What Is Loki’s ‘Glorious Purpose,’ and What Does That Mean for Our Loki?
A phrase so synonymous with the character himself, we’ve heard it echoed throughout the Disney+ series; the question becomes, What is Loki’s “glorious purpose,” and what does that mean for our Loki? Well, we have a theory…
Whether spoken in earnest or to poke fun at the egomaniacal villain, the phrase, “Glorious Purpose,” has become something of a calling card throughout the first five episodes of the series; and something that tied current Loki, with the Loki of 2012.
But what does it mean? What, truly, is Loki saying when he speaks of the concept? Is it a hope? Is it a mission? Is it a statement? Is it possibly even a longing question?
First spoken to a crowd of kneeling humans during Loki’s attempted takeover at the start of the first Avengers film; it was tied to the quest for power that so engulfed the villain.
Angry at the perceived betrayal by his family, the statement, in a way, reflected Loki’s own uncertainty; if he truly wasn’t an Odinson, if his destiny wasn’t the throne of Asgard, then what was meant for him?
His brother, the blood heir to the Asgardian throne, was raised with his inevitable title awaiting his ascension; despite Loki’s inherited gifts and knowledge imparted from his brilliantly magical Mother, Loki had lacked the one thing he always desired; purpose.
So Loki made the decision to create his own Purpose. If he wasn’t to be Thor, if he wasn’t to be given the throne, he’d be the antithesis of Thor; he’d become the villain.
Loki tells as much to Mobius when he says, “I don’t enjoy hurting people…I do it because I’ve had to…it’s part of the illusion…it’s the cruel elaborate trick conjured by the weak to inspired fear…a villain.”
But Loki is wrong because he has a much different destiny, and it is one we can see play out over the course of Loki’s story.
So what is Loki’s Glorious Purpose, and what does it mean for our Loki? The answer may be difficult for some.
Loki very rarely becomes the self-actualized and mature person he is currently during the series, but there is a precedent for that version of the character.
At the end of Ragnarok, Loki came to similar conclusions; he realized the error of his ways, the emptiness of his petty betrayals, and the deep purpose in his seat of support for his brother’s reign as king of Asgard. He saw the value in their ruling as two.
Then, faced with the monstrosity of The Mad Titan, Thanos, Loki committed the ultimate act of selflessness; he gave himself in place of Thor, he took the rage of their enemy in an act of heroism and courage.
What about the Loki variant who so often speaks of a Glorious Purpose?
Classic Loki, during episode five, spoke of the ridiculousness of the once-revered Glorious Purpose, and his own story of allowing Thor to die at the hands of Thanos; leading himself to survive in lonely isolation.
Yet, Classic Loki also experienced a moment of immense growth, where he recognized the valiance in the mission of Loki and Sylvie, and he stopped living for mere survival; conjuring up the remnants of Asgard to serve as a distraction for Alioth’s wrath.
This is Loki’s Glorious Purpose.
When all of his insecurities and inferiorities are overlooked. When he sees himself, not as the villain, but as an immensely powerful ally. When he accepts a call to be of service; that is when Loki is the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice.
Perhaps Loki’s purpose is to be the one strong enough to make that sacrifice; but what then does that mean for our Loki?
It means that a future where 2012 Loki sacrifices himself so that Sylvie may have the life she never got the chance to have is a very real possibility.
It means a moment where Loki realizes that his happiness will never come in ruling a kingdom, but only in the perseverance of those he holds so close, is a very real possibility.
It means that this Loki, may, in fact, fulfill his glorious purpose.