Loki in The Avengers

This Theory About Marvel's 'Loki' Makes So Much Sense

by Ani Bundel

When Disney+ arrived in November of 2019, it launched on the strength of Lucasfilm and Star Wars. The Mandalorian was an out-of-the-box hit, thanks to Baby Yoda. But Lucasfilm is only one segment of Disney's vast empire, and it's not even the most successful. That title goes to Marvel Studios, whose 22-films-and-counting Marvel Cinematic Universe is like nothing else in the entertainment industry. Now the MCU is bringing multiple shows to Disney+, including Falcon & The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki. Fans are fascinated by the glimpses of the last show, asking why is Loki in jail?

The plots of all three series have been carefully kept under wraps so far, for fear of spoilers. But fans do have an idea where Falcon & The Winter Soldier and WandaVision are going. The former will follow Sam Wilson's struggle to take up the Captain America mantle left to him by Steve Rogers. The latter will feature Wanda Maximoff struggling with the loss of everyone she loved from Avengers: Age of Ultron through now.

These details are knows because these shows are first up on the release schedule, coming in the back half of 2020. But Loki, which arrives in 2021, is still shrouded in mystery. That is why the one glimpse in Marvel Studio's Disney+ trailer has proven so tantalizing.

Loki threatening to burn places to the ground is bog-standard for him. But what fans are obsessed with is the prison jumpsuit he's wearing. Loki has been in and out of confinement during the Infinity Saga. So his being in captivity isn't a surprise. It's who has him locked up that has eyebrows raised. Check out the logo:


"TVA" stands for Time Variance Authority, a bureau introduced in 1986’s Thor Vol. 1 #372. Dedicated to "monitoring the multiverse," these (literally faceless) bureaucrats are "custodians of the chronology." They work to preserve timelines as initially played out, and rid the world of unauthorized rewrites.

As fans are aware, the last time anyone saw Loki, he had taken advantage of the Avengers' rewriting of time to restore life to half the universe. When Tony and Steve's part of the time heist was derailed, and the tesseract got loose, Loki grabbed it and escaped from custody.

No one knows where (or when) Loki went. But unlike the Avengers, who went and put the Infinity Stones back in their proper times after using them, Loki is a fugitive. He and his stone are on the run from their proper timeline.

It looks like Loki will be arrested. But here's the catch. If he's convicted of screwing around with time, he doesn't get put back where he belongs. He gets deleted, completely, via the Retroactive Cannon.

If the show sticks to this plotline, Loki won't just be running from the Avengers. He's running from an entire system out to erase him for good.