‘Loki’: Marvel Producers Late Acknowledging Character’s LGBTQIA+ History on Screen

Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The recent confirmation of Loki’s bisexuality in the latest episode of the Disney Plus series has caused an eruption of support and celebration from fans of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Predictably, however, the voices of those unhappy with this decision have still slipped through the cracks. It appears that those who are displeased with the news find it absurd that a main character like Loki, a God, is bisexual.

In the third episode Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) had a conversation that revealed Loki’s bisexuality
Source: Marvel Studios

Bigoted Fans Lament The News

In the episode named ‘Lamentis’, the Loki variant known as Sylvie (played by Sophia Di Martino) asks original Loki, “You’re a prince. Must’ve been would-be-princesses… or, perhaps, another prince?” when talking about past romantic relationships. 

In this crucial moment – which will hopefully lead to more LGBTQ+ representation in Marvel Cinema – Loki replies, “A bit of both.” Though short, it is a line that has been long-awaited by many.

The exchange also sets the scene for a possible bisexual love story for Loki in the future—perhaps with a ‘prince’, as the MCU is sorely lacking a same-sex romance. 

Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) is one of the earliest members of the MCU; the character was first introduced in the movie Thor (2011). However, his sexual identity has only recently been confirmed in episode three of the proposed six part series, which follows the character’s next steps after their last appearance in Avengers: Endgame (2019).

The Origins of Loki’s Sexuality

Although it may have taken Marvel producers ten years to confirm one of its main characters as LGBTQIA+, Loki’s identity is nothing new. By looking back at the origins of Loki in Norse mythology, the inspiration for the God of Mischief we have come to know and love, you’ll find that evidence of Loki’s newly confirmed identity has been there all along.

Historians and academics have long been studying and translating myths of the Norse Gods that date back thousands of years. One of the most memorable stories featuring Loki is when the trickster God shapeshifts into a mare and has sex with a stallion. This moment of passion impregnates Loki, who later gives birth to an eight-legged horse which is believed to go on to become Odin’s magnificent steed Sleipnir.

It’s unsurprising then that the producers of the show, Loki, have finally decided to confirm the character’s bisexuality—seeing that it has always been a part of this Norse God’s identity.

This single story not only tells us that the inspiration for Marvel’s beloved trickster is gender fluid, which is alluded to by his ability to shapeshift, but it also confirms Loki is bisexual as he lays with a male horse. Other tales of Loki’s affairs in Norse mythology confirm he is attracted to more than one gender, because of the references to the dedication of his wife Sigyn who remains loyal to her husband despite his infidelity and later being outcast by the Aesier.

Tom Hiddleston plays the anti-hero, Loki, in Disney+’s new series
Source: Marvel Studios

Heterosexuality Is Still Viewed As The Norm

We live in a society that assumes heterosexuality and being cis-gender are the default. This ongoing belief has damaging knock-on effects for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, who are subject to verbal and physical aggression, a lack of support from public institutions, and who fail to see themselves represented in films and television.

There’s evidence of an entire spectrum of sexuality and gender identity throughout history, before the fairly new LGBTQIA+ initialism was created, as demonstrated by the stories of Loki in Norse mythology. 

The fear of movies and TV shows representing a community because it is ‘too modern’ and doesn’t fit into the overtly straight history we’ve come to know, has only arisen because we’ve been shown a limited view of humankind’s past. 

The confirmation of this Norse God’s bisexuality will help to highlight the history of an entire spectrum of gender and sexual expression, which has been hidden in plain sight for too long.

Additionally, in Norse mythology, hunky, bearded Thor dresses as the goddess Freya to steal his hammer back from the King of Giants.

Gender and sexuality have never looked one way. With more producers starting to include characters that represent the LGBTQ+ community there’s hope that we can start to deconstruct heteronormative ideas and instead normalise characters identifying as bisexual and genderfluid.

Hopefully, in upcoming Marvel films, we will see more LGBTQIA+ representation. At Comic-Con in San Diego back in 2019 Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie, confirmed that her character’s love story will be one to watch out for when she said,  “As new king [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen.”

Words by Jasmine Edge

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