A Fan Theory Suggests an Old MCU Foe Could Be Behind the TVA in ‘Loki’

·4 min read

The following story contains light spoilers for Loki.

As we enter the stretch run of Disney+'s latest limited series, Loki—only two of the show's six episodes remain—the show's primary mystery is coming into focus. Obviously things can change from here, but viewers now have to be wondering one thing first and foremost: who is behind the TVA? The show's fourth episode,"The Nexus Event" made one thing abundantly clear: the Timekeepers, or at least our previous understanding of them, are fake. The most prevalent theory has suggested that the entire TVA is scam setup by Marvel supervillain Kang the Conqueror, a time-traveling baddie who has already been announced to be in 2022's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and played by Jonathan Majors. But a new fan theory suggests that the TVA could be the work of another prominent MCU villain, and one we haven't seen in a while: Baron Karol Mordo.

Mordo, played in Doctor Strange by Chiwetel Ejiofor and expected to be seen again in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, was a prominent character in the first Doctor Strange film. He began as a friend and ally to Strange, before eventually turning on him and the Sanctum Sanctorum by the end of the film. He's last seen in that movie's credits scene, taking the magic that a man named Benjamin Pangborn (legend) had been using to cure his paralysis and basically just play a lot of pickup basketball. "Too many sorcerers," Mordo told Pangborn.

The idea that Mordo could be behind the TVA was brought up in a series of TikToks from user Lyana Macaluso, who basically suggests that it would be a fun callback for Loki to bring back a character viewers haven't seen in half a decade for such a prominent role. And with Multiverse of Madness set to release next year, it would be a nice way to remind fans that yeah, this guy exists.


She also goes on to suggest that much of the Doctor Strange plot revolves around Kaecilious (Mads Mikkelsen) basically using magic and messing up the timeline in his own ways, and that Mordo, with access to all sorts of magic books and sorcery information, could easily have created or infiltrated the TVA, intending to do his own thing and "right" what he believes has gone wrong.

One more thing to consider: The TVA's motto, which we've heard throughout Loki, is "For all time. Always." As Macaluso recalls in a third TikTok, Mordo has a memorable line in Doctor Strange that's remarkably similar structurally: "The bill comes due. Always."

He even follows that line up by saying "I will follow this path no longer." Which is extra interesting considering all the talk in Loki about paths, and directions, and the ways characters should be going and what they should be doing, and yada yada yada.

Now, if you ask me, this is a great theory. And when an entire movie is spent building Mordo up as a future villain—as Doctor Strange does, having him enter as an ally and mentor of sorts before his heel turn at the end of the movie—it's clear that the Doctor Strange section of the MCU has a big plan for him. And Ejiofor is a fantastic actor, an Academy Award nominee, so you know he's got a big villain performance waiting in him.

But it still would be just a little random. I still lean towards thinking if there's a big reveal at the end of Loki, it's going to be the first look at Kang. But if it pulls this dormant character back in surprise, it would completely track. And remember this too: Marvel isn't afraid to bring characters back after long absences. Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) came back to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War after 8 years away. Abomination (Tim Roth) was just in the Shang-Chi trailer after 13 years away. And Red Skull (Hugo Weaving and then Ross Marquand) showed back up in a pivotal manner in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame after seemingly being disposed of in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Which is basically to say: never forget an MCU character. Because you don't know if or when they'll be back.

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