Warning: This article contains spoilers for Loki season 2, episode 4, “Heart of the TVA.”
- Loki pruned himself in episode 4 to fix his time-slipping, following a plan created by Ouroboros and enacted by himself and Mobius.
- The concept of the ouroboros, a symbol of a snake or dragon eating its own tail, is a key theme in Loki season 2.
- Loki pruning himself is an example of the time loops and complex storytelling that drive the overarching themes of the season.
Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief pruned himself in Loki season 2, episode 4, calling back to a scene from the season’s premiere. After a two-year wait, Loki season 2 finally premiered on October 5, 2023, catching up with Hiddleston’s Loki, Owen Wilson’s Mobius, and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie in the wake of He Who Remains’ death and the destruction of the Sacred Timeline. Loki season 2’s premiere raised hopes that the MCU may be returning to its former glory, showcasing true terror from Loki after his experience with Jonathan Majors’ He Who Remains, and gifting the God of Mischief a violent and painful new superpower: time-slipping.
Loki’s time-slipping was seemingly cured in Loki season 2’s premiere thanks to Ke Huy Quan’s Ouroboros, a.k.a. OB, and Mobius, though it was a hidden figure who pruned Loki to ensure their plan would work. The fast pace of Loki season 2 meant this moment was moved on from quickly, and was almost forgotten about as the team became preoccupied with General Dox’s attack on the branching timelines, Renslayer and Miss Minutes’ plan to corrupt Victor Timely, and the overloading of the TVA’s Temporal Loom. Loki season 2, episode 4, “Heart of the TVA,” revisited this scene from episode 1, however, and revealed the truth behind Loki’s pruning.
Loki Pruned Himself To Fix His Time-Slipping From S2E1
Loki season 2, episode 4, revealed that the current Loki was the one who pruned episode 1’s Loki, fulfilling Ouroboros’ plan to cure his time-slipping. OB’s plan involved Mobius approaching the Temporal Loom with Loki’s Temporal Aura Extractor, which led to Loki having to prune himself to extract him from the timeline to stabilize his time-slipping. Unfortunately, moments before they put their plan into action, Loki time-slipped into the future – the same period as episode 4 – without a Time Stick, meaning he had no means to prune himself. Luckily, however, episode 4’s Loki remembered these details, and was revealed to be the one who pruned himself all along.
How Loki Pruning Himself Fits The Themes Of Season 2
One of the key themes of Loki season 2 is the idea of the ouroboros. Not only is this the name given to Quan’s pivotal TVA technician, but an ouroboros also refers to the ancient symbol that depicts a snake or dragon in a circular loop eating its own tail. This theme runs through every moment of the Phase 5 series, as Loki season 2 is in itself an ouroboros, with Loki’s pruning of himself being the perfect example of this. Loki was pruned in episode 1, so that he could survive long enough to live into the future to be able to prune himself from the past.
Loki pruning himself isn’t the only time loop introduced in Loki season 2. Some other examples include Loki’s conversation with a past version of OB in Loki season 2, episode 1, which helps the team figure out how to fix his time-slipping in the present day, and the fact that Victor Timely was inspired by OB as the author of the TVA guidebook, but OB was in fact inspired by 19th Century inventor Victor Timely. These time loops can be confusing, but all play heavily into the overarching themes of Loki season 2, and with two more episodes set to release, only time will tell what other loops occur.
New episodes of Loki release every Thursday on Disney+.
- Release Date
- June 11, 2021
- Tom Hiddleston, Richard E. Grant, Erika Coleman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku, Sasha Lane
- Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Superhero
- Streaming Sevice
- Marvel Cinematic Universe