The sheer Loki-ness of Disney+'s Loki cannot be understated. It's not just that Tom Hiddleston has revived the character since his untimely death in Avengers: Infinity War and is playing him to the hilt. It's that there are two of them, dueling Lokis, man and woman. (Thankfully, the woman variation has renamed herself Sylvie to help everyone keep their Lokis straight.) But a new theory that has started making the rounds suggests these Lokis aren't all there are to Loki. There's a low-key sign there could be three Lokis, with yet another variant manipulating things from behind the scenes. The theory goes so far as to suggest this Loki is a Time-Keeper. But could it be true? Let's try and straighten out this timeline of possibilities.
Warning: Spoilers for Loki Season 1, Episode 3 follow. At the end of Episode 3, Loki and Sylvie are trapped on a moon that's about to be crushed. The cliffhanger ending had fans wondering what comes next; how do they get off the planet? The most obvious answer is that the TVA is tracking them, having discovered Sylvie's apocalypse loophole and that Mobius will show up next week and pluck them to safety.
But there's a second theory going around, that the TVA won't be the ones to pop out of the woodwork and remove Loki and Sylvie from certain death. Instead, this new idea comes from Episode 2's reveal that Loki variants are actually super common. So, if there are two already running around loose, why not three? And going off that, who better than to rescue himself and herself than Loki?
But who would play yet another Loki? Although Tom Hiddleston fans would take a double dose of the actor, a la WandaVision’s Vision-on-Vision action, there’s a much better answer hiding in the cast that’s yet to be introduced: Richard E. Grant as Older Loki.
Adding yet more Lokis to the already god-studded mix raises a lot of questions. The show already has two Lokis in various stages of taking out the Time-Keepers. Add in the going theory that the Time-Keepers aren’t actually in control and the answer could be obvious: Loki is. Sylvie is one step ahead of Loki, so why not Older Loki be one step ahead of them both?
But that’s not the only possibility. Grant could be an older version of the current Loki, one who has manipulated time and created the TVA himself. Although a Loki manipulating events so that his counterparts dance to his tune is very Loki, this doesn’t account for the hints Kang the Conqueror is in the mix.
Moreover, it doesn’t consider one of the other home truths about Loki, as stated by Mobius: Loki was not born to be king. Instead, he’s the guy who fails so that others can become their best versions of themselves.
If that is a reality about Loki, about all variations of Loki, then Older Loki won’t be any more in charge of the TVA than his counterparts, whether or not he’s the older version of this Loki or a different one. He’ll be fighting to get in, just as they are. He may be one step ahead, but he won’t have achieved his goal.
But three Lokis together? Now that’s starting to sound like a winning hand. (Add a pair of twos, and it’s a full house.) Three Lokis together, making it up that golden elevator, only to discover three missing Time Keepers. What a perfectly timed coincidence. Three empty positions to run the TVA, and three Lokis ready for the job.
Loki continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.