As you and every other Marvel fan on the planet work through a nerdgasm in the wake of the Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser (or anticipate the next episode of What If…? ), we still ponder what we’ve learned from Loki . That Disney+ series’ introduction of the Time Variance Authority, variants, and He Who Remains—a variant of Kang the Conqueror—has changed everything we think we know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In particular, the suggestion that the “proper flow of time” Aka the Scared Timeline facilitated He Who Remains rise to the tippy top of the TVA, re contextualizes Tony Stark/Iron Man’s sacrificial snap in Avengers: Endgame and the fate of Steve Rogers/Captain America. Without further ado, 7 things we’ve learned…
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These dancing partners are variants.
Beginning in Captain America: The First Avenger , Steve’s entire arc deals with being the guy who makes the sacrifice play and, therefore, never gets to dance with his right partner, Peggy Carter. At the end of Endgame , Steve uses the remaining Pym Particles to travel through time and put the Infinity Stones back in their proper place. After doing so, he finds himself some of that life Tony told him to get, dancing and living his life out with Peggy. X amount of films prior, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier , we see a geriatric Peggy on her deathbed following life with a husband who was not Steve Rogers. Surely, Sharon Carter wouldn’t have knowingly made out with her uncle in Captain America: Civil War . Therefore, the Peggy we see in Endgame is an alternate/variant version of the character. That said, Steve and Peggy’s dance would effectively be considered a Nexus Event, making these partner variants.
Steve wasn't hiding on the Scared Timeline.
At the end of Endgame , a wrinkly Steve returns to the Scared Timeline to give Sam Wilson/Falcon his mighty shield. Many have assumed this means he existed in secret throughout the events of every MCU film (with him being Peggy’s secret husband). Except this is a ridiculous idea. Endgame establishes how branched timelines are created, Loki cemented the theory that Steve created a branch when he decided to find a life. Loki’ s director Kate Herron has even confirmed that Steve and Peggy were living on a branched timeline. When asked if they were pruned, Herron said maybe. Or, maybe their timeline wasn’t bad enough to produce rival Kangs. Regardless, in her mind, the pair were most likely targeted for pruning at some point.
Steve and Peggy likely had a run-in with the TVA.
In Loki ’s pilot, we see a figure in the TVA that vaguely resembles Peggy Carter. No one involved with the showed has debunked this theory when directly asked about it. So, Steve and Peggy could very well have been arrested by the TVA and forced to appeal to He Who Remains for immunity. Steve did undo plenty of branched timelines when putting the stones back, which would’ve saved the TVA a lot of work. Maybe he was granted a get out of jail free card? If he wasn’t, maybe he and Peggy pulled a Sylvie, escaped the TVA, and lived their lives out hiding in apocalypses and/or averting them.
How did Joe Biden show up by the lake?
He uses a tempad and opens a time door. Duh.
Tony’s Equation led to He Who Remains’ discovery of the Multiverse.
A recent piece of Loki concept art revealed Iron Man’s helmet on display in He Who Remains’ office. In Loki’ s season 1 finale, He Who Remains explains that, in the 31st-century, a variant of himself (most likely Nathaniel Richards) discovered the multiverse at the same time as other versions of himself. This is what eventually led to the Multiversal War that the “pure of heart” He Who Remains won.
In Avengers: Endgame , when Tony discovers how to travel through time, he’s shown tinkering with a ring-like projection, which is similar to the Scared Timeline shown looped around the Citadel at the End of Time. That said, Tony’s equation concerning the Quantum Realm (where the TVA resides?) probably influenced the work of He Who Remains and, in turn, the creation of the TVA. It makes sense for him to respect Tony’s intellect.
Iron Man’s death planned by He Who Remains.
Tony knew way too much about manipulating time and the Quantum realm. Had he lived, he very well could have discovered the Multiverse long before Nathaniel Richards, leading to more Kangs. Similar to Doctor Strange viewing millions of alternate futures in Avengers: Infinity War , He Who Remains has lived a million lifetimes. The only to ensure his particular rise and discovery of the multiverse was for Tony to die.
'Avengers: Endgame' had to happen for Loki and Sylvie to find the Citadel at the End of Time.
In season 1’s final episode, He Who Remains explains that he “paved the road” for Loki and Sylvie to find him and relieve him of his duties or kill him and liberate the timeline. After spending a million lifetimes dictating the flow of time, He Who Remains wants to retire and he decides the perfect replacement comes in two. In the series’ pilot, Judge Ravonna Renslayer tells Loki that the Avengers’ time heist was “supposed to happen” ergo the variant of Loki viewers get to know in his series wouldn’t have existed had He Who Remains not allowed Endgame to happen.