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‘Loki’ might have a serious plot hole that Marvel will need to address

Published Jul 27th, 2021 9:15PM EDT
Loki Plot Hole
Image: Marvel Studios

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With each Loki episode that hit Disney+, we learned more and more about the Time Variance Authority (TVA). We also were told more details about how the multiverse and time travel work. And with each episode, we were given more reasons to distrust the organization that had just hired Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to capture a variant of himself. It wasn’t until the finale that we were given the final pieces of the puzzle, including the show’s big villain. Loki left us with plenty of questions about what’s coming next and what happened in the previous MCU movies. The show forces us to rethink everything we thought we knew. And it turns out that Loki might have a serious plot hole that will be difficult to explain down the road. Before we tell you what it is, we’ll warn you that spoilers from the Loki finale follow below.

We see two different conflicts in episode 6. The most important one is Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) facing Kang (Jonathan Majors). But back at the TVA, Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) battle Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). And it’s Ravonna that triggers the Loki plot hole I’m referring to.

A Redditor’s question made me realize that this will be a complicated problem for Marvel to solve. The user wondered whether Ravonna had always known she was a variant. She has a bunch of pens from her life as a school principal in her office. We saw them in previous episodes, as shown below:

Ravonna already knew she was a variant, right? from marvelstudios


The Loki plot hole isn’t obvious immediately

It’s in the finale that we see how Hunter B-15 breaks the news to other Hunters. Everyone at the TVA is a variant, including Judge Ravonna.

It doesn’t matter whether Ravonna knows who she really is or not. Those pens in her office tell us that the TVA might have had to deal with more than one Ravonna variant in the past. The TVA did not hire every Ravonna variant, so some of them had to be zapped. If that’s true for Ravonna, then logic dictates that the TVA must have dealt with more than one variant of every TVA employee. That’s the real Loki plot hole.

The Sacred Timeline is massive, and Nexus events can happen to anyone at any point in their lives. If the TVA had to process more than one Ravonna along the way, how does she keep that secret? The rogue Ravonnas can’t interact with Judge Ravonna during their sentencing. That would raise a lot of questions.

Similarly, the hunters dispatched to deal with the Nexus Ravonnas can’t know the judge personally. Otherwise, they’d freak out just like it happened in the finale. They might realize they’re all variants.

Given that everyone at the TVA is a variant, including the higher-ups, then even special units who would ensure variants can’t meet their TVA correspondents would also risk running into versions of themselves.

Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) and Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios’ Loki. Image source: Marvel Studios

The possible explanations

Marvel said ahead of the Loki premiere that it spent plenty of time to make sure the multiverse and time travel rules can withstand fan scrutiny. But have they even thought about this particular type of plot hole?

It’s not just the Sacred Timeline that’s massive. The TVA is a monstrous organization. With the help of advanced AI like Miss Minutes, someone micromanaging things could ensure that variants working for the TVA never get to meet versions of themselves that might cause Nexus events. It’s a monstrous task, but it could be done.

Secondly, we know that not all variants look alike. That’s one possible way of dealing with a variant of yourself without knowing they’re a copy of you. We saw that with all the Lokis in the show. But the Ravonna school principal looked just like the judge.

Also, we’re yet to learn how the TVA recruits its employees and how it erases their minds. The TVA variants must not remember anything from their real lives to blindly fulfill their tasks. That’s one way to deal with someone meeting a variant of themselves during processing. The process works so well it will make you forget what fish are.

Then again, this Loki plot hole isn’t evident until you realize that Ravonna had all those pens in her office. It might never hurt the TVA or MCU going forward. But even so, we’d very much like to know how one ends up working for the TVA. And how the TVA ensures that its employees never get to meet their variants. Maybe the real Kang can give us another lesson on how the TVA operates at some point down the road.

Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios’ Loki. Image source: Marvel Studios
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.