When the first episode of Loki arrived on Disney+, the reality-bending series immediately sparked a contentious debate amongst Marvel fans about the concept of free will as it pertains to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the Time Variance Authority is really in charge of maintaining the Sacred Timeline and “pruning” any Variants that deviate it from its path, that would mean every event in the MCU was basically pre-determined before it even happened. In other words, The Infinity Saga, the decade-long, 23 film installment and its climactic showdown with Thanos only had one possible outcome that was entirely shaped by the TVA, and not the actions of Iron Man, Captain America, Doctor Strange, or the rest of The Avengers. Bummer.
However, as Loki progressed, the true nature of the TVA began to reveal itself, and for a brief moment, it seemed like the entire operation was a charade. Maybe there weren’t space lizards controlling time after all, which turned out to be the case, but in the worst way possible. In a climactic hammer drop, the Loki finale introduced Jonathan Majors’ He Who Remains (a.k.a Kang), who was the real power behind the TVA. While the Time Keepers were a ruse, there still was a singular force manipulating the events of the MCU, which once again, raised the question of free will.
Was Kang dictating the entire events of the MCU up until the Loki finale? According to director Kate Herron, he sure was. Via The Direct:
“I suppose well, by our show’s logic, yes, because he says like, ‘I paved the road, you just walked down it.’ I guess in theory, yeah, he would’ve scripted that because by our show that’s what we’re saying. Everything has been predetermined by this one character, even if up to this point we’ve believed the characters have had free will. Which I think is kind of the fun rug-pull of our show, right?”
This revelation makes the version of Kang in the Loki finale one of the most powerful forces in the MCU, and as he warned Loki and Sylvie, his Variants are even worse. Unfortunately, Sylvie did not heed the warning, and now, they’re on the way to start a whole new multiversal war that will make dealing with Thanos look like a freaking picnic. Good luck with that.
(Via The Direct)