Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Loki.
Episode 2 of Loki has already provided us with dozens of Marvel Easter eggs, questions, and theories. So what’s the harm in one more? Back in September 2020 we learned that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Logan actor Richard E. Grant would be joining the cast of Loki. But who does Richard E. Grant play?
One immediate theory among fans, even before Loki was released on Disney Plus, is that Richard E. Grant plays a version of Loki, specifically Old Man Loki. This theory, in all honesty, opens up more questions than answers, hopefully all of which are answered by the end of Loki. So does Richard E. Grant play Old Loki? And what does that mean for Loki’s journey?
Marvel fans think that Richard E. Grant plays Old Loki in 'Loki.'
When the news was announced that Richard E. Grant would be in Loki, fans were quick to jump to conclusions. And we don’t blame them! Richard confirmed his casting in a tweet with a side-by-side picture of him and Tom Hiddleston, and the resemblance is uncanny.
Richard wrote, “[Tom Hiddleston] and I have talked about working together for some years and finally get to do so in Loki.” So not only do we think Richard and Tom look alike, but they’re aware of it as well. And with their apparent penchant for playing fantastical roles, how could Richard not play a version of the God of Mischief himself?
The Old Loki theories go beyond the idea that Richard E. Grant plays him.
Producers have not confirmed who Richard E. Grant plays, but they have confirmed that he is only in four episodes of Loki. And what would be the point in casting the incredibly talented Richard (and announcing his casting far ahead of time) if only for a minuscule role? We have to imagine that Richard’s role in Loki may not be too long-lasting, but will be significant.
Multiple fans on Reddit have posited theories that Richard will be revealed near the end of the series as the leader of the Time Variance Authority (TVA). The idea is that Mobius and Loki need to travel to “the end of time” to confront the Time Keepers, and they meet “He Who Remains,” who in the Marvel comics is the last director of the TVA.
This theory, along with another, believes that once Loki and Mobius meet Richard’s character, he will reveal himself to be Old Loki and that he’s been pulling the strings of the TVA this whole time.
In this theory, Old Loki has brainwashed all the dutiful employees in a WandaVision-esque fashion, and the reason the TVA is so concerned with finding Loki variants is because Old Loki knows they’re the only ones who can overthrow him.
If this theory is true, we could see an ultimate “battle of Lokis” at the end of the series, which could be possibly the best final crux in the MCU. And Richard E. Grant would essentially be playing the most powerful being in the universe.
Many of us might have missed a major Richard E. Grant Old Loki hint in Episode 2 of 'Loki.'
In an early scene of Loki Episode 2, Mobius explains to the TVA agents that they’re looking for a Loki variant, but that the variant may not look like Loki as we know him. Mobius then goes to show us many Loki variants that the TVA has already come across. As he flips through the different Lokis, the last two look different from Tom Hiddleston.
Is it possible that one of the final two Lokis shown could be Richard E. Grant? If that’s the case he might have already been caught once by the TVA, which still serves the theory that he would have the knowledge to overthrow it. And while Richard E. Grant’s IMDb profile states he’ll be in Episodes 3–6, only “He Who Remains” knows the truth.
New episodes of Loki drop every Wednesday on Disney Plus.