Don’t Get Your Hopes Up For Mephisto in ‘Loki’

·4 min read

The following story contains spoilers for Loki Episode 1.

For the months earlier in 2021 that WandaVision was running, it was impossible to read any comments section or fan theory without seeing one specific name: Mephisto. The Devil in the world of Marvel Comics, there were all sorts of rumors that this was the MCU's next big bad, and that, well, just about anyone you saw on screen could possibly be him in disguise. When WandaVision ended and Mephisto was...nowhere to be seen, the rampant overtheorizing almost became something of an internet meme. But now with the mystical, time-traveling world of Loki in our lives, the Mephisto life is about to make a big return.

And while it's kind of funny to think back about all the theories, it's hard to blame anyone for letting their mind go there again. In an early scene in Episode 1 of Loki, Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) of the Time Variance Authority is back in France in the year 1549, investigating a time-traveling massacre. One witness was a child, who has seen the perp—and points to a stained glass image of a devil, horns and all, as what the guilty party looks like.

Is this a sign that Mephisto is finally making a debut? Let's look a little deeper, shall we?

Photo credit: Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

So, uh, is Mephisto in Loki?

Feels moderately safe to say that Mephisto will not be in Loki. While it's easy to jump to that conclusion after so many rumors and all the theories run rampant around WandaVision, it's important to reestablish the context and remember what's happening. Yes, it's a devil in the stained glass. But it's also clearly a reference to Loki, including the horns. Think about Loki's helmet!

Series director Kate Herron confirmed as such in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

"It's honestly just a super weird coincidence," she said. "Like, it's genuinely a reference to Loki—the horns, he was cast out of heaven, that's what it's a reference to. Because we filmed that a long time before— think WandaVision must have been in post when we filmed that. I did see all the stuff about that online and I was like, "Oh, this is going to be interesting." [Laughs] But no, it's more relevant to the themes of our show and it's not a nod to that character."

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

Michael Wadron, Loki's head writer, did hint a little at a future Mephisto MCU appearance

"Mephisto, I was just reading about that character. It's pretty interesting," he said. "It would be interesting if he ever showed up in the MCU."

So...maybe? But we're still leaning no. This is a show about Loki. Let's let it be about Loki, until some legitimate evidence tells us otherwise.

If it's not Mephisto, then who is it?

Look. Sure. There could be a massive, game-changing twist revealing that Mephisto, an all-powerful MCU version of the Devil, is pulling all the strings of everything. But that doesn't seem to be what's building here.

Just before that final, dark, fire-filled scene in Episode 1, it was spelled out pretty clearly: Mobius wants to use Loki to hunt...Loki. Now, that sounds probably a bit more confusing than it really is. What it means is that since Mobius has access to this Loki—the one who fought the Avengers, the one who teleported away with the Tesseract, the one who would someday be killed by Thanos—he wants to use him to have someone who can think like another Loki. Perhaps this other Loki is older. In the comics, there have been young Lokis, old Lokis, and even Lady Lokis (perhaps this is what Loki's gender fluidity is getting at).

Photo credit: Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

And the shady, evil figure at the end of the episode is likely the Loki that Mobius needs our Loki's help to go after. And while that fire imagery certainly brings a devil to mind, it's more likely meant us to remember back to the image from earlier in the episode that the kid pointed to on the stained glass than anything else. And in that instance, it sure succeeded.

One guess? While there are probably other Lokis that we'll encounter throughout the show's remaining five episode, this main, evil Loki will be an older one, played by Richard E. Grant. The Academy Award-nominated actor (for Can You Ever Forgive Me?) is known for his big, animated, charismatic characters. Sound like anyone we know? And the fact that we know he's in the show but haven't seen him in any trailers or promotional material seems to point things in this direction.

Luckily, Loki is only just beginning—and if you were jonesing to see Mephisto, uh, maybe now's the time to divert your attention over to the supervillain who actually was introduced. We'll have five more weeks to figure out this story—and it's sure to be one with at least a few more twists and turns.

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