The Old Loki (Richard E. Grant) variant appeared in episode 5, but what age is the character? Based on clues in the MCU, he’s ancient!
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Marvel’s Loki episode 5, “Journey Into Mystery.”
How old is Richard E. Grant’s variant in Loki? In episode 5 of the Disney+ series, “Journey Into Mystery,” the titular antihero (Tom Hiddleston) came face-to-face with various versions of himself from different timelines — including an elder version played by the veteran actor. “Classic” Loki — a name referencing the Loki variant’s comics-accurate costume — didn’t provide his age before his death; however, there are enough clues in the MCU to figure it out.
In Loki episode 5, “Journey Into Mystery,” Classic Loki explained how he had lived to such an unusually old age. Being particularly skilled at illusions, he created such a believable projection that he was able to avoid death-by-Thanos, then snuck off to live in exile. Although not explicitly stated, Old Loki presumably did so overcome with shame. A theme throughout the Disney+ series has been Loki grappling with his self-loathing and narcissism. A key moment for Old Loki was him choosing to break the cycle — hence why that was when he created a Nexus event.
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The TVA left Classic Loki alone until he tried to find Thor after many years of isolation — suggesting that him simply existing isn’t a problem. Rather, Loki breaking his self-destructive habit was the real concern. There is little information in the Loki episode about when or why Classic Loki was purged, how long he had been living in the MCU’s Void, or even how many years he lived in isolation; however, based on the actor’s age, it’s possible to speculate the character’s age, using previous mentions in the MCU. Most likely, Old Loki was approximately 2100 years old — and may have been as much as 5000 years old (although that seems unlikely).
Loki’s age in the MCU is hard to pin down, but is most-likely 1,054 at the time of his death. This is based on the flashback scene in Thor, which is the only solid date for Loki’s history: “Tonsberg, Norway 965 A. D.” Since Odin says in the voiceover narration that they withdrew from the others worlds after winning against the Frost Giants (and taking their source of power), this is roughly when Odin must have found Loki as an infant and brought him home. Assuming that Frost Giants age in a linear pattern, and taking into account the age of Hiddleston versus the age of Grant, Old Loki must be at least twice as old as the primary MCU version. There’s a chance that Frost Giants’ aging process slows in adulthood, however — this would seem to be the case for Asgardians since Odin in the MCU was at least 5000 years old when he died (based on his appearance in the flashbacks).
The problem with ages in the MCU is complicated by Thor’s comments on age. Thor says he’s 1500 years old when talking to Rocket Raccoon in Avengers: Infinity War, and in Thor: Ragnarok says to Surtur “I thought my father killed you like, half a million years ago.” The latter can be explained as hyperbole; however, the former is harder to reconcile with the date given in Thor. Because Loki and Thor are so close in age (both are shown as children in flashbacks and describe growing up together many times throughout the MCU) presumably, Thor would also have to have been born around 965 A. D. — that, or Odin previously fought the Frost Giants 500 years prior and that’s when he rescued Loki. For that to work, however, Thor and Loki would have to have been children for 500 years, since Odin is telling them the story about the Frost Giants at the beginning of Thor.
One explanation is that like Doctor Who, which changes the Doctor’s age based on how he’s measuring, Thor saying he was 1,500 years old was simply him measuring a year based on a different planet’s cycle. It’s possible that 1,054 Earth years equals to roughly 1,500 years on Asgard. It also possible that Thor likes to exaggerate. Now, given how similar in appearance Odin’s age in Thor is to Classic Loki, the latter may be closer to 5000 years old, assuming Frost Giants age at the same rate; however, it’s difficult to believe that Loki would be alone that long. The easiest answer is that the variant in Loki had spent a little over 1000 years in isolation as well as in the Void, making him about 2100 years old.
Marvel’s Loki releases new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+.
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