Loki director Kate Herron reveals how Tom Hiddleston helped shape that finale kiss
A pivotal moment in Loki's season 1 finale was being tweaked and rewritten up until the last minute.
In the Disney+ drama's revelatory ending, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) came to blows once again. This time around, it was because Sylvie was determined to kill He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), but Loki was desperately urging her to reconsider because doing so could cause the Sacred Timeline to branch and herald the return of the enigmatic figure's less benevolent variants ("a bazillion boogeymen") and, more importantly, wouldn't heal the pain in her heart.
"The cost of getting this wrong is too great," Loki pleaded with the enchantress. "I've been where you are. I've felt what you feel. Don't ask me how I know. All I know is I don't want to hurt you. I don't want a throne. I just want you to be okay."
According to director Kate Herron, crafting this surprisingly heartfelt speech was one of the trickiest moments to nail in the finale.
"Me, the [finale] writer Eric [Martin], Tom, and Sophia, we were working on that speech that Loki says to her right up until the day before shooting, because we just wanted to get it right," Herron told EW last Friday. "I think those words — and this came from Tom, 'I just want you to be okay' — were so key because there's pain in that, right? Because he's evolved in ways and he's moved beyond his pain and anger, and he doesn't want that for her. You don't want that for someone you care about. But, she's just not quite on that path yet and she does still have that."
Loki's sweet declaration led to a long-awaited kiss between the two variants; however, they didn't live happily ever after because Sylvie was committed to her mission. After the kiss, Sylvie opened a time portal and pushed Loki through it so she could kill He Who Remains.
"I think for me the kiss was really beautiful because I don't think it was a deception, and I don't think it was a trick necessarily," said Herron. "I think for her, it was almost a goodbye. I think she does care about him, but it's just her feelings toward having to complete the mission overtook because she's not emotionally in the same place he was. I always think of Sylvie in this episode almost like how Loki was in Thor. She has all this anger and pain, and she isn't necessarily going to make the best decision with it."
Where do Loki and Sylvie go from here? Well, viewers will find that out whenever Loki returns for its second season — because it is the first Marvel-Disney+ series to get renewed. (WandaVision was designed as a limited series, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's future is a bit murkier since a fourth Captain America movie is in development.) According to Herron, a season 2 was always in the cards for Loki.
"When I started, we'd always thought about it as its own story, basically, that it was these six episodes," said she said. "Marvel wanted to approach it like a giant movie, so we were always thinking about it like a giant film, but obviously with the second hand of it being episodic and wanting to keep the conversation going across the six weeks. But season 2 came out as we were working on it, and it was just coming out of the fact that Marvel was very excited about the story and Loki, and we'd done a lot of groundwork here but there's always so much more road to travel with him."
Unfortunately, Herron will not be involved in the show's season 2. "I'm only on for season 1, and it's honestly just because I'm so proud of the story we told," she said. "I'd always planned just to come on for [one season], because when we started, this was what we were doing with the story and I'm so grateful to Marvel. It has changed my life and I love the character, but I definitely will be enjoying the second season as a fan, and I look forward to seeing what another director does with it."