Marvel Studios' third Disney+ outing finally came to a close last week, and for many fans, it didn't disappoint. In fact, the Loki finale itself may have set up the MCU's future for years and years to come. That's a pretty big deal for a Disney+ show.
Well, for one, the show introduced the MCU's next big bad. Like a Thanos level big bad. His name in the show was He Who Remains, but his many variants go by Kang the Conqueror and he is not someone to take lightly. It's going to be a fun ride watching him go up against the heroes of the MCU.
There was something bigger than Kang though. The multiverse. Something that fans got a phenomenal visualization of as the Sacred Timeline broke down, and the many branches of reality kept spawning new realities, and those made their own—a process that goes on forever. The final shot given to fans of the multiverse is a perfect visual for what's in store for Marvel projects of the future.
The multiverse is a confusing concept and one that's hard to grasp. Thankfully, Loki's director Kate Herron is on hand to give a little more insight into how everything works.
THE BRANCHING MULTIVERSE
Murphy's Multiverse got to sit down with Loki director Kate Herron, in which Herron provided some more insight on how the multiverse in the MCU works.
In explaining the branching of timelines witnessed in the finale, Herron confirmed that some of those "different separate [timelines] are now connecting:"
"So, there’s the branches, right, which is like the alternative reality. But then something, you’ll see it. It’s very subtle, but in the very last shot where you see the multiverse, there’s like basically other bigger physical timeline branches. So, it’s almost like these different separate trees that are now connecting."
That sure sounds like, somehow, some of many endless timelines connect to others. But what does that mean? Herron elaborates that "it's almost like a bridge...:"
It’s almost like a bridge. If you imagine the branch, it is like another reality. But if the branch extends beyond a certain point, it will then connect to other physical timelines. […] that last shot we did, there are other like thicker [branches] that are meant to be like our timeline. And there are other timelines like that and the branches are the connectors basically."
MULTIVERSE OF POSSIBILITIES
The multiverse is obviously something at the very heart of Marvel's Phase 4, and probably long after as well. One of those many branches is likely the one that will cause some problems for Spider-Man in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. And any number of branches will surely play a part in the madness that Doctor Strange's next film hints at.
Madness is also the best word to describe trying to understand the concept of timelines and alternate realities. It's a tough nut to crack, but there's no doubt Marvel President Kevin Feige and co. are hard at work making sure everything makes sense and is utilized in a meaningful way.
Fans will be taking a deep dive into the multiverse fairly soon, as Marvel's What If...? is set to premiere on Disney+ on August 11. The show will explore multiple alternate timelines where certain events in the MCU went much differently. The What If...? trailer even teases that some of those said timelines may interconnect at some point—much like the bridge that Kate Herron referenced.