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In its premiere episode, Loki had most fans believing that a “variant” would be the Marvel series’ big bad. But after clues were revealed in episode 3, some are beginning to think the Time-Keepers are the real villains of the story. 

Gugu Mbatha sits on the bench as a TVA judge on Loki
Gugu Mbatha-Raw | Marvel Studios

Sylvie drops a bombshell about the Time Variance Authority in ‘Loki’ episode 3

In the season premiere, Time Variance Authority agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) clarifies that the biggest threat to the Time-Keepers’ sacred timeline is the dangerous and elusive Loki variant. He convinces the God of Mischief to help hunt the variant down. And by the end of episode 2, he does. 

In the series’ third episode, “Lamentis,” Loki follows his so-called variant, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) into the TVA and spars with her. With a TemPad in hand, he accidentally transports them to Lamentis-1, a moon planet headed for destruction. 

Loki and Sylvie decide to work together to get off the doomed planet. And trying to pry as much information out of her as he can, Loki begins mentioning the TVA and the Time Keepers. 

But Sylvie seems to be just as offended with the TVA as they are with her, calling them the “oppressive time police.” She then drops a bombshell about the employees who work there, revealing they were all just regular people whose memories have been wiped.  

“I was told that everyone who works for the TVA was created by the Time-Keepers,” Loki says, referencing his prior conversation with Agent Mobius. 

“That’s ridiculous,” Sylvie replies. “They’re all variants just like us.”

Does this mean the Time-Keepers are the real villains in ‘Loki’?

If Sylvie is telling the truth, it would mean that the mysterious Time-Keepers have been lying to their TVA employees, including Agent Mobius, for hundreds of years. If they’ve been hijacking people’s brains and turning them into working drones, it will make them series’ real villains. And it could also indicate that Mobius’ love for jet-skis goes back to his human life.

As of Loki episode 3, we have yet to see the Time-Keepers, save their cartoon appearance in the TVA informational video and their looming statues in the city and Ravonna Renslayer’s (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) office. So, as of now, their motives, along with Renslayer’s, remain a mystery.

The Time-Keepers have a significant storyline in Marvel Comics

The Time-Keepers appear in Marvel Comics as beings created to protect the timeline and save all existence. But in one comic book storyline, the villainous Time-Twisters pose as the Time-Keepers and try to siphon the Scarlet Witch’s powers. 


‘Loki’: So Where Exactly Is the Time Variance Authority Located?

So, there is a possibility that the real villains in Loki are the Time-Twisters just pretending to be the Time-Keepers. And if so, this backstory could be an excellent setup for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which features the return of Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet WItch (Elizabeth Olsen). 

Hopefully, fans will get more answers as the season continues. New episodes of Loki air Wednesdays on Disney+.