Thanks to its status as a long-running franchise that always plans at least three steps in advance, the Marvel Cinematic Universe faces intense scrutiny whenever it includes anything that could even vaguely be construed as a tease of what’s to come LokiThe latest episode is no different.
Tom Hiddleston’s Asgardian deity was equally perplexed and irritated when he attended the 1893 World’s Fair when he saw a diorama featuring Thor, Odin and Balder the Brave honoring his culture. Beyond its omission, audiences immediately assumed that the latter was a direct reference to a character about to make her debut Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in the form of Daniel Craig.
Given Loki’s obvious connections to Asgard and the visual clue confirming that Balder exists in the MCU’s Sacred Timeline, it was only natural for everyone to assume it was a breadcrumb to be followed at a later date. Except, admitted director Kasra Farahani ScreenRant That was absolutely not his intention.
“No, it wasn’t. What this is about… First of all, the joke is that if you had Odin and Thor you would expect a third statue to be Loki, but that’s not the case. But it works also about using this as an opportunity to remind Loki and the audience that Loki is not just someone who works with the TVA, but that he is a god, that he comes from this lineage and that he has this power within him carries.
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that the Chicago World’s Fair basically brought all these different cultures from around the world and created pavilions for them. And the truth is that they are sometimes quite reductive and downright racist. So I wanted to kind of acknowledge that idea by having Loki say, ‘You can’t reduce an entire culture to a diorama.’ So I wanted to acknowledge that there.”
The best chance for Balder to finally make a splash in the MCU would be Thor 5, but even then there’s no sign of Chris Hemsworth getting another solo blockbuster. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with vague allusions until the mythological hero actually drops by or not.