‘Loki’: What is Alioth? And what is its connection to Kang the Conqueror?

I don’t know how we got here, but there is only one episode of “Loki” remaining, and it’s shaping up to be a monumental episode for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This week’s penultimate episode, which was titled “Journey Into Mystery,” offered a few hints about the series’ endgame, but not before having a little fun and allowing viewers to spend time with the many different versions of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) — including President Loki — who had been pruned and were living in the Void.

The enchanting hour reminded us at every turn that these Loki variants are, at their most basic level, all the same. They’re mischievous. They’re power hungry. They lie. They betray everyone to get what they want. But as Mobius (Owen Wilson) also wisely told Kid Loki (Jack Veal) and Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant) this week, it’s never too late to change. And OG Loki has certainly changed in the very short time of the show.

Whether or not the swiftness of the character’s evolution is believable is debatable, but we do know that Loki’s evolution into a person who cares about more than just himself does happen eventually. We watched it happen during the course of the entire Infinity Saga. So while it was condensed and accelerated here, perhaps it makes sense, what with the series being all about time and its mechanics and whatnot. Regardless, it’s a good thing Loki has changed, because it seems that we’re now staring down the next chapter of the MCU, and things are about to get really messy.

SEE ‘Loki’ episode 4: Who are the other Loki variants, and where are they?

“Journey Into Mystery” introduced viewers to the Void, a place at the end of time that is policed by a dangerous purple smoke creature known as Alioth. The creature ensures that no matter or energy that arrives in the Void after being pruned by the Time Variance Authority ever leaves or returns to the place from which it came because it simply absorbs it. Loki had planned on killing Alioth to get to the person in charge of the TVA, but he quickly saw how futile his sham of a plan was — how so many of his plans are — when Alioth easily destroyed the sailors on a newly arrived battleship.

Eventually, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), with an assist from Loki — because again, they’re the same — was able to enchant Alioth at the end of the episode, opening the barrier to whatever lies just beyond, which we now know is the true creator of the TVA. In order for them to have a chance to enchant Alioth, though, Classic Loki sacrificed himself by creating a powerful illusion of Asgard that kept the shifting cloud of energy occupied while the other two Lokis went to work. After spending so much time in solitude and isolation in order to simply survive, Classic Loki finally found his glorious purpose. And it was excellent. Give Richard E. Grant the guest drama actor Emmy next year.

But as we look toward the “Loki” finale and what Classic Loki’s sacrifice meant, we can see that the show is really priming us for the next phase of the MCU. To better understand what that means, though, we must first understand Alioth and its connection to a mysterious character that has already been confirmed to be joining the MCU in the near future.

SEE ‘Loki’ just revealed a major secret about the Time Variance Authority

Who or what is Alioth?

In the comics, Alioth claims to be the first being to ever break free from the constraints of the timestream. Its placement in the Void in this episode is meant to act as a guard dog of sorts and keep anyone from ever discovering the true creator of the TVA, who lives on the edge of the Void. But in the comics, Alioth amasses a giant time kingdom of its own, one that supposedly spans back to the dawn of time. It extends up to but it is never able to take over one place in particular: Chronopolis, the domain of the villainous Kang the Conqueror. The city exists on the outskirts of Limbo, the plane that time travelers use to jump through time, so it certainly seems possible then that the place Alioth was acting as a barrier to was the MCU’s version of Kang’s home. So, this obviously raises the most obvious question of all time: Is Kang behind the TVA?

Is Kang really behind the TVA?

In the comics, Alioth is the enemy of Kang the Conqueror, not the fearsome creature protecting his temporal domain. But this wouldn’t be the first Marvel storyline to be changed for the screen. And it certainly seems that all signs are pointing toward Kang being the person behind the TVA at this point. In fact, fans have been theorizing since before the first episode of “Loki” even aired that the show was going to introduce the powerful time traveler. Not only did one of the Time Keepers bear a striking resemblance to the comic book version of the character, but there was also a reference to a weapon from the early third millennium in the series premiere. This lines up with Kang’s time period.

It’s also been confirmed already that Jonathan Majors will portray the character in the upcoming film “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” which is scheduled to hit theaters in February 2023. So this could be a similar situation to “WandaVision,” which featured its own character-driven narrative but also set the stage for a separate Marvel film, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

However, Kang is a pretty major villain, so his effect on the overall story of the MCU could create ripple effects that could potentially extend far beyond what we already know. After all, the MCU seems to also be setting us up for a movie or show starring the Young Avengers, what with Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson) joining the MCU in “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) being introduced in “Hawkeye” later this year. And don’t forget, we’ve already met Cassie Lang, and “WandaVision” also introduced us to the twins known as Wiccan and Speed. It’s possible they’ll eventually return.

SEE ‘Loki’ introduces us to the Loki variant, but who is she?

How does Ravonna Renslayer play into this?

In this week’s episode, Judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) seemed to have her own agenda for wanting to find the person behind the TVA. In the comics, the character was a love interest of Kang and even once accidentally allowed Alioth to enter his domain by accident. It’s unclear if this version of the character already knows Kang and is attempting to protect him from Loki and Sylvie, or if she simply wants to defeat him and take his power and rule the TVA herself. There’s definitely something going on there. But it’s not quite clear yet. Hopefully next week’s finale will answer some of these questions.

The season finale of “Loki” airs Wednesday, July 14 on Disney+

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