Who Exactly Are the Time Keepers in LOKI? - Nerdist
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Who Exactly Are the Time Keepers in LOKI?

The fourth episode of Loki, “The Nexus Event,” shook things up. The reveals changed a lot of what we knew about the Disney+ series—especially when it comes to the Time Keepers. Let’s be real. The Time Variance Authority (TVA) never seemed entirely on the up and up. An agency dedicated to controlling the Sacred Timeline run by a bunch of space lizards who only employ humans despite looking after an entire galaxy of beings? It sounded off immediately, both to Loki and to viewers. And as it turns out, the Time Keepers weren’t real. Not exactly.

Ravonna Renslayer took Loki and the Variant Sylvie in front of the enigmatic Time Keepers. It’s the first time we see them in person, though statues of the godlike beings stand around the TVA. With some help from Hunter B-15, Sylvie and Loki attack Ravonna and the Time Keepers. The Lokis discover the Time Keepers are mere androids, programmed to serve… someone? And Ravonna is an accomplice, though we don’t know how willing. So who are the Time Keepers, really?

Time Keepers definitely exist in Marvel Comics. But will Loki keep them as a pure construct—androids someone else controls? Or are there actually real Time Keepers who just like to stay way behind the scenes? Our own Rosie Knight theorized about their identities long before we met the Time Keepers, and we stand by those ideas. Plus we have one more.

It Was Ravonna All Along
Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) wearing a brown double-breasted suit and holding her Tempad, with another TVA agent behind her.

Marvel

In the comics, Ravonna and Kang the Conqueror have a history. At one point, Ravonna rules over Kang’s kingdom of Chronopolis in his place (she uses the alias Terminatrix). So imagine if they set up the TVA as a front, using it to conceal themselves jumping through time. As a fake authority, they could further tailor the timeline to make the history they (especially Kang) want. Then they can cause all the mischief and gain all the power.

Or, it could be Ravonna on her own, if they want to reserve all things Kang for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Imagine: Ravonna Renslayer, time lord supreme. At this point, we don’t know if the force behind the Time Keepers has something on Ravonna to encourage her to keep secrets or if she’s happily in on the secrets.

Kang Possibilities

Okay, maybe it’s just Kang working on his own and puppeteering the Time Keepers and Ravonna. If it’s not exactly Kang himself, it could be an alternative version of the character such as Immortus (a future version of Kang) or Rama-Tut (a past version of Kang). Or perhaps it’s the Council of Kangs, a collection of time lords. One or three versions of Kang could be behind the TVA, shaping history. Kang could connect to the Time Keepers without it being the Kang we’ll meet in the next Ant-Man movie.

Time stuff is confusing, y’all.

The Ultimate Loki
Sylvie stands behind an exhausted Loki

Marvel

The Loki we know wanted to overthrow the TVA. What if another Loki already did that? Or what if a different Variant created the TVA in the first place? Lokis seem to like to amass power, and what position is more powerful than possessing the means to control all of time? Even the title of “Sacred Timeline” seems just grandiose and silly enough to come from a Loki. Setting up faux rulers, treating humans like garbage, eliminating other Loki Variants—sounds like a Loki that never evolved into caring for others. Then again, a Loki ruling the timeline might want to be in the spotlight for doing so.

Additional reporting from Rosie Knight.

Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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