In the latest chapter of Loki season two, we learned some pretty huge revelations about the relationship between former TVA judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and He Who Remains, a.k.a. Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), thanks to Miss Minutes. But what does it all mean, and how does it tie into some of the earliest Marvel comics? Buckle up, because the Ravonna and Kang romance is a very twisted affair.
Ravonna Renslayer and Kang Were Partners Before the Multiversal War
In episode four of Loki’s second season, Miss Minutes explains a crucial piece of Ravonna Renslayer’s history to her. Information she would not be happy to hear. She explains that Ravonna and He Who Remains were working together as partners during the Multiversal War and were likely romantic partners as well. At some point, he indicated she would lead with him in the aftermath. Together, they’d rule from the Citadel at the End of Time. But He Who Remains betrayed Ravonna. Remember when Victor Timely said he doesn’t work with partners? That seems to apply to He Who Remains as well. So he sends her back to the TVA and erases her memories along with the rest of its employees. As Miss Minutes explains to an angry Ravonna, she says “Maybe we don’t need him. Maybe we never did.” This leads Ravonna to attempt to take over the TVA herself, along with Miss Minutes.
The Complex Marvel Comics Love Story of Ravonna Renslayer and Kang the Conqueror
In the comics, Princess Ravonna Lexus Renslayer made her first appearance in Avengers #23, back in 1965. She and Kang have a rather complicated relationship, to say the least. She was the daughter of King Carelius, who ruled 40th century Earth. Kang tried to destroy any monarch who did not submit to him, like Ravonna’s father. But Kang fell in love with the stubborn and determined Princess Ravonna, and she also fell in love with him, admitting to it only before her death. In fact, she threw herself in front of a deadly blaster bolt meant for him, dying to save his life. But this was not the end of the Kang/Ravonna romance.
Another variant of Kang eventually plucked a version of Ravonna from the timeline moments before her death, while another Kang preserved her body in stasis, hoping to gain the power of Life (or Death) from the cosmic Grandmaster in a game. A Grandmaster who is far more powerful than his MCU played-by-Jeff Goldblum counterpart. He’d then use the Power of Life to revive her. Although he won the game, he chose the Power of Death to get revenge on the Avengers, instead of the Power of Life to revive Ravonna. Grandmaster revived Ravonna anyway, who was now furious and betrayed that Kang had chosen vengeance on his enemies over his love for her. The lovers were now mortal enemies.
In the Marvel Comics, Ravonna Renslayer Becomes the Terminatrix
Now hellbent on revenge, Ravonna eventually infiltrated the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. Not long after, she took on the very ’90s identity of the Terminatrix. She put Kang in stasis, much as he had done to her when she was presumed dead. She then fought a future variant of herself known as Revelation. After many time travel machinations and attempts at altering her own future, Ravonna and Kang were reunited. And she seemingly forgave him. Then, she literally stabbed him in the back. She went back in time to Timely, Wisconsin in 1903 to start things over with an earlier version of Victor Timely, hoping to rewrite their narrative.
He Who Remains Wiped Ravonna Renslayer’s Memories in the MCU
So how does all that comic lore inform Loki? Earlier in the season, we heard recordings of He Who Remains saying “Ravonna Renslayer, you are quite a marvel. I would be proud to lead with you. Thank you, for being on my team.” Now, we know these very words to her were spoken by He Who Remains after the Multiversal War. But He Who Remains betrayed her and sent her back to the TVA and enacted Protocol 42, which saw her and all the other TVA employees have their memories wiped. It’s also why Agent Mobius doesn’t remember He Who Remains. He wiped Mobius’ mind of all knowledge of him and replaced it with false memories of the Time Keepers. We’ll see how this anger and betrayal leads to a changed, and more dangerous, Ravonna Renslayer in the remainder of Loki’s second season. Maybe we’ll see the Terminatrix after all.