‘Loki’: Does Free Will Exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
The following post contains SPOILERS for the first two episodes of Loki.
So far, Loki has revealed that everything that takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is part of a “Sacred Timeline” preserved and maintained by a mysterious group of immortal beings known as “Time-Keepers.” These Time-Keepers use the TVA to monitor and repair this one universe from any deviation from their grand plan. When Loki stole the Tesseract during Avengers: Endgame, that wasn’t supposed to happen, making him a “Variant” time criminal and landing him at the TVA. But when the Avengers took the Infinity Stones to stop Thanos in Endgame, that apparently was supposed to happen, and thus the Sacred Timeline was maintained.
But this raises some pretty heavy questions about the nature of existence in the MCU. If there is one Sacred Timeline, whose flow and outcome is preordained, does that mean the residents of the Marvel universe lack free will? It seems like they should, at least until you consider the role of variants like Loki. In our latest Loki video, we explore the ideas about determinism and free will floating through the early episodes of Loki, and what they have to say about the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe. Watch it below:
If you liked this video about the nature of free will in Marvel and Loki, check out more of our videos below, including our theories about the TVA erasing Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more from the “Sacred Timeline,” our video on Randy Loki’s plan, and why the Infinity Stones are worthless in Loki. Plus, there’s tons more over at ScreenCrush’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to catch all our future episodes. New episodes of Loki air weekly on Disney+.
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Gallery — Marvel’s Full Phase Four Movie Lineup (With Release Dates):