Warning! Spoilers ahead for Marvel’s Loki episode 4, “The Nexus Event.”
Marvel’s Loki revealed that the beings in charge of the Time Variance Authority, the Time-Keepers, are fakes. Revealed to be no more than mindless robots, the true identity of whoever’s really in charge of the TVA is still at large. Clearly, the TVA is not what it seems in all sorts of ways, including the hidden truth that all of its employees are actually variants who were taken and had their memories erased. Thanks to Loki and Sylvie (variants themselves), many of these secret truths have been revealed, though they still don’t know who’s pulling all the strings.
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In Marvel’s Loki episode 4, “The Nexus Event,” Loki and Sylvie were saved from the apocalypse on Lamentis where they had been trapped, creating a nexus event which resulted in the TVA locating and pulling them out. However, this leads to them both being put back into their custody and scheduled to be pruned from the sacred timeline in the presence of the enigmatic Time-Keepers. However, Loki and Sylvie managed to get both Agent Mobius and Hunter B-15 to believe them and the truth that they were variants, leading to the variant Lokis being able to fight back. However, the deeper truth was revealed when Sylvie decapitated one of the Time-Keepers, and all three beings shut down, revealed to be literal robotic puppets for someone who still remains a mystery.
That being said, there are some pretty strong and interesting theories as to who might really be in charge of the TVA. It’s quickly becoming apparent that the sacred timeline is merely someone’s desired outcome for the universe with hidden agendas, and there are a few intriguing suspects. Here’s a handful of the most likely and/or interesting theories as to who could have created the fake Time-Keepers.
Kang The Conqueror
One theory is that Kang the Conqueror created the fake Time-Keepers. Kang is certainly one of the most likely suspects, as he definitely has the most potential based upon what’s known about the character and his confirmed MCU future. A major villain from Marvel Comics who uses his mastery of time and space as weapons in his attempts to take over the universe, Kang would fit right in as someone who’s potentially constructed an entire organization to protect the concept of a sacred timeline in order to shape events as he sees fit, all while using “Time-Keepers” as a means to keep himself anonymous.
It’s certainly possible that there was never a Multiverse War at all as Miss Minutes claimed in Loki’s first episode, and perhaps the TVA’s goals of order and balance for the timeline are really just disguised as Kang’s goals for control, ruling the timeline for himself. Kang has a long history as a villain of the Avengers and Fantastic Four, and it’s already been confirmed that he’ll be featured in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania played by actor Jonathan Majors. Perhaps Loki could serve as a sort of prelude for the character? The presence of Ravonna Renslayer (Kang’s romantic interest in the comics) could also be hinting at Kang being the man behind the curtain as well.
That being said, it’s certainly possible that the TVA’s Ravonna Renslayer could be behind the creation of the Time-Keepers herself. While this latest episode of Marvel’s Loki featured a flashback where she was working as a TVA Hunter before climbing through the ranks as a judge in the series’ present, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to suggest that she could have replaced the Time-Keepers with the mindless androids at some point, pretending to be the second-in-command and primary speaker for the Time-Keepers (while secretly being in charge the whole time). However, this would suggest that the real Time-Keepers were in existence before Ravonna.
At this point in the series, it’s safe to say that anything and everything could happen, and Ravonna being the true overarching villain would certainly be an interesting twist. In any case, the episode did end with Sylvie demanding the know the entire truth from Ravonna herself. At the very least, she knows more than she’s letting on and it’s very likely that she knew the Time-Keepers were fakes.
Another Loki Variant
While many had theorized the Richard E. Grant would be playing an older version of Loki (and were proved right in this episode), a theory within the theory was that Grant’s Classic Loki would actually be running the TVA in secret. While this doesn’t appear to be the case after seeing the 2012 Loki variant meeting the Council of Lokis after being pruned, it’s possible that a different Loki variant could still be running the show.
An interesting idea could be that a darker Loki variant had built the TVA and the fake Time-Keepers for their own ends to control all of time as they wished. Furthermore, perhaps they narcissistically believed that their greatest threat was any other variant Lokis, leading to a greater focus on pruning Lokis for causing “nexus events” when they might not have actually created a nexus event at all. Perhaps that was just an excuse to eliminate competition? It would certainly explain the surplus of Lokis in the latest episode’s post-credits scene, as well as explaining why Sylvie was arrested when she was just a child.
Again, anything and everything could happen, and it would certainly be interesting if it were revealed that the Watchers were responsible for the creation of the Time-Keepers. While the cosmic beings are tasked with observing and recording the major events of the universe without intervention, there have been Watchers (such as Uatu) who have been more direct in helping protect the universe and keeping it safe in the comics. Could the fake Time-Keepers be a Watcher’s way of protecting time in secret without overtly violating its mandate to only observe?
With Marvel’s upcoming What If…? animated series being prepared to explore different worlds and characters from across the multiverse, Loki would certainly be an interesting means of introducing the Watchers with more details beyond their brief cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with Stan Lee. Supposedly, managing the sacred timeline is the only thing preventing multiversal madness. Perhaps What If…? will directly spring out of the multiverse breaking free once more despite the Watchers’ wishes thanks to the Lokis? While it’s arguably the least likely of the aforementioned theories, it’s still an intriguing concept nonetheless.
In any case, Marvel’s Loki only has two more episodes to go, and a lot of ground to cover before things make total sense. There’s plenty of questions that need to be answered, with one of the biggest ones being who created the Time-Keepers and is really pulling the TVA’s strings. Hopefully, the Loki variants (and fans) will get their answers by the series’ conclusion.
Marvel’s Loki releases new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.
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- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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