Gael Garcia Bernal as Jack Russell in 'Werewolf by Night'.

Stop Asking Michael Giacchino If the TVA Is in ‘Werewolf by Night’

Sometimes, an armored goon is just an armored goon.

Last week, I attended Collider’s screening of the Marvel Halloween Special Werewolf by Night at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. During the Q&A following the screening, director Michael Giacchino discussed various aspects of the special, like the music, the practical effects, and the creative freedom that Marvel gave him to make a gory vintage horror flick about reluctant werewolf Jack Russell (Gael García Bernal). However, one moment was especially funny: when a fan asked him if Verussa’s (Harriet Sansom Harris) guards at Bloodstone Manor are the Time Variance Authority from Loki.

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Fans claim to spot the TVA in the Werewolf by Night trailer

The TVA, which prunes all possible realities into one timeline in Loki, does its dirty work through armed soldiers called minute men, who wield glowing staffs that can delete people and things from the timeline. When the trailer for Werewolf by Night came out at Disney’s D23 Expo, many fans thought they spotted the TVA in a fight sequence. You can see the scene in question starting around the one-minute mark:

The armored guards who are fighting in the trailer definitely resemble the TVA, especially with their glowing staffs. What could they be doing there? Would they show up and prune Werewolf by Night’s timeline? Would the special tie into Loki somehow?

When the special premiered on October 7, though, it quickly became apparent that the guards weren’t actually the TVA. In the special, the guards work for Verussa, their staffs are just long tasers, and their resemblance to the TVA’s minute men is just a coincidence. On the internet, the fervor around the guards promptly died down, and fans enjoyed the special on its own terms—as a self-contained (for now) love letter to vintage monster movies.

Some fans hold out hope for a TVA connection

(Marvel Entertainment)

One of the most exciting things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its interconnectedness, with characters popping up in each others’ franchises, so some fans are understandably reluctant to give up hope that the TVA was somehow involved in the events of Werewolf by Night.

Take, for example, the fan at last week’s screening who asked if Verussa’s guards are the TVA.

As soon as he heard the question, Giacchino threw his head back and groaned, “No!” to laughter from the audience. He then repeated the question to executive producer Brian Gay, who was sitting in the back of the theater. Gay also yelled out, “No!”

One gets the feeling that they’ve been asked this question before.

If you still had lingering doubts about whether the staff-wielding guards are a deep cut to Loki or a sign that Jack Russell’s timeline is doomed, then you can finally put those questions to rest. We finally have a definitive answer in the form of two emphatic no’s. Sorry, TVA fans.

However, Giacchino did go on to share some interesting details about the scene that sparked all the speculation. In that scene, we see Varussa’s guards fighting Jack in his werewolf form in a long hallway, where he picks them off as blood spatters the camera. Giacchino shared that the scene was choreographed and performed by exceptionally talented stuntmen. Since it was filmed as one continuous shot, the performers only did two takes before they were too exhausted to go on—but they were so talented that two takes were all they needed.

When will we see the TVA again? They’re slated to show up in Loki Season 2, but seeing as they control the flow of time throughout the multiverse, they may pop up again even sooner. In the meantime, enjoy the wonderfully gory Werewolf by Night, now streaming on Disney+.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>