Throughout promos for the Loki series, the God of Mischief has repeated old lines from MCU movies past, but why? There’s a specific reason for it.
In the trailers for the upcoming Loki series, the God of Mischief keeps repeating past MCU quotes, and there could be a very specific reason why. The most recent example came in the Loki TV spot, “Chaos,” when Loki states he knows exactly who he is: “Good. Bad. Bit of both,” he says. It’s a direct callback to Star-Lord’s line at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie when Peter Quill asks the team, “What should we do next? Something good? Something bad? Bit of both?” before settling on option C: “Bit of both!“
It’s not the first time Loki has repurposed an older, well-known quote from the MCU, however. In the very first teaser trailer for the series, Loki at one point declares, “Glorious,” while turning away from a mirror. He also draws the full line out in a later TV spot: “I am Loki and I am burdened with glorious purpose.” Longtime Marvel moviegoers know this is a reference to his famous “glorious purpose” line from 2012’s The Avengers: “I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose.” It’s arguably the trickster’s most well-known saying, one that has been repeated by fans for years.
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The use of the recycled lines is obviously deliberate, leading one to wonder why he’s repeating so many well-known quotes from past MCU movies. The answer is likely a two-pronged one. For starters, despite him having appeared in six films in the MCU, Loki is still largely an enigma. It’s fitting for a trickster god, but with his own series coming up, it’s expected that his show will help more clearly define him. For years, audiences have tried to figure him out: Is he a villain? Is he a hero? Is he an antihero? Or is he something in-between? The Guardians quote gives the answer: as the God of Mischief, he’s both and more. Likewise, the Avengers quote underscores Loki’s ego. The Loki of the series is the one from 2012 who has not yet been redeemed, and his ego and his self-confidence – some might say arrogance – are at all-time highs. Each quote he repeats offers a little piece of the puzzle that is Loki.
But his repeating lines from the past also thematically play into Loki’s story messing with time: time loops, alternate timelines, and time travel, his timeline-breaking antics finally being what get the Time Variance Authority’s Timekeepers to bring him to heel. With his mission to travel to the various branched timelines he’s broken and set things right, it’s never exactly certain where or when Loki is in the trailers. A number of scenes have appeared to show Loki returning to the scene of his crimes and previous spots in the MCU’s past while in others he appears to be in brand-new locations. The question of when he is is also unclear, with Loki popping up in spots that could be set in the past, future, or the present time, but a different timeline.
The feeling of never quite being certain of when, where, or even who Loki is has been threaded throughout all the promo material, from those repeated quotes of the past to the show’s shapeshifting logo, which Tom Hiddleston spoke about in an earlier interview. “Loki is the quintessential shapeshifter,” he explained. “His mercurial nature is that you don’t know whether, across the MCU, he’s a hero or a villain or an anti-hero. You don’t know whether you can trust him.” It’s entirely possible that by the end of the series, Loki will still be an enigma. Those repeated MCU quotes are a stark reminder that Loki may know exactly who he is, but that doesn’t mean anyone else does; his time-looping, shapeshifting nature is as much a part of him as anything else. More of his facets will be revealed when Loki premieres on Disney+ on Wednesday, June 9.
Next: The MCU Phase 4 Is Finally Fixing Loki’s Insulting Powers Problem
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