What LOKI's Season 1 Finale Means for Ravonna Renslayer - Nerdist
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What LOKI’s Season 1 Finale Means for Ravonna Renslayer

Ravonna Renslayer didn’t return to the year 2018 and her old job as a Vice Principal in Fremont, Ohio in Loki‘s season one finale. So where–and when—did she go, and what does she plan to do? The answer can be found in the files that He Who Remains wanted her to see. And her comic book history points to a future that involves stopping the conqueror who won the latest Multiversal War.

Judge Renslayer holds a pruning stick in her office on LokiMarvel

In Loki episode five, Judge Renslayer asked Miss Minutes for all files on the founding of the TVA. As Hunter B-15 realized, Renslayer wanted to find out who controls the agency. But Miss Minutes didn’t give the Judge those records. The sentient hologram gave her something else to read, on the orders of He Who Remains. “He thinks this will be more useful,” Miss Minutes said. Exactly what those files contained remains a mystery, but Renslayer’s reaction to them tells us something.

The Judge was already packing to leave the TVA when Mobius confronted her. “I couldn’t let you get in the way of our mission,” she said to justify why she pruned him. When Mobius pointed out that the TVA was built on lies and there was no mission, Renslayer didn’t show any remorse or regret. Nor did she agree with him. “It can’t have been for nothing,” she said. “Someone created the Time Keepers. They created this whole place. They gave us all purpose. I have to believe they had a reason.”

To sum up, the files did not reveal the identity of He Who Remains. Nevertheless, they didn’t lessen Renslayer’s resolve over why the TVA was necessary. They made her more confident in her role as a cosmic protector of time and reality. “You know what would happen if we didn’t prune the timeline? Chaos. Death.”

A woman sitting on a couch talks to an orange hologram clock in an officeMarvel

In that moment, she sounded just like her secret boss. Wherever and whenever she is going in time, Renslayer has no plans to burn the TVA to the ground. Quite the opposite. She’s poised to try and take command of it.

Mobius and his eons-old friend also argued about free will and who should or should not decide it. Mobius wanted people to live without the TVA’s interventions. “Free will?” Renslayer responded. “Only one person gets free will. The one in charge.” As she prepared to leave the TVA through a TemPad door, Mobius asked what she plans to do. “What I need to do,” she answered. And right before she left he asked her where she’s going to go. “In search of free will,” she said. Judge Renslayer still doesn’t know who is in charge, but she is on her own mission to become that person. Wherever in time or existence that takes her.

The big question is: Why didn’t the tired ruler name Renslayer as his successor? He’s seen every possibility that can happen in time, and the only person he thought capable of inheriting his kingdom was Loki twice over. He Who Remains obviously doesn’t want Renslayer in charge. He just wants her to continue working on behalf of the TVA.

Judge Renslayer looks shocked in her suit and tie on LokiMarvel

Maybe it’s just as simple as not all good soldiers making for good generals. But, theoretically, none of that should have mattered at all to He Who Remains. There shouldn’t have been any reason for him to give Renslayer any files. He Who Remains told Sylvie that if she killed him he would just end up right back there. Time would repeat itself like a loop, with him back in charge of the TVA. Of course, that didn’t happen. One of his Variants won the Multiversal War that Sylvie started with her dagger.

He Who Remains was seemingly aware this could happen, which is why he sent Renslayer those files. She was his failsafe in case anything went wrong. And her past in Marvel Comics points to her being one powerful failsafe.

In the comics, Princess Ravonna Renslayer was a time-defying space pirate born in the year 4978. A far cry from an educator in the Buckeye State. This Ravonna also had a complicated (in the way only comic books can be) on-again, off-again relationship with Kang the Conqueror. He is the dangerous Variant most likely in control the TVA now. Following numerous alliances and bitter splits between the two, Ravonna eventually became Terminatrix, an “assassin and Mistress of Time.”

A comic book panel shows Ravonna Renslayer in her epic comic book armorMarvel Comics

Terminatrix’s goal was to bring down Kang the Conqueror. During her quest, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four also got mixed up with the powerful villain. And during the battle he sacrificed himself to protect the woman he once loved. Kang nearly died. While a grateful Terminatrix cared for him, she ruled his kingdom in the future by disguising herself as Kang. That was possible thanks to her suit of armor with holographic circuitry capable of making realistic projections.

The same kind of technology might be responsible for the existence of Miss Minutes in the MCU.

A gif of Judge Renslayer walking through a tempad door in her office on LokiMarvel

If He Who Remains—a man who claimed to do evil things out of necessity to keep a much worse evil at bay—thought there was any chance he would lose the next Multiversal War, he would have wanted a fallback option. When the entire universe is at risk, you don’t take chances. But he didn’t want someone who would usurp him. He wanted someone who would usurp his Variants.

He might have found that person in a Judge dedicated to the TVA’s mission. A woman whose comic book counterpart fought Kang and ruled his kingdom. A Terminatrix who might have need of a hologram who also believes in protecting the Sacred Timeline. Ravonna Renslayer was a high school vice principal in the past. But she might still have a future as a time-defying space pirate.