Time is a delicate thing. It must remain balanced and intact. A slight ripple and it creates grave repercussions down the lane. The timeline must be protected at all costs. For the sanctity of the space-time continuum not destroying the fabric if reality, time needs a guardian. That’s where the Time-Keepers of the TVA come in. The Time Variance Authority hunts down people who screw up the timeline. When Loki escaped with the Tesseract in Endgame’s Time Heist, he meddled with the forces of time. The TVA captured and tried him for his time crimes. But the Avengers did the same thing and the TVA didn’t even bat an eye.
Why is that? Turns out, there might be a perfectly good explanation for the TVA’s negligent behavior towards the Avengers’ actions in Endgame.
In Avengers: Endgame, it has been years since Thanos gathered the infinity Stones and snapped away half of all life in the universe. His actions led to unprecedented consequences. Many Avengers lost their lives. Most of the superheroes of the MCU turned to dust, leaving a worldwide crisis for the remaining half of the Avengers to deal with. Ant-Man managed to escape the quantum realm and gave the Avengers an idea. The quantum realm could be used to undo Thanos’ actions. Tony Stark figured out a way to travel back in time using quantum realm physics.
The goal was to undo the Thanos Snap. To do so, the Avengers would split up to different points in time. After traveling to the past, they would carefully ‘borrow’ the Infinity Stones and reconstruct the Gauntlet. But doing so would mean also undoing events that had already happened in the past. Does it not warrant at least an investigation from the TVA?
We mean was it not the Avengers screwing up that led to Loki escaping with the Tesseract in the first place? The Time Variance Authority had ample reasons to jump in and stop the Avengers from conducting the Time Heist. The Avengers’ actions inevitable led to the creation of multiple timelines, one of which, was a now alive and kicking Loki.
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The answer to that question is fairly simple. Tom Hiddleston, the actor who plays Loki on screen, has been on several promotional tours for his upcoming series. And he was the one who gave us the answer to that question. The TVA has a way of looking at time unlike anybody else. They have something called a sacred timeline. Within that sacred timeline, the TVA has predetermined what has happened in the past, present, and future. And no matter how convoluted this timeline is, the TVA views it as a linear sum of events. It means that even if the sacred timeline has people travelling back in time, the TVA allows it since it is an integral part of that timeline.
- So to put it in other words, just like Doctor Strange viewed 14 Million timelines and figured out how to defeat Thanos, the TVA has also viewed all possible scenarios and decided the Avengers traveling back in action must be allowed to protect the future of their ‘sacred timeline’ Hiddleston speaks of. The Avengers traveling back in time in Endgame was what Doctor Who fans would better know as a Fixed Point in time.
There are other inferences as well. The Time Variance Authority probably knew an Avenger like Captain America would never try to change the events of the past. So when Steve Rogers decided to stay back with Peggy, the TVA did not object because he would keep things to himself. The original Captain America would “clip the branches” the heroes had created during the Time Heist. The Avengers at least intended to clean up their own messes by putting the stones back to where they belonged.
And that is where the TVA arresting Loki comes in. The Avengers were spared because the TVA viewed them as an essential part of the timeline. Their actions in Endgame were inevitable events the TVA had already foreseen. And they cleaned up their messes afterwards. But Loki is not like the Avengers. He is the God of Mischief for a reason. The Norse God would have run rampart across time, creating branches after branches of alternate timelines with each and every action. That was a problem for the TVA to solve.
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This certainly makes sense. Loki is not as well-versed like the Avengers were in Endgame’s time Heist. The Avengers had the world’s best and brightest minds working for them, so they knew the timeline needed to be protected after they were done with Thanos. When Cap went back in time to return the Infinity Stones, he basically did the TVA’s job for them. But Loki on the other hand ended up being a temporal trouble maker. And that is why the TVA nabbed him but let the Avengers go.