It’s been almost a week since Loki concluded on Disney+, and we’re still not done talking about the finale. As expected, Marvel’s most anticipated TV show from Phase 4 brought us the multiverse. All that happened just as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) figured out who he is in a second remarkable arc for the character. But now that the Loki multiverse is official, we have yet to figure out all its rules.
It’s the multiverse that has us still scratching our heads after episode 6. The events in Loki will impact the entire timeline. We’ll see the multiverse in at least two MCU films later this year, and there’s an amazing TV show waiting in the wings to tell other multiverse stories. But it turns out that one of the biggest multiverse revelations is hiding in plain sight. It’s right there in the finale, but we’re too oblivious to it to see it. Luckily, Loki director Kate Herron explained everything. Beware, massive spoilers follow below.
Kang’s multiverse war explanation revisited
Kang (Jonathan Majors) is one of the episode’s highlights, taking up a lot more time than we would have envisioned for this particular character reveal. But his presence is essential for moving the story forward. He needs to explain himself to Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), so the two can decide what to do next. It’s either another multiverse war and a free timeline, or Loki and Sylvie become the TVA’s co-CEOs, replacing He Who Remains.
We all know what happened in the finale, but we need to revisit Kang’s multiverse exposition to understand Herron’s revelations.
Kang explaining to Loki and Sylvie how the multiversal wars started is one of the episode’s best parts. Even after all these eons of equilibrium, you can see Kang is still angry. He still remembers what had happened, and Majors does a great job bringing all those conflicting emotions to the surface.
In Kang’s excellent show-and-tell presentation, we learn that he weaponized Alioth and then ended the multiversal wars. Here’s the quote again:
I weaponized Alioth and I ended… I ended the Multiversal War.
Once I isolated our timeline, all I had to do was manage the flow of time and prevent any further branches. Hence the TVA.
This Kang version never said that he obliterated other timelines. He just isolated his reality, pruned the branches, and prevented another multiverse from spawning from the Sacred Timeline we see in Loki.
The Loki multiverse isn’t the only one
The minute Kang gives up control, we see the Sacred Timeline branching out (above) in other timelines that will form parallel universes. Branches instantly appear everywhere. Without Kang and the TVA’s immediate action, the branches appear simultaneously in the past, present, and future. And it all happens so quickly that we get a massive multiverse by the end of it all.
Only, all those branches aren’t coming from the Sacred Timeline (below). There appear to be other variations of the Sacred Timelines out there, isolated from the MCU’s primary reality.
Herron explained this key Loki detail all to Murphy Multiverse.
So, there’s the branches, right, which is like the alternative reality. But then something, you’ll see it, it’s very subtle but in the very last shot where you see the multiverse, there’s like basically other bigger physical timeline branches. So, it’s almost like these different separate trees that are now connecting.
It’s almost like a bridge. If you imagine the branch, it is like another reality. But if the branch extends beyond a certain point, it will then connect to other physical timelines. […] That last shot we did, there are other like thicker [branches] that are meant to be like our timeline. And there are other timelines like that and the branches are the connectors basically.
The multiverse was always there
Given Herron’s exciting revelation, it looks like the multiverse was always there. The Kang who died didn’t have to destroy the others to “win.” He just had to isolate his timeline and keep it in check. “For all time. Always.” It’s unclear how he did it, but this might have been enough to prevent other significant timelines from interacting with this one. The TVA Loki experienced only had to prune all branches so the Sacred Timeline would not spawn a multiverse of its own.
It’s clear from the ending that Loki landed in what appears to be a different reality. The TVA feels familiar, but it’s different. And a different Kang rules over it all.