While not every question brought up by Avengers: Endgame is likely to be answered soon, there’s one response that will ease the worry of many MCU fans, courtesy of the Russo Brothers. When Iron Man, Cap, and Ant-Man went back in time to New York during the events of the first Avengers film, we all saw what happened with Loki. As sly as ever, when he found the Tesseract unguarded in front of him, he quickly grabbed it and teleported right out of there.
While some fans were expecting a little explanation about this later in the movie, Loki was never seen or mentioned in Endgame again. So, what happened to him? The fact that he was not in the epic battle at the end of the movie made his fate unclear, and the accessibility to time-travel that Endgame introduced made his destiny even more open-ended.
Although Loki didn’t appear in the rest of Endgame, the Russo Brothers went on record to clear up what many of Loki’s fans are hoping to learn: whether or not a version of Loki is, in fact, alive.
“Interestingly, Loki has a show,” Joe Russo told Entertainment Weekly. The Loki series set to premiere on Disney+ gave the filmmakers a lot of room to establish his escape from the main MCU timeline and into his own, which will hopefully be explored in the show.
In the meantime, Joe Russo explained exactly what Loki’s getaway in Endgame means for the future (and past) of the MCU:
“Loki, when he teleports away with the Time Stone, would create his own timeline. It gets very complicated, but it would be impossible for [Cap] to rectify the timeline unless he found Loki. The minute that Loki does something as dramatic as take the Space Stone, he creates a branched reality.”
So, just because Loki didn’t appear in the final battle against Thanos, it doesn’t mean he isn’t alive somewhere in a different reality. The question now is whether or not Loki will make an appearance in the original MCU timeline at some point. Since he’s left, the chain of events in Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War would be virtually unknown to him.
“We’re dealing with this idea of multiverses and branched realities, so there are many realities,” Anthony Russo explained.
The “present” that Loki is now assumed to be in will branch off from the rest of the MCU films, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t make an appearance in the main timeline once again.
For example, the final scene with Captain America in Endgame showed a much older Steve Rogers appear in the main timeline in order to give Sam Wilson his shield. According to the rules of time travel as dictated in the MCU, this means that Rogers would have had to use some kind of technology or maneuver in order to come back to that timeline, as opposed to his own branched reality that he created by going to live with Peggy Carter and growing old with her.
“There’s a question of, how did this separate timeline Cap come to reappear in this timeline and why?” Anthony continued.
If Cap can find a way between the different realities, surely Loki can too, especially with the help of the Tesseract, right? Of course, this is something that won’t be confirmed or denied by the Russo Brothers, or anyone else, until the Loki series appears on Disney+.