Warning - This article contains minor spoilers through Episode 4 of Loki.
With four episodes down, Loki is nearing the finish line; there are only two more installments until the show's first season is complete. A lot has happened in just four episodes, including completely turning the MCU on its head with the rules established for the TVA and how they work.
Needless to say, the show is an important one for fans that love to follow the MCU—not that any additional incentive was likely needed. While it's exciting to see Loki take an entirely different path as a character alongside meeting one of his many Variants in Sylvie, there is something else the show seems to be building to, something big. This could be the next big bad in the MCU: Kang the Conqueror.
Up to this point, Kang has not had any mention in the MCU. The thing is, when the entire story revolves around time travel, it's impossible not to look in Kang's direction. Now that Thanos is out of the way, there is certainly a vacuum waiting to be filled.
Adding fuel to the fire is Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Ravonna Renslayer, whose character in the comics is deeply entwined with Kang—in fact, he is her former estranged husband, to put it lightly. How much of her comic character's history was the actress aware of when playing the role, and did it inform her portrayal?
The actress herself addressed these questions.
LOKI ACTRESS ADDRESSES KANG IN THE MCU
In an interview with Polygon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw talked about her character, Ravonna Renslayer, in the Marvel Disney+ Loki.
With such an unheard-of character, how much did Mbatha-Raw turn to the comics to help inform her about bringing the TVA judge to life? Apparently, she was advised by director Kate Herron to "[not] go too deep into that stuff:"
“I took a look at it... but I also knew it wasn’t the most useful information for the story we were telling in Loki. That was how [series director] Kate Herron and our producer Kevin Wright steered me. They told me not to go too deep into that stuff, because it isn’t really the part of time we’re dealing with.”
It's hard for fans not to think of Kang the Conqueror when the entire story revolves around not only time travel but an organization that claims to hold control of the timeline itself. Is it truly possible that Loki is laying the groundwork for Kang to join the fray? According to Mbatha-Raw, "who knows:"
“Who knows, maybe we get together in the future or the past or whatever. What is time, anyway, in the TVA?”
There are a lot of questions when it comes to Renslayer's character and her true motivations. Obviously, when Polygon asked these questions to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, she wasn't able to answer any of them.
Mbatha-Raw posed a few questions of her own, such as the kicker: "is anybody wholly evil?"
“When you have an antihero as your lead character, you’re asking, ‘What is good? What is evil? Is anybody wholly good, is anybody wholly evil?... The Time-Keepers and Renslayer very much adhere to this idea that things are only supposed to happen one way. [The show asks,] Is that true? Can we change or affect our destiny? Can we evolve? Can someone like Loki change? That’s a universal human question, really.”
RENSLAYER PROBABLY KNOWS KANG THE CONQUERER
If one is reading this and they haven't yet seen the first four episodes of Loki, it's probably best to turn back now. With how Renslayer acted in the fourth episode, clearly, something is up—and she knows far more than she lets on. Some might try to say that she is in denial, but it just doesn't look that way.
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that the character knows Kang or even has any sort of relationship with the villain. At the very least, she has a reason for keeping all these secrets—and it sure isn't in the name of the Time-Keepers. She has to be upholding all the TVA's lies for some reason and for some person.
Of course, there are two more episodes left, and a lot could happen within that time. Hopefully, Renslayer gets a good chunk of time to flesh out why she is protecting the blasphemous and false ideals of the TVA—and her true role in everything.
The next episode of Loki will stream on Disney+ on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.