WARNING: Spoilers for Loki episode 5, “Journey into Mystery.”
The Loki finale will finally reveal the identity of the villain being the TVA, but it very well could be King Loki who set up the agency in order to trap all the other Loki variants, including Tom Hiddleston’s main Loki. From the very first episode of the Disney+ series, there was something off about the Time Variance Authority, the multiversal agency tasked with protecting the Sacred Timeline. The agency’s mysterious triumvirate of Time-Keepers was especially fishy, with Loki referring to them as “space-lizards,” and even longtime and loyal agents never once having seen them.
Loki’s suspicions about the Time-Keepers were proven right in episode 4 when they were revealed to be little more than robots puppeteered by someone else. Even when audiences still believed the Time-Keepers were real, the long-held belief was that a greater villain was behind them and the TVA. The most commonly-held theory is that Kang the Conqueror is Loki’s final boss, and it makes sense considering Kang’s entire raison d’etre is to travel through time and conquer various eras. Other characters thrown about have been Immortus (the future version of Kang), another unspecified Loki variant, even Miss Minutes (Tara Strong).
But considering everything that’s been revealed through the first five episodes, all signs are pointing to it being one villain behind it all specifically: King Loki and he’s created the TVA for a very specific reason. Here’s why.
A Loki’s Glorious Purpose Always Starts Out With Wanting To Rule
Aside from Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), whose capture by the TVA happened at such a young age she was still largely an innocent, every Loki variant has believed their glorious purpose is to rule. Some have evolved and grown away from that small-minded plan, like Loki and Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant), but, as the events of Loki episode 5 revealed, quite a few of the Loki variants are still stuck in that mindset. Kid Loki (Jack Veal) rules on the throne over the Void, a garbage dump realm at the end of time, a true God of Outcasts, as Classic Loki named them all. Boastful Loki (Deobia Oparei) made a deal with President Loki (also Tom Hiddleston) and double-crossed Kid Loki to gain his throne, after which President Loki immediately betrayed Boastful Loki to take it from him. So far, the Loki variants are about 50/50 between evolving into becoming more and still remaining stuck in the obsession of wanting to rule on a throne, any throne. It’s entirely possible, even likely that if there are other Loki variants with more power out there, they almost certainly used it to gain a throne–even if it’s one beyond the Void at the end of time. There’s nothing more “Loki” than the final boss of the show being another Loki variant who has finally achieved what he believes is his glorious purpose and finally being able to name himself “King Loki.”
The Show Has Been All About Loki Being His Own Worst Enemy
While deeply funny at times, Loki has been all about the God of Mischief being his own worst enemy. While it’s true that a good portion of that is down to the TVA and the Time-Keepers having locked Loki into his path, most of the other variants have shown that, with that control removed, they’re still prone to stabbing others in the back. Loki was lucky enough to have the dual influence of Morbius and Sylvie on him, and as a result, he’s grown beyond his pettiness and narcissism in a number of ways. But the other Lokis continue to sabotage and self-sabotage; even if Loki survives this trip to the Void, the series has implied that Loki learning to fight his own worst instincts will be the work of a lifetime. He may have been locked into a specific path on the Sacred Timeline, but the Time-Keepers didn’t create the God of Mischief outright. Who Loki is now is a combination of nature and nurture, and his nature will always be that of a trickster, even though now he knows he can use it for good.
On the surface, the main fight in the show has been Loki and his allies vs. the TVA; underneath, the real fight has been Tom Hiddleston’s Loki vs. himself. Literally and figuratively, the narrative has been about him figuring himself out, chasing himself, fighting himself. Every fight he’s had with a non-Loki character has been because he is who he is, even if who “he” is was another variant of himself. Introducing Kang or Immortus or another Marvel character as the final boss would completely upend everything the show has set up so far. Loki having to face off with King Loki is the only ending that makes sense–of course, the final villain would be an evil version of himself. Defeating King Loki would symbolize Loki finally conquering the worst aspects of himself, and, more specifically, the part of him that was desperate to rule and to subjugate others.
King Loki Wanted Loki To Remain A Villain In The Comics
While considerably different in the exact narrative, thematically, Loki has been borrowing from the Loki: Agent of Asgard comic book series, as well as picking up some of its story elements. In that series, Loki agrees to be an agent for the All-Mother. Every successful mission he completes for Asgard gets one of his sins stricken from the books and allows him to assuage some of the guilt he feels over the crimes his past self has committed. Along the way, Loki meets a Midgardian named Verity Willis, who has the unique power of being able to see through any lie or deception–making her more than able to match Loki. Though it never turns romantic, she becomes Loki’s first real friend and helps him to grow. In Marvel’s Loki show, Mobius has taken the place of Verity in being able to see through Loki’s lies to the heart of him.
More importantly, in that same series, there was a mysterious adversary who was thwarting Loki every step of the way. Eventually, it was revealed it was King Loki who had been manipulating him. King Loki was a depraved and villainous future version of himself, who was determined to thwart Loki from becoming a better person. It turns out that in the future, Loki had successfully completed all his missions for the All-Mother and cleared all the terrible deeds from his name, but was still seen as nothing more than the God of Lies. In his bitterness, that future Loki reverted to his old ways and became even more of a villain known as King Loki. He’s determined to stop current Loki from completing his missions as King Loki believes it’s all futile and that no matter what, Loki will become a full-blown villain. However, with the help of Verity, Kid Loki, and Old Loki (in the series, Classic Loki), Loki chooses his own path. Rather than giving into his worst impulses as he might once have, Loki realizes that the timeline is already changing and his future isn’t set; he can write his own story. He drops all the nicknames he’s been given by others–God of Mischief, God of Lies, God of Evil–to embrace the only one he’s ever chosen for himself: God of Stories.
Theory: King Loki Created The TVA To Trap Loki Variants
It makes complete sense that the final villain of Loki, the one who has been pulling the strings the entire time, is King Loki. It marries elements of Agent of Asgard with the new story the Disney+ series is telling. The central battle then comes down to a King Loki who believes he can’t change vs. the Loki who knows he can. Loki has changed because he’s had the support of friends who believe in him and have been nothing but honest, forcing him to do the same. But King Loki is the worst version of himself, and the worst version of himself is one who manipulates the timeline, just as he did in the comics, in order to create his own fatalistic, self-fulfilling prophecy.
In theory, the King Loki of the series could have his motivations slightly changed. Rather than manipulating the timeline to ensure Loki will never break from his role of being a villain, the King Loki of the Disney+ series may very well have created the TVA in order to trap the other Loki variants. Creating the TVA to prune Loki variants kills two birds with one stone. It ensures that no version of Loki who steps off the path King Loki has set for himself gets to write his–or her–own story, while also fulfilling villain King Loki’s selfish desire to rule over the other Lokis, in fact, to be the only Loki variant who truly rules. After all, nothing would please a Loki more than knowing he’s the “best” Loki. In essence, King Loki is the worst possible outcome for Loki, not merely a Loki who believes he is nothing more than a villain, but one who thwarts every attempt by other Lokis to become something more, either because he’s convinced they’ll fail or, more likely, because he’s afraid they’ll succeed. Considering the meta nature of Loki and its themes of duality and self-sabotage, King Loki being the ultimate villain of the series is the only thing that makes sense.
The Loki finale drops Wednesday on Disney+.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
90 Day Fiancé: Sumit Reveals Makeover Without Jenny On July 4th
About The Author