Loki episode 5 continued to tease who created the Time Variance Authority, and it might not be Kang or Mephisto, but another Loki Variant. Here’s why.
Warning: SPOILERS for Loki episode 5, “Journey into Mystery”
Loki has yet to reveal who created the Time Variance Authority, so who is really behind the powerful organization? Marvel Studios’ third Disney+ series puts Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief in the leading role in a new way. Loki follows a Variant of the character created when he grabs the Tesseract and bounces from his planned timeline during Avengers: Endgame‘s time heist. This puts Loki in the sights of the TVA, a mysterious organization responsible for protecting and maintaining the Sacred Timeline. While the series initially set up the group to be uneasy allies for Loki, it has become apparent that there is a lot about the TVA that has remained hidden.
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The perfect example of the TVA’s secrecy and trickery is the search for who created it. Loki originally explains that three powerful beings known as the Time-Keepers run the TVA and oversee the Sacred Timeline. Despite everyone at the TVA believing this story, viewers of the show were less convinced. The series proved the skepticism over the Time-Keepers was warranted, as their introductions in Loki episode 4 revealed the truth of them. Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) decapitated one of the Time-Keepers to find that they were merely robots being controlled by someone else. This ignited even more theories about who is really behind the TVA and left viewers desperate for the answer.
Loki‘s penultimate episode kept the mystery alive in regard to who is behind the TVA. Loki and Sylvie did discover a castle beyond the Void after they enchanted Alioth. They now believe that the person pulling the TVA’s strings is in this location, setting up Loki‘s finale to finally answer some massive lingering questions. Fans have speculated that major Marvel villains like Mephisto or Kang could be behind the TVA, with the latter seeming more likely after the Kang Easter eggs in Loki episode 5. However, the TVA’s creator and the individual Loki and Sylvie are pursuing could be another Loki Variant.
What Loki Has Hinted About Who Is Behind The TVA
Throughout Loki‘s first season, the show has teased various details about who is behind the TVA. One of the biggest hints at their identity is the immense power levels they must have. The person behind the TVA had to create an organization that oversees all of time. Meanwhile, it is possible that this individual is the reason why magic and the Infinity Stones do not work in the TVA. The power it would take to subdue other powers could only be accomplished by someone of incredible strength. At the very least, they would need to have a great understanding of the universe’s vastness to locate a place that exists beyond time and nullifies rare artifacts that could take the TVA down.
It is also clear that whoever created the TVA is a master of secrecy and manipulation. Everything that Loki originally presented about the TVA appears to be a lie and part of an elaborate trick to anyone who crosses paths with the organization. The TVA’s Hunters are Variants and not creations of the Time-Keepers, and pruning sends a person or object to the void and doesn’t immediately destroy or kill the affected subject. The Time-Keepers also aren’t actually running the TVA. The tricks and deception even puzzle Loki in episode 4 as he grows frustrated with the neverending lies about what the TVA really is and who is behind it.
Because of this, there is a strong sense that whoever is behind the TVA wants to remain hidden. They aren’t the face of the organization or craving the attention that would come their way with such power at their fingertips. This apparent satisfaction with letting the TVA serve its function might be a product of the organization’s role in the creator’s larger plans. If the person who created the TVA only did so to ensure the timeline unfolded in a way where they are ruler over time, staying in the shadows would be for the best.
Theory: A Loki Variant Is Behind The TVA
All of these signs could be building to Loki‘s final reveal that another Loki Variant is the one who created the TVA. The entire concept of the Disney+ series revolves around different versions of Loki, after all. The main Loki Variant and Sylvie have been at the center of the show, but episode 5 featured dozens of different Lokis and there have been teases of even more MCU Loki Variants. It is hardly a stretch to think that a Final Boss Loki Variant is right around the corner waiting for Loki and Sylvie.
A Loki Variant being behind the TVA would connect well with what is known about the creator already. Loki has shown just how powerful Lokis can be, so the evolution of one’s power to create the TVA is within the realm of possibility. Plus, Loki is literally known as the God of Mischief. Mischief is the perfect word to describe what is really going on with the TVA after all the tricks and deception on display. While it is a bit more difficult to believe that a Loki would accomplish this feat and not want the recognition of his glorious purpose being achieved, this Loki Variant might understand that this is what it takes to get his desired outcome and rule.
This might even explain why the TVA seems to prune Loki Variants almost more than any other. The show hinted that this is merely a product of Loki’s nature to create chaos, but there could be more to the story, too. If a Loki Variant is behind the TVA and manipulating the Sacred Timeline, then that Loki might realize that the only one who can stop him is another Loki.
Why A Loki Variant Fits Better Than Other Theories
The reveal that a Loki Variant is behind the TVA is also simply a better fit for Loki‘s story than the scenarios other theories present. The common thought at this point is that Jonathan Majors will make a surprise appearance as a version of Kang the Conqueror prior to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and be revealed as the mastermind of the TVA. However, this risks Marvel Studios taking all of the attention away from Loki with such a major character reveal at the last second. Loki‘s finale would suddenly need to explain who Kang is, make viewers understand why he’s important to the current story and the MCU’s future, and do so without overshadowing Loki. It makes much more sense for Loki‘s storytelling for the TVA’s secret leader to be someone already involved with the show. Even if the Loki Variant running the operation hasn’t been introduced yet, the show has done all the legwork to introduce another Variant at this stage.
A Loki Variant being the villain of Loki also would underscore the themes and narrative of the show. The series has focused on this alternate version of Loki making a change for good and proving that Lokis don’t just exist to play a part in other people’s stories. Instead of pitting Loki against a villain he has no connection to, Loki can end with the show’s main Loki taking on his greatest enemy: himself. That would give the series a great way to wrap up this current story while building on all the character work it has already done.
Furthermore, Loki revealing that another Loki Variant created the TVA can build on a line from episode 5. The episode showcased how powerful Lokis really are, with Classic Loki creating a giant illusion of Asgard to distract the tempest monster Alioth. The show’s main Loki Variant even remarks that he believes Lokis are stronger than they realize. Loki can cement this as a fact by revealing that one of them became powerful enough to create the TVA. Thankfully, all will be revealed very soon.
Loki releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.
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