The legend of Norse mythology barely peeks out of the closet in Lamentis: the third episode of the Disney+ spin-off series, and already, the showrunner has confirmed the brief scene is the full extent to which Loki’s bisexuality will be portrayed.
After theories upon theories flooded the internet questioning the depiction of the comic book canon bisexual in Loki’s new solo show —even we stirred the theoretical pot—the drama finally comes to a disappointing curtain call four episodes in, and none of the Internet’s finest queer theorists are satisfied.
According to Kate Herron, the bisexual showrunner and director of the highly-anticipated Loki, the trickster won’t be seen dating any men because the short scene confirming his bisexuality was a one-time event, “I would say in our story, this is how we acknowledge it,” she said. “But I hope that that paves the way for deeper exploration.”
In the third episode, Tom Hiddleston stars as Loki across from Sophia Di Martino playing Lady Loki or Sylvie: a unique variant of the demi-god’s many forms. The supposedly historic coming-out scene features the two catching up on entire lifetimes after alternate universes kept them apart; and in a totally casual way, Sylvie inquires about Loki’s romantic conquests as a prince: “Must’ve been would-be princesses or perhaps, another prince.”
“A bit of both,” Loki himself confirms, “I suspect the same as you.”
Instantly, an inclusive milestone is achieved for Marvel; but, what should draw more attention is the reason why a single exchange of dialogue within an entire spin-off series about Loki is considered a monumental milestone. Because Loki, out of every superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is the first and only one to be openly bisexual. To have just one, out of thousands of characters, be out and bisexual is indicative of how much further we still have to go to achieve queer representation in television.
In all honesty, the series fumbled the perfect opportunity to sincerely portray a bisexual character with Loki’s mythologically and textually-certified queerness by dropping his orientation into a conversation and calling it a day.
Although, for Herron, a bisexual woman heading a Marvel show, the small feat is worth celebrating when considering the number of children who will watch the episode: “Obviously, like I’ve said, it’s very personal to me, and I said it was a small step in some ways — because obviously, he’s just talking about it — but in the bigger scale of things, I’m like, oh no, it’s massive actually. If I saw that when I was 10, it would be really big for me.”
As the person behind the pitch to include Loki’s bisexuality, Herron also hopes to see just how far Marvel will take the confirmation in terms of Loki’s constant appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “It’s canon in the comics and if we can make it canon in the films, that would be amazing. When I came on board, I was like, if there’s a way to do this, it would mean a lot to me and, I’m sure, a lot of people.”
We can only hope Loki’s confirmed bisexuality, though barely represented, will be the small push necessary to send the media snowballing into the depiction of a frenzy of queer, intersectional characters. As for the gossips, theorists, and lovers, well back to fanfiction we go.