It has always been the case that the world of the Asgardians in the MCU is not only modeled after their comic book counterparts but also their mythological stories. Of course, we saw the same about Loki as he embarked on a new adventure in the ‘Loki’ series, wherein he became the savior of the multiverse and the TVA. In doing so, he created the Yggdrasil, which we know is essential to understanding the story of the Asgardians in Norse mythology and Marvel Comics. So, how did Loki create Yggdrasil?
Yggdrasil in mythology and the comics
We know that the world of Marvel Comics draws inspiration from mythology, which is the case for the Asgardians. Of course, one of the concepts that Marvel used in the comic storyline of Thor and the Asgardians is Yggdrasil.
According to Norse mythology, the different realms of existence can all be found in one incredibly large tree with different branches that lead to the different realms of the world. Yggdrasil is also called the World Tree, representing the world itself. So, in short, instead of an actual spherical globe, the world for the Nordic people was a gigantic tree with different branches that connected to the different realms, including Asgard, Midgard, and Jotunheim.
In the comics, the same concept was used. However, instead of an actual tree, Yggdrasil is represented as an energy field that supports and connects all Ten Realms associated with Asgard.
While this energy field isn’t a tree, it is metaphorically portrayed as a tree because it has different “branches” that allow the Asgardians to go to different realms. All of these branches are supported by this energy field, which is why the realms can exist.
Yggdrasil in the MCU
Even though the concept of Yggdrasil has always been important in Norse mythology, one of the things that we know about it is that it hasn’t been talked about a lot in the MCU. There have only been a handful of times wherein Yggdrasil has been mentioned. But the fact is that it still holds a special place in the mythos of the Asgardians in the MCU because they still believe that it is the source of life in all of the different realms.
In the first Thor movie, Thor explained the concept of the Nine Realms to Jane Foster by drawing Yggdrasil. Then, in ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ Malekith mentions Yggdrasil as he wanted to turn it into black matter. But there was never anything concrete that explained what the true nature of Yggdrasil is.
Then again, the events of the ‘Loki’ series happened, which may very well explain what Yggdrasil is in the world of the MCU. And it all boils down to Loki’s entire journey from the God of Mischief into an entity that has become the most important person when it comes to the existence of the multiverse.
How ‘Loki’ created Yggdrasil
Even though the ‘Loki’ series has dialed down on its Asgardian references by bringing the storyline to a world beyond time itself, the journey of Loki has allowed us to see the creation of Yggdrasil and how it plays a role in the greater storyline of the MCU.
We know that Loki ended up in the TVA, which exists beyond time and was working to find a way to preserve the different timelines and save the TVA from destruction after the death of He Who Remains.
However, the finale of the entire series allowed Loki to understand that he was basically in a closed loop created by He Who Remains as the Temporal Loom, which they all thought was there to create timelines was just a failsafe to preserve the Sacred Timeline.
Loki understood that He Who Remains created a loop wherein the God of Mischief would almost always lose. If Loki allows Sylvie to kill HWR, the Temporal Loom would eventually overload due to the branches from the Sacred Timeline and then destroy all of the other branches except for the Sacred Timeline, thus assuring that HWR would be reborn once more. But if Loki were to kill Sylvie, then that would mean that HWR would reign forever.
Nevertheless, Loki learns from Sylvie that destroying something to replace it with something better is an option he could take. As such, understanding that he was burdened with a glorious purpose, Loki destroyed the Temporal Loom. He used his powers as a god and as someone who now holds power over time and space to regulate the different branches of the Sacred Timeline, thus becoming the replacement of the Temporal Loom itself.
Loki took his place at the end of time as he sat on He Who Remains’ throne while using his power to oversee the multiverse and the different timelines branching off the Sacred Timeline. As the camera pans out, the branches form the shape of a tree, thus teasing that Loki has become the core of Yggdrasil.
This makes sense from a mythological standpoint because Yggdrasil was always meant to be the tree that supports the different realms. In this case, the realms are the different timeline branches that combine to form this tree-like shape. And we know that the entire ‘Loki’ series has always described the timelines in the multiverse as branches that needed to be pruned to preserve the one and only Sacred Timeline.
However, this time, there is no longer a Sacred Timeline because there is only one large tree that houses all of the different timelines and universes in the grand scheme of things. This tree symbolizes the Yggdrasil that Norse mythology describes as the very thing that supports the existence of all of the realms. It just so happens that the one who is now sitting at the end of time to regulate Yggdrasil is none other than Asgard’s prodigal son, Loki.
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