Mischief Managed

Loki Episode 2 theory reveals why Lady Loki hates the TVA

There may be more to Lady Loki’s relationship with the TVA than we think.

Question: where do TVA agents come from? The first two episodes of Loki, in all their various exposition dumps, refrain from explaining who the employees of the Time Variance Authority actually are.

It’s said that they were all “created” by the Time Keepers, but that’s not much of an explanation — especially since the actual existence of Time Keepers has yet to be confirmed. Even the TVA agents themselves don’t seem to quite know how they came to be.

In one of the best scenes of Loki Episode 2, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) barrages Mobius (Owen Wilson) with a series of questions about his existence as a servant of the TVA, only for Mobius to brush him off.

“If you think too hard about where any of us came from, who we truly are, it sounds kind of ridiculous,” Mobius says.

But no matter how content Mobius is to let the mystery of his creation be, there’s reason to believe the TVA’s agents aren’t all just the Time Keepers’ creations.

Dutiful Servants — One popular Loki fan theory proposes that the TVA’s agents weren’t created by the Time Keepers but instead started life as captured variants who had their memories wiped. That’d explain why the TVA agents are so unwavering in their commitment to the time-manipulating bureaucracy, and why they seem to exist away from everyone else in the MCU.

If correct, this theory further establishes the TVA as a legitimately evil organization worth taking down — an idea the first two Loki episodes have already played around with. It could also clear up how Lady Loki (Sophia Di Martino) not only continues to elude the TVA but appears so aware of their methods.

What if Lady Loki once worked for the TVA herself?

Sophia Di Martino in Loki Episode 2.Marvel Studios

Lady Loki’s Wrath — The opening minutes of Loki’s premiere made it pretty clear that the TVA doesn’t waste time while capturing variants. And since variants aren’t aware they’ve veered off the path of the TVA’s Sacred Timeline until they’re captured, there’s little reason to believe a variant would be in possession of the knowledge (or indeed the time) necessary to evade capture after violating the rules put forth by the Time Keepers (supposedly).

Knowing that makes Lady Loki’s extensive knowledge of the TVA and how to elude them particularly strange. Unless, of course, the TVA agents are really variants the organization chooses to “reset” rather than “prune,” and unless Lady Loki was at one time a TVA agent. After all, if Mobius was willing to recruit Hiddleston’s Loki, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Lady Loki had similarly been tapped for service within the TVA in the past.

If she had her memories wiped then later restored, this would also explain how Lady Loki was able to escape the TVA — and why she’s so intent on bringing the organization down. In her mind, the character would be not only seeking revenge after her own brainwashing but also aiming to stop them from subjecting others to such treatment.

“I don’t get hung up on ‘believe, not believe.’ I just accept what is.”Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Two episodes into Loki, it’s clear that the TVA isn’t nearly as benevolent an organization as it claims to be. The show’s remaining six episodes will surely continue to unpack the implications and complexities of the TVA’s role in the MCU, and there’s probably more than a few secrets about the organization as a whole that are still lurking out of sight.

But so far, it certainly seems in keeping with the TVA’s established methods to brainwash time variants into becoming agents. A dark and sinister possibility, it could conceivably resolve most of the mysteries surrounding the TVA.

Such a twist would add yet another layer to Lady Loki’s already-fascinating crusade against the bureaucracy. (And for whatever it’s worth, the TVA using a mind-wiping technology would also fit in quite nicely with the parallels that already exist between Loki and the Men in Black franchise.)

Loki is streaming now on Disney+.