When Does 'Loki' Take Place in the MCU Timeline?

If you're confused about where the Disney+ show picks up, here's a refresher.


Given how long it’s been since Avengers: Endgame, you may not remember where every Marvel Cinematic Universe character’s storyline left off, especially if that hero died prior to the Thanos snap and returned in some form due to time travel. This applies to Loki, Tom Hiddleston’s adored Asgardian baddie, who is now the protagonist of a Disney+ series from showrunner Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron. Just like you may have wondered initially while watching WandaVision, you may be asking yourself, “How is this possible?”

In the show, the pompous trickster teams up with Mobius (Owen Wilson), an agent of the Time Variance Authority, an organization dead set on maintaining a mandated correct order of time. Together, Loki and Mobius are the Riggs and Murtaugh–style odd cop couple tasked with stopping a shrouded, time-hopping figure who’s been creating disturbances across history. Confused? Here’s everything you need to know about when Loki takes place in relation to other stories in the franchise, and how it might connect with future MCU movies.

Wait: Isn’t Loki dead?

As if anyone is really dead in the MCU! But, yes, Loki did die in the opening minutes of Infinity War, in a last ditch heroic effort to stop Thanos’ plans. If you’ll recall, our trickster pledges loyalty to Thanos before trying to stab the Titan in the throat, but Thanos sees through his bluff and strangles him. It’s a brutal fate that shocked audiences when the movie premiered. But, naturally, Marvel couldn’t quit a fan favorite like Hiddleston’s Loki (who was initially supposed to make his final MCU appearance in Thor: The Dark World) and brought back a previous incarnation in Endgame when the Avengers traveled through time to thwart Thanos. That version of Loki, who picked up the Tesseract and vanished, is one we follow in Loki.

So, where does Loki fit into the MCU timeline?

Episode 1 establishes that the series takes place directly after the scene involving Loki in Avengers: Endgame, but don’t take that to mean that the show takes place after the events depicted at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Unlike WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki is not a series that reckons with the Thanos snap, the blip, and the events that followed. That’s because the Endgame scene in question is set in 2012 during the Battle of New York that’s highlighted in the first Avengers movie.

In Endgame, the team members who survived the Thanos snap devised a plan to hop back through time in order to grab the Infinity Stones before the big purple bad guy can get them. One group heads back to 2012 on a mission to steal the Mind Stone found in Loki’s staff, the Time Stone that Tilda Swinton’s the Ancient One possessed at that time, and the Space Stone from the Tesseract, which Loki has been using to sic the Chitauri on Manhattan. They get the first two, but in the fracas to accomplish the third part of the time heist, Loki spots the Tesseract rolling away, picks it up, and vanishes. But where’d he go? That’s precisely what Loki answers out of the gate: Still in 2012, he’s been zapped away to the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. 

What does that mean for Loki, the character? 

In his three film appearances that follow The Avengers-we’re not counting Endgame, where he only appears in the “past”-Loki evolved from beloved villain into beloved antihero. By the time he’s being strangled by Thanos in Infinity War, sacrificing himself for the good of the universe, he has earned the begrudging trust of his adoptive brother Thor, who he fought alongside in Thor: Ragnarok. Sure, there’s your traditional sibling animosity, but, basically, Loki is a good guy.

It’s crucial to understand that the more evolved Loki isn’t who we’re tracking in the show. This Loki in Loki is the one we knew in The Avengers, who thinks he is “burdened with glorious purpose,” the one with designs for planetary domination and who thinks human beings are servants to his will.

“The great opportunity of the show was, there was that version of Loki that lived and then died at the hands of Thanos who had his own, I would say, complete quasi-redemptive arc,” explained Waldron in an interview with Thrillist. “We have a different version of Loki-a guy who’s still perhaps at his most arch, coming off of this defeat in the first Avengers. He’s desperate and he’s pissed off and a little bit humiliated. It was really important to all of us that we tell an entirely new story. That we break new ground with this character and do something entirely different. So I was glad to have perhaps a more moldable clay form of Loki in that 2012 version.”

When does Loki take place?

After a very brief attempt to rule Mongolia, Loki is apprehended by agents of the Time Variance Authority, an institution with the sole purpose of ensuring that the one sacred timeline doesn’t branch off into a chaotic multiverse. Essentially, Loki, having benefitted from a time-travel accident, is not supposed to be in Mongolia in 2012, and is labeled a variant, a.k.a. something the TVA needs to correct. The agents zap Loki to their headquarters, which exist in a sort of liminal space, where time moves differently.

When he’s walking the brutalist halls of the TVA, it’s unclear precisely when that’s taking place, although we do know that Mobius and other agents, and eventually Loki, have the ability to hop around through time to eliminate other variants from pushing the sacred timeline off course. In the first two episodes, they stop in 16th century France, 19th century Oklahoma, 1980s Wisconsin, and other points in time. But it’s still important to remember that this is the Loki plucked directly out of 2012’s The Avengers. You can bet that more revelations about how this Loki and the TVA will tie back in with the larger MCU will be part of future episodes.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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