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Another week, another chapter of Marvel TV’s most elusive God of Mischief, Loki, now streaming on Disney+. Tom Hiddleston‘s titular villain takes the cake in whatever MCU movie he graces the screen for, this time as a slightly different Loki than the Loki we’ve known before. We’re halfway through the show’s run, but you might still be a little confused by all the Lokiception within, a fascinatingly weird mashup of alternate timelines, time travel, and multiple, variant Lokis.
The Multiverse only gets more maddening from here, folks, but you’ve come to the right place — we’re here to walk you through everything you need to know about the chaotic Loki we’ve come to know and love, and the new Loki that’s familiar, but still a bit different.
If you don’t want to go back and slog through every Marvel movie, show, and short to get all the hints and references dropped (we commend you if you do, but we don’t recommend doing so all in one sitting), here’s the basic Loki-fied guide to the MCU, everything you need to watch before you watch Loki on Disney+.
Thor is the movie where Loki is first introduced, as both the antagonist up against Thor himself, and as a younger brother filled with snark and biting wit. We learn in the film that Loki was actually born as a frost giant, and planned an invasion of frost giants on Asgard while Thor was banished so he could defeat his adopted father Odin in revenge. The stage is set for the rivalry (and one-liner-filled, quippy banter) between the two brothers that lasts for the rest of this first phase of the MCU.
WATCH ONLINE: Thor (2011) on Disney+
This is where we start to see Loki really become a formidable foe, as he teams up with Thanos to take over the Earth using the power of one of the Infinity Stones (the Mind Stone, to be exact). Loki uses the Tesseract to open a portal so invaders rain down on Manhattan and Earth’s mightiest heroes would need to do what they do best (assemble) for the first time.
Loki fails, gets handcuffed by SHIELD, and ultimately winds up in an Asgardian prison. But this is where things get a little tricky — there’s a main MCU timeline established here after Loki’s conquest ends that continues on through the next few movies, but in the branching timeline during Avengers: Endgame, Loki ends up escaping SHIELD’s arrest. This variant Loki is the Loki in Loki (we’ll just call him Disney+ Loki, for now).
WATCH ONLINE: Avengers (2012) on Disney+
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Yes, we know you want to forget about The Dark World – every Marvel fan would love to forget about The Dark World. But since Loki directly references the events in The Dark World, we’re going to make you remember The Dark World. Loki starts out in an Asgardian prison after his defeat at the Battle of New York, but is quickly released when Thor allies himself with Loki to defeat an invasion of Dark Elves.
It’s debatable whether you really need to watch this one all the way through, so the basic fact is this — Loki (spoiler alert!) dies and presumably redeems himself. But not really, since The Dark World after credits scene reminds us that this is still the God of Mischief we’re working with here. Turns out he’s faked his own death, disguising himself as Odin to dispose his dear old dad from the throne of Asgard. Classic Loki.
WATCH ONLINE: Thor: The Dark World (2013) on Disney+
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
We take a couple years intermission while the Avengers work out some intrasupergroup beef before returning to Thor, as he discovers a disguised Loki watching an incredibly over-dramatic play of himself (with a well-placed Matt Damon cameo to boot). When the real Odin dies, Thor and Loki’s older sister Hela awakens from her imprisonment and banishes them to the planet Sakaar.
Loki works side-by-side (and parties) with the overlord Grandmaster, but eventually escapes with Thor and Bruce Banner. Along with Valkyrie, they all manage to evacuate the Asgardians before the planet is destroyed in the apocalypse brought on by Ragnarok. While that’s all fine and dandy the important thing to note here is that Loki steals the Tesseract (again) before they head off-world.
WATCH ONLINE: Thor: Ragnarok (2017) on Disney+
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Don’t want to relive the emotional devastation of the last five minutes of Infinity War? Well, lucky for you Loki is only in the first five minutes of Infinity War. When Thanos sets out on his final quest for the Infinity Stones, Loki is still with Thor and the Asgardian refugees. Loki sacrifices himself (again) and dies heroically (for real this time, we promise) as Thanos snatches up the Tesseract and leaves. But this is the MCU we’re talking about here, so this clearly isn’t the end for our dear trickster here.
WATCH ONLINE: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) on Disney+
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Ah, we finally get to meet Disney+ Loki! During the time heist, Loki escapes from SHIELD’s grasp and disappears, and thus we get all caught up to the series beginning of Loki — a displaced Loki variant is alive, but still impacting the timeline, and it’s up to him to fix it. If you don’t know, now you know.
WATCH ONLINE: Avengers: Endgame (2019) on Disney+
How to Watch Every Loki Episode Online
So now you’re finally all caught up with the Loki timeline. But if you want to catch up on the latest Loki episodes, you’ll need a Disney+ subscription. Disney+ subscribers can watch Loki for free and on-demand from their TV, tablet or phone.
If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ yet, we found one of the best streaming bundles available with this deal that gets you Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for just $13.99. This Disney bundle deal is the best plan for your money right now if you want access to more shows at a great discount, and it makes it easy to watch a ton of top movies and series in one place, including other MCU entries like Avengers: Endgame, new Star Wars series like The Bad Batch, and Premier Access movies like Cruella that debut on the streamer and in movie theaters across the country.
If you’re looking to subscribe to one platform instead of three, you can also sign up for a Disney+ subscription on its own for just $7.99 a month, or save yourself some cash when you sign up for a year-long plan instead at $79.99. If you are a Verizon subscriber, you may be eligible for their “Disney+ on Us” deal, which gets you six months of Disney+ for free. Get the deal or see if your current Verizon plan qualifies here, which will let you stream Loki on Disney+ for free.