Because Loki became a variant as a direct consequence of the Avengers' (albeit bungled) meddling in one timeline, it stands to reason those timelines would end up pruned, as they diverge from the "sacred" timeline (an escaped Loki and a spoiler'd and humiliated cap in one, a time-removed Thanos in another, etc.). If time traveling to undo Thanos' quasi-omnicide was part of the 'sacred' timeline, were the other timelines set to be pruned by someone's intent?

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    That timeline never existed. They took the stone back to its original place.
    – Valorum
    Oct 31, 2023 at 22:09
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    Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Oct 31, 2023 at 22:50
  • @Valorum that's the mop up statement given in Endgame, but that doesn't reverse the damages incurred by escaped Loki, spoiler'd Cap, etc. Those are still loose ends.
    – hamstar
    Oct 31, 2023 at 22:53
  • I think "Loki" is simply incongruent with Endgame. There was a timeline where Steve lived to old age, for crying out loud! How would they "prune" it later? I don't think this pruning timelines even makes sense, but, well, whatever, if you can have a crocodile Loki... ;)
    – Mithoron
    Oct 31, 2023 at 23:42
  • @Mithoron Well ignoring the numerous incongruencies, the relevant point of note is that the 'sacred' timeline now mandates pruning by its own design, or else the TVA has to sanction a multitude of forks running in parallel. That indirectly calls into question what 'sacred' is supposed to even mean.
    – hamstar
    Nov 1, 2023 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


No. What the Avengers did was supposed to happen, according to He Who Remains, via the TVA / Judge Ravonna Renslayer. Judge Renslayer confirmed that the Avengers' actions were part of the TVA's plan. The only reason Loki became a variant was because he escaped with the Tesseract, which was not supposed to happen*. The alternate 2012 timeline where Loki escaped was already pruned by the TVA, as shown in Loki S01E01.

* This is according to the TVA / Judge Renslayer

but according to Kang / He Who Remains, he planned for this to happen — to have Loki and Sylvie lead the TVA.

Relevant dialogue from Loki S01E01 "Glorious Purpose":

Judge Renslayer (talking to Loki): We're not here to talk about the Avengers.

Judge Renslayer: What they did was supposed to happen. You escaping was not.

One way to understand the Sacred Timeline is not as a single line, but as a bundle of strands that all follow a similar direction. These strands represent different timelines that are allowed to branch off slightly from each other as long as they don’t deviate too much from the main flow, and cause a multiversal war via a nexus event. You can read more about this on Science Fiction & Fantasy SE: “If there’s only one Sacred Timeline, then why do multiple variants of Loki exist?

Being a branched timeline doesn't necessarily mean that it will be pruned by the TVA. The TVA only prunes a timeline if a nexus event occurs in it. Because if that timeline is left unpruned, it will lead to another multiversal war. Otherwise, the TVA leaves the timeline unpruned.

  • Even if Loki escaping was somehow not supposed to have happened (why wouldn't he seize a fallen Tesseract?), or Cap getting spoiled on Bucky wouldn't have affected his behavior/triggered preemptive Hydra attack/etc., Thanos jumping through time would have radically altered that timeline, and it would still need to be pruned, or else left to exist concurrent with the "sacred" one.
    – hamstar
    Nov 1, 2023 at 4:17
  • @hamstar According to the TVA, what the Avengers did was supposed to happen. I'm assuming this includes getting the stones from the alt-2014 timeline, having alt-2014 Thanos follow them to the main timeline, then snapping alt-2014 Thanos and his army out of existence. The timeline alteration/branching caused by alt-2014 Thanos leaving his timeline doesn't matter. TVA will only prune a timeline if there's a nexus event in it, which could cause a multiversal war if left unpruned. Thanos jumping through time apparently isn't a nexus event because, according to the TVA, "it's supposed to happen". Nov 1, 2023 at 6:30
  • So you're saying the TVA sanctions multiple concurrent timelines?
    – hamstar
    Nov 1, 2023 at 7:52
  • @hamstar Yes. The TVA only cares about preventing another multiversal war by pruning nexus event timelines. No nexus event timelines = no multiversal war. Being a branched timeline doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be pruned. Nov 1, 2023 at 7:58
  • With no clear specification about what makes a timeline branch different from a nexus event timeline. Or on that note, what even differentiates other universes, which could even be branches of their own from maybe some primordial origin era of all existence or something. The exact meaning of a "sacred" timeline seems arbitrary.
    – hamstar
    Nov 1, 2023 at 8:03

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