Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fridge / Loki (2021)

Go To

Fridge pages are for post-viewing discussion; they assume you've already seen the work in question and as such are spoiler-free.

    open/close all folders 

Fridge Brilliance

    General 
  • The mismatched title of the show fits perfectly with the premise involving Alternate Timelines. Each letter in "Loki" represents a different reality. It's also something of an Interface Spoiler hinting that multiple Lokis from different timelines are going to be involved.
  • The series is basically a compressed form of Loki's character journey after Avengers:
    • Episode 1 is his character development through The Dark World, invoked by SHOWING him the most emotionally significant parts of that movie such as his mother's death.
    • Episode 2 is the gap between The Dark World and Ragnarok, where he's pretending to be Odin and is him at his most relaxed and casual. The meeting with The Variant replicates the shock of meeting Hela, as well as a toned down version of his defeat against her.
    • Episode 3 is the period in Sakaar with Thor, with the Variant as Thor and Valkyrie both: someone who knows his tricks pretty well, who he's binding with emotionally, but is a violent, distrustful woman who's been damaged by life, and they're trying to escape from a planet.
    • Episode 4 is the beginning of Infinity War, where they're in the mercy of their powerful adversary whom Loki once worked for (TVA/Thanos), Loki's loved one is threatened with death but he pretends to be okay with it, only to break at the end because he's not actually that callous and does care for them. A constant, reliable presence dies (Mobius/Heimdall), and they are saved by someone they started off at odds with (B-15/Hulk), and Loki dies in the middle of very awkwardly telling someone he loves them (Awkward love confession/Love is a dagger stabbing at Thanos). His complete character arc, replicated in 4 episodes. All this is interspersed with callbacks to previous things that happened to him, such as landing from being thrown off the train in the same pose as him landing from 'falling for thirty minutes' by Dr. Strange.
      • The Time Cell scene where Loki keeps being punched, kneed in the balls and punched again is analogous to the scene where Thor tasers him, gives him a speech about being stuck in a rut, and leaves him fallen on the ground. This time he's literally stuck in a rut. Mobius completes it by telling him he can change, and even be a better person.
    • This comes together in Episode 5 where the once again developed Loki has come into contact with many variants of himself, with all of them lacking in one way or another the development he received. He can barely tolerate them, and outright grimaces and cringes when all of them start a wild brawl with each other because all of them want a petty throne showing how much he's come to be disgusted with everything he once was.
    • This leads to Episode 6 where he makes it clear that he no longer wants or cares about any sort of throne or illusion of power. He just wants his loved ones to be okay and is legitimately concerned with the fate of the universe as a whole.
  • The Infinity Stone most commonly used as a paperweight is the Mind Stone. You could say they're trying to keep their mind on their work or that all they have in their mind is work.
  • The next series to be released after Loki is What If...? (2021), a series of one-shot hypothetical scenarios (including one where Loki used Thor's death at the hands of Hank Pym as an excuse to conquer Earth). Except after the finale of Loki, it is far more likely that they could be the exact immediate branches on the Sacred Timeline caused by the fallout of the Season 1 finale.
  • More of a meta example but the series establishing that the same person can have different appearances across different timelines helps to explain changes to characters including race, age, and even gender. It even helps to explain why a character played by one actor and then a different one (like Rhodey or Cassie Lang) looks different yet its never commented on.
    • Because variants aren't automatically all the same person/being (one of the Lokis is an alligator). They can be, but often they're their own person/being occupying the same role on various timelines/in various universes—basically different continuities, if we're talking comics.
  • In a way, this show provides an explanation for every single questionable tactical decision from the entirety of the MCU to this point. Since He Who Remains enforces that the only decisions which happen are the ones which lead to his coming to power, it is reasonable that any other (possibly better) decisions would result in the TVA showing up. Quill keeps his cool on Titan instead of hitting Thanos? The TVA shows up and prunes it. Tony rides with Rhodey in the Humdrum-vee instead of going on his own? The TVA shows up and prunes it. Thanos has a Heel Realization and decides not to wipe out half of the universe with the Infinity Stones? The TVA shows up and prunes it. Thanos actively pursues the Infinity Stones sooner instead of having his subordinates do the work? And so on.
    • Tony Stark dying at the end of Endgame is also much more reasonable in hindsight; having just cracked the secrets to time travel, who knows what insane discovery he'd come across next. Stark dying is probably the most convenient result possible for He Who Remains.
  • In the comics Ravonna Renslayer is in love with Kang the Conqueror but here she has never met him or even heard of him. Yet all throughout the series it becomes clear that what Renslayer is in love with is the very idea of the TVA. She is fanatically devoted to the cause even though she knows that vast swathes of its dogma are an outright lie. It seems like the show is setting her up to be "in love" with Kang in the same way a Catholic would be "in love" with the Pope (i.e. adoring them as the ultimate figurehead of their faith/belief system.)
  • One of the faces of the Time Keepers in the courtroom bares a resemblance to Jonathan Majors foreshadowing his role as He Who Remains, and that Kang is He Who Remains from the very start.
  • The common complaints that some of the stuff that happened in the New York timeline in Avengers: Endgame would lead to big alternate realities even with the Avengers returning the stones, is addressed with the fact that the TVA would prune the timeline. As for how Steve was able to return the stones most likely that occurred after Sylvie killed He Who Remains which would presumably bring that timeline back and allow Steve to return them, this also fits in with the official timeline claiming that Loki (2021) takes place before WandaVision which places it as taking place either during or very shortly after the Battle for Earth in Endgame.
Advertisement:

    Episode 1: Glorious Purpose 
  • Loki being thrown into an unknown world where his powers are null, and having to be in his captor's employ... that's Thor's arc from Thor: Ragnarok. Only this time it's Loki's turn. The beats of Loki being processed by the TVA are similar to Thor's arrival on Sakaar. Having his clothes forcibly removed compared to Thor's forced haircut, both of them trying to use their powers only to find they don't work anymore and both having to witness another prisoner being executed. Even Miss Minutes' introductory video mirrors the "Welcome to Sakaar" presentation that Thor was forced to sit through.
  • It makes sense that most of the confiscated Infinity Stones are Time Stones, since logically that would be the stone most likely to cause an unauthorized timeline requiring TVA intervention. It also retroactively explains why the stone is considered to be one of the most dangerous (not that the other five are slouches in the danger department) and why Mordo and Wong were so freaked out when Strange started screwing around with it, as it is quite likely that the TVA has either had prior dealings with the Sorcerers because of the Time Stone, or had Strange continued screwing around, the TVA would have been forced to step in and bring a premature end to Strange's debut movie. Mordo even explicitly refers to branches in time as a possibility of screwing with time - which is exactly what the TVA wants to prevent.
  • Doctor Strange seeing only 1 chance of the Avengers winning out of 14,000,605 in Avengers: Infinity War makes sense with the knowledge that the TVA is created to uphold one and only one Sacred Timeline. There could be alternate timelines Strange sees where, for example, Star-Lord didn't botch the team's plan to take the gauntlet off of Thanos' hand back in Titan, or an alternate timeline where Thor didn't gloat at Thanos before the latter manages to give himself enough time to snap his fingers, but even if those timelines do happen, the TVA will arrive and reset them back to how events are supposed to turn out anyway.
  • From Loki's perspective, this is the second time in less than a day that he talks about his glorious purpose and some annoying smartass asks "And Then What?"
  • The scene about the death of Phil Coulson does not mention his later resurrection and his multiple adventures with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. This may seem like a big omission, but it makes perfect sense: Mobius is trying to make a point, that Loki is a killer and even enjoys killing, and pointing that his victim had lived on does not help his case. A master manipulator like Loki would easily twist his victim's survival to claim his hands are clean. Besides, that's Loki's file, not Coulson's file, and not a general history file; nothing that Coulson did after his resurrection is relevant for Loki's biography. And the recording does not lie about the event (Coulson truly died, although he was resurrected thanks to a controversial protocol), it's simply a half-truth, so Mobius actually scammed the God of Mischief!. Also, you could say that Loki did kill Coulson, eventually. Between seasons five and six of AoS, he died after the Kree blood that healed the wound Loki gave him was burned up.
    • Alternatively - and in a very meta sense - the reason Coulson's resurrection isn't mentioned is because the TVA made short work of that timeline shortly after the end of the series.
  • Not only are the Infinity Stones So Last Season compared to the scope of the TVA, their enforcement of the "Sacred Timeline" directly contributed to the circumstances that led to their destruction, possibly intended to remove them as a potential snag causing further variants.
  • The Ancient One warns Bruce that removing Infinity Stones would alter the timeline. This helps explain why there are so many Stones in the TVA—they're probably the most common cause of variants.
  • If one reads into the D.B Cooper story, you'll know that the $200,000 were made up of 20-dollar bills that had the letter "L" at the beginning of the serial numbers, due to the money being supplied by the San Francisco Federal Reserve branch. What a funny coincidence that Cooper's real identity in the MCU happens to be the God of Mischief himself...
  • If there really was a war that wiped out hundreds of timelines, then the fact that the TVA uses Infinity Stones as paperweights might not be as impressive as it seems. In the comics, Infinity Stones only work in their native timeline; if the Stones are all from destroyed timelines, then the ones the TVA uses as paperweights wouldn't be good for much else.
  • Why does Mobius know that Loki has no real ambition to be king besides the fact that anyone can see that by looking at Loki for more than a minute. Because he's already seen how Loki's life plays out. Not only did Loki admit he doesn't want to be king in Thor, but in Thor: Ragnarok, when he does become king, although by pretending to be Odin, he is shown to have no real ambition or aspirations.

    Episode 2: The Variant 
  • One reason that the Ancient Romans in Pompeii seem unfazed by Loki's claims of a volcanic eruption might be because before this specific eruption, there was no word for volcano, which comes from the Latin 'Vulcan'.
    • Despite what the subtitles say, Loki does not call Mount Vesuvius a volcano while speaking Latin. He actually says something like "that mountain has endured fires for a long time and is going to spill [fire] all over you." Also since Loki claims to be from the future, he sounds like an insane person to the people of Pompeii.
      • Further to the point of Time Travel sounding insane to Ancient Romans, while there's very old stories and myths of people going forward in time, there's very little of people going backwards in time until around the 18th century with works like Memoirs of the Twentieth Century. Even in the realm of fiction, storytelling, or myths the people of Pompeii wouldn't have a frame of reference for someone coming backwards through time from the future.
  • It's a wise decision for Variant Loki to choose natural disasters instead of artificial ones like Chernobyl or 9/11. With natural catastrophies like the hurricane, the chances of accidentally preventing them are significantly smaller, which certainly would create a nexus.
  • Lady Loki's choice of song when ambushing the Minutemen in the beginning makes an odd sort of sense.
    • As Loki pointed out last episode, its in his nature to be a villain, and Villains are best countered by heroes to thwart their various schemes. The TVA, despite its benevolent intentions of avoiding a greater conflict between multiple timelines, is also erasing multiple people and events who 'don't fit' within the Sacred Timeline, which can include simply being late for work when you weren't supposed to, showing how they're not exactly 'the good guys'. In a conflict between Lady Loki and the TVA, their moral ambiguity prevents them from being the 'heroic' type necessary to thwart her schemes, thus it's a toss-up as to who would win in the end between them. The TVA needs a hero to stop her, but all they've got is another Villain in Loki himself.
    • A little bit of mocking in the lines "It's gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet". This happens during a one-sided slaughter, which is effectively Lady Loki saying that they're not up to the task.
    • What occurs immediately before the song starts? The announcer states that a battle will take place, and the prize for the victor is "our princess". What are the Minutemen here to do again? That's right, capture a female Loki variant, a princess of Asgard. As Episode 4 reveals, Sylvie was literally a child princess who was kidnapped from her parent's palace in Asgard by what must have appeared to her as evil magic-users. Staging the abduction of C-20 at a Renfair and using this song was calling them on their hypocrisy.
  • It makes sense that Lady Loki is much more antagonistic to the TVA than the male Variant Loki. While HE was considered variant for something he chose to do, SHE must have been considered variant because of her sex. In the lineup of Lokis Mobius shows, all the Lokis were male. The thing Lady Loki could be labeled a variant for is what sex she was born as, something she has no control over whatsoever. She was labeled a Variant for simply being born.
    • Most likely reason: She’s seen playing with her toys imagining herself a valkyrie saving Asgard from an attacking dragon. She's taken by the TVA because she wanted to be a hero and Lokis are supposed to be villains. Kid Loki in a later episode states, “And whenever one of us dares try to fix themselves, they’re sent [to the void] to die.”
    • Sylvie being born female was her point of variance but it just took a while for her timeline to deviate enough for the TVA to get involved.
  • The Sacred Timeline is not "sacred" everywhere. There are specific events in the timeline that cannot change but you are free to mess with the the timeline as long as you do not affect these events. The Apocalypse Loophole is only the most obvious of these exceptions. If you knew what metrics the TVA was using for measuring Nexus Events, you could figure out which events you could mess with and which ones would get the attention of the TVA.
  • Given that Loki's brother Thor is a God of Thunder, Loki must be very well practiced with that drying spell of his.

    Episode 3: Lamentis 
  • In the previous episode, Hunter C-20 is found rocking back and forth and repeating the words, "It's real" before her colleagues are able to get any sense out of her. As this episode shows, Sylvie used a memory of C-20's life on Earth to get information out of her — the 'it' was C-20's memory of her former life, which she has no conscious knowledge of.
  • The song used in the episode's opening, "Demons" by Hayley Kiyoko, is very appropriate for someone like Sylvie. In particular:
    • The main chorus (Please forgive me I've got demons in my head), can be interpreted as C-20 being under Sylvie's influence, or alternatively, the TVA's. Don't bother me, my misery/It's holding me, won't let me speak affirms this further.
    • Searching for nirvana... rather apt that the memory takes place in a bar near the beach.
  • Sylvie is shown to be shocked when her magic doesn't work in the TVA, after she failed to enchant a minuteman. This helps emphasise that Sylvie was never captured and brought in by the TVA, and most likely fought-off the first group that went to capture her when she first became a Variant, all without any prior knowledge on the TVA.
    • Episode four shows that Sylvie was taken as a child and never used magic to defend herself, most likely not having full control over her powers yet. Since she hasn't been back to the TVA since then it's little wonder she didn't realize her magic wouldn't work.
  • According to Loki, his mother once showed him how to turn a flower into a frog, and he did not believe that he'd learn to do it. In Ragnarok, Loki as Odin recalls how he turned Thor into a frog. He must have been testing his new spell on his brother.
  • It is established in both Thor and Age of Ultron, that Asgardians need to drink an insane amount of alcohol to actually get drunk. Loki needs several glasses of champagne / cocktails, because he is not a born Asgardian. He must have been terrible at Asgardian parties, and with no knowledge of him being an adopted Frost Giant he even had no clue why. Might be one of the reasons Thor's friends shunned him in Thor.
    • That would explain why Loki's shenanigans in mythology usually involved him getting drunk.
  • The reveal that TVA agents are brainwashed variants explains the ridiculous bureaucratic nonsense and kangaroo court from the first episode. It's a test to weed out any potential recruits who would rock the boat instead of just quietly accepting what they were told.
    • Adding onto this, Mobius's fixation on a jet-skiing magazine from 1992 is now cast in a different light with this knowledge. Could it be possible that Mobius is subconsciously remembering his past, just like Hunter C-20 was when Sylvie was manipulating her? He actually suggests this himself in the next episode.
    • It also reframes Ms. Minutes' instructional video. It acted like it was everyone's job to ensure the integrity of the Sacred Timeline, but that's impossible because the general public doesn't know about it. If the TVA is comprised entirely of mindwiped and brainwashed variants then it makes more sense to act like everyone is contributing to maintain it.
    • It also makes sense, given that the Time-Keepers can't even stop Nexus events from happening. How could they create untold millions of sapient servants, but not stop someone from creating an alternate timeline by just being late for work?
  • Might qualify more for Fridge Sadness, but Loki goes on a long (drunken) ramble about how love is a dagger that can be wielded from far away or up close and makes you bleed and hey, didn't he just recently stab Thor atop the Avengers Tower while whispering "Sentiment"?
  • Why doesn't Lamentis have any other spaceships besides the Ark? By this point, anyone who could leave on their own has already done so.
    • On the subject of the Ark, why is it on the side of Lamentis that's pointed towards the planet, letting it be easily destroyed? Given that it was an escape for the moneyed citizens, Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense is the likely answer.
  • Loki is annoyed to hear that Sylvie never had to deal with Adoption Angst, which for him was a huge driving factor towards becoming a villain. But on the flipside, Loki is able to share tons of stories about what a kind and positive influence Frigga was on him while Sylvie claims to not even be able to remember her mother. The exact details may vary between timelines, but sudden estrangement from family seems to be the core Start of Darkness for Lokis.
  • All the official TVA agents sans the ones helping with cases and have ‘Variant’ marked as jackets such as Loki, they don’t seem to involve anyone we have seen before in the MCU. This could mean that the TVA carefully selects which Variants are allowed to join, if a Steve Rogers or someone else famous becomes an official agent then it would arise too much suspicion on why this agent looks and sounds so much like a famous figure from history.
  • Why did Odin, the infamous liar, tell Sylvie that she was adopted? He probably intended to marry her off to Thor and unite Asgard and Jotunheim under one crown, so establishing that she is not kin from the get go was important.
  • Why did the TemPad lose its charge all of a sudden? Because Sylvie has just used it to send a lot of reset charges to different destinations, which must have used up all the "juice".

    Episode 4: The Nexus Event 
  • How did the TVA detect Sylvie and Loki within the midst of an apocalypse, and the Nexus Event itself behaving as it did? Either the two variants falling in love was something never meant to happen, which is what the TVA believe; or given the almost vertical incline of the event Loki and Sylvie were never destined to die on Lamentis-1. They were always meant to survive and solve the mystery of the TVA, so them being stranded with no way out caused a Nexus Event, and given they happen in real time, the event was mere minutes from occuring.
    • Another possible reason lies in what Lady Sif said: Loki would always be alone, which is the kind of thing that can warp someone and make them unable to love (whether it be others, or themselves). With Sylvie, Loki has a reason to love, regardless of whether it's toward her, or a reason to love himself (what better way to see how great a Loki is - himself included - then from an outside perspective?)... and/or possibly even elements of both. Given that the Sacred Timeline Loki was driven by a need to be loved, and projecting his insecurities upon others, perhaps this caused (or added to) the Nexus Event.
    • The next episode shows how powerful Lokis are capable of being, and how powerful Loki and Sylvie are when working together; it's entirely possible that, given another minute, the two of them could have managed to stop the apocalypse on Lamentis. That would definitely count as a Nexus Event.
  • The reason why the TVA has a device that uncovers unknowing robots. The Time Keepers are robots themselves, of course they wouldn't want to come face to face with something that might expose their secret.
  • When Kid Sylvie is being processed, we see that she isn't wearing a collar like in the present day. Then she manages to escape. She must have been the reason why all Variants in the present wear those collars.
  • How are we introduced to Sylvie's timeline? By revealing the landscape of Asgard from the opposite direction.
  • Sylvie seems remarkably cunning for a child. Then you remember she's an Asgardian: she's likely even older than Baby Yoda at this point.
    • And now she's an adult. She's been on the run from and rebelling against the TVA for centuries.

    Episode 5: Journey into Mystery 
  • Classic Loki's clothes don't look as ornate or elegant as a normal Loki variant's attire would be. But by his statement he's been hiding out for 4000 years: his clothes were bound to be worn out and scavenged together.
    • Nearly every Loki variant was presumably pruned after standing trial, meaning they all ended up in the Void in TVA prison overalls. Most likely all their outfits were scavenged in the Void itself, hence why Proud Loki's version of Mjolnir was a wrench and anvil for instance.
  • A Civil War event takes place in this... between Loki variants!
  • Why do the Loki variants keep being surprised when their Loki "allies" backstab them? They, like "our" Loki, keep thinking that they're "superior" to the others, that Loki ego striking again.
  • Classic Loki has a pensive look after Mobius tells him that he's going to take down the TVA—the very thing he has, as Classic Loki states "devoted his life to." It's likely this moment, showing that someone devoted to one cause is able to change, that helps push Classic Loki to help L1130 and Sylvie in their fight to enchant Alioth.
  • Look closely during Classic Loki's conjuration of Asgard. There are lightning strikes that are blue instead of Alioth's purple lightning, meaning they must have been a part of Classic Loki's illusion. Even at his moment of triumph, he was thinking of his brother Thor.
  • Several things, like the Thanoscopter, that fans wanted to see but wouldn't have worked in the MCU are strewn about the landscape and episode. Because this is the one place where all those things can exist without needing any setup or having any effect on the stories.
  • Alligator Loki looks small for an adult Alligator. Well, Loki L1130 is small for a Frost Giant.
  • It's no wonder that Classic Loki dies laughing as he performs his Heroic Sacrifice getting Alioth to come after him instead of L1130 and Sylvie. He's not only doing something important and good for a change, but he's doing it by hamming it up and drawing all the attention to himself. What better way for any true Loki to die?
  • Even though L1130 had no experience enchanting like Sylvie, his Sacred Timeline version did something similar in Ragnarok; touching Valkyrie's mind and having her briefly re-live a memory, that being the failed assault against Hela. Meaning that he - or, presumably, any Loki - has always had the potential to use their magic in this manner.
Advertisement:

     Episode 6: For All Time. Always. 
  • The Loki Variant's personal timeline began to deviate after his escape from the Battle of New York from The Avengers, the ending of which introduced the Big Bad of the Infinity War Saga, Thanos. It's only appropriate that the final episode of the first season of Loki's show introduce the new Big Bad post-Endgame: Kang the Conquerer.
  • Loki's hesitation to kill He Who Remains is a direct reflection of what he learned about his original timeline in Episode 1 - namely, that an offhanded decision (giving directions to a Dark Elf from his cell) could unintentionally get someone he cared about killed. Loki is trying to learn from his predecessor's mistakes and not lash out blindly with no thought to consequences.
    • In a similar vein, it's really no surprise that Sylvie doesn't have the same mindset as him. While Loki has seen all the mistakes and good moments of his Sacred Timeline self (plus everything that followed in this show), Sylvie hasn't had the same level of development thus far; just companionship (possibly more) with Loki in recent days. In effect, Sylvie's development is somewhere around the level of Dark World Loki; she has been shown goodness, and she's been affected by it, but it hasn't been enough to fully change her behavior yet.
  • Why does Loki believe He Who Remains when Sylvie disbelieves? He saw what happened with the Variant Lokis in episode 5, she didn't.
  • The TVA is loosely based on 1970s Earth, the dates of the timeline use Earth's dating system, and all the Variants are humans from Earth (or at least look human). All of this makes sense with the revelation that the creator of the TVA is a man who originated from Earth.
  • One of the questions raised was how did the TVA gauge when an action resulted in a Nexus Event? Since the point was for He Who Remains to prevent another multiversal war, it would be anything that he himself does not know/remember/whatever his information is based on.
  • Speaking of nexus events, there's a bit of a Mind Screw when Loki is sent back to the TVA before Sylvie killed He Who Remains, and yet the time ripple had already passed through the TVA. So what really caused the ultimate nexus event? It wasn't the death of He Who Remains. It was the Big Damn Kiss.
  • Note how the Citadel has large streaks of gold lined across its walls, pillars, and floors. This imagery brings to mind the Japanese art of kintsugi, in which a broken piece of pottery is put back together with lacquer mixed with gold, giving it distinctively golden cracks. This reflects how He Who Remains maintains the Sacred Timeline: the Timeline itself is his pottery, and the TVA is the gold that repairs any and all damages (i.e. the branching timelines) in order to maintain its stability.
    • This applies to He Who Remains too: he could be a Composite Character made of different versions of himself from different timelines.
  • The reveal that He Who Remains is simply using the TVA to preserve his own timeline explains why the Avengers and Captain America, in particular, were allowed to mess with time in Endgame, as the time heist and Cap's subsequent retirement must have occurred in the original timeline in one form or another. And the multiverse existing at the time even accounts for Loki's escape. This would also explain why the time travel in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways (2017) was permitted by the TVA. They all occurred in the original timeline, not the sacred timeline.
    • Alternately: He Who Remains has been doing this for literal eons. As such, the Sacred Timeline has existed since the beginning of time. The time travel ocurring in the MCU so far has simply been a part of it (it was "allowed").
    • The fact that He Who Remains is maintaining a single "sacred timeline" to prevent the rise of another Kang-like variant of himself and ultimately another multiverse war easily explains the Graviton Breaks The Earth timeline seemingly slipping past the TVA's radar. Kang can't even be born if there's no Earth for him to be born on.
  • The episode reveals that the training video seen in Episode 1 wasn't entirely fictional - only incomplete and twisted around a bit - which ties in nicely with two rules Trickster characters like Loki love to live by. 1) They never outright lie, only omit certain truths and 2) The best, and most plausible, lies and stories are the ones based on said truth. Like how the founder of the TVA caused the original Multiversal War, the organization exists to prevent it from happening again.
  • Sylvie really is a Satanic Archetype. Some interpretations, specifically in Gnostic religion, say that Satan rebelled against God to give free will and chaos to humanity. By killing He Who Remains, Sylvie has given free will and chaos to humanity.
    • He Who Remains can be seen as an analogue to Yaldabaoth, the God from Gnostism as well because he can not only be seen as a false God because he is a human, but he can also be seen as being both the God and the Devil, like in some interpretations of Satan in Gnosticism, which he himself says he can be seen as, because he is the creator of the Sacred Timeline and the perpetrator of the atrocities needed to maintain the Sacred Timeline.

Fridge Horror

    General 
  • The TVA being the reason why Doctor Strange can see only one timeline where they win has the dark implication that the TVA knew there was a timeline where Thanos was stopped before the Snap and thus wouldn't cause suffering that would still be felt for years to come and chose to do nothing about it since it isn't the sacred timeline.
  • Does the TVA know about the Zombie universe that we see in What If??. If so, have they attempted to prune it, or did they think it would be too risky because if one of the members gets the virus, and knows how to work their tempad, then the virus could spread to other universes? Perhaps they even knew about the universe where Ultron won and if they tried to prune it, and Ultron found out about them...

    Episode 1: Glorious Purpose 
  • The TVA exists to protect the "Sacred Timeline", and is willing to casually kill those who threaten it. Considering that the Time Keepers are apparently too busy to be hands-on with their creations, what's stopping the TVA from becoming a greater threat to the universe than they stop, especially given how the mechanics of free will must work with them around? Viewers who are also familiar with how Celestial Bureaucracy-type organizations/peoples like the Time Lords of Doctor Who and Heaven of Good Omens (2019) end up can possibly predict the unsavory extremes.
  • When Loki is apprehended by the TVA, they reset his timeline. Assuming the opening takes place in present day, does this mean that that world's Thor, Odin, Frigga, and the rest of that branch just got dissolved like the trust-fund kid?
  • Given the reveal that the TVA resets the diverged timelines, things don't bode well for Deke and the timeline he was left behind in the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Unless, of course, the actions of SHIELD and the Chronicoms was part of the Sacred Timeline, which means that his timeline could possibly be left intact because it forming in the first place was part of the overarching timeline all along. Even so, given how gung-ho the TVA is to maintain only one timeline, it is hard not to worry for the one Deke left behind.
  • Where did all those Infinity Stones the TVA use as paperweights come from? Were they leftovers from that Great Offscreen War?
    • They're likely from timelines that were deleted.
    • Most of those Stones are Time, Reality and Space ones. But one glaring exception? It's a Soul Stone. Remember the rules for claiming one that exist as part of the Sacred Timeline. That means someone, whether a twisted maniac like Thanos or a noble soul with no other options like Hawkeye, had to sacrifice the person they loved the most for the sake of their plans. And the Stone's presence here means it was All for Nothing.
    • Not just Bucky's life, the sheer amount of atrocities big and small throughout history on a universal scale that have to have happened due to the Sacred Timeline and any deviation enforced and corrected back to that atrocity baffles the mind in scope. Is any and every atrocity planned and forced upon the universe by these beings? The Snap, Hydra's litany of monstrous acts(Hell the Nazis in general), the wars Odin used (with or without Hela) to make Asgard rule the Nine Realms... Even the events of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. They seem to rival the Idea of Evil in control over Causality if that's the case. Morality has nothing to do with their decisions after all; even though they allowed the Snap to be undone it wasn't out of kindness rather what was "supposed to happen."
  • By the very nature of their job, the TVA are essentially an extra-existential organization of stalkers who know everything about anyone who has ever existed and they can choose to view any moment in a person's life in extreme detail. Project Insight and similar concepts seen throughout the MCU seem quite amateurish by comparison.
  • Although it could be a joke on Miss Minutes' behalf, it's said that even a change in the timeline as small as being late for work, which may or may not be in your control in some cases (your car broke down, your train was late, etc.), can result in a crime against the Sacred Timeline. Pair that with the fact that you quite evidently don't know what infractions you've committed, you could be living a completely mundane life... and then one day be sentenced to DEATH out of the blue for forgetting to tie your shoes, with very little reasonable chance to appeal or amend your mistake.
    • The fourth episode shows that they are not above sentencing children to this fate.
    • Resetting seems to be getting your memories erased and dumped back into your timeline with you having made the "correct" choice. The vast majority of variances are probably along those lines, where someone has no idea what's going on, did it entirely by accident, gets sentenced to being reset and entirely forgets about their TVA experience and isn't actually replaced by a timeline clone. Still fridge horror (how many times have you have gone through that process?) but not nearly on the same level. Purging is likely just for people who did it on purpose with full knowledge or who refuse to comply in the TVA.
  • Loki probably thinks that Thor is dead in the main timeline just like the rest of his family, since the tape ends with the explosion of the Statesman.
  • Because of the Robot Detector, it's highly possible that variants of Ultron, Vision and LMDs did not make it to their trial, since they're made completely of robotic material, although they could if they have what can be considered a soul. For variants of Vision, let's hope they have what counts as a soul.
    • This does raise the question of what would happen to Chronicoms though because they're robots but are made of organic material and as stated in Fridge Brilliance, could potentially uncover that the Time Keepers are robots.
  • The robot detector has another layer of existential stress for Loki since it was just the year before when he suffered a soul-crushing identity crisis after discovering he was adopted and belongs to an enemy alien race. He probably really did think for a moment he could be a robot about to get his guts fried.
  • As the video narrated by Miss Minutes explains, when the timeline branches as a result of your choice, you get plucked from the new timeline by TVA, who then delete said timeline and place a copy of you back where you were supposed to be. Essentially, as a result of an action that can be as innocuous as being late to work, you're being kidnapped from your reality while a perfect clone of you who doesn't suspect anything takes your place. One of the last memories in your life will be finding out about it through a morbidly cheerful video with a cute mascot before you're brought in front of Kangaroo Court and sentenced to death. The implications of all this are pure Existential Horror.

    Episode 2: The Variant 
  • It's likely that the people that the TVA listed as having died during Ragnarok were killed by Hela, since Asgard itself looked empty when Surtur appeared, and the TVA simply lumped her actions together with Asgard burning. But it didn't say that specifically in the document. So, if the document lists Loki as the one who unleashed Surtur, Loki probably believes that he killed a huge number of his own people.
  • It's implied that the TVA rating scale for disasters is rated so that the higher-numbered disasters are the less destructive ones. A hurricane destroying a town is a 10, but an Earth-Shattering Kaboom like what happened with Asgard is only a 7. It makes you wonder just where larger-scale destruction events fall on their scale, and what the worst is classified as...
  • When Mobius and The Minutemen go to the storm shelter area of Roxxcart to look for the alternative Loki, a store manager asks them if they're the National Guard and if they can evacuate on the chopper. Which brings the question: Have the real National Guard been delayed by the storm, or have they been abandoned to die?
  • Given how destructive a Category 5 hurricane is in Real Life, what kind of damage does a Category 8 do?
    • Enough that roughly 10,835 people died (as per an earlier Freeze-Frame Bonus when Loki was showing the case to Mobius earlier) in the storm and you see an Establishing Shot of buildings being leveled and blown up in Haven Hills. If you look closely in the display TVs in the background when Loki is fighting The Variant, the speeds read roughly 221 mph (356 km/h). For reference, Category 5 hurricanes only go up to 157 mph (252 km/h).
  • In the opening shot when the TVA arrives in Haven Hills, the storm surge from the hurricane can be seen slowly swallowing the town. Storm surges occur near where hurricanes make landfall along the coast. Yet Alabama (besides the panhandle) is a landlocked state for the most part. Unless Haven Hills happens to be in the panhandle, either the storm is big enough to flood hundreds of miles inland or climate change gave Alabama a new coastline.
  • The Reset Charges are shown and described as being the same effect as pruning (and has the same visual effect as when the guy was pruned in episode one), but in an area of effect around the affected location. If they weren't truly "reset" back to where/when they were supposed to be - with no knowledge that anything unusual happened at all - those Mongolians in episode one are likely dead, as is the French Boy. All for something entirely outside of their control, and by the nature of the reset no one will even know or mourn them. But at least it isn't the whole universe per variant timeline, as previously thought - that makes it better, right?
    • In Episode 5 we discover that pruned people and objects arrive at The Void at the end of time - and live long enough to experience the horror of Alioth. It might have been better for the Mongolians and the French boy to simply cease to exist upon pruning or reset…
Advertisement:

    Episode 3: Lamentis 
  • Most, if not all of the TVA employees are revealed to be Variants whose memories have been erased and told that they were made by the Time-Keepers. How many have started to recover their memories, like with Mobius and his jet-ski obsession, only to be pruned or rebrainwashed?
  • Loki surmises that the TVA agents don't know that they're the same as the Variants that they ruthlessly hunt down and eliminate, which is bad enough, but what if some do know, and act as spies for the Time Keepers?
    • Episode four has Ravonna learn of this, but deciding to maintain The Masquerade.

    Episode 4: The Nexus Event 
  • We see Sylvie processed through the TVA like Loki was, including the part after she's put in a Variant jumpsuit, meaning she went through the whole ordeal of having her clothes stripped off by that creepy robot before being dropped through the floor. It was funny when Loki had his clothes beamed off, because Naked People Are Funny, but for Sylvie... either if her clothes are beamed off or if the robot physically removed them, we are talking about the TVA forcefully undressing a child, which is horrifying no matter how you look at it.
    • Speaking of children, every TVA member we see is an adult that at the very earliest is in their twenties, which leaves two options as to what they were going to do to Sylvie: either age her up with their technology (which is plausible considering what happened in Avengers: Endgame) and suppress her memories to make her a TVA worker or, more likely, prune her as soon as her trial was completed. The second option is terrible even before we found out that pruning doesn't destroy the Variant, but sends them to the Void. Now imagine a child being sent there and not being lucky enough to find sympathetic adults or worse, actual time-traveling criminals the TVA pruned. A case of the latter is probably Kid Loki. He probably was taken by the TVA, processed, tried and pruned. Likely after Sylvie's escape, so he couldn't do the same thing she did. They probably took precautions.
  • The episode shows the disturbing realisation that the TVA takes Variants at any age, even children, as soon as they cause a Nexus event. Imagine a mother given birth to a newborn baby, after hours of strenuous labour, and finally holding her child in her arms, only for Minutemen to show up and take away the newly-born child from her grip (Or alternatively, taking the mother and leaving the baby). All for the sake of the 'Sacred Timeline'.
    • The TVA is willing to arrest, reset, or prune anything or anyone that violates the 'Sacred Timeline'. It's entirely possible that they would, or already have, arrested a new mother because their so-called 'Sacred Timeline' decrees that the baby was supposed to be stillborn.
    • Speaking of the TVA pruning anything that doesn't match up with their script, when Doctor Strange was predicting all outcomes of the conflict with Thanos, he only saw one possible win condition for them; after all, even if they beat Thanos and his forces and stopped the Snap from happening, he'd probably see the Minutemen arrive and erase everything they had done.
  • During their "debrief", Renslayer asks Mobius if there's anywhere on the sacred timeline he'd like to visit. What seems like an innocent question at first becomes vaguely sinister after she asks him again and again with growing insistence. She wasn't making small talk, she was probing to see if Mobius' memories or personal attachments to his "home time" had resurfaced. It's likely if he'd given her an answer, she would have pruned him immediately.
  • With the reveal of the Time Keepers (and/or things posing as them) being androids, the Robot Detector is much more sinister.
  • Sif showing up to insult Loki and knee him in the groin on a loop is hilarious, right up until the point you realize that the TVA has a system in place for what amounts to physical and psychological torture. And Mobius is okay with using it. Who's to say there aren't others besides Loki? How many others?
  • From the evidence we see in the episode, Sylvie playing "Save Asgard" and trying to help another Variant and that she knew about her adoption at an early age, her "crime" against the Sacred Timeline was that she was going to grow up to be a good and well adjusted person.
    • This makes perfect sense - from what is seen in the first movie, the main reason why Loki is given the All the Other Reindeer treatment by his peers is because he isn't macho enough by Asgardian standards. All the things he is mocked for - being more pacifistic, preferring to use magic instead of weapons, preferring to talk and/or trick his way out of trouble - would all be accepted and appreciated in a girl. And, though a boy would be expected to 'toughen up', we can imagine how Odin and Thor would react to someone bullying their little princess. Add to that there would be no traumatic discovery of identity, Sylvie was probably set on the path to be genuinely well adjusted and heroic.

    Episode 5: Journey into Mystery 
  • Seeing as the TVA sends whatever they prune into The Void for Alioth to devour, it's almost certain that - unless they found a way to survive like Mobius and all of the other Loki Variants did - C-20 (and most especially the trust fund kid that is pruned in the first episode) are very much dead, be it at Alioth's hands or through other Variants that killed her either out of necessity, to get back at the TVA, or worse.
    • Also consider that at the end of Episode 2, Sylvie drops reset charges all across the timeline in her bid to empty out the TVA. The TVA is shown sprinting off to "correct" all of this, suggesting that they pruned numerous completely innocent people who just happened to be near where Sylvie dropped her bombs.
  • Did the founder(s) of the TVA make Alioth, or just find him? And if they just repurposed an existing Eldritch Abomination into their glorified guard dog and waste disposal source, are there more beings like him out there?
  • Finding out that with Reset Charges, the TVA prunes not just people, but vehicles, ships and skyscrapers too; if those purple creatures are any indication, the TVA might prune entire species too. Anything the Charges don't destroy gets sent to the Void so it can never return and be consumed by Alioth. It makes you wonder what the limits are for the TVA's pruning, what the limit is for something to be considered a Variant, and what can manage to slip into the Void. Do the TVA pruned Variant Countries? Planets? Stars? Galaxies? How large a thing can a Variant be?
  • Did Kid Loki mean to kill his Thor or was it an accident, a prank gone wrong? What did Thor say about that snake-stab prank in Ragnarok? "We were eight at the time".
  • What's going to happen to Kid Loki and Alligator Loki? They're on their own, and their hideout was compromised (assuming anyone survived that brawl).
  • How many Loki variants had a Heel–Face Door-Slam like Classic and possibly Kid?
  • Renslayer is as devious as a Loki. Remember in the previous episode, where she goaded Sylvie to prune her? That was a ruse. She knows the truth about pruning. She knows about the Void. She still had her Tempad on her at the time. What Sylvie thought was a Get It Over With would actually be a brief detour for Renslayer, and Renslayer knew this. After being pruned, she could return to the TVA with her Tempad immediately. Then she could muster up a posse and go after Sylvie perhaps minutes after, and Sylvie would have no idea she was coming.
  • We know from Sylvie and Kid Loki that the TVA has no problem pruning children. In this episode, we see how dangerous it is for anyone to survive in the Void, even adult gods with actual powers. Putting one and two together, and it's horrifying to think about how many thousands and millions of variant children have died alone and afraid on the edge of existence.
    • Sylvie wakes up in The Void inside a wrecked school bus. We can imagine that the bus wasn't empty when it was sent there.
  • Early on, we see Frog!Thor trying to reach his Mjolnir, but he's trapped in a jar. Both of them are buried several feet underground, and it's not indicated that any of the Lokis know he's there. Just how long as Frog!Thor been trapped there, and how much longer can he survive in that jar?

    Episode 6: For All Time. Always. 
  • Loki escapes the domain of He Who Remains, heartbroken that Sylvie cannot trust him. Then he goes to find Mobius at the TVA — only to find that he is not in the same universe he left (We see "our" Mobius and B-15 looking at the branching timelines at HQ, while the new ones are in the archives.) Not only do these people NOT know him, they're about to arrest him and turn him over to the ruler of the TVA in this timeline — Kang the Conqueror.
  • We know that there are WORSE things besides Kang the Conqueror in the multiverse. The Fantastic Four are coming — did He Who Remains use Alioth (or something else) to hold Galactus in check? If so, what happens now that Galactus is also free?
  • The variants in the Void are still trapped there with Alioth whom Sylvie and Loki almost certainly cannot enchant forever. Additionally, how will the unpredictable nature of the multiverse affect the end of time? Is it even the end of time anymore?
  • Mobius not remembering Loki is pretty horrifying in itself. However, it gets even worst once you realized that two things a. Loki is one of the most notable villains in the MCU as the attack on New York would definitely be on a lot of people's minds and b. The TVA arrested various Loki variants beforehand. Once you take those two things into account, it's likely Kang severely messed up the timeline to the point where no other version of Loki exists and the TVA lacks memories of any version of Loki because of that.
  • Kang mentions that he 'weaponized' Alioth to deal with the war between his other selves. Did he annihilate every other universe he came in contact with via Alioth, killing trillions upon trillions of sapient beings (and an uncountable amount of non-sapient ones)? If so, he easily humbles Thanos in the scale of his endless atrocities.
    • If it's any solace, even that also gets undone when Sylvie kills He Who Remains, allowing the multiverse and its sapient and non-sapient beings to breathe free again.
  • Something might come to mind if one has been through the Fridge Brilliance section of Avengers: Endgame:
    When asked where [Captain Marvel]'s been this whole time, she responds that there are a lot of planets out there, and none of them had the Avengers. When you think about that line, it adds a lot of depth to the place earth and humanity have in the MCU. In comparison to alien species with Galaxy-spanning empires, mad conquerors who wipe out entire worlds, all wielding technology that makes what we can muster look like it came from the stone age, just what is it that Earth and Humanity bring to the table that makes them a thorn in the side of the likes of Thanos? ... What does humanity have that's thwarted the plans of Omnicidal Maniacs and literal gods? The answer...humanity has people who, when all seems lost, stand up...people who spread hope and determination like a virus...people who call others to be more than the sum of their parts...humanity has heroes.
    • Why is this in Fridge Horror? Well, among those fascinating beings of human origin (with the determination and will to see their way through), we now discover Kang, a Big Bad of clear, futuristic human origin, one who has managed to tame and bend the entirety of time and space to his will—and whose agenda makes the likes of Thanos himself seem petty and myopic by comparison. His Variant also ensured the Avengers (and Captain Marvel) are the only beings that can undo Thanos's crimes across the universe.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

Report