When Loki’s fourth episode ended with a mid-credits scene, it revealed that being pruned wasn’t actually the end of life. It’s merely a way to remove people by throwing them into a void. But this isn’t just any jumble of timeline odds and ends. As fans discovered in Episode 5’s opening minutes, it’s one guarded by a giant evil being that will kill you, since pruning doesn’t. But who is Alioth in Loki? This dragon-looking purple smoke creature is a Time Monster from the comics.
Warning: Spoilers for Loki Season 1, Episode 5 follow. This week’s episode began by revealing where Loki was sent after being pruned from the timeline: the Void. As Judge Renslayer explained, the TVA cannot destroy matter; it can only move it to another location. So every single timeline prune — from the branches fans saw Mobius blast to minor accidents like removing Casey’s file cart — wind up here. Think the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter, but instead, it’s a planet filled to the brim with tons of random debris from abandoned timelines.
But while the folks who are pruned aren’t killed outright, their chances of survival in the Void are low once they arrive. The planet is guarded by a giant purple smoke-monster-like creature known as Alioth, who kills anyone in its path. The result is that the Void doesn’t have many survivors other than a bunch of Lokis who spend their days surviving monster attacks in the blighted landscape.
What the show doesn’t discuss is that Alioth is a creature from the comic books and that its origins hint that the going theories about Loki’s main antagonist may be correct. In the comics, this trans-temporal entity exists across divergent realities and was one of the first creatures to free itself from the timestream. But what fans should really know is that the Alioth became the supreme time being over all realities not ruled by Kang the Conqueror; they were separated by a temporal barrier. However, when Ravonna Renslayer got curious about this barrier and blasted a hole across time to see what was on the other side, the Alioth crossed over and took over Kang’s empire, causing both Renslayer and Kang to flee and eventually beg the Avengers for help beating the entity back.
As fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are aware, much of the on-screen versions of Marvel stories are altered, sometimes wildly so. In many cases, characters like Alioth are reimagined so that their origins and purpose are changed for whatever the MCU needs. But even when they are, the films and TV series tend to stick to characters associated with the main leads at hand. For example, Agatha Harkness is a significant character in the Scarlet Witch’s story, and in the comics, becomes a mentor of sorts. In WandaVision, she’s an evil antagonist whose actions inspire Wanda to find her abilities, but not an actual friend.
Having yet another character associated with Kang the Conqueror is, therefore, yet another sign that the giant castle Loki and Sylvie reach at the end of Episode 5 could be related to the famous Marvel villain. But whether or not Kang will be in residence when they ring the bell remains to be seen.
The final episode of Loki Season 1 will debut on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.