WARNING: Spoilers for Loki Episode 6 will be found below
Heading into the Loki season finale, rumors abounded that Kang the Conqueror would reveal himself as the puppet-master behind the Time Variance Authority, and more importantly, the person behind the circumstances that brought Tom Hiddleston’s Loki Variant and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie together. But while the show was peppered with numerous Easter eggs pointing to Kang, there was just as equally a chance that the series’ big bad would be a Loki. Thematically, it would fit with the show’s depiction of Loki as a survivor who’s doomed to be alone, and some seemingly savvy MCU fans didn’t think Marvel would just drop Kang (described not by that name but as a variant known as “He Who Remains”) into the final episode of Loki.
Surprise! That’s exactly what Marvel did, and the entire MCU is about to go through some things.
Played by Jonathan Majors, Kang has a long comic book history of being one of The Avengers’ most formidable foes as he’s shown no hesitation in tearing apart time and reality to crush his enemies. In the Loki finale, Loki and Sylvie match wits with a version of Kang who has been “pruning” the Sacred Timeline to prevent a Multiversal War from happening. He offers Loki and Sylvie a choice: Take over for him, keeping the timeline in order, or kill him and watch as the Multiverse tears itself apart. Sylvie chooses the latter, and it’s not going to end well, according to Loki head writer Michael Waldron.
“You had to leave a lot of meat on the bone in terms of how evil he could be, because that’s He Who Remains’ whole thing, that it’s not me who you should be afraid of,” Waldron continues. “‘It’s the other versions of me that are going to come.’ It was trying to really hint at that terrifying evil within without going all the way there.” In Waldon’s own words, he was just trying to write him as a “very charismatic sociopath.”
With the Multiverse officially unleashed, Kang’s conquering is already in motion as Loki arrives in a TVA that no longer recognizes him and now has a single statue of Kang looming in the background instead of the Time Keepers. While Marvel has only confirmed that Kang will appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, his presence will undoubtedly be felt in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. (It’s right there in the title.) The now-splintering Multiverse will only further fuel theories that Spider-Man: No Way Home will have some alternate reality shenanigans, and it’s a pretty safe bet that Marvel has been holding back its trailer until the events of the Loki finale unfolded.
Welcome to the age of Kang, folks.