The first season of Loki wrapped up on the 14th of July, giving fans a lot more than they can chew. Not only did it introduce a formidable new entity, but it also paved for at least three — Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) — Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
With a clueless Loki staring fearfully at a daunting “man,” the final shot of the first season of Loki brewed a bunch of questions. And today, we’ll look to answer some of them. So, without further ado, let’s check out who the “man” was at the end of Loki and what his existence means for the MCU.
Who is the man at the end?
The sixth episode ended on a cliffhanger, taking us to the origin of the multiversal war that the TVA was fighting against. Loki, who was thrown back to the TVA by Sylvie ran straight to Mobius and Hunter B-15, trying to tell them about Kang’s murder and the upcoming war. Unfortunately, neither managed to recognize Loki, which not only crushed a lot of hearts but also made Loki utterly clueless. The scene ended with a panning shot, showcasing the statue of the man who built the TVA — Kang the Conqueror.
So, yes, the man was at the end of Loki was indeed Kang the Conqueror.
After Thanos next big villian debut in #loki
Kang the conqueror pic.twitter.com/gv8phwq0i3
— Marvel Cinematic Universe News (@lokiWednesdays1) July 14, 2021
However, it is to be noted that he is only a variant of the one Sylvie killed. He is not the original, the one who created the TVA and the Sacred Timeline.
What does the statue mean?
In the Sacred Timeline, the Time-Keepers had a gigantic statue at the TVA. Since the three were projected as the keeper and savior of the Sacred Timeline, it made sense to worship them as gods. Following the death of “He who remains” at the Citadel, the multiverse was let loose, which reverberated across space and time. In the timeline Loki returns to, there are no Time-Keepers. Kang is the one who rules the TVA, and he wasn’t going to let someone else’s statue mess up his landscape.
How did the statue get there?
In Loki, when the God of Mischief is apprehended by the TVA at first, he is brought straight to the headquarters of the TVA. While waiting in line to be presented in front of the judge, he learns about the Time-Keepers — the three beings who created the TVA to maintain the Sacred Timeline. Later, it’s revealed that the three “Space Lizards” — as Loki liked to call them — were only a front, and someone else was pulling the strings all along.
— The Marvel Network (@NetworkMarvel) June 29, 2021
Through skill and determination, Loki and Sylvie found themselves at the Citadel at the End of Time and managed to come face to face with “He who remains:” Kang the Conqueror. Despite Loki’s best attempts, Sylvie plunged her blade into Kang’s heart, destroying the Sacred Timeline and giving birth to the multiverse. Before doing the deed, Sylvie managed to send Loki back to the TVA — an instance of TVA at least.
Following the birth of the multiverse, Loki saw the statue of Kang in the TVA, exactly where the Time-Keepers stood before the Sacred Timeline got abolished. There are a couple of theories explaining how the statue got here.
Since the multiverse is a reality in the MCU, we have to consider the possibility that the statue — from the TVA — is from a different universe. In this universe, Kang the Conqueror rose to the top in the TVA and now controls it. It is to be noted that no one inside the TVA has free will, except the one who is at the top. So, the scrambling you saw at the TVA during the branching might have initiated from Kang’s orders, attempting to keep other Kangs from taking control of the TVA.
Also, the statue of the man we saw isn’t the one who got killed by Sylvie. It’s likely to be a far meaner and younger version of the man — “He who remains” — we saw at the Citadel. Kang is not hiding behind the Time-Keepers anymore. He wishes to be recognized as all conquerors do.
— Carter 🦍 (@H11mGuy) July 15, 2021
Over the course of the show, the TVA was shown as a multiversal organization, taking out Variants that threaten to mess with the Sacred Timeline. After the death of the Sacred Timeline, the multiverse has become a reality, which means that every universe may very well have its own version of the TVA. In the comics, too, the TVA is a universal organization, not multiversal as depicted in Loki. If that indeed is the case, Kang is simply the ruler of the TVA of that particular universe.