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Loki! (spoiler thread)

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So, I just realized something. It is not based on the comics, but on the show's internal logic. Still, I'll put it in a spoiler block, because some folks don't like to see such speculation...

It has occurred to me that, for an organization that, by its nature, sits outside the normal time stream, verb tenses don't necessarily mean what we think they mean.

"Miss Minutes," in her little expository filmstrip, says there was a multiversal timline war. That is from the TVA perspective. It is not necessarily from the perspective of the MCU/Earth-19999. That war could be in the future of the MCU - like, starting in the Doctor Strange movie...
 

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Stalker0

Legend
That, of course, is the entire point. The TVA has to go.
I think one of the issues with "damage already done" is that we have already seen that the current actions leading up to the Avengers beating of Thanos was "enforced" as the proper timeline.

If that had been left vague, then if Loki defeats the TVA it can be construed that "all of the things we see did have choice because the TVA was actually gone when it all happened"

But since we have seen the TVA's active hand, it already suggests that everything up till now on screen has been "enforced by the TVA". So destroying them ensures free will in future works, but still invalidates all of the effort that has happened up till now.

But that's my speculation, lets see where the ride takes us.
 

Stalker0

Legend
A big problem is that it's really hard to show superior intellect on-screen without either having super-smart writers, or by having everyone else be really dumb. This particularly applies to social intelligence, which is supposed to be Loki's forte - it's easier to show Tony being smart by building a Cool Thing than to show Loki being smart by taking over Asgard, particularly on an action movie scale.
I agree its difficult, though not not impossible for Marvel. For example they did it pretty well with Black Window in the avengers.

Twice we see Widow use her "interrogation skills" to smartly outwit two people, very good writing, was a very nice touch. So Marvel is clearly capable of it.

I think Thor said it best in Thor 3.... Loki's betrayals were so frequent and obvious at this point that he had grown predictable. So I think one of the best ways to take Loki in the future is let him actually do what he says he is going to, and not betray....this sets up chances for greater mischief in the future.
 

We also have to remember that one of the TVA said that time works differently there, not that there is no flow of time at all. So while they are outside of the standard flow of time and space, things still more forward there or nothing would ever happen.
 

I think one of the issues with "damage already done" is that we have already seen that the current actions leading up to the Avengers beating of Thanos was "enforced" as the proper timeline.

If that had been left vague, then if Loki defeats the TVA it can be construed that "all of the things we see did have choice because the TVA was actually gone when it all happened"

But since we have seen the TVA's active hand, it already suggests that everything up till now on screen has been "enforced by the TVA". So destroying them ensures free will in future works, but still invalidates all of the effort that has happened up till now.

But that's my speculation, lets see where the ride takes us.
We've only seen them respond to Loki taking advantage of the Endgame time travel shenanigans in order to escape, though. We don't know to what degree, if any, they manipulate the "natural" course of events.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think one of the issues with "damage already done" is that we have already seen that the current actions leading up to the Avengers beating of Thanos was "enforced" as the proper timeline.

So, this may be useless nitpicking, or it could be rather important, so I'll engage in the nitpick.

If I recall correctly, Mobius does not say that beating Thanos as they did was "enforced". They do not say that the TVA had to take action to make sure it happened. Mobius said words to the effect that those events transpired "as they should have."

1) It is possible that the TVA doesn't care about most actions. For example, they may not care about whether you have chicken salad or a BLT for lunch. The bulk of your personal actions are just minor components of the overall statistics of billions and trillions of beings, and you are perfectly free of will within those statistics. The graphic they showed of an alternate timeline going "to the red line" supports this idea. There is an allowed region in which the universe is allowed to exist. The only "enforcement" the TVA needs to do are on actions that go outside the allowed bounds, and create persistent alternate timelines. Since Captain America put all the toys back where they came from (just like Cap, to clean up his room, right?), the TVA doesn't have to enforce anything. They still had choice, but just happened to make choices that were all fair game, from the TVA's point of view.

In this form, the TVA is really no different than any other regulatory body. Sure, there are some things you aren't allowed to do, but for the most part people are incapable of those actions, and only a few folks have to be constrained if they make bad choices. Loki bucking the system is an act of CN self-interest. What happens to the plebeians is irrelevant, but LOKI will not be constrained!


2) An alternative is that what the TVA has done is create a deterministic universe, that will run to its completion in a known manner so long as there is no outside influences. Unfortunately, in doing so, they didn't actually eliminate all outside influences - the TVA itself is an outside influence, for example. And that raises the question of what outside influence led to Loki's escape with the Tesseract?

In this form, the TVA has removed all free will from the trillions of sentient beings in the universe. They are villains, and Loki is a straight up hero for opposing them.

And, I suspect they'll never tell us which of these is the case, especially if Mobius is Loki, because that would make the character simple. :)
 

We've only seen them respond to Loki taking advantage of the Endgame time travel shenanigans in order to escape, though. We don't know to what degree, if any, they manipulate the "natural" course of events.

We just know they do their best to prevent variant timelines from spawning from the main timeline. We also know that, at least for now, there is at least one variant timeline, for the one where Loki disappeared with the tessaract, rather than staying there to play out the events of the main timeline that ended in his death. And in that timeline Thanos would have never gotten all five infinity stones, because that Loki was never there on the Asgard ship with the tessaract. That means that if this Loki is never forced to go back to his fate, there is at least one timeline where the Snap never happened. And if there is another Loki murdering the TVA squads and taking the reset charges, then there is at least one more variant timeline active for that Loki. I am really expecting Loki to cause the collapse of the Sacred Timeline, though not on purpose. And which Loki you ask? Why several of them being together all at once, perhaps fighting and causing some time-space explosion or something. Or what happens if this evil version of Loki sets off all those stolen charges at the same time and in the same place? That might rip the timeline apart and create a true multiverse.
 

hopeless

Adventurer
The more I hear about this, the more I wonder why they didn't just have Thanos drop Loki off where the TVA pick him up and the TVA are unaware they've picked him up after he was supposedly killed.
Thus he's playacting knowing full well he's being observed and has faked his powerlessness to hide the fact he can escape any time he wants, but wants to find out everything he can so he can make sure the TVA can't catch him afterwards.
Mobius catches his interest and he helps him out of curiosity to find out whats actually going on and eventually realises Mobius and many of the TVA are being eliminated in preparation for Kang taking everything over.
I'm wondering if Kang is also Immortus and the founder of the TVA who was imprisoned and his power usurped resulting in the current mess.
Ravonna is helping to free him and is using variants like Loki to cover up their scheme.
But Loki is pissed, and since he's the same Loki who was willing to give up his life for his brother he fully intends to make them suffer for their actions perhaps enough to help Mobius discover the truth.
I'm hoping Mobius realizing the truth sends Loki back to his time repaying him for his help knowing fully well he has no chance of defeating the true villain but might have a cameo in Antman 3 hopefully!

Unlikely from what I hear they haven't recognised they're treating the MCU the same way as they treated the original concept for the Antman movie because it wasn't fitting their nascient MCU and now that Endgame is over the mess that was Captain Marvel didn't clue them in to the mistake they're making.
I'm hoping I'm wrong about this as it does sound like Loki is better than Wandavision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier which is surprising but their agenda driven focus is concerning.
 

MarkB

Legend
So, one thing that didn't occur to me until now: The actions of the Avengers against Thanos may have been "meant to happen", but doesn't that still leave the current version of Gamora as a Variant? She's from an alternate timeline, one which presumably no longer exists since Captain Rogers went back and 'snipped all the branches'.
 

So, one thing that didn't occur to me until now: The actions of the Avengers against Thanos may have been "meant to happen", but doesn't that still leave the current version of Gamora as a Variant? She's from an alternate timeline, one which presumably no longer exists since Captain Rogers went back and 'snipped all the branches'.

But was it? Rogers went back and returned all the infinity stones they took, which he could not with the tesseract, because this Loki got it. Do the other versions of Gamora and Thanos and his troops just happen to be from the same variant timeline as this Loki?
 

MarkB

Legend
But was it? Rogers went back and returned all the infinity stones they took, which he could not with the tesseract, because this Loki got it. Do the other versions of Gamora and Thanos and his troops just happen to be from the same variant timeline as this Loki?
I don't think so. The team going after the stones at around the beginning of the events of Guardians of the Galaxy is separate from the one going after the stones at the end of the first Avengers movie, operating at two separate points in time, so they'd each create a separate 'branch'.

Not that it was necessarily easy for Steve to clip all those branches even if he had been aware of the extra Tesseract going astray.

 


I finally got to watching the first episode of Loki. I like it so far, and expect that I'll only like it more and more as it continues. Not much else to say that hasn't already been said (expecting a female version of Loki, possibly some Mobius-Strip style plot for the show, etc).
 

But was it? Rogers went back and returned all the infinity stones they took, which he could not with the tesseract, because this Loki got it. Do the other versions of Gamora and Thanos and his troops just happen to be from the same variant timeline as this Loki?
Maybe the variant timeline in which Thanos travelled into the past and was killed has already been "pruned" by the TVA? In which case Gamora would appear to be a "variant". However, the TVA might not be anything like as all powerful as they make out. Maybe that variant hasn't been caught?

That brings the issue of how does "being late for work" create an alternative timeline? It's actually a fairly deterministic thing to happen. There is a traffic accident - deterministic - which holds up the traffic - deterministic - making you late - deterministic. Is there a non-deterministic way to be late for work?
 

That brings the issue of how does "being late for work" create an alternative timeline? It's actually a fairly deterministic thing to happen. There is a traffic accident - deterministic - which holds up the traffic - deterministic - making you late - deterministic. Is there a non-deterministic way to be late for work?

That whole Butterfly Effect theory may be what that is all about. Or it could be about choice and how the TVA does not like it. I think the variant timeline being created is a choice thing. That person chose to do something other than the normal routine and that made him late, causing a very tiny variation in the timeline to be created.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Maybe the variant timeline in which Thanos travelled into the past and was killed has already been "pruned" by the TVA? In which case Gamora would appear to be a "variant". However, the TVA might not be anything like as all powerful as they make out. Maybe that variant hasn't been caught?

Alternatively, all those shenanigans are, for some reason, the universe as intended by the Timekeepers? Like, if one or more of the Keepers exist because of those events, the events cannot be eradicated.


Is there a non-deterministic way to be late for work?

Blatantly - A time traveller or person from an outside place (say, the Dark Dimension, which we are told exists outside time) intervenes in your morning routine.

Less blatantly - it would be roughly consistent with Marvel styling that "quantum effects" could disrupt the timeline naturally.
 

Alternatively, all those shenanigans are, for some reason, the universe as intended by the Timekeepers? Like, if one or more of the Keepers exist because of those events, the events cannot be eradicated./
"Meant to happen" or not, there is a timeline where Thanos travelled forward in time to change history, and was deleted by Tony Stark. And therefore never completed the infinity gauntlet and therefore the blip never happened.
 
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hopeless

Adventurer
So why interfere with Loki's timeline at all?
All they had to do was paralyse him, drop him off back at that site he ported out of drop the tesseract at his feet then leave.
There done no need for a trial or anything variant timeline problem solved the space stone returned and no one the wiser!
 

MarkB

Legend
So why interfere with Loki's timeline at all?
All they had to do was paralyse him, drop him off back at that site he ported out of drop the tesseract at his feet then leave.
There done no need for a trial or anything variant timeline problem solved the space stone returned and no one the wiser!
The timeline he teleported out of was itself a variant timeline created by the Avengers going back in time. And it may or may not have been subsequently deleted through the act of returning the stones. There may not be anywhere for him to return to.
 

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