‘Loki’ Director Kate Herron Used an ‘Emotion Bible’ To Help Direct Characters in the Disney+ Series

Loki director Kate Herron did a masterful job of converting one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most enduring characters into a Disney+ draw. The hit series — which recently concluded its first season — has received critical acclaim for its plot, themes, and character development, all of which Herron is largely responsible for.

Every director has their own method for building characters, and Herron’s is truly impressive. She invested a ton of time into learning as much as possible about Loki, Sylvie, Mobius, and everyone in between, and recently revealed she developed an ‘emotion bible’ to help guide them.

The ‘Loki’ creative team relied on a bunch of collaborators to develop the series

Michael Waldron and Kate Herron at D23 EXPO 2019
Michael Waldron and Kate Herron at D23 EXPO 2019 | The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA via Getty Images

Herron shared a few details behind the creative development of Loki during a recent interview with Elle. According to her, Marvel Studios places a strong emphasis on collaboration.  

“I would say [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige, his whole company is very collaborative. He has his plan and his design for where he wants the films and the TV shows to go with these characters, but it’s really a collaborative studio. And it’s generally I think always a case of ‘best idea wins.’ None of the creative team ever felt we were being restrained,” she said.

While she focused more on the particulars of the show’s plot and character arcs, she had higher-level executives working to make sure the storyline didn’t deviate from the larger MCU timeline. 

“On our show, we had a producer called Kevin Wright who was an executive at Marvel, and he essentially was steering the Marvel side of things and making sure that, yeah, we weren’t venturing places we couldn’t, but also he was so key in the story as well,” she said.

‘Loki’ director Kate Herron used an emotion bible to help guide her characters 

Even though Herron had a team helping her flesh out ideas for Loki, she also had her own methods of developing the show’s narrative. She created a special guide that allowed her to go deep into the minds of all of the series’ characters. 

“I have an ‘emotion Bible’  I wrote when I was working on the show to help me track where characters were at different points in the story. With Tom—for example, that speech he gives to Sylvie at the very end of the show? That was something we were working on right up to the day we filmed it. The line, ‘I just want you to be okay,’ that came from Tom. I love that the Loki we have at the end doesn’t want the throne, when in episode one he does,” she said. 

Tom Hiddleston played a big role in Loki’s character development

When the time came to start filming episodes of Loki, Herron relied on Hiddleston to help her make creative decisions with the character. His decade of experience with the role proved vital to the show’s success.  

“Something with Tom that was always really key is that he knows Loki so well. He’s been playing him for the last 10 years. When we were filming the time theater in episode one, for example, me and him would talk about The Avengers—because this is the god from New York, and he’s very different from where we take him in episode six,” she said. 

Loki has been renewed for a second season, but there’s no word on when it will be released. 

RELATED: ‘Loki’ Director Kate Herron Isn’t Returning for Season 2 — ‘I’m Proud of What We Did Here and I’ve Given It My All’