Loki episode 5 has arrived on Disney Plus, nicely teeing up the show's finale. However, despite only having one episode remaining, there are still numerous questions that need answering, including who the Big Bad will be.
There have been hints along the way at the series' real villain, but no confirmation has been offered. With that in mind, we put our best Marvel-loving minds to the task of predicting who the Loki villain will be. Kang the Conqueror? Miss Minutes? Sylvie? All possibilities that we go into below.
But be warned – major spoilers for everything that has happened on Loki so far!
GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer Bradley Russell predicts... Sylvie
Face it: Love hurts. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has been making goo-goo eyes at Sylvie for half the series now and that’s going to make the potential upcoming gut punch sting even more.
Hiddleston told Fandom that Loki is "his own worst enemy" and the Disney Plus series should take that literally. Working out the story specifics might be tricky, but an older Sylvie sending a message back to her younger self so she could help clear out Alioth in The Void is certainly plausible. The castle we spotted in the fifth episode’s final shot might not be a home. It could, in fact, be Sylvie’s prison.
Come on, it’s (probably) not the wildest Loki theory you’ve seen today. Time travel certainly allows for that sort of mind-bending plot twist and it’s also mostly Lokis trapped in The Void. The most dangerous Variant would be a prime candidate to be specifically kept out of the way at the end of time – and ready to cause all sorts of mischief if let free. The origins of the TVA – whether that’s Kang pulling the strings or someone else entirely – can be held back for another day, or another season.
Simply put, the Big Bad of Loki’s first six episodes should be Sylvie. And Sylvie. After all, Marvel’s MO so far has also been to keep the villains fairly self-contained. It was Agatha All Along, not Mephisto, and the Power Broker in Falcon and The Winter Soldier was Sharon Carter. It stands to reason, then, that the Big Bad is going to be someone already introduced in Loki. A Sylvie betrayal is the best way to keep Loki – our Loki – on the sort of loveless, selfish path that ends up with him being killed in Infinity War.
GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer Molly Edwards predicts... Miss Minutes
It’s obvious – the real villain of Loki has been staring us in the face since the very first episode. Miss Minutes, the adorable animated orange clock, is clearly the big bad behind the TVA, the fake Time Keepers, and the Void.
For one thing, she knows way too much about the Sacred Timeline, and the past multiversal war. She’s sinisterly cheerful while telling the Variants that they’ve been brought in for their "crimes". She seems to be able to go anywhere in the halls of the TVA, bothering Loki at his desk earlier in the series, and appearing alongside Ravonna Lexus Renslayer in episode 5. Then there’s the fact that she seems to have access to just about every file in the TVA, and collaborated with Renslayer to stall for time until the minutemen could arrive for Sylvie. Suspicious, or what?
It would also be just the kind of left turn we’ve been expecting from the series. The show has introduced loads of devious Loki Variants, but none of them have really got what it takes to be the overall villain. And who better to control the flow of time than someone with a name as literal as Miss Minutes? It’s clear that this clock has been the culprit all along.
GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Editor Jack Shepherd predicts... Loki
The other guys have mentioned that the Marvel shows have not introduced any last-minute villains, and I doubt Loki would change things up too drastically and suddenly bring in Kang or Mephisto or whoever. So, who have we seen who could possibly be behind everything? I reckon it's Loki
The God of Mischief has a long history of causing mischief (hence the name), and creating the TVA to keep his own singular Sacred Timeline flowing would be a very Loki move. during episode 5, our Loki Variant tells Sylvie that he may hope to one day rule a timeline – but what if that's already happening? Loki already reigns over this Sacred Timeline, keeping things in check and doing so in quite a tyrannical way. That definitely seems like something Loki would do.
Which Loki, though, is the big question. Bradley has said Sylvie, but I'm more inclined to think this will simply be another Tom Hiddleston. Or, better yet, Richard E. Grant returning as another Variant. I mean, why wouldn't the writers want to bring back the superb actor for another episode? It was Loki all along, I tell you!
GamesRadar+'s Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant predicts... Classic Loki
Call me an originalist, but I can't imagine a Marvel universe where the classic Loki isn't up to something.
Disney Plus' Loki series centers on the idea of destiny versus free will. While Hiddleston's Loki has shown he's open to change (here in the show, and in the movies) beyond his sinister early days in the MCU, Loki – and specifically, Richard E. Grant's classic Loki – could still cave to his baser instincts and try to conquer the universe through the lens of time.
But didn't he sacrifice himself in the fifth episode to allow the other Lokis to overcome the Void? Remember, Classic Loki survived by convincing Thanos – wielding several Infinity Stones at the time – that he was dead. It sure would be convenient for the hidden big bad to go out in a blaze of glory and be considered off the table for our heroes, wouldn't it?
The storytellers behind the Loki show have made it a point to establish a difference between illusion-casting and duplication-casting, remember?
In comics, Loki – specifically this version of Loki – is the big evil that caused the formation of the Avengers, and also the Loki variant whose sinisterness made the modern teen Loki look heroic by comparison.
In fiction, there are usually three types of conflict: a character versus another character, a character versus nature, or a character versus themselves. Disney Plus' Loki is about Loki coming to terms with himself and his own choices: ultimately, to become even a slightly better person, he has to defeat this older idea of himself. For most its figurative – but for this TV show, it's literal.
Newsarama's Editor-in-Chief Michael Doran predicts... Kang the Conqueror
In its first two Disney Plus series, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios hid the two main villains – Agatha Harkness and The Power Broker/Sharon Carter – in plain sight and dared us viewers to come up with alternative theories.
I see you Kevin Feige, I'm not falling for that again.
Loki has been planting characters, concepts, and Easter eggs all throughout each of the first five episodes that clearly point to the master of Marvel time travel Kang the Conqueror, so I'm taking the Occam's Razor approach this time around. Sure, Jonathan Majors, the actor who will star as Kang in 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, has sort of thrown cold water on speculation about his involvement in Loki in a carefully parsed denial, but there's too much smoke for us not to look for the fire.
First, there is the while preoccupation with variants in Loki, which is in fact the comic book Kang's specialty. Then there's the significant role of Ravonna Lexus Renslayer, a sometimes paramour/sometimes rival to Kang. Now there's Alioth, another Kang-related concept from the comic books that debuted in episode 5. And again the easter eggs, including "third millennium" weapons and namecheck on a collapsed skyscraper.
So it's very likely Kang in the castle (Chronopolis, anyone?) at the other end of the Void, right in front of our faces all along.
Newsarama Writer George Marston predicts: Immortus
Perhaps the thing the saga of Loki and his many variants has been preparing us for all along is Marvel Studios' plans to dig into the story of Kang the Conqueror, a classic time-traveling Avengers villain with numerous variants of his own.
While Kang – set to be played by Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – may be a likely candidate for the final villain of Loki, it's one of his alt-personalities, Immortus, who lines up even more cleanly with what Loki has presented so far.
Much older and less power-hungry than Kang, in comics Immortus is actually an agent of the Time-Keepers, and even teamed up with Kang's jilted lover Ravonna for a time. Immortus himself dwells in a castle at the end of time – a non-Euclidean fortress that defies natural reality, all surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable fog. Sounds a lot like the aesthetic at the end of Loki episode 5, no?
In addition, Immortus has long been a recurring villain for Thor, specifically, with the God of Thunder's battles even tying into the creation of the Time-Keepers in comic books.
It may be a bit of a stretch to throw in a new major villain in Loki's finale - but in the MCU, almost everything is prelude, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness already set to follow up on Loki's threads. It's possible the many faces of Loki, and their often wildly varying incarnations, are a setup to get MCU fans used to Immortus, Kang, and maybe even more 'variants' all existing side by side, in conflict.