Loki episode six spoilers follow.
Loki‘s final episode dropped a metaphorical bombshell: the puppet master behind all the timey-whimey shenanigans was the mysterious He Who Remains (played by Jonathan Majors). While said reveal may have left us a bit disappointed, it’s undeniable that his reveal will have lasting consequences for the MCU.
What Marvel has banked on in their ever-expanding universe is that people are watching and paying close attention to everything they’re putting out. But for those who haven’t been attentive to Loki, the reveal may cause confusion.
After all, not only is He Who Remains played by Majors but so is the upcoming Big Bad of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (which long ago teased the inclusion of Kang thanks to an Easter egg in Ant-Man and the Wasp). While Marvel has cast the same actors in different roles before (Gemma Chan, we’re looking at you!) this crossover casting was actually quite deliberate.
Speaking to The Wrap, Loki director Kate Herron revealed Majors was cast for both roles almost simultaneously. This necessitated a shift in He Who Remains.
In the comics, He Who Remains is a standalone villain, but in order to make the casting make sense, Heron said they decided to make him a variant of Kang, the villain Majors had been cast to play in Ant-Man 3.
Of course, this is a bit of a sticky distinction to draw, given what we know — and what we don’t know — about Loki and the multiverse in general. Strictly speaking, the He Who Remains variant could very well be the same character that appears in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Just as a refresher, at the end of episode six Sylvie kills He Who Remains but two things give us pause. Firstly, He Who Remains’ dying words to Sylvia are “see you soon,” and secondly, his death occurs at the end of time.
Given Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania won’t take place after the end of time, it could very well be that He Who Remains and Ant-Man‘s Kang are the same exact character.
The other big unknown that plays into this is that we have no idea in what timeline Loki has found himself. Characters who have known him throughout the show no longer recognise him, and a singular Kang rules openly rather than from within the shadows.
Whether this is another universe altogether or our ‘main timeline’ simply rewritten thanks to Sylvie’s actions is also unknown, perhaps to be explored in Loki season two. If it’s the latter, there’s no reason to think that the Ant-Man Kang is any different to He Who Remains.
Weighing in on the other side of the argument, He Who Remains delivers a line that could very well prove Kang is in fact a variant. During his denouement face-off with Sylvie and Loki, he claims that on the spectrum of evil he’s closer to being a ‘good guy’.
As a rebuttal to their disbelief, he says: “If you think I’m evil, just wait till you meet my variants.” We already know Kang the Conqueror is a Very Bad Guy, so this could be a direct tease of what’s to come.
Loki season one is streaming exclusively on Disney+. Season two has been officially confirmed.
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