Loki’s season finale ushered in a shocking change for the TVA, but the organization may have been altered even further than has been revealed.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Loki, “For All Time. Always.,” streaming now on Disney+.
Loki‘s dramatic season finale brought huge ramifications for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) finally come face to face with the sinister mastermind behind the TVA, but in the episode’s final moments, the Sacred Timeline was shattered, the work of the TVA undone and the multiverse reborn. In the episode’s devastating conclusion, Loki finds himself in a new iteration of the TVA, controlled no longer by the mythical Time-Keepers, but by the almighty Kang the Conqueror.
While Kang’s presence in the series had long been anticipated by fans, the finale flipped expectations on their heads. The TVA’s true creator turned out to be a variant of Kang played by Jonathan Majors, while the Conqueror himself — or at least, a statue of him — was introduced only at the last minute, casting him as the TVA’s new commander. This shocking reveal sets up a pretty major status-quo change for Loki going forward. However, the full implications of this change extend far beyond the instatement of a new leader for the TVA.
Introduced in Loki‘s first episode, the Time Variance Authority was tasked with defending the so-called Sacred Timeline, preventing the creation of alternate timelines and a second multiversal war. They claimed to act according to the will of the godlike Time-Keepers, but following Episode 4’s revelation that the Time-Keepers never existed, the finale unveiled the TVA’s true creator – He Who Remains, a variant of Kang the Conqueror.
In the comics, Kang is a time-traveling tyrant whose interference with time has resulted in multiple versions of himself ruling an empire that spans various eras. While Kang was never mentioned by name in the finale, He Who Remains’ explanation of his origins as a scientist who discovered the multiverse and power-hungry variants of himself made it apparent that he was a variant of Kang. Plus, Majors was already confirmed to be playing Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania prior to his surprise debut in Loki. When Sylvie killed him, the rule of the TVA ended and the timeline splintered into a brand new multiverse. Meanwhile, Loki found himself in a new iteration of the TVA, with his former ally Mobius (Owen Wilson) no longer recognizing him and statues of the Time-Keepers replaced with a statue of Kang the Conqueror.
With the multiverse restored and Kang presumably seeking to control it once again, the TVA’s original purpose is now pointless. The ripple effect of Sylvie’s actions, which resulted in time splintering into multiple branches throughout every point in history, means that the multiverse has not just been recreated, but that time has been reshaped so that the multiverse has now effectively always existed. The fact that Mobius does not recognize Loki evidences this – his history has been rewritten, meaning his encounters with the trickster god now never happened. Furthermore, when Mobius and Hunter B-15 are watching new timelines emerge, they question whether their ruler wants them to simply let it happen, suggesting the TVA is no longer utterly devoted to preventing the birth of new timelines.
Since the TVA still exists in the new multiverse, it begs the question: why? TVA logos can still be seen on the Hunters’ uniforms, confirming this is still the Time Variance Authority and not simply their headquarters repurposed as a new organization under Kang’s rule. So, this new TVA could be designed to alter various timelines to further Kang’s temporal conquest. Earlier in the episode, He Who Remains explained that to some of his other Variants, “new worlds meant only one thing, new lands to be conquered.” This could be taken to suggest that Kang has utilized the TVA as a means not of preserving a single Sacred Timeline, but of manipulating all timelines in accordance with his will. His comic book counterpart once formed a Council of Kangs to assist in eliminating variant versions of himself across the multiverse, allowing the “Prime Kang” to install himself as leader of their empires. Perhaps his MCU counterpart is using the TVA to a similar end in his quest for multiversal supremacy.
Alternatively, it’s possible that Kang is looking to adopt a mission similar to He Who Remains by reforging a single Sacred Timeline and removing all other timelines that could threaten his power. While B-15 and Mobius appear ready to accept that Kang wants them to allow the new timelines to branch off, they still seem unsettled by this notion. The TVA may no longer be rushing to immediately prune any divergent timeline, it but could still be working more subtly towards a long-term goal of a single timeline, unified under Kang.
Kang has not worked with the TVA in the comics, where the organization has typically been at odds with the tyrant, making his takeover new ground for the MCU. Seeing him in charge of the TVA is a dramatic shakeup in its own right, but what his leadership could mean for the organization’s mission is even more terrifying. With a second season of Loki picking up from the finale’s cliffhanger and Quantumania set to further explore Kang’s despotic exploits, Marvel fans should expect this new villain’s reign of terror to continue for a long time to come.
All six episodes of Loki Season 1 are available now on Disney+. Season 2 is on its way.
KEEP READING: A Loki Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Recaps, Theories and Rumors
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