MCU Writer Explains Why Loki's TVA Will Be Absent From Marvel's What If Show

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Marvel, MCU, What If

Loki was a show that had a lot to deal with. Not only did it have to break down and make complete sense of a tricky character, but it had to do so while also setting up some massive world-building rules for the MCU at large.

One of the large concepts was that of the Time Variance Authority—or TVA for short. The organization existed to stop the timeline from branching and from a multiverse from being created. Needless to say, they did not succeed in their goal by the show’s end.

Thanks to Sylvie, and the liberation of the many TVA Variants', the multiverse was unleashed. Now the next Marvel project set to take the stage is one that intends on taking full advantage of the newly established world orderWhat If...?.

But with a show all about exploring branching/alternate timelines, one would think the TVA may end up showing their faces at some point. Apparently, that doesn't seem like it will be the case.


Loki TVA Mobius

In an interview with io9What If...?'s head writer A.C. Bradley and series director Bryan Andrews were on hand to discuss the upcoming show.

The two revealed when broaching the multiverse, their plan ended up being an independent one that came long before the team was made aware of what projects like Loki and Doctor Strange were up to.

According to Bradley, their team for What If...? was "already in deep development and writing the show by the time Loki got up and running...:"

“We were already deep in development and writing the show by the time Loki got up and running... so we had a meeting and talked about what we wanted to do with the multiverse—kind of as an aside—because Doctor Strange 2 was still in the very early stages.”

When it came to What If...?, the initial idea was to have the focus be on telling these separate alternate tales showcasing what was possible with the multiverse now in play. According to Bradley, she left most of the multiversal "rules-building and all that to the Loki team and the Doctor Strange team."

The team aimed to avoid "lay[ing] down any serious rules," which meant they "[weren't] going to touch anything to do with the TVA:"

“Basically I was like, OK, 'I’m just going to go and show all the fun we can have in the multiverse... I’m going to show all the things that can happen and the places we can go, I’m not going to lay down any serious rules, I’m not going to touch anything to do with the TVA.'”

According to Andrews, while there wasn't much direct collaboration between What If...? and other Marvel projects, there was a general understanding that Marvel's executive leadership aimed for all of these stories to align once completed.


It's not surprising that the TVA won't be showing up in What If...?. After all, Loki did close out with the end of the organization as viewers knew it, and the Multiverse was allowed to exist. So now fans can watch stories play out which would have theoretically been pruned before they could ever happen.

A better question would be if there's any chance that the TVA could show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, seeing as that's where viewers will see Loki pop up again—not including his episode of What If...?. It would be really interesting to see Doctor Strange discover the group, and what he'd think about everything they are doing.

Sadly, fans still have to wait until March 2022 before they see Stephen Strange properly deal with the multiverse. That said, with all the rumors surrounding Spider-Man: No Way HomeStrange may have some interesting things to deal with before his solo film hits next year.

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.