The fans were right!


After the horror of the endless Mephisto theorising around WandaVision, it seemed like we could be in for some similarly doomed speculation with fellow Marvel Disney Plus series Loki. For weeks, fans had theorised that a certain Marvel villain would be behind the whole thing, pulling the strings of the TVA while Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief fought his way through different timelines.

But this time, all the theories were true – more or less. The classic comic-book villain fans were hoping for did turn up, and the value of internet message boards was saved. Hooray!

So who was this villain, and how did he appear in the Loki season one finale? Check out our breakdown below but beware – we’re delving into some serious spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the latest Loki episode yet, please do that before reading on.

Kang the Conqueror

Kang the Conqueror as seen in Disney XD's "Marvel's Avengers: Ultron Revolution" (Getty Images)

Who’s been messing up everything? It was Kang all along….

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That’s right – the villain that Loki fans have been waiting for is blue-faced time-traveller and wannabe tyrant Kang, who first appeared in the Fantastic Four comics but has since faced off with multiple heroes and super-teams over the years.

Previously, Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors had been rumoured to play the baddie in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, so he was on fans’ minds when Loki first emerged, with many making a connection between him and the series.

The most obvious connection? Kang is always associated with time travel, so many believed he had to have a hand in the TVA. Plus, Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in the comics was a hostage-turned-accomplice-turned-lover of Kang, while the monstrous Alioth faced by the team in episode five was another associate.

Altogether, the evidence was overwhelming and, in episode six, the fans who had spotted it could pat themselves on the back as Kang was revealed. Or at least, sort of revealed.

He Who Remains

Jonathan Majors with Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino in Loki (Disney) Disney Plus

You may have noticed quite a few caveats in this piece about whether this really was or wasn’t Kang, and there’s a reason for that: the truth is a little complicated. You see, while it is Majors playing a figure who we’d identify as Kang in Loki, in the episode he’s never named as such.

In fact, Miss Minutes calls him “He Who Remains” – a minor Marvel character who was similarly revealed as the TVA’s big boss in the Citadel at the End of Time in the comics. Majors’ character does note that he has many names, and he’s certainly dressed in a way that hints at Kang’s comic book appearance – purple, kind of an Egyptian look to the clothes – but it’s not explicit. In fact, he's listed in the credits as "He Who Remains", not as Kang.

And perhaps this could be because he’s not Kang himself – not exactly. In the episode, he explains that aeons ago he was a scientist who discovered alternate worlds and, after a period of peace, he inadvertently kickstarted a “multiversal war” as different versions of himself tried to save their universe by destroying the others.

He notes that there are countless evil versions of him in other universes just waiting to get through, and the TVA – which he set up and runs – managed to keep them at bay by isolating and maintain the “Sacred Timeline”.

At the end of the episode he’s killed, and tells Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie “See you soon,” hinting that his variants are on their way. So could it be that the proper, fully villainous Kang will be one of these other variants, also played by Majors?

Loki himself, as played by Tom Hiddleston, certainly seems to hint at that threat.

“Someone is coming – countless different versions of a very dangerous person, and they’re all set on war. We need to prepare,” he says at the end of the episode.

A statue of Jonathan Majors as Kang in Loki (Disney Plus)

Anyway, that’s our working theory at the moment. He Who Remains, as played by Majors was a little wackier and less grandiose than the Kang of the comics, which could just be an acting choice – but it could also hint that Majors will play the “real” Kang differently, highlighting the contrast between the two versions.

In fact, many fans have noted that Majors is closer to an alternate, less villainous version of Kang in the comics called "Immortus" (who also dressed similarly - note the purple cloak, star badge and green tunic) who regularly worked against his alternate self's schemes, and tried to protect the timeline (though in that version he worked for the Time-Keepers, who actually existed). Immortus was a manipulative sort who got up to some shady things, but isn't an out-and-out villain - like He Who Remains, he just believed the ends justified the means when protecting the timeline.

Anyway by the end of the episode, as Loki stares at a statue of Majors’ character wearing Kang’s iconic comic-book outfit (admittedly minus the make-up and helmet), it’s hard to see it as anything but a confirmation that this character will be the Big Bad of the series – and possibly the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – going forward.

Kang is here – or at least, on the way – and the MCU might never be the same again.

Is Loki dead or did Loki survive Infinity War? Who exactly is Sylvie in Loki? Find out everything you need to know about the Loki cast and how to watch Marvel movies in order with our comprehensive coverage.

Loki is streaming now on Disney Plus – for more information see our Loki release schedule guide. To watch, you can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.

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