Chronologically, Loki picks up directly after the events of 2012’s The Avengers, with Loki escaping his fate before being picked up by the Time Variance Authority. Then again, the show was released in 2021 and directly references more recent events in the MCU. So maybe it’s set in Marvel’s cinematic present — technically 2023 thanks to the time jump in Endgame.
Or maybe, Loki doesn’t take place in the MCU timeline at all. It may sound weird, but Marvel is already hinting that the new series doesn’t go anywhere at all in Marvel’s sacred timeline. Now, one new clue could confirm that theory.
Loki vs. the Marvel timeline
On Disney+, Marvel offers several different ways to watch its cinematic universe. You can focus on Phase 3. You can rewatch Loki’s greatest hits. Or you can watch the entire MCU in chronological order.
Pick that last option and you’ll notice something interesting: Loki isn’t included at all!
Reddit user u/Wallbreaker-g shared this detail on Reddit, but a quick trip to Disney+ confirms it’s true. Loki isn’t included in the MCU’s “timeline order.”
This could mean a few different things. The most obvious answer is that, to paraphrase Owen Wilson, “The timeline works differently at the TVA.” Specifically, Loki’s time cop bureaucracy exists entirely outside the MCU timeline. The show already seems to be suggesting as much, but this Disney+ listing confirms our Episode 1 theories.
Or does it?
There’s another equally likely answer: Loki isn’t listed here on Disney+ because Marvel doesn’t want to reveal the show’s big twist.
After all, the TVA is still a big mystery. We don’t know what they really want or who they really are. (Does anyone even buy this Time Keepers stuff?)
Don’t be surprised if one of Loki’s big reveals includes the truth about how the TVA fits into the MCU timeline. And if that’s what happens, be sure to check Disney+ again for confirmation on when exactly the new Marvel series takes place.
Loki is streaming now on Disney+.