Loki series Time Variance Authority
(Image: Screenshot)

Loki Is in Trouble With the Time Police on Marvel’s Loki TV Show

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Sharp-eyed fans parsed the tiny teaser look we got at the Marvel/Disney+ Loki series right after its drop during the Super Bowl. Many pointed out that Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief was wearing a prison-type jumpsuit branded “TVA”—so we know exactly who is keeping Loki locked up.

Via those split seconds, and Loki declaring “I’m going to burn this place to the ground,” the MCU appears to be introducing the Time Variance Authority. The TVA is a fictional organization in the comics that’s been around since the ’80s and, appropriately enough, made their debut in the pages of Thor.

These folks are essentially time cops, doing everything necessary to protect the multiverse’s timelines from meddling, including “pruning” those timelines if they judge that someone’s meddling with the past or future has gotten out of hand. We assume that Loki is quite the meddler.

The Time Variance Authority has the potential to be a relentless and even scary sort of antagonist on the Loki series, considering that some of its agents appear as faceless artificial beings, while their managers are clones. Of course, the show could also go in a different direction, and make them comedically bizarre. What if we got an organization just staffed by countless Owen Wilson clones? Possibilities abound.

It makes perfect sense that the TVA would be joining us after the time-travel escapades of Avengers: Endgame, and that Loki is apparently apprehended at some point for time crimes. Everything we know about the show so far indicates that Loki is traveling to different points in time, so it tracks that the TVA would want to keep the chaos-maker in check.

But what if is Loki jumping through time in order to escape the Authority in the first place? Or what if the show is told in flashback, a la True Detective, with Loki being debriefed in time jail and maybe not being the most reliable narrator?

Marvel Studios’ newly-released synopsis of the show tells us next to nothing:

“In Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki,’ the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer. Debuts on Disney+ next year—2021.”

It is interesting that Loki is called a villain here—this is, we assume, the 2012 Avengers-era Loki, who was very much a villain—but “resumes his role as the God of Mischief” suggests that he may be up to more shenanigans than straight-up villainy on the show. On the other hand, he isn’t too thrilled with the TVA in the brief teaser we see, threatening to torch the place, which doesn’t smack of reformation. He has his old Thor 1 look back, too:

It’s worth noting that the Loki series only recently began production, and it’s quite possible this little scene was filmed just for the trailer release. The scenes we saw from Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, which are both due this year, were much more extensive. Who knows if this will even make it to the final cut? But Marvel knew what they were doing when they stamped on that TVA, so consider us teased.

Fans are excited to have Loki back. As for how the multiverse will fare, that remains to be seen.

(via Marvel Studios, image: Marvel Studios/MCU Direct)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.