Who Is LOKI’s Ouroboros? Ke Huy Quan’s Character O.B. Ties Into Mythology and Marvel Comics

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Academy Award winner Ke Huy Quan is set to appear in a major role in season 2 of Loki. The Everything Everywhere All At Once and Indiana Jones actor just can’t get enough of stories about the multiverse, it seems. Although much of this MCU character’s role in the story remains shrouded in mystery still, we do know his name now—Ouroboros, or O.B. for short. But how does Ke Huy Quan’s Loki character tie into the existing Marvel Comics lore? And how does Ouroboros relate to existing mythological roots in our own world? Here’s what we know so far about Ke Huy Quan’s Ouroboros and his role in Marvel’s Loki season two.

Ke Huy Quan's Loki season two MCU Character OB works for the TVA, Ouroboros in the MCU
Marvel Studios

The Ouroboros in Folklore and Norse Mythology’s Jörmungandr

You’ve no doubt heard the turn of phrase “the snake eating its own tail.” Well, that particular iconography comes straight from ancient mythology. That snake consuming its own tail is actually called the Ouroboros, and is found in the mythologies of ancient Egypt and Greece. According to Britannica, “[The Ouroboros] represents a being that is continually devouring itself, and thus reborn from itself. A gnostic and alchemical symbol, Ouroboros expresses the unity of all things, material and spiritual, which never disappear but perpetually change form in an eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation.” The Ouroboros is a fitting mythological reference to invoke in the MCU’s Loki which is all about questions of the destruction, creation, and flow of timelines.

The ancient symbol of Ouroboros, the snake devouring its tail, and the Norse myth of the Midgard Serpent.
Uniguide/The Legends of History

Although the character Ke Huy Quan plays on Loki season two has the name Ouroboros, he might also have ties to a more specific character from mythology, one that even more directly related to our titular God of Mischief. In Norse mythology, the snake that consumes its own tail, a.k.a an Ouroboros, goes by the name Jörmungandr. This Ouroboros is also known as the Midgard Serpent or the World Serpent. In the old Norse myths, Jörmungandr encircles the realm of Midgard, which is another name for Earth. He is the son of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. He’s also the brother of the great wolf Fenrir and Hel. During Ragnarök, a.k.a, the Twilight of the Gods, Thor kills him.

Loki rides the Midgard Serpent in the pages of The Mighty Thor. An example of an Ouroboros in Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

In the pages of Marvel Comics, the Midgard Serpent has played a big role in several Thor comics. He first appeared back in 1966 and reappeared again and again over the years to fight the God of Thunder. Although the Odinson slays the gigantic beast, Marvel resurrects him more than a few times, and the two battle all over again.

When it comes to a connection with Loki, the god of mischief does ride the Midgard Serpent at one point. But there is never any real indication that Marvel Comics’ version of this Ouroboros is in any way the literal child of Loki. Marvel writers often play fast and loose with Norse myths, changing many things outright. This is another example of that. It will be interesting to see, however, what Loki season two does with the mythological origins of Ouroboros as the show continues to remix and reference mythology.

Ke Huy Quan’s Loki Character O.B./Ouroboros and His Marvel Comics Connections

Ke Huy Quan’s Ouroboros might be an original creation for the MCU series, not based on a preexisting Marvel Comics character. However, his name does pop up in several comics from the past. And in different forms.

The only Marvel Ouroboros with ties to the TVA is a certain Mr. Orobourous, who made one appearance in a She-Hulk comic in 2005. Created by Dan Slott, Orobourous was a judge for the Time Variance Authority. In Marvel’s She-Hulk comic, Orobourous is spelled a bit differently than the traditional Ouroboros of mythology, but the reference seems to be the same. This character was also a clone of Mr. Paradox, who himself was a clone of several TVA bureaucrats. We already know the O.B. is not a judge in Loki, but it seems the creators took a shine to the name at least.

Mr. Paradox, a TVA judge that was also the genetic templete for the TVA's O.B. in the She-Hulk comics. Orobourous or Ouroboros was a Marvel Comics close of Paradox.
Marvel Comics

But She-Hulk‘s judge is not the only Ouroboros in Marvel lore. First, there was the Oculus Ouroboros, which was not a person in Marvel Comics, per se, but a conduit of elemental magic, that depicts a variation on the classic Ouroboros shape of a snake eating its tail by featuring a second snake. It first appears in Doctor Strange #92, back in 1993. The Sorcerer Supreme stops an attempt by Doctor Doom to gain access to its power.

The different uses of the name Ouroboros in Marvel Comics.
Marvel Comics

An actual character using the name is Admiral Ouroboros, who made his first Marvel Comics appearance relatively recently in 2015’s Silver Surfer #11. He battled the former Herald of Galactus during an adventure where the Surfer became stuck in a time loop.

The most recent Marvel usage of the name Ouroboros appeared in 2022, in Marvel’s Contest of Champions. In this instance, Ouroboros is an organization in universe 517. This organization came together to oppose the rule of the Elders of the Universe across the reality called Battlerealm.

However, despite all these possible references, we think it’s unlikely that Loki’s O.B. is directly related to the previous Marvel concepts of Ouroboros. It’s far more likely the MCU’s Ouroboros is riffing on one or more of the mythological histories of the creature.

Ke Huy Quan’s O.B./Ouroboros in the MCU and Loki Season Two

Ke Huy Quan's Loki season two MCU Character OB works for the TVA
Marvel Studios

As we’ve now learned, the version of Ouroboros played by Ke Huy Quan in Loki is an integral part of the TVA. Entertainment Weekly revealed Quan’s character is a “quirky repair guy” in the MCU. Loki‘s O.B. works endlessly in the “deepest bowels of the TVA.” He spends his days “working in the repairs and advancement department. His office is stuffed in the basement, a sprawling mishmash of gadgets and gizmos.” As with everyone employed in the TVA, his life is quite literally his job.

Loki’s co-executive producer Kevin Wright said that O.B. is integral to the functioning of the Time Variance Authority, even if we never saw or heard of Ouroboros in season one of the MCU show. Wright said, “His job is basically every piece of tech, every computer, everything that is running at the TVA… He either designed it, or he fixes it and keeps it running.” None of that sounds remotely like the Marvel Comics versions of Ouroboros. So, again, our guess is that the MCU’s O.B. is tied far more to the mythological concept of the character than anything in the comics.

Hopefully, we’ll soon learn more about Ke Huy Quan as O.B. when Loki season two releases on October 6 on Disney+.