 65 | Wanna Talk About Bruno?

Few things rival the feeling of finally beating a game that has made us question our resolve multiple times over weeks, maybe even months - the moment we finally conquer something we thought was beyond us, because the game forced us to level up. But in our spiritual lives, are we too soft? Or are we allowing ourselves to be challenged so we can level up?

Pull List 65 | Luthor Did It

Chris is back from his illness to talk about the good to be found in a slow comic season, so strap in and prepare yourself for we've got comics sign!

Back Row | Week 140 | Encanto & the Cracks of the Family Madrigal

There’s no escaping it. It’s been months since this particular movie first hit theaters, and still, everywhere you turn, you hear it. No matter if you’re scrolling on TikTok or listening to the songs people are humming at the office – everybody around you is specifically NOT talking about Bruno. This week, Radio Matt & […]