‘Loki’: Should the Sacred Timeline Be Preserved? Or Are Those Running It the Next Marvel Super Villain?
Loki‘s Time Variance Authority says there’s nothing more precious than the Sacred Timeline. The series premiere explained how the Time-Keepers brought the universe into order through it. And it said allowing a multiverse to exist is inherently bad because of the “madness” that would ensue. But is a multiverse bad? Or is it the true natural order? Loki Episode 4 said the universe craves chaos, hinting it’s the Sacred Timeline that’s unnatural. And it’s becoming increasingly clear the TVA is more oppressive and harmful than everyone was led to believe. It begs the question: is a multiverse bad? Or are those who would attempt to control it the true evil?
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Loki Episode 4.]
‘Loki’ Sacred Timeline meaning
Loki Episode 1 explained the TVA and the Sacred Timeline in the “Miss Minutes” video. It said:
“Long ago there was a vast multiversal war. Countless unique timelines battled each other for supremacy, nearly resulting in the total destruction of, well, everything. But then, the all-knowing Time-Keepers emerged, bringing peace by reorganizing the multiverse into a single timeline, the Sacred Timeline. Now, the Time-Keepers protect and preserve the proper flow of time for everyone and everything. But sometimes, people like you veer off the path the Time-Keepers created. We call those ‘variants.’
Maybe you started an uprising or were just late for work. Whatever it was, stepping off your path created a Nexus event, which left unchecked could branch off into madness, leading to another multiversal war.”
That “started an uprising” line is suspicious in hindsight, as rebellions are typically inspired by tyrannical forces. Viewers saw Sylvie’s backstory in episode 4, and it certainly made the TVA look tyrannical.
Ravonna Renslayer arrested the child Sylvie in her version of Asgard. She was put on trial, but escaped before the judgment and grew up on the run. Sylvie is the one who figured out all of the TVA employees are variants with wiped memories of their past lives. While she’s painted as the villain in the first three episodes, it’s clear she’s not.
Is the multiverse bad in ‘Loki’?
Just before meeting their suspected end on Lamentis-1, Sylvie told Loki, “The universe wants to break free, so it manifests chaos.” It seems she was implying the universe wants to have multiple branches. A multiverse would mean limitless possibilities, which is good or bad depending on your perspective.
The Loki post-credits scene also revealed there are more Lokis trapped in whatever alternate reality Loki woke up to after being pruned. With only two episodes left in the show, the reason all of the Lokis are being dumped in one place will hopefully become clear. But we might be able to find clues in the cast and characters from upcoming Marvel movies.
With Thanos defeated, the MCU needs its next big villain. In the Marvel comics, some of the Avengers’ biggest foes are Loki, Ultron, Thanos, and Kang the Conquerer (aka Nathaniel Richards). Kang will be the main villain in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (played by Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors). And given his significance in the comics, it’s hard to believe he’ll be making a one-time appearance.
Who is the next Marvel super villain after Thanos?
Kang wants to be “an overlord of the time-space continuum,” according to Marvel. And get this: Kang and Ravonna are lovers in the comics. Their relationship is complicated and on-and-off, but they are a couple. It seems the fake Time-Keepers could be their creation. And snuffing out anyone who could reveal the truth about the TVA is their way of controlling reality. Now that we know the Time-Keepers are fake (they’re robots!), fans on Reddit think Ravonna was speaking with Kang when meeting with them in previous episodes.
What’s more, episode 4 implied Ravonna and the TVA seem to be focused on eliminating every single Loki that exists throughout time. Loki is the God of Mischief, the arbiter of chaos. And chaos isn’t good when you’re trying to be the “overlord of the time-space continuum.” And Sylvie and Loki falling in love and teaming up would certainly cause more problems without even adding the alternate reality Lokis into the mix.
With Kang and Ravonna’s time-traveling abilities, it’s possible they know Lokis are the ones to foil their plans. So they set out on a path to get rid of them all. That would also explain why the TVA arrested Sylvie as a child. They’re after Lokis, whether or not they’ve created a Nexus event is irrelevant. Ravonna also said she didn’t remember Sylvie’s Nexus event, further hinting that that’s not the reason they’re rounding up Lokis.
There are two episodes left in the Disney+ series, and it’s not known if the show will have a season 2. But it’s very possible Loki was created to introduce the MCU’s next super villain.