Explaining LOKI's Time Variance Authority Revelation - Nerdist
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Explaining LOKI’s Time Variance Authority Revelation

The thing about any piece of Marvel media focusing on the God of Mischief is that you can’t really trust anything outright. Trickery and deceit run rampant. But even so, with only its third episode, Disney+‘s Loki has already presented several incongruous versions of possible events. Perfect for our theory hat wearing, and our inevitable wrong-proving. Loki‘s third episode, “Lamentis,” told us a few things that contradict, or at least make us question, the things we learned in episodes one and two. One of these involves the nature of the Time Variance Authority itself; pardon the use of internet speak, but “huge if true.”

If you’ll remember, in episode two “The Variant,” during the delightful investigating scenes between Loki and Mobius M. Mobius, Loki and the audience learn of Mobius’ love of jet skis. He loves generally anything from the ’90s. We also learn that the Time Keepers themselves created the TVA agents. And in episode one, “Glorious Purpose,” we find out that none of the TVA agents have actually ever met the Time Keepers. Judge Renslayer has, but that’s for a different theory.

Loki and Sylvie stand on the barren surface of Lamentis-1.

Marvel

With all of that in mind, we turn to “Lamentis,” in which Loki and his variant counterpart Sylvie have to escape an apocalypse. Or try to anyway. While it takes a while for the two of them to come to any kind of agreement, they do eventually share a piece of information vital to the alliance vital to Loki’s understanding of the TVA. Evidently, the TVA agents are not actually the spawn of the Time Keepers. In fact, they are all humans. More than that, they’re all variants themselves. Big news here.

Naturally our first instinct is to distrust Sylvie, who may or may not even be a variant Loki; that’s still up for debate. However, in explaining her enchantment of the TVA agent, she says the young woman loved margaritas during her human life. And we can and should believe that because we saw that at the beginning of the episode. Sylvie used the memories of grabbing margs with a pal to get information about the Time Keepers.

Ravonna Renslayer sits in front of a huge sculpture of the face of one of the timekeepers

Marvel

Though Sylvie hasn’t revealed the full scope of her plan, nor her reasons for wanting to destroy the TVA beyond their time-fascism, it’s highly likely it’s merely a façade for what’s really going on. If indeed the Time Keepers wipe variants’ memories to turn them into TVA agents, making them think they’ve always been one (remember, Mobius says time works differently here), it’s very likely what the show presents as the canonical Time Keepers might in fact be some nefarious ruse. The Kang Dynasty, perhaps?

Loki and Mobius M. Mobius sit at the Time Variance Authority

Marvel

At any rate, this would explain a LOT about the TVA as we see it. Why they seem to be stuck in Earth’s brutalist period, why the agents have various Earthy knickknacks. Hell, it’s probably why Mobius likes jet skis so much. He probably had a jet ski and he misses it! Mobius definitely has a “dorky ’90s dad” aesthetic.

Is Sylvie Laufeysdottir telling Loki the absolute truth all the time? Surely not. But is she on the level about this? My gut says yes. Perspective and point of view are key to stories with unreliable narrators, and Kate Herron‘s masterful filmmaking in the series thus far has usually been from the perspective of people without knowledge. Loki most of the time, and once or twice Mobius. Therefore, us seeing Sylvie enchanting the TVA agent, is purely for the benefit of the audience. And if you can’t trust people when they’re by themselves, who can you trust?

Loki and Sylvie stand back-to-back as they look at the long line of people they'll have to get through.

Marvel

Featured Image: Marvel

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!