It was a gut punch when Loki died at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, but because the Avengers saga now takes place in the multiverse, death is no longer permanent. Loki reappears in Endgame, but his fate at the end of that film isn’t exactly clear. Thankfully, the directors of that film, the Russo brothers, provided some clarity on what happens to Loki, perhaps offering clues to the upcoming Loki TV series on Disney+.
Loki comes back in Endgame when Tony Stark, Scott Lang, Steve Rogers, and Bruce Banner travel back to 2012 New York, a time and place before Loki died. Their trip is part of Captain America’s quest in Endgame to correct past timelines and restore the six Infinity Stones to their proper places in space and time. During the chaos, Loki was able to grab the Space Stone before vanishing. So where exactly did the God of Mischief go?
In an interview with Business Insider, Joe Russo said that Loki, when he teleports away with the Time Stone, really mucks everything up
“It gets very complicated, but it would be impossible for [Cap] to rectify the timeline unless he found Loki. The minute that Loki does something as dramatic as take the Space Stone, he creates a branched reality.”
Anthony Russo added: “We’re dealing with this idea of multiverses and branched realities, so there are many realities.”
So while Cap is ultimately successful in restoring the Stones, Loki is on his own timeline and thus unaffected by those actions.
This separation opens the door for a whole host of story possibilities for the upcoming Loki series on Disney+. The limited-run series will feature Tom Hiddleston revising his role, and it seems likely that it will feature the character in the branched reality he created.
This is a fairly clever plot device that could keep the show connected to the MCU while giving it the flexibility to develop its own identity, one that the Hollywood Reporter says will show Loki as he “pops up throughout human history as an unlikely influencer on historical events.”