The season (series?) finale of Loki is almost upon us. We’ve seen Lokis of all shapes, sizes, ages, and scales. The show has scratched the surface of the MCU’s Multiverse, which is sure to have even more of an impact in the future, especially in the upcoming film Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. But, within the show, what has this all been leading to? What, or more importantly, who will be the architect of Loki’s pain? (Hell yes, Spectre reference)
Before I go any further, lemme slap a big ole **SPOILERS** right here. Spoilers for what we’ve seen so far in the Disney+ show Loki and possibly spoilers for some comic stuff.
Ok! In the latest episode of Loki we saw the God of Mischief himself, along with Sylvie, his female doppelgänger/maybe lover, find themselves at the edge of time. There, with the help of a “classic” Loki, played wonderfully and tragically (he spent his alone time building a replica of the home he’d lost 😭) by Richard E. Grant, the Lokis charmed a large, cloud-like monster Alioth. After they stopped the monster, it was revealed that beyond where time ends there is a floating castle. Whoever is inside of it is possibly responsible for the Time Variance Authority and therefore everything Loki had gone through in the show so far.
Got all that? It’s very much a CliffsNotes version of events, but that’s the gist. Confusing though it may seem.
The person, or persons, behind the TVA have been central to the show throughout. At first, it was believed that the organization was created by the Time-Keepers, three otherworldly beings that refused to meet with anyone. We would eventually find out that they wouldn’t meet with anyone because they were robots. Placeholders, even. It’s safe to assume that whoever actually created the TVA put them there as a sort of scarecrow to keep people in line. It is also safe to assume that whoever did that is currently residing in the floating castle we just saw.
Comics fans will tell you that it is Kang the Conqueror. Kang is a time-traveling Avengers villain who has familial ties to the Fantastic Four. While he has yet to be introduced in the MCU, he is set to do just that in the newest Ant-Man film and will be played by Lovecraft Country heartthrob Jonathan Majors. There is a lot of comics-heavy evidence that supports this theory. The use of time travel, the prominent featuring of Ravonna Renslayer, who is closely tied to Kang, and the appearance of Alioth who, in the comics is, you guessed it, closely associated with Kang.
Many others, including some very awesome and smart people at this very website, believe another Loki is behind all this. Thematically and storytelling wise that makes a whole lot of sense. We’ve spent the whole show meeting Lokis. While more than a few of them have been “bad”, the Loki we’re focused on started the show by learning that there is good inside of him. What if the one behind all of this is a Loki who never learned that? A truly evil Loki.
I’ll throw a bigger twist at you: what if both are true? What if there is a Loki at the edge of time… who is controlled by Kang?
In the first episode of the show, when captured by the TVA, Loki is put through a metal detector type device that is supposed to determine whether or not he is a robot (and destroy him if he is). In that moment he has a bit of an existential crisis and wonders if he is, in fact, a robot but doesn’t know it. It’s a fun moment but seemed odd to focus on. Later on, we find out the Time-Keepers are actual robots. So, not only have robots been a problem worth preventing at the TVA but they were also, technically, in charge!
Both moments were given a bit of heft in the story but then quickly moved on from. However, the rule of threes tells us that there’s still one more robot reveal to come. I believe we will get into that castle, meet a super evil Loki, he will be defeated and revealed to be nothing but metal and wires. A scapegoat, if you will, for the real villain: Kang.
It makes sense that Kang would make another Loki as he clearly has an obsession with him or, at least, sees his potential. The planet at the edge of time, where all people who are “pruned” by the TVA are sent, is filled with Lokis. It is three Lokis who defeat Alioth and “free” the castle at the edge of time. My bet is that Kang has been trapped beyond time. He knew that Loki(s) were capable of freeing him and has been ordering more and more Lokis be sent there. Perhaps he even created his own Loki at one point, a robot Loki, to defeat Alioth when it became clear that the Lokis he had captured were only concerned with their own survival?
It was through Loki that we were first introduced to Thanos. Wouldn’t it make sense that we meet our next big boss through him as well? If Marvel wanted to do that, but also throw people off, having a Loki be there but then having him be a decoy would make a whole lotta sense!
Only time will tell (nailed it) but I’m pumped for the finale regardless. Loki has been a wonderful example of how engrossing a comic book adaptation can be while also being bats*** crazy. I love it and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
But, seriously, c’mon y’all, it’s ‘bout to be a robot.
Header Image Source: Disney