Whe moves in the world of Norse mythology, experiences no surprises in the big questions. How the matter will end is clear from the start: The bound Fenriswolf will break free and kill the god father Odin, the huge Midgard snake and the thunder god Thor kill each other, “the sun is darkening, the land is sinking in the sea, / falling from the sky the bright stars; / fire and smoke rage, / great heat rises even to heaven ”.
This is what it says in the “Older Edda”, also known as the “Song Edda”, right at the beginning of this collection, which was probably written in the 13th century, on the basis of much older chants. A seer gives information about the future as well as the past up to the creation of the world, and that her prophecy is generally believed is also proven by a parallel work by Snorri Sturluson: In his Edda comes the somewhat enriched tale of the end of the world ( in the song “Gylfi’s Deception”) from the mouths of the gods themselves, who foresee their former downfall – including the death of their enemy Loki, the father of the Midgard serpent and the Fenris wolf.
How do you live when you know all this in advance, even “Ragnarök”, the downfall of your own civilization? In a scene from the six-part television series “Loki”, the title character, played by Tom Hiddleston in the “Avengers” films, demonstrates how she deals with this knowledge. Already practiced in moving in alternative timelines, changing the past and thereby – together with other Marvel heroes – creating the variants, the entirety of which form the “multiverse”, Loki comes up with an idea that he uses the example of a salad dish demonstrated. “Imagine this salad is Asgard,” he says to the person opposite, the agent with the beautiful name Mobius M. Mobius and owner of the meal at the same time. Loki now dumps everything he can get his hands on on the salad, at the end a tetra pack of water. Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, takes a while to understand what Loki is trying to say – if the destruction of something, be it the gods of Asgard, is certain anyway, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s about to end inflicts further damage. And if you aim to cause damage with as little consequence as possible, then the moment immediately before an inevitable catastrophe would be the right one.
Far from exhausted
The thought makes sense, Mobius too. He could at least doubt the assumption that it was inevitable that his salad would become inedible just before he could eat it. But unlike Loki, Mobius is convinced that things happen because they are supposed to happen and that any deviation from the established process – the “Sacred Line” – leads to a catastrophe.
Mobius, whom Wilson plays with the utmost calm and whose nasal voice underlines this impression of serenity, is an employee of the “Time Variance Authority”, an authority that wants to prevent with quiet energy exactly what Loki promotes: the fraying of one world and their history in parallel worlds. That is why Loki, whose story is told here based on the “Avengers” film “Endgame”, falls into the clutches of the determined agents around Mobius on the run, only that Loki prevents a conviction and imprisonment of Loki because he hopes through the “Variant “To get on the track of a time-joke driving parallel Loki. After all, according to Mobius’ assumption, nobody can put himself in the shoes of a Loki as well as another Loki. The big question, however, is to what extent the traditionally anything but established God is willing to cooperate with Mobius.
The result is a series that is sometimes rather simply told despite the complex subject matter, whose outfitters do a great job, but whose dialogue authors allow themselves some lengths. The fact that this Loki is on the way to question himself from the ground up becomes abundantly clear that this path could still be long, but also. He is asked what he is actually planning to do. Reclaiming his throne, Loki replies. And then? Be king in Midgard, Asgard, the universe. Maybe you have to talk like that when you have just had the extremely painful experience that every other trick you use does not work in this environment.
It is obvious that the potential of Loki and Mobius is far from exhausted, and it is no wonder that there is already speculation about a second season of the series that is just starting. In order to clarify the question of whether there is actually no free will, as Mobius thinks, in view of the comprehensive pre-determination, but also no chaos.
No mess, Loki asks back, how boring! And it shows that every transformation of a person has its limits.
Loki is available this Wednesday on Disney +.