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In the second episode of Loki, the titular character is beaten up by a regular human inside Roxxcart, including being thrown through some shelving.

Why is Loki suddenly so easily bested in hand-to-hand combat? I know his strength was always in magic, and he's actually a "runt" giant, but if he was so significantly weaker than regular Asgardians then his parentage should have been obvious long ago.

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    The “regular human” in Roxxcart was actually someone possessed by the Loki variant. She was probably giving him some power boost at the time in order to have a better chance of beating up Loki. Additionally, perhaps Loki might have had some sort of power preventer from the TVA attached. Jun 21, 2021 at 13:20
  • I’m under the impression that since this variant was taken “out of time” and is no longer part of any timeline, his connection to Asgard has been broken and thus his power is limited.
    – Zip Zap J
    Jun 30, 2021 at 23:52
  • Agreed; the mega nerfing (basically removal of) of Loki's strength and abilities as a frost giant and Asgardian magic wielder was by far the biggest flaw in the show. It sort of made sense in the TVA, but on normal worlds he was still just as gimped.
    – TylerH
    Sep 7, 2021 at 21:00
  • @TylerH except in the void
    – OrangeDog
    Sep 7, 2021 at 22:56

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First off lets just think about whether or not Loki was trying to fight the human. Remember he's trying to talk to the other Loki properly. Perhaps the Variant was testing Loki to see if he wanted an all out fight or actually wanted to talk. The both of them are testing each other and trying to get the measure of one another. Loki clearly wants to talk to the Variant so best not to start all out warfare here.

However, discounting that the human was being possessed by the Variant. It seems most likely that under the possession the Variant was also giving powers to the human to increase their strength: they did throw Loki an awfully long way after all. Remember that we saw Agnes do something similar in WandaVision

where she possessed Ralph and gave him superspeed.

I think we also see this from Dormammu in Doctor Strange. It's possible the Variant is just doing that; it's just a Loki power we haven't been shown. However, we do see it shown in the comics. For something somewhat similar we see Loki increase Sandu's extra sensory abilities a thousand times in the comics, see Journey into Mystery Vol. 1 Issue 91:

Loki increases Sandu's extra-sensory ability after thinking it over briefly
Click image to enlarge.

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  • Episode 3 reveals some details of how the possession works, and no sign of physical enhancement so far
    – OrangeDog
    Jun 29, 2021 at 8:47
  • @OrangeDog Presumably the two powers are different. We're seeing a lot of new Loki powers in Loki so it isn't unreasonable to assume physical enhancement is one of them. I'll update my answer if we get confirmation one way or the other though.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jun 29, 2021 at 8:48

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