Did Loki's He Who Remains Lie To The TVA About Sylvie's Original Nexus Event? Here's What The Director Told Us

loki, sylvie and he who remains in the citadel elevator in loki season 1 finale

Spoilers below for the final episode of Loki Season 1, so be warned!

For all the big answers that Loki delivered with its conversation-driven season finale, the MCU series still left audiences with plenty of details to wonder about. And while some of those questions were purposefully left open-ended, such as where Ravonna is heading next, others could seemingly be answered intuitively by connecting the dots. Such as the theorized notion that He Who Remains had the TVA arbitrarily pull Young Sylvie from her timeline without a true Nexus Event, specifically so that she could be the one to eventually kill him and unlock the multiverse.

To explain that timey-wimey idea a bit further: in his near-infinite knowledge of events, Jonathan Majors' He Who Remains knew Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Sophia di Martino's Sylvie would be within the Citadel, with the latter aiming to kill him. Having lived through eons of timeline struggles, He Who Remains seemed perfectly fine with one of the Lokis ending his story, despite it allowing Kang the Conqueror and his other evil variants to rain hell on the multiverse. So the way I see it, the villain set up his swan song by having Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Ravonna pulling Cailey Fleming's Young Sylvie out of her timeline without a justifiable Nexus Event, thus setting up the character's life on the run, and her decades-long mission to get revenge on whoever was responsible. Nobody ever said omniscient time-travelers were simple folk.

In speaking with Loki's magnificent director Kate Herron after the finale's airing, I posed that question to her, and while she does like the idea, she couldn't say with 100% certainty that He Who Remains' actions were made with only his own eventual demise as the goal. In her words:

I suppose the thing is, I would never want to shut down the conversation on that, because I find it so interesting. I think my interpretation of it, and I could be wrong, is that he didn't know what was going to happen in that moment, but maybe he would have given her an equal [chance]. He obviously took her out of the timeline for a reason, so like, it could definitely be part of the 'Okay, well, let's see if she wins.' I mean, I think for me, in my head, I always feel like he doesn't necessarily know if it's gonna be the red pill or blue pill that ends up getting taken. But if he lined it up, to at least give them an equal fighting chance, maybe. But yeah, I think that's cool; I've been hearing that theory a little bit, which I think is kind of fun. But I think in my head, I always feel like when he takes his TemPad off, he doesn't know what's going to happen. And that, for him, is very exciting, obviously.

On the one hand, I can't fully grasp why the trickster big bad would go through the trouble of laying the groundwork for Loki and Sylvie's eventual visit to the Citadel if he truly just wanted them to take his place without any chaos ensuing. Considering he admitted to having lied to the Loki variants earlier in their conversation, I'm certainly not confident that everything else he said was gospel. And while I don't necessarily think He Who Remains only has madness in the multiverse on his mind, I think he was ready and willing to let all that happen if it meant he could find some peace through death.

On the flip side, I can completely understand how knowing just about everything happening that would happen to oneself across eons would get very, very, very old. Which makes it easier to think that He Who Remains set up that final Loki-vs.-Sylvie confrontation so that he could have the ultra-rare experience of truly not knowing how something would turn out. Like his version of the Super Bowl or a UFC pay-per-view, just with more quasi-incestuous kissing parts. I'm sure he had an inkling that Sylvie's rage would win out in the end, despite it leaving Loki heartbroken back at the TVA, but the villain very well could have been hoping to keeping on living, just without all the fateful foreknowledge.

At this point, though, I think we can strongly assume that Sylvie wasn't guilty of any Nexus Events prior to the TVA showing up and pruning her timeline, and that her path in life was always destined to lead to the Citadel. But we'll probably have to wait until Season 2 to see if the creative team explains He Who Remains' actions in full. Unless it was Miss Minutes all along...

Loki Season 1 is available to stream in full on Disney+, with Season 2 coming at some point down the line, presumably after a few more MCU movies hit theaters in the next year or so.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.