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Loki ending explained: here's who [spoiler] might be

Loki and Mobius
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Loki episode 1! Turn back now if you haven't watched the premiere episode on Disney Plus!

Loki has landed, and it's already got us theorizing. The first episode has introduced us to the sacred timeline, the multiverse, and the fact that Loki is D.B. Cooper. If that wasn't strange enough, there's also the matter of the villain of Loki being, well, Loki.

That's right, a Loki variant is the mystery figure behind the killings of TVA agents throughout history. We discover in the first episode that a cloaked figure is hunting them down across the timeline, which has Mobius M. Mobius baffled. We don't even get a good look at the variant, either, which means there are multiple potential candidates – and we don't know what they want, either, apart from seemingly going after the reset devices.

So, which Loki variant is the one? There might already be some clues tucked into trailers – and we've taken a deep dive into the many possibilities to see just who is causing all the chaos.

King Loki

Richard E. Grant in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Richard E. Grant is confirmed to be appearing in Loki, though his role remains under wraps. Could he be a variant, then? If he is, there's a chance he's King Loki, who is an older version of the usual Loki we know and love.

In the comics, this Loki unsurprisingly wanted to make himself a king – and he's taken down by none other than his own younger self. That kind of showdown definitely seems like something that could be in the cards. 

Plus, we already know Grant is a dab hand at a villainous role after his turn as Allegiant General Pryde in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. So could a sinister, more mature version of the God of Mischief be the big bad behind it all? Time will tell.

Lady Loki

Loki

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

We may have already had a glimpse at this particular variant. Many have speculated that a brief look at a woman with red hair in a trailer could be a Black Widow cameo – but, considering Marvel have reprinted Loki's time as a woman in time for the series, and Sophie di Martino was spotted in a set photo with a similar hair style as the mystery woman, it seems more likely that she is Lady Loki.

In Marvel comics, Loki is reborn as a woman after an Asgard-wide event. It turns out that Loki pretty much stole the body meant for Sif, who in the MCU is played by Jamie Alexander. Interestingly enough, Alexander is reportedly returning for Thor: Love and Thunder, though whether this has anything to do with Lady Loki or not remains to be seen.

Lady Loki has some fairly nefarious schemes in the comics, like banishing Thor and trying to become Asgard's ruler, so there's a chance that the murderous variant could turn out to be this one.

Young Avengers Loki

Billy and Tommy Maximoff in WandaVision

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

If this variant enters the fray, it could have wide-reaching ramifications on the MCU. Loki briefly becomes a Young Avenger in the comics after being reborn as a younger version of himself. The MCU has already introduced Billy and Tommy Maximoff, Eli Bradley, and an older version of Cassie Lang, while America Chavez is set to debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so the roster is filling out. 

Could this be the variant behind the murders, though? That seems unlikely, considering Kid Loki is, well, a kid. Granted, he's a manipulative kid with the memories of his older self, but it does still seem somewhat unlikely that this would be the variant behind the murders. Plus, if this Loki was to debut in the MCU, it seems more likely he'd pop up in a potential Young Avengers project.

Sorcerer Loki

Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange

(Image credit: Disney)

The multiverse is clearly coming into play in the MCU in a big way. We've learned that there's just one timeline at the moment, but, considering Doctor Strange 2 is officially titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we know that there's going to be more to come.

Loki has a stint as the Sorcerer Supreme in the comics, though it doesn't last long. Could this be the link between the series and Doctor Strange 2, though? With the amount of explaining that would take, it does seem a long shot, but it's entirely possible that the Loki variant is all powered up with the Sorcerer Supreme's abilities.

President Loki

Loki episode 1 runtime

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

President Loki is also teased in the trailers – though whether that's the usual Loki dressed up on some kind of mission, or the actual variant, remains to be seen.

In the comics, Loki runs for President of the United States, and turns out to actually be popular with the electorate. Of course, it's not that straightforward, and as you'd expect, Loki has his own schemes in play. It looks like that will be the case in the series, too, considering so far we've seen President Loki surrounded by people brandishing sharp objects at him.

It does seem unlikely that this relatively harmless variant would be the one behind the killing of the TVA agents, but stranger things have definitely happened in the MCU (like Loki being D.B. Cooper).

While you keep puzzling over who this variant is, check out how to watch Marvel movies in order to catch-up on the MCU, and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals

I'm an experienced online writer with articles published on film, TV, and pop culture. I am currently working at GamesRadar+ as a freelance Entertainment Reporter. I previously worked on the Disney team and freelanced on CBeebies magazine with Immediate Media.