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The TVA explained - the wild origin of Loki’s Time-Keepers

The Time Variance Authority is one fascinating thread in the twisted tapestry that is Loki, and its even more important in season 2.

Owen Wilson as Mobius in Loki and Miss Minutes

The TVA is integral to the Loki TV series, and its future will determine the fate of the MCU.

The latest era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is being defined by the multiverse, and the TVA serves as its protector. But with Loki season 2 now hotting up, the fate of the organization is in doubt. This Marvel series is more timey-wimey than Doctor Who though -as stated in our Loki season 2 review – so a degree of confusion is understandable. Here’s everything you need to know about the Time Variance Authority, from its agents and creator to what its future might look like.

The TVA explained

The Time Variance Authority is a bureaucratic organization in the MCU that exists outside of space and time as we know it. It was tasked with protecting the Sacred Timeline by preventing branching timelines.

The TVA monitored the flow of time and was alerted when a branch (i.e. an anomaly) was detected. Told this was a threat to the multiverse, agents were then assigned to nip the branching in its bud, usually by ‘pruning’ variants out of their timelines.

TVA agents are variants whose memories have been suppressed, although, before Loki season 2, this was unknown to them.

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Why was the TVA created?

The TVA’s purpose was believed to be preventing timeline branching, which was thought to cause chaos, but its true design was to conceal the Sacred Timeline from Kang the Conqueror variants.

The goals might sound different on paper, but they effectively have the same endgame: preventing branching timelines kept the Sacred Timeline isolated away from any others and, as a result, hid it from Kang’s variants, who seek out other universes to conquer.

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Who created the TVA?

He Who Remains, a Kang the Conqueror variant, created the TVA and the smokescreen of the timekeepers.

In the Loki episode 5 ending, we learned that the timekeepers were a bit like The Wizard of Oz: they were a story to cover up the man behind the curtain.

Ages ago, a Kang variant in the 31st century discovered alternate universes. Meanwhile, his variants were learning the same thing. Ultimately, they were able to communicate, eventually sharing knowledge and technologies. However, not-so-nice variants opted to invade other universes, leading to a Multiversal War. The variants fought to preserve their universes and destroy or conquer the others.

He Who Remains then discovered Alioth, the creature from Loki season 1, which had the ability to eat time and space. He used Alioth to end the war before isolating the Sacred Timeline, inventing the Time-Keepers, and creating the TVA to do his dirty work, as seen in the best TV series from the MCU yet (well, tied with WandaVision).

The future of the TVA

The existence of the TVA is under threat in Loki season 2 due to the instability of the Temporal Loom. If the Temporal Loom explodes, the TVA is destroyed too, and that would shatter the whole timeline.

Having said that, we’re confident that the TVA is going to survive season 2 after our conversation with Loki executive producer Kevin Wright, during which he told us that he has big plans for its future serving as the multiverse’s equivalent of SHIELD.

“There are certainly plans for them to play a bigger role in our universe. 100 percent, ” he told The Digital Fix. “It was something we knew straight away in season 1. We started realizing the things that we could do with an organization like [the TVA] within the MCU.”

“I always joke I feel like they’re kind of like our multiversal version of SHIELD. That’s the kind of role that they could play in this bigger universe,” he continued. “We’ve only really seen a couple of departments within this place that is vast and infinite. It just feels like something that a lot of filmmakers could pick up and go, ‘I want to pull them in,’ and [the TVA] could pop up anywhere. After all, they can time travel and move along timelines.”

As things are now, the TVA is in flux, with time slipping and issues with the Temporal Loom machine signs of the reckoning Sylvie brought about when she decided to kill He Who Remains. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in upcoming Marvel movies.

For now, we’ve got a fun story about how Loki defeated Kang in a bizarre fight, a guide on the different ways to watch the Marvel movies in order, as well as lists of the best MCU characters and best Marvel villains. Or, if it’s new movies you’re looking for, here’s everything we know about The Marvels.