Just like all of you nerds, I have my share of fan theories. As Giant Freakin Robot‘s Opinion Editor, I often use this space to air those theories, and as much as I’d like to say that my speculations usually hit the target, it would be slightly more accurate to say I’m pretty much always wrong. Of all the fan theories I’ve harbored, the one I most hope to buck the trend is that in Loki, Owen Wilson’s Mobius is a variant of Thor, the Asgardian god of thunder.
The reason I hold this particular thesis close to my nerd heart is that more than any other fan theory I’ve humored, this is based less on any Easter eggs or deep dives into the source material, and more on my feeling that thematically it just makes sense.
Our Opinion Editor puts forth his theory that in Loki, Owen Wilson’s Mobius is a variant Thor.
That said… there may be a pretty huge visual clue that Loki‘s Mobius is a variant Thor.
There are very few MCU entries I have more mixed feelings about than 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. On one hand, simply as a movie, I think Ragnarok is wonderful; but as an old school Marvel fan I can understand why others didn’t appreciate how it ignored boatloads of canon, how it abruptly and dismissively killed off fan-favorite heroes, or how much comedy took over the story.
But one Ragnarok scene I find to be absolutely bulletproof is when Loki and Thor take the elevator to the Grandmaster’s hangar — just before their hilarious “Get Help” moment — and the brothers briefly discuss how they plan to part ways after escaping Sakaar.
This scene gives us a better picture than any other of how Chris Hemsworth‘s Thor has evolved since his first solo film, particularly in how he views his manipulative, mass-murdering brother. He tells Loki he has purged himself of any of the trust he once had in his adoptive brother, and that he fully expects Loki will never change.
What does this scene have to do with Loki‘s Mobius possibly being a variant Thor? Right after Wilson’s character saves Loki from being “pruned” in hopes that the trickster god can help him catch Sylvie, they discuss Loki’s true nature and the discussion takes place on an elevator.
In fact, if you go to Disney+‘s Loki page right now… do you know what you’ll see before you click on any episode? You won’t see the variant Lokis, He Who Remains, Throg in a jar, Sylvie, or Sif. You’ll see Mobius and Loki on an elevator discussing — as Loki and Thor do in Ragnarok — the trickster god’s true nature.
Is that pretty lame proof that Loki‘s Mobius is a variant Thor? Ragnarok and Loki both had elevator scenes, big whoop.
Sure. Until you consider why they’re on the elevator.
As he’s on the elevator with Tom Hiddleston’s sometimes-villain, Mobius is doing for Loki exactly what Loki’s brother does for him in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World — he’s freeing him to help him hunt down another bad guy (or at least who we’re led to believe is a bad guy). Yes, the TVA agent has his own agenda, but he also makes it clear in the premiere episode and later in the series that part of him believes in Loki’s ability to change for the better.
“You really are the worst brother.”-Thor’s final words to Loki in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War
From the first time we see them interact in 2011’s Thor to their final moments together in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, the relationship between Loki and Thor is defined by the thunder god consistently putting his faith in Loki in spite of the mountains of evidence showing that he shouldn’t, and Loki making Thor regret his decision.
We like to think of Loki’s death in Infinity War as a brutal, but noble sacrifice. After all, Loki risks everything trying to save himself and his brother from Thanos and the Black Order. But the destruction of the Asgardian refugee ship, the deaths of every faceless Asgardian and freed Sakaaran gladiator aboard, and Heimdall, is in part on the head of the trickster god who stole the Tesseract from Odin’s vault and didn’t bother to tell anyone.
Without that stolen artifact (an artifact, remember, Loki knew Thanos was looking for), the whole lot of them would have lived to see Earth, with the Mad Titan never even thinking to bother them.
Loki Season 2 premieres on Disney+ on Thursday, October 5.
So even while making arguably his single most heroic act, the Earth-616 Loki betrays Thor’s trust, prompting Thor’s final words to him: “You really are the worst brother.”
Just like Thor, Mobius wants Loki to prove that he’s capable of redeeming himself. And just like Thor, Mobius is fated — more or less — to find nothing but disappointment on that score.
Even in the Season 1 finale, when Loki has arguably done more than he ever has in the MCU to prove he’s capable of being a hero, the situation itself robs Mobius of the chance for his faith in Loki to be restored, because in the closing moments of “For All Time. Always,” Mobius doesn’t even remember who Loki is.
So in short, I think Loki‘s Mobius is a variant Thor, because no other character in the series reminds me more of Thor. Just like the thunder god, Mobius will always bet against the house and on Loki, and he will always be disappointed.
I could be wrong and we could put this fan theory on the shelf with “GFR Opinion Editor thinks Season 3 Picard Will Riker is a transporter double” and “GFR Opinion Editor thinks Jawas are secretly disgraced Ewoks.” With Loki Season 2 ready to premiere on October 5, we may know for sure soon enough.