Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Loki episode 5.
Loki episode 5 reveals a lot of new details about the Sacred Timeline, the TVA, and the very end of time itself, but it concludes with more new questions than answers. At the end of episode 4, Loki and Sylvie discovered that the Time-Keepers were nothing more than robotic puppets, and that the whole origin story of the TVA was a ruse. Before they could dive deeper into that mystery, however, Loki was pruned and sent to a mysterious new location, filled with other Loki variants.
Episode 5 picks up with Loki still stranded in that grueling wasteland, which he is informed is called the Void. With the help of some other Loki variants, he manages to escape the jaws of Alioth – a giant monster that rules the Void – and reconnect with Mobius and Sylvie (after both are pruned). Sylvie hatches a plan to enchant Alioth and pass through to the other side of the Void. With the help of Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki, who sacrifices himself, Sylive and Loki succeed, opening up a portal to a strange and foreboding castle.
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Though it expands the lore of the MCU timeline in some interesting ways, Loki episode 5 doesn’t give many concrete answers to the big questions of the show. Hopefully, those mysteries will be solved in the series finale, but there are already some big clues as to what’s really going on with the multiverse and the TVA. Here are the biggest unanswered questions from Loki episode 5.
What Is Alioth?
Alioth, the beast that guards the Void at the end of time, is one of the most powerful creatures yet introduced in the MCU. In the comics, Alioth is a more intelligent and less animalistic being, though his core nature and role are very similar. He rules the first few billion years of the universe, before much life had developed, and controls certain parts of the “limbo” space that Marvel comics characters journey through when time traveling. The comics version of Alioth is also a major foe of Kang the Conqueror, as both rule opposing temporal empires.
In Loki, Alioth has gone through some notable changes, which draw his very nature into question. Was he created by the TVA, or by whoever created the TVA? It seems awfully convenient that a creature capable of vaporizing matter lives at the end of the timeline, and it’s possible it was placed there intentionally. It also isn’t clear exactly what Alioth is guarding, or why? Is the person waiting for Loki and Sylvie even stronger than the beast itself?
What Is The Void?
As Alioth conjures many questions, so too does the Void itself. Renslayer explains that the Void is used as a dumping ground for all the pruned timelines; a place where they can be left and consumed by Alioth. But was the end of time always that way? And if not, who made it so? Again, these questions likely tie directly into the TVA’s own origin, which will hopefully be unveiled in Loki episode 6. For now though, many mysteries remain. Why are Lokis the only ones to survive in the void, for instance? And where even is the Void in relation to the rest of the universe?
What Will Mobius Do At The TVA?
Like Loki and Sylvie, Mobius survives his pruning and returns in episode 5, where he commits to taking down the TVA. After Sylvie gives him the TemPad she took from Renslayer, Mobius says some touching goodbyes and journeys back to the agency in a campaign to unveil its lies. How he intends to accomplish this, however, is unclear. Mobius alone isn’t nearly enough to contend with the full might of the TVA’s forces, most of which still seems to be following Renslayer. If he freed hunter B-15, they might be able to win some other operatives to their side. Even with that extra help, though, Mobius could be walking into a fight just as dangerous as Loki and Sylvie’s.
Is Classic Loki Really Dead?
In order to buy Loki and Sylvie the time they needed to enchant Alioth, Classic Loki makes a noble sacrifice, creating a massive illusion of Asgard to distract the creature and standing his ground when it came to destroy him. His decision to fight for something larger than himself is emblematic of the show’s overarching themes of personal change and freewill, and it was an effective moment despite the character’s relatively short amount of time spent on screen.
There’s reason to believe, however, that Classic Loki isn’t really dead. Earlier in the episode, he explains that he survived his encounter with Thanos – the point at which Loki is supposed to die – by using an incredibly convincing illusion. That means it’s possible that the Classic Loki seen standing his ground against Alioth wasn’t even real, and that his physical presence was just another part of the spell he was casting. That could mean that Classic Loki survived the encounter, and that he could reappear in the series finale.
Where Do Sylvie And Loki Go?
At the very end of Loki episode 5, Loki and Sylvie successfully enchant Alioth and open what appears to be a portal to some sort of sci-fi gothic castle. The episode ends before any real details about the new place are revealed, but theoretically the portal leads to the very end of the timeline. There have been a few popular theories explaining what the castle could be, with one possible answer being the Citadel at the End of Time from the Marvel comics – a place inhabited by He Who Remains, an ancient director of the TVA.
The other, more popular theory being tossed around is that the castle is Kang the Conqueror’s citadel. Many clues throughout Loki have hinted at Kang’s potential involvement, such as Ravonna Renslayer’s prominent role, the presence of Alioth, and the overall time-travel storyline. In the comics, Kang’s city of Chronopolis exists in a similar out-of-time context as whatever world Loki and Sylvie just opened. That means it’s entirely possible that they’ll find some version of Kang inside.
Who’s Really Behind The Time-Keepers And The TVA?
By the end of Loki episode 5, the driving mystery of the series still remains unanswered – who actually created the TVA, and why? Kang is a popular pick, and he’s one of the only known Marvel characters with the power and technological resources necessary to construct such a giant and complex organization. However, that doesn’t guarantee that Kang is Loki‘s villain. The character is intended to premiere in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and while he could show up in the MCU earlier than expected, the studio has gone to lengths to deny such speculation. If not Kang, though, then who? Another, evil Loki variant? He Who Remains? Mephisto? Only Loki episode 6 can provide the true answer.
Loki releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.
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- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
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