With the recent news that Marvel Studios had once again reshuffled their streaming slate, fans have just one more live-action adventure to look forward to on Disney Plus in 2023. The good news, however, is that it’s the second season of what was undoubtedly one of the studio’s strongest beginning-to-end streaming series to date: Loki!
With a strong core cast returning and Season 1 writer Eric Martin taking over as showrunner, Season 2 of Loki should prove worthy of the lofty expectations fans have for it. While it certainly has some heavy lifting to do in terms of furthering the ongoing narrative of the Multiverse Saga–especially filling in some more of the background of its big bad, Kang–the second season also promises more of what made the first season so great: the bromance between star Tom Hiddleston’s redeemed Loki and Owen Wilson’s Mobius.
With Season 2 of Loki slated to premiere on Disney Plus on October 6th, it’s time to start your rewatch and, as always, we’ve prepared THE only resource you’ll need to get you started.
Tier One projects are non-negotiable essentials to be watched/re-watched before streaming Season 2 of Loki. If you want to understand what’s happening, these two projects–listed in chronological order– are all you truly need.
Loki Season 1
Since first appearing in 2011’s Thor, Tom Hiddleston has curated one of the MCU’s most enduring and beloved characters in Loki; however, one of the most interesting and certainly most important things to remember while watching Season 2 of Loki is that this iteration of the character, for the most part, isn’t the one fans got to know so well through his five film appearances. This Loki is a Variant–Variant L1130, to be exact–created when Loki escaped with the Tesseract during the Battle of New York during the Avengers’ time heist. While an argument could be made, then, that Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012) could be included in Tier One, those projects don’t seem to have a significant amount of influence on the streaming series so for folks who need their rewatch to be short(ish) and sweet, those can probably be avoided.
Of course, Loki isn’t just the story of Hiddleston’s Loki Variant but also the wonderfully spicy L1190 Variant, Sylvie Laufeydottir, played by Sophia Di Martino. It was her actions, after all, that allowed the timeline to branch and create the Multiverse and set the MCU on the path toward Secret Wars. Her relationship with Loki Laufeyson was one of the most interesting aspects of Season 1 and she once again plays a massive role in Season 2. There are also the to-be-continued stories of Wilson’s Mobius, Wunmi Mosako’s Hunter B-15 and Gugu Mbatha-Raw‘s Ravonna Renslayer (please give her something more to do) that will play a role in the sequel season as well. And, of course, there’s Jonathan Majors‘ incredible debut as He Who Remains which provides as much insight into the Multiverse and the Multiverse Saga as anything so far. There’s just no way you can watch Season 2 without at least refreshing yourself on the highlights on Season 1!
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
Jonathan Majors‘ Kang Variants haven’t really accomplished too much onscreen just yet but relative to what Thanos got done at the same point in time in the Infinity Saga, the new Saga’s big bad has the edge. The death of He Who Remains in Season 1 of Loki allowed for Kang the Conqueror to menance Scott Lang, the Ant-Family and the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and his death (or disappearance) at the hands of those allied forces put the Council of Kangs on watch. When the Multiverse Saga is all said and done, Kang is going to play/will have played a key role which makes Quantumania must. The film also helps to get an understanding of how the MCU’s Multiverse works and with how little we actually know, it’s worth it for that alone. Additionally, at least one more Kang Variant, Victor Timely, is known to appear in Loki Season 2 and their are rumors that He Who Remains will find his way back into the mix. It’s possible other Variants will pop up, too, and it’s also very likely that the Conqueror plays some role as well.
As mentioned, these three films are the prelude to the opening of Season 1 of Loki. As such, they certainly inform who the character is when he’s apprehended by the TVA’s Minutemen in the Gobi Desert. That Loki underwent significant character development in Season 1 but it’s still worth your time to revisit these projects if for nothing else than to enjoy Hiddleston’s devilish performances as the God of Mischief.
After originally auditioning for the role of Thor, Hiddleston accepted the role of Loki after Chris Hemsworth was named as the God of Thunder…and Marvel fans everywhere have benefitted from it for over a decade. While it took Hemsworth a couple of projects to grow on fans as Thor, Hiddleston owned the role of Loki right away. While Thor may not be at the top of everyone’s rewatch lists, simply ask yourself what the MCU would have been without it and then sit down and enjoy.
By the time Loki arrived on Earth in the opening of 2012’s The Avengers, Hiddleston’s legend had already taken on a life of its own…and it grew greater as the Prince of Lies became the driving force for the Avengers to assemble for the first time. While he ultimately found himself on the business end of one of the MCU’s most memorable beatings, he was still a dirty, rotten scoundrel with designs on fulfilling his glorious purpose.
Endgame is always worth the rewatch but in this case it provides the Nexus Event that allows for the divergent timeline on which the events of Season 1 of Loki took place to be created. While you really only need to rewatch the film’s retelling of the Battle of New York, feel free to relive one of the MCU’s greatest films in its entirety.
These six Tier Three projects are unlikely to have much of anything to do with the plot of Season 2 of Loki; however, if you’re a completist, you’re going to want to do all of your relevant homework!
The first three projects on the list complete the story of the redemption of Loki, Prince of Asgard, Odinson who ultimately died at the hands of Thanos. They also give you an opportunity to see Hiddleston fully inhabit the character in some of his best work.
Thor: The Dark World
Admittedly one of the toughest films to rewatch in its entirety, it’s no fault of Hiddleston; if anything, he makes it watchable. The Dark World begins to truly dive deeply into who Loki is and what is motivations are, creating a version of the character that you love, hate, trust and fear all at once.
Like everyone else, Hiddleston was having a lot of fun in this one and gave one of his most complete performances as Loki. Ragnarok gave Loki a chance to be the god and hero he always longed to be…but Loki’s gonna Loki and by taking the Tesseract, he sealed his own fate.
Avengers: Infinity War
As painful as it might be to watch Loki have his godly neck snapped by Thanos, it’s one of the most important deaths in the entirety of the MCU. Audiences learned quickly that Thanos was a threat to be taken seriously and Thor was given all the motivation he needed to avenge his newly-redeemed brother’s death.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Eh…it talks about the multiverse.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Though this movie doesn’t reference any of the Loki Variants, it does introduce the idea of Incursions and it’s likely that idea will be revisited or further explored in Season 2.
Season 1 of Loki created the Multiverse in which the stories told in What If…? exist and Loki features as major character in one of the series’ most interesting episodes. The series also gave fans a look at Loki fully realized in all his frost giant glory, something that after being teased briefly in Thor was never really addressed again. So rewatch the entire season or just the episodes with Loki, if you want, but don’t leave these animated stories off your list!
There you have it! Now put down your phone, pick up your remote control and get to it!