- “Stepping off your path created a nexus event, which left unchecked, could branch off into madness, leading to another Multiversal War. But don't worry, to make sure that doesn't happen, the Time Keepers created the TVA and all its incredible workers. The TVA has stepped in to fix your mistake and set time back on its predetermined path.”
- ―Miss Minutes[src]
The Time Variance Authority (TVA) is a bureaucratic organization from Marvel Comics that appears in the TV show Loki. They are dedicated to protect the Sacred Timeline and the proper flow of time in the Multiverse from everything that may threaten it. They have super-advanced technology capable of pruning timelines and Variants that deviate from the path determined by the Time Keepers, which they believe to be the rulers and creators of the TVA and all its members.
Agent Mobius is a TVA analyst that leads field missions and is specialized in pursuing the most dangerous Variants. He allies with the Variant of Loki that escaped from the Avengers in 2012 during the events of Avengers: Endgame. Eventually, Loki and another Variant of himself called Sylvie uncover the truth behind the TVA, revealing that all the members of the organization are actually Variants who were kidnapped from their timelines and that the true ruler and founder of the TVA is He Who Remains.
When He Who Remains is murdered by Sylvie to avenge her destroyed timeline, the Sacred Timeline branches innumerous times. With this, a Variant of He Who Remains called Kang takes over as the creator and ruler of a new TVA.
The creator and ruler of the Time Variance Authority, He Who Remains, reorganized the Multiverse into a single timeline, called the "Sacred Timeline". Anything or anyone who deviates from the established path determined by He Who Remains on the Sacred Timeline are called "Variants". These Variants create what is named a nexus event, resulting in branched timelines, and the TVA exists in order to protect the proper flow of time and prevent these branches.
Long ago, before the existence of the TVA, a Variant of He Who Remains lived on Earth in the 31st century. This Variant was a scientist and discovered other universes besides own. At the same time, other Variants of He Who Remains discovered the same, causing them to meet, and share technology and knowledge which they used to improve each of their universes. For a while, there was peace, but it didn't last because other versions of He Who Remains wanted to conquer the new timelines discovered. This resulted in a great Multiversal War, with each Variant of He Who Remains fighting to preserve their universe and annihilate the others.
This war almost led to the destruction of all the timelines, while they fought each other for supremacy. The war ended after one of the Variants of He Who Remains found Alioth, a creature capable of consuming time and space itself. He Who Remains managed to weaponize Alioth and used it to end the Multiversal War, pruning the timelines and reorganizing the Multiverse into a single timeline, which resulted in the elimination of the other Variants of He Who Remains. After isolating the timeline, He Who Remains created the Time Variance Authority to manage the flow of time and prevent any further branches. Thus, the TVA is responsible to fix the mistakes on the Sacred Timeline, which they do by pruning the timeline and the Variants, because if the Variants are left unchecked, they can lead to the creation of more innumerous branches that can eventually cause another Multiversal War.
The workers of the TVA are all Variants who were taken from their timelines, but they are unaware of this because they have their memories erased when they join the organization. They also don't know the true identity of who is behind the TVA, instead they believe that the Time Keepers are the founders of TVA and the ones who are preserving and protecting the flow of time in the Multiverse. However, the Time Keepers are actually three mindless androids who act as rulers in the place of He Who Remains, who is hiding at the Citadel at the End of Time and controlling everything from behind the scenes. Not having the knowledge that they are Variants, the members of the TVA also believe that they are creations of the Time Keepers.
Despite of being unaware of the truth, the members of the TVA work hard to protect the Sacred Timeline. The TVA acts capturing Variants and pruning the timelines with reset charges. They have to act within a limited amount of time, because if a nexus event branches past the red line, the TVA will no longer be able to reset it, leading to the destruction of the timeline and the collapse of the current reality. Because nexus events destabilize the time flow, making the branch continuously change and grow, they are unable to travel to before it was formed and have to show up on the timeline in real time.
Once captured by the TVA, the Variants are brought before a judge that sentences them for their crimes. The individuals who are pruned are not killed as many members of the organization believe. Instead, they are sent to the Void at the end of time, similar to what happens to the entire branched realities that the TVA prunes. As it is impossible to destroy all the matter of the branched timelines, they move it to the Void, where Alioth now lives consuming all the energy and matter that is sent there, preventing them to return.
- “Is this the greatest power in the universe?”
- ―Loki about the TVA[src]
After a Loki from 2012 escapes from the Avengers with the Tesseract, the Time Variance Authority retrieves him and prunes his timeline. Arriving at the TVA headquarters, Hunter B-15 gives the Tesseract to a worker at the front desk, Casey, to be filled as evidence and puts Loki in front of a TVA processing droid to go under the prisoner procedures. Right after, Loki watches a video narrated by the mascot of the TVA, Miss Minutes, explaining the reason he was arrested by lecturing him about the Multiversal War, the Time Keepers, the Sacred Timeline, the TVA, and the Variants. Miss Minutes announces that soon a trial will happen to judge him for his crimes against the Sacred Timeline.
During his trial, Loki tries to resort to his magic powers and fails. Judge Ravonna Renslayer warns him that no magic powers work inside the TVA headquarters. Because the God of Mischief deviated from his predetermined path, he is sentenced to be reset. However, Agent Mobius asks Ravonna to let this Loki Variant help them hunt another Variant that is at loose and is killing the agents of TVA. Loki at first attempts to escape the TVA and retrieve the Tesseract from Casey, but eventually gives up upon realizing that the TVA holds a power greater than the Infinity Stones, all of which become normal stones inside the TVA headquarters and are even used as paperweights by the workers. Mobius tells Loki that the fugitive Variant that has been killing the Minutemen is also a Loki Variant. This other Variant later attacks more Minutemen and steals their reset charge.
After Loki joined the TVA in hunting the rogue Variant of himself, he realizes that, because apocalypse events generate zero variance energy since everything in it is destined to be destroyed regardless of any action taken by the individuals at the location, they are perfect hiding places for a Variant and major blind spots in the TVA security. During their hunt for the Variant, Loki questions Mobius about the free will of the individuals in the timelines and what is the planned ending that the Time Keepers have for the Sacred Timeline. Mobius replies that the Time Keepers are still working to develop the ending, but when it is done, there will be no more nexus events in the Sacred Timeline, only order and peace, in which Loki comments that it sounds boring without any chaos. Then, they soon figure out that the Loki Variant is hiding at the apocalypse of Alabama, 2050, so they go there and Loki finally meets the Variant, who is a female Loki. The Variant, however, has her own elaborated plan to attack the TVA. She had connected the various reset charges that she has been collecting to her TemPad and sends them to different points in time, bombarding the Sacred Timeline and creating several branches.
As the Variant leaves the location using her TemPad, Loki follows her. Arriving at the TVA headquarters, the Variant initially tries to enchant a Minuteman, only to realize that her magic does not work. She then proceeds to simply attack the Minutemen along her path, on occasion pruning them with their own Time Sticks. Loki eventually reaches her and they confront each other, but when Ravonna appears, the pair is transported to Lamentis-1 after Loki selected one of the apocalyses saved on the Variant's TemPad to escape the TVA judge. On Lamentis, the Variant becomes infuriated as she reveals to Loki that she has been plotting against the TVA for years and he ruined her plans. While trying to escape the apocalypse of Lamentis, Loki and the Variant, who renamed herself Sylvie, ally and become closer. She eventually tells him how she does her magic enchantments, explaining that to enchant one of the Hunters of the TVA she had to pull an old memory from her mind, because the mind of the soldier was clouded. Thus, to maintain her control on the mind of the young TVA soldier, she had to create a fantasy using a memory from before the hunter joined the organization. Upon hearing this, Loki realizes that what he was told at the TVA about all the workers of the organization being a creation of the Time Keepers was incorrect and that no one in the TVA is aware of this. Sylvie confirms this, saying that the hunter she enchanted was just a regular person on Earth and states that in reality all the members of the TVA are Variants like both of them.
After the Ark that was going to leave Lamentis-1 is destroyed, Loki and Sylvie lose their way to escape the apocalypse and accept that they are both going to die in it. As the pair sits together, Sylvie tells Loki about her life as a fugitive. She explains that the TVA abducted her when she was still a child and destroyed her timeline, making her become a fugitive ever since. Loki recognizes her achievements as a survivor and how amazing it is that she almost destroyed the TVA by herself. The two of them comfort each other and hold hands while awaiting their imminent deaths. Meanwhile, in the Chronomonitoring Wing of the TVA, the chronomonitor detects a nexus event happening on Lamentis which is creating an abnormal straight-up branch, to the point that it is detected even during the apocalypse. With this, the TVA is finally able to locate and then capture the two Loki Variants. At the TVA, Mobius later interrogates Loki and realizes that the real cause of this nexus event is that the two Variants of the same being had fallen in love, which is a bizarre event as both of them are not even supposed to exist on the Sacred Timeline and is something that could break the current reality.
Loki tells Mobius about the members of the TVA being Variants, that they were all kidnapped from their original timelines and had their memories erased to become TVA workers, but Mobius initially does not believe him. However, upon investigating this information, Mobius finds out a record in Ravonna Renslayer's TemPad, regarding the Hunter C-20, the one who had been under Sylvie's enchantment. Ravonna had previously told Mobius that C-20 had gone mad and died sometime after being enchanted, but the record shows that C-20 was not only sane but had discovered the truth about the origin of the TVA members because she gained access to her suppressed memories as a consequence of Sylvie's enchantment. Meanwhile, Hunter B-15 who also had been under Sylvie's magic, confronts Sylvie and also learns the truth about her past. After finding out that Ravonna has been lying, Mobius decides to help Loki, but they are immediately confronted by Ravonna. As she learned that Mobius now knows the truth, Ravonna orders Mobius to be pruned while Loki watches it in horror.
Ravonna and the Minutemen take Loki and Sylvie before the Time Keepers, to be judged for their crimes and pruned, but Hunter B-15 appears and frees the two Variants. Together, Loki and Sylvie manage to defeat all the guards, but when Sylvie beheads one of the Time Keepers, they discover that they are actually mindless androids, which puts in question who really created the TVA. As the pair debates their next move and Loki becomes distracted trying to confess his love for Sylvie, Ravonna prunes him from behind. Loki wakes up elsewhere, initially thinking that he is in the afterlife, but he is surprised to encounter other Loki Variants asking him join them in order to survive, revealing that the Variants who had been pruned by the TVA are not actually dead.
Sylvie confronts Ravonna to discover who is behind the TVA. Ravonna claims she does not know who created the organization, but then reveals what happened with Loki when he was pruned. She tells Sylvie that when a branched reality is pruned, it is impossible to destroy all its matter, so they move it to another place, where it will stop growing. Thus, the branched timelines are not reset, they are actually transported to a void at the end of time. In the Void, Loki is informed by the other Variants of himself that everything and everyone that was pruned by the TVA and transported there have to face Alioth, a living tempest that consumes all the matter and energy and is capable of devoring entire branched realities in a instant, ensuring that nothing that was pruned ever returns.
Inside the Time Court of the TVA, Sylvie still pressures Ravonna to have more answers. Ravonna asks Miss Minutes to have acess to the files regarding the founding of the TVA from their archives, before Sylvie realizes that whoever is behind the TVA is probably beyond the Void at the end of time, where the person would be undetected because there is no way to create a branch there as the timeline is still not written. Ravonna and Miss Minutes then lie to Sylvie, saying that there is a spacecraft that could take her there, stalling for time for the Minutemen arrive and corner Sylvie. But Sylvie is able to escape by pruning herself, with the intention to find Loki in the Void.
In the Void, Loki talks with the other Variants of himself. Lokis are numerous in this place, as they are very good at surviving. The Loki Variants tell their story to Loki. One of them, an older Loki, tells him that he was pruned when he decided to leave the planet he was isolated to look for his brother, Thor, which made him realize that the Lokis are destined to be the outcasts on the Sacred Timeline. Loki tells the other Variants about Sylvie and how she is different because she is trying to destroy the TVA instead of ruling it, and explains that he needs to return to the TVA to find and help her. Later, after witnessing several betrayals between Lokis, the Loki Variants complain that their versions are broken and every time they try to fix themselves to become better individuals, the TVA appears and prunes them. Hearing this, Loki states that he needs to return to Sylvie exactly for this reason, confident that she is their only chance to bring down the TVA. Seeing how much Loki trusts Sylvie and her mission, the Lokis agree to help him escape the Void by facing Alioth.
Sylvie arrives in the Void and is able to connect with Alioth, seeing the glimpse of something beyond the Void and realizing that the creature can be enchanted. She then meets Mobius and later Loki with the other Variants of himself as they are preparing to confront Alioth. Sylvie tells Loki that the person who created the TVA is beyond the Void and that Alioth is acting as a guard dog protecting the entrance. At the TVA, B-15 is imprisoned and is questioned by Ravonna, who wants to know what Sylvie's goal is. B-15 realizes that Ravonna is not acting just to protect the TVA but also to figure out who is behind it after the reveal that the Time Keepers are fake. With this objective, Ravonna asks Miss Minutes to uncover archives regarding the founding of the organization. Meanwhile, the Loki Variants talk with Mobius, who reveals that he intents to tell the truth to the others members of the TVA once he returns to the headquarters. Mobius uses a TemPad to leave the Void after saying goodbye to the others while the Lokis plan how to face Alioth. When Sylvie and Loki face and enchant Alioth, the older Loki sacrifices himself to distract the creature. With Alioth enchanted, the storm dissipates, revealing that there is a castle beyond the Void, where the creator of the TVA lives.
Inside the castle, Loki and Sylvie meet Miss Minutes, who welcomes them to the Citadel at the End of Time. She tells the duo that the ruler and founder of the TVA, He Who Remains, is offering a deal if they stop intervening with the organization's work. Miss Minutes explains that He Who Remains can reinsert them on the Sacred Timeline and grant them anything they want, including putting the two of them together on the timeline. Loki and Sylvie are tempted, but ultimately refuse this offer and move on inside the castle. They eventually run into He Who Remains, who invites them to his office. Meanwhile, Mobius arrives at the TVA and confronts Ravonna again. With Hunter B-15's help, they uncover Ravonna's true identity, revealing that she is a Variant of a High School Vice Principal to the other members of the TVA. Ravonna is distressed but tells Mobius that, even after knowing that the Time Keepers are fake, she still believes in the cause of the TVA and that their mission to prune the timelines is for the greater good. Mobius tells her that they are taking people's free will, but Ravonna replies that only the ruler of the TVA can have free will. She then decides to leave the TVA using a TemPad to investigate the information given to her by Miss Minutes earlier.
At the Citadel at the End of Time, He Who Remains reveals that he knows and sees everything, and has been waiting for them. He explains the story behind the creation of the TVA to Sylvie and Loki. He Who Remains tells them how he managed to end the Multiversal War by weaponizing Alioth and reorganizing the Sacred Timeline to stop the Variants of himself from destroying the Multiverse, and then creating the TVA to prevent any further branches. He tells them that they may even see him as a dictator for this, but his Variants are even worse than he is. He Who Remains says that Sylvie and Loki can either kill him, letting his Variants start another Multiversal War, or assume his position as the new rulers of the TVA. When Loki questions why he is offering his position to them, He Who Remains reveals that he is too old and has been looking for a successor. He then states that the perfect person to replace him arrived as a duo.
Loki is convinced by this story, but Sylvie believes He Who Remains is a liar and is just trying to manipulate them. When Sylvie attempts to attack He Who Remains with the intent to kill him, Loki stops her. The duo argues, which quickly escalates to a duel because Sylvie is determined to eliminate the one responsible for the destruction of her timeline while Loki wants them to reflect about their options to avoid making a mistake that could lead to something even worse. The fight ends when Loki uses his magic to appear in front of Sylvie, stopping her blade with his own body when she is about to kill He Who Remains. Loki pours his heart to her and Sylvie becomes emotional hearing him. The couple shares a passionate kiss, but Sylvie still wants to complete her mission, so she uses He Who Remains' TemPad to send Loki back to the TVA. Alone with He Who Remains, Sylvie finally kills him, although she immediately starts to question her own actions afterwards. In the Chronomonitoring Wing of the TVA, Mobius and B-15 watch the chronomonitor showing the Sacred Timeline splitting into countless branches past red line, and realize that the damage is irreversible.
Meanwhile, Loki cries for failing to stop Sylvie, but then decides to warn the others about the danger that is coming. He eventually finds Mobius and B-15 in the Archives while they are checking the new innumerous branches on a TemPad. B-15 wonders if "he" expects the TVA to just let the branches grow and Mobius tells her that they won't be able to revert them at this point, when Loki appears and says that they really can't stop the branches. Loki explains to them how he and Sylvie freed the timeline and about the Variants of He Who Remains that are going to start a Multiversal War. However, Loki is surprised because Mobius and B-15 do not recognize him. He then sees that where once stood the statues of the three Time Keepers, now there is a statue of Kang, who is a Variant of He Who Remains, indicating that this is not the TVA Loki knows. This one has a new founder and ruler.
The TVA headquarters is settled outside the space and time of the Sacred Timeline, so time passes differently compared to the timelines. Also, because they are the divine arbitrators of the power in the universe, all magic powers are neutralized inside the TVA, even the powers of the Infinity Stones. As homage to the supposed founders of the organization, the headquarters has an area with the statues of the Time Keepers.
- Time Court
- Time Theaters
- Chronomonitoring Wing
- Ravonna's Office
- Time Keepers' Chambers
- Golden Elevators
New TVA Headquarters
Not much is known about the new headquarters of the TVA founded by Kang, but it looks very similar to the original one, with the notable difference that there is a statue of Kang instead of the ones of the Time Keepers at the statue area.
- Time Theaters
- TemPad: It is the main device of the organization and it is multifunctional, but is specially used to make interdimensional travels through space and time. The TemPad can open Time Doors leading to any point of the timeline and can also open Time Cells to imprison individuals inside a loop of one of their past memories. It is also used to monitor branched timelines, distance communication, filming, saving and projecting files, identification of individuals, and calling the artificial intelligence of the TVA, Miss Minutes.
- Time Collar: It is a collar that is put around the neck of the prisoners and is connected to Time Twisters and TemPads used by members of the TVA.
- Time Twister: It is a device used to control prisoners. The Time Twister is connected to the Time Collar and TemPads, and is capable of looping the individual to their previous position in the location. If the person is inside a room, it can also be used to transport them to their previous place outside the room. The creator of the TVA, He Who Remains has a special TemPad, which is combined with a Time Twister and he can use it to loop himself without having to wear a Time Collar.
- Reset Charge: It is a device capable of pruning branched timelines, disintegrating the timeline and sending it with all its matter to the Void, so the branch will not continue to grow.
- Time Stick: It is a stick that is used as the main weapon of the organization. It is normally used by soldiers, Hunters and Minutemen, who are seen almost all the time with one clipped to their belts. The Time Stick can be turned on by snapping it open or twisting it, which makes its tip light up. When the tip of the stick is lighted up orange, it is capable of pruning individuals or objects that touch it, sending them to the Void. When its tip is lighted up blue, it can alter the individual's flow of time with one hit, which the members of the TVA use to make their targets to move in slow motion before capturing them.
- Processing droid: It is a robot that projects a laser capable of pruning the clothes of an individual. Captured Variants are sent to this robot as part of the prisoner procedures upon arriving at the TVA headquarters, and are later given a TVA prisoner uniform.
- Holoprojector: It is a device that can project a video showing the entire predetermined life of an individual on the Sacred Timeline.
- Chronomonitor: It is a monitor that displays the Sacred Timeline and is used to observe growing branches.
- Judges: Judges (such as Ravonna Renslayer) are the ones who judge the crimes and punish threats to the Sacred Timeline.
- Minutemen: They are soldiers that defend the Sacred Timeline against threats. Minutemen are identified by a sequence of numbers, which are white colored on their helmets.
- Hunters: They are soldiers (such as Hunter B-15, Hunter C-20, Hunter U-92, Hunter D-90 and Hunter K-5E) that command the Minutemen. Hunters are identified by a letter followed by two numbers, with them being orange colored on their uniform.
- Analysts: Analysts (such as Mobius) investigate crimes and identify the threats to the Sacred Timeline.
- Despite existing outside of space and time, the organization's appearance is based on the 80s, including their technology and their cartoon mascot, Miss Minutes. The director of the series, Kate Herron, explained that she likes the idea of the people at the top of the hierarchy not using the most futuristic-looking technology, which also shows that they are neither in the past nor in the future.
- In the TVA headquarters, many structures were carved from a black stone with gold vein embellishments, as the statues in Ravonna Renslayer's office, the front of the judge's dais in the Time Court, and the elevator to the Time Keepers' chamber. This black stone comes from the same asteroid which is located the Citadel at the End of Time, the home of He Who Remains, so it links the TVA headquarters with the person who built the place.