WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Loki episode 4.
Loki may have spoiled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, secretly revealing how the Multiverse will work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Loki episode 4, the Time Variance Authority captures Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Sophia Di Martino's Lady Loki, putting them before the Time-Keepers. Before the pair are "pruned," which is the TVA's way of saying executed, they break free and manage to decapitate one of the Time-Keepers. It turns out the Time-Keepers are simply robots, and someone else is secretly in charge of the TVA. But shortly after the revelation, Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Ravonna Renslayer prunes Loki, apparently erasing him from existence.
A credits scene in Loki episode 4 reveals Loki doesn't die. After being pruned by the TVA, he ends up in another timeline, which appears to be a post-apocalyptic New York City. And he's not alone. When Loki wakes up, he realizes he's in front of other Loki variants that were probably also pruned. Pruning apparently doesn't kill people. It merely sends them to another timeline, and the other Loki variants are proof. The revelation could have lasting repercussions in the MCU.
The twist in the Loki credits, which reveals the other pruned Loki variants, may explain Marvel's Multiverse. According to a fan theory (via Reddit), getting pruned is the equivalent of putting files in a computer's trash. They don't get immediately deleted, and they're recoverable. For whatever reason, the TVA hasn't been killing the Loki variants, and it's going to come back to bite the organization. All the Loki variants interacting with each other is a huge problem for the TVA. If the Loki variants work together, they could all wreak havoc on the timeline and jump start Marvel's Multiverse.
Loki has already dropped major hints that the God of Mischief is bringing about the Multiverse. According to the TVA, there's a point where nexus events, which are variations from the Sacred Timeline, can't be reversed. In Loki episode 4, Loki and Lady Loki touch each other and almost send the TVA's Sacred Timeline into chaos. If that type of disorder nearly happened with just two Loki variants, a group working together seems unstoppable for the TVA. Once the Loki variants are unleashed on the timeline, other versions of Marvel characters could start arriving too. Also, with Loki executive producer Michael Waldron also penning the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness script, an introduction to the Multiverse seems inevitable.
Though nothing is definite with Loki, the idea that Loki variants are being put in a computer trash bin works surprisingly well. Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) is a powerful A.I. that's theorized to be the villain running things at the TVA. Of course an A.I. would treat variants like computer files, sending them to a temporary holding area instead of deleting them permanently. With the Time-Keepers being robots, it's not a stretch to think a computer is actually pulling the strings at the TVA. After all, the agency already runs like a machine.
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