Marvel's Loki episode four has dropped a major bombshell about the Time-Keepers, the ancient beings said to be at the heart of the Time Variance Authority.


Marvel fans have been sceptical over whether this all-knowing trio of "space lizards" truly exist, or if they are simply an elaborate lie being told to keep TVA employees docile and loyal.

We seemed to get our answer in episode four, where a violent confrontation in the Time-Keepers throne room ended with the group's leader being beheaded – and their true nature being revealed.

There are still plenty of questions left to be answered as we eagerly await Loki episode five, but for now, here's all your essential information on the Time-Keepers in Loki.

Who are the Time-Keepers?

The Time-Keepers as seen in Loki episode 1 (Disney Plus)

In Marvel Comics, the Time-Keepers were introduced in 1982’s Thor #282. Ast, Vorth, and Zanth were created by He Who Remains, the last survivor of a universe that had previously been destroyed. Although the comics also featured the Time-Keepers as far-flung successors to the TVA after it was disbanded, their motives in Loki are still unknown.

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In terms of the Time-Keepers’ origin in the MCU, there's a still a lot we don't know. Earlier in his self-titled series, we saw Loki ask for all files pertaining to the Time-Keepers, the history of time, and the TVA’s backstory – only to be told they were were “classified”. As a result, all he had to go on was the elaborate story from Miss Minutes, who claims that the Time-Keepers banded together after a Great Multiversal War that threatened all of reality.

Rumour has it that Loki will set the stage for another such conflict in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel Multiverse of Madness, but fresh developments in Loki episode four cast doubt on whether this Time-Keepers origin is true at all.

Are the Time-Keepers real in Loki?

Loki episode 4 – Time-Keepers
The Time-Keepers appear in Loki episode 4 Disney Plus

Fans have been doubtful about the true nature of the Time-Keepers from the first episode of Loki, but their suspicion reached new heights when it was revealed that Agent Mobius himself has never met them. The only person at the TVA who does seem to have regular contact with the all-powerful trio is Judge Ravonna Renslayer, but she is coy and cryptic with any information she passes on about them.

Circling back to the comics, Renslayer has a complicated history with a certain Kang the Conqueror, tipped to be the MCU's next Big Bad as portrayed by Lovecraft Country's Jonathan Majors. A prominent theory is that the formidable Avengers foe has killed off the trio and replaced them as the head of the TVA for his own nefarious means. Kang has a long rap sheet of meddling in the past, including when he manipulated the Time-Keepers into separating his past self from his future self in 1998’s Avengers Forever, before promptly slaughtering them.

Time-Keepers fake head in Loki episode four (featuring Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie)
Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) discovers the Time-Keepers are fake in Loki episode four Disney Plus

This theory only seems stronger following the events of Loki episode four, where Sylvie beheads one of the Time-Keepers in their throne room, only to discover that they are merely "mindless androids". At the end of the dramatic chapter, she demands that Renslayer tell her what's really been going on at the TVA, so expect some answers next week. Tom Hiddleston himself had previously teased that Loki episode 4 and 5 are the big ones in terms of shocking revelations.

If the Time-Keepers are proven to be a complete fabrication, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an actual presence out there watching the MCU unfold. After all, we've already seen the legendary Stan Lee helping out the Watchers in Guardians Vol. 2, with the big-headed alien species set to be formerly introduced in the upcoming What If series. with Jeffrey Wright playing the MCU's primary Watcher: Uatu.

Loki episodes one to four are 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.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy coverage, as well as our guides to the best movies on Disney Plus and best shows on Disney Plus.


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