Original release date : July 14, 2021
In the Citadel at the End of Time, Loki and Sylvie meet Miss Minutes, rejecting an offer from her master, “He Who Remains”, to return them to the timeline, while guaranteeing them rulership and happiness. Meanwhile, Renslayer leaves on a mission to find “free will” after receiving information from He Who Remains. He Who Remains greets Loki and Sylvie, revealing that he created the TVA after ending a multiversal war caused by his variants. He offers them a choice as the timeline begins to branch. They can kill him, ending the singular timeline and risking another multiversal war sparked by his variants, or they can replace him as his chosen successors to manage the timeline. Sylvie decides to kill He Who Remains, while Loki attempts to stop her. Loki pleads that he wants Sylvie to be safe, and they kiss. Sylvie sends Loki back to TVA headquarters. She kills He Who Remains, who does not resist. At TVA headquarters, Loki warns Hunter B-15 and Mobius that He Who Remains’s variants are coming to wage war. Mobius does not recognize Loki, as Loki has been sent to a different universe’s TVA headquarters.
* * *
(THEME MUSIC PLAYING)
(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING)
SYLVIE: Aren’t you gonna tell me not to kick the door in?
LOKI: It never made a difference.
SYLVIE: Well, if you think it’s a bad idea, I prefer you to speak your mind.
LOKI: No. Nothing to say.
SYLVIE: That’ll be a first.
LOKI: Everything okay?
SYLVIE: (SNIFFLES) Yeah. Just need a moment.
LOKI: Right. It’s just, you normally…
SYLVIE: Loki, shut up. I was pruned before you even existed. I have been waiting for this moment my entire life. I just need a second to get my head straight, okay?
LOKI: Sure. Of course.
SYLVIE: You again?
MISS MINUTES: Welcome to The Citadel at the End of Time.
LOKI: Come on.
MISS MINUTES: Congratulations. Y’all had an awfully long journey to get here. He’s impressed.
SYLVIE: Who’s impressed?
MISS MINUTES: He Who Remains.
LOKI: And who is he?
MISS MINUTES: He created all and he controls all. At the end, it is only He Who Remains. And he wants to offer you a deal. He’s been making a few creative adjustments, and he’s worked it out so we can reinsert both of y’all back into the Timeline in a way that won’t disrupt things.
SYLVIE: “Won’t disrupt things”?
MISS MINUTES: Mmm-hmm. The TVA can keep doin’ its vital work and y’all can live the lives you’ve always wanted.
LOKI: And what have we always wanted?
MISS MINUTES: Now, don’t play coy with me, mister. You know how you got into this mess.
MISS MINUTES: The Battle of New York, silly. You versus those self-righteous Avengers. How would you like to win? But not just there. You can kill Thanos. You want the Infinity Gauntlet? Yours. Throne of Asgard? No problem. What about you, missy? All those years on the run. Desperate, alone. How would you like to wake up tomorrow with just a lifetime of happy memories? Two Lokis in the same place.
LOKI: Both of us… together on the Timeline.
MISS MINUTES: It’s crazy, but he could make it work. All of it. Everything. Exactly the way you’ve always wanted. And you can have it all, together.
SYLVIE: (BREATHES DEEPLY) It’s fiction.
LOKI: We write our own destiny now.
MISS MINUTES: Oh, sure you do. Good luck with that.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING)
LOKI: Come on.
MISS MINUTES: Hey, there.
What took you so long?
MISS MINUTES: Sorry. Some things had to get worked out, but I’m downloadin’ the files you need now.
This isn’t what I asked for.
MISS MINUTES: I know, but he thinks this’ll be more useful.
MISS MINUTES: Happy readin’.
(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)
LOKI: He Who Remains.
SYLVIE: Not for much longer.
LOKI: Are we sure he’s even still alive?
(LOKI BREATHES SHAKILY)
HE WHO REMAINS: This is wild. (CHUCKLES) The two of you… (CHUCKLES) …same person. I mean, it’s a little unnatural. But… Wow! Wild. (CHOMPS)
SYLVIE: He Who Remains.
HE WHO REMAINS: (CHEWING) He Who Remains. She still calls me that? Creepy, right? But… I like it. Come on. Come on, let’s talk in my office.
HE WHO REMAINS: Not what you were expecting, hmm?
(LOKI BREATHING HEAVILY)
LOKI: You’re just… a man.
HE WHO REMAINS: Mmm. Flesh and blood. (SNIFFLES) Don’t tell me I’m a disappointment.
SYLVIE: No. Just a little bit easier to kill.
(HE WHO REMAINS CHUCKLING)
(BOTH BREATHING HEAVILY)
HE WHO REMAINS: Come on in.
HE WHO REMAINS: One… Two. Please, take a seat.
HE WHO REMAINS: Uh, Loki. … Loki. … Two sugars.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR)
I said I wasn’t to be disturbed.
Well, then you’re not gonna be happy to see me. (WHISPERING) He’s back.
If anyone was ever gonna make it back from The Void, I suppose it was gonna be you.
Oh, well, you know, one man’s Void is another man’s piece of cake.
(INHALES AND EXHALES DEEPLY) So, you’re gonna prune me?
I like that idea. But, you know, my standards might be a little bit higher in that area than yours. You know, with close personal friends.
I’m sorry, Mobius. I couldn’t let you get in the way of our mission.
Mission? The Time-Keepers are fake. We’re all Variants. What mission?
It can’t have been for nothing. That’s why I had to prune you. Hunter D-90 to my office, immediately.
Yeah. Sorry, Ravonna. That’s not gonna work out the way you think it is, now that we know your secret.
What did you do?
HUNTER U-92: Stay alert, she’s close.
Secure the perimeter. I’ve got her.
Stand down, B-15.
You need to listen to me.
HUNTER U-92: There’ll be time for that.
What the hell is going on here?
What? Who are you? And what the hell are you doing in my school?
That isn’t Judge Renslayer. (SIGHS)
We have a lot to talk about.
HE WHO REMAINS: Been a long journey for you, hasn’t it? Lot of running, lot of pain. And you… (SPUTTERS) You’re a flea on the back of a dragon. (CHUCKLES) In for one hell of a ride. But you did manage to hang on. Mmm-hmm. I guess that counts for something.
LOKI: I’m not sure you quite understand the situation. You’ve lost. We found you.
HE WHO REMAINS: Duh. Of course you did.
HE WHO REMAINS: Whoa! A swing and a miss.
HE WHO REMAINS: So, we’re still doing that, hmm? Let’s get all this out of the way. Okay. Here we go. You can’t kill me because I already know what’s going to happen. See?
LOKI: It’s a parlor trick.
HE WHO REMAINS: Okay. Don’t you wonder how I’m able to get out of the way just before you kill me?
SYLVIE: No. It’s because of that little TemPad you have there.
HE WHO REMAINS: Right. But how do I already have it loaded up with everything I need to know to keep from being killed by you two? It’s easy. I know it all. And I’ve seen it all. Everything you guys did on Lamentis, I saw. All the stuff the TVA didn’t know about, I knew. All the scheming, all the… (TUTS) …talking. That little look by the lake. Quite sentimental, very touching stuff, by the way.
SYLVIE: No. No, we broke out of your little game. That’s how we got here.
HE WHO REMAINS: No, wrong. Every step you took to get here, Lamentis, The Void, I paved the road. You… You just walked down it. And I have the rest, uh, right here. Everything that’s, uh… that’s going to happen. There’s only one way this can go.
SYLVIE: Then why are we here?
HE WHO REMAINS: Oh, come on. You know you can’t get to the end until you’ve been changed by the journey. This stuff, it needs to happen. To get us all in the right mindset to finish the quest.
HE WHO REMAINS: Right.
LOKI: So, it’s all a game. It’s all… a manipulation.
HE WHO REMAINS: Interesting, that your head would go to that. Sylvie, you think you can trust this guy?
LOKI: Don’t listen to him.
HE WHO REMAINS: “Don’t listen to him.” (LAUGHS) Do you think you’re even capable of trusting anyone at all?
I think people are ready to hear a little truth now. You know, like the TVA is a lie.
But what if it’s a necessary one? Someone created the Time-Keepers. They created this whole place. They gave us all purpose. I have to believe they had a reason.
No, because I’ve seen the horror waiting for people when they get pruned and there’s nothing necessary about that.
You know what would happen if we didn’t prune the Timeline?
(SCOFFS) Free will? Only one person gets free will. The one in charge.
“Friends across time, allies to the end.”
MOBIUS: That was so beautiful. And then you sent me to die. What happened to you?
Nothing, Mobius. I didn’t change.
You didn’t change? You betrayed me.
No, no. You betrayed me! I looked out for you, hung my neck out for you, and you suffer a crisis of faith and turn to those Variants? Eons of friendship. And you threw it all away on a couple of Lokis. No, Mobius. I didn’t betray you.
We can’t take away people’s free will, Ravonna. Do you not see that? What are you doing?
What I need to do.
Wait, stop. Look, maybe we can build this into something better together.
(SCOFFS) I’m sorry, Mobius.
I’m not gonna let you go.
RENSLAYER: Please, Mobius. Even with that… you’re of no danger to me.
Is that what you think? Let’s see.
(MOBIUS GRUNTS AND GROANS)
Yep, you were right. (GROANS) Back here again. (GRUNTS)
Go ahead. (SIGHS) … Where are you gonna go?
In search of free will.
HE WHO REMAINS: I understand your moral objections to what the TVA does. And my methods are deceptive. But the mission, it never was. Without the me, without the TVA… everything burns.
LOKI: Then what are you so afraid of?
HE WHO REMAINS: Me.
SYLVIE: And just who are you?
HE WHO REMAINS: Oh, I’ve been dubbed many names by many people. A ruler, a conqueror. (SNICKERS) He Who Remains, a jerk. But it’s… it’s not as simple as a name. … Eons ago, before the TVA, a variant of myself lived on Earth in the 31st century. He was a scientist and he discovered that there were universes stacked on top of his own. At the same time, other versions of us were learning the same thing. Naturally, they made contact. And for a while, there was peace. Narcissistic, self-congratulatory peace. “I love your shoes.” “I love your hair.” “Oh, man, nice nose.” “Thanks, man.” Et cetera. They shared technology and knowledge. Using the best of their universes to improve the others. However… not every version of me was so… so pure of heart. To some of us, new worlds meant only one thing, new lands to be conquered. The peace between realities… (IMITATES EXPLOSION) …erupted into all-out war, each variant fighting to preserve their universe and annihilate the others. This was almost the end… (CHUCKLES) …ladies and gentlemen, of everything and everyone.
SYLVIE: And then the Time-Keepers came along and saved us all.
HE WHO REMAINS: (SINGING) Amen.
HE WHO REMAINS: No. (CHUCKLES) No. Nope, this is where we diverge from the dogma. That first variant encountered a creature created from all the tears in reality, capable of consuming time and space itself. A creature… you both know.
HE WHO REMAINS: Bingo! I harnessed the beast’s power and began experimenting on it. I weaponized Alioth and I ended… I ended the Multiversal War. Once I isolated our timeline, all I had to do was manage the flow of time and prevent any further branches. Hence, the TVA. Hence, the Time-Keepers and a highly efficient bureaucracy. Hence, ages… (GRUNTS) …and ages of cosmic harmony. Hence… you’re welcome. … You came to kill the devil, right? (CHUCKLES) Well, guess what? I keep you safe. And if you think I’m evil, well, just wait till you meet my variants. … And that’s the gambit! Stifling order or cataclysmic chaos. (CHUCKLES) You may hate the dictator, but something… (EXHALES DEEPLY) …far worse is gonna fill that void if you depose of him. I’ve lived a million lifetimes. I’ve gone through every scenario. This is the only way. The TVA, it works.
SYLVIE: Or you’re a liar.
HE WHO REMAINS: Or I’m a liar.
LOKI: So you just… continue to prune innocent timelines?
HE WHO REMAINS: Mmm-mmm. You two would. There’s two options! One… you kill me and destroy all this, so you don’t just have one devil, you have an infinite amount. Or… you two. You two run the thing.
LOKI: You’re lying. Why would you give up being in control?
HE WHO REMAINS: (SIGHS) Buddy… I’m tired. And I’m older. I’m older than I look. This game is for the young, the hungry. I’ve gone through a lot of scenarios… trying to find the right person to take this spot. It turns out that person came in two. (EXHALES) But it’s definitely you two. So, no more lies. You kill me and the Sacred Timeline is completely exposed. Multiversal War. Or you take over and return to the TVA as its benevolent rulers. Tell the workforce who they are and why they do what they do.
SYLVIE: You treated real people’s lives like some kind of game.
HE WHO REMAINS: It’s not personal, it’s practical.
SYLVIE: It was personal to me.
HE WHO REMAINS: (GROANS) Grow up! Grow up, Sylvie! Murderer! Hypocrite! We’re all villains here. (CHUCKLES) We’ve all done horrible, terrible, horrific things. But now, we, you… have a chance to do them for a good reason.
HE WHO REMAINS: We just crossed… the threshold. (CHUCKLES)
HE WHO REMAINS: Oh. So, I fibbed. I fibbed earlier when I said I know how everything’s going to go. I… I know… I knew… (CHUCKLES) …everything up to a certain point, and that point was about… seven, eight, nine, ten seconds ago. But now I have no idea. No idea how the rest of this is going to go. I’m being candid.
(HE WHO REMAINS EXHALES DEEPLY)
LOKI: So, that’s it? That’s it? This is what happens at the end of time? And now you’re just gonna sit there with all that freedom and… let us decide your fate?
HE WHO REMAINS: Yes! Yes! Yes! What’s the worst that can happen? You either… take over and my life’s work continues or you plunge a blade in my chest and an infinite amount of me… start another Multiversal War. And I just… end up right back here anyways. (CHUCKLES) Reincarnation, baby.
SYLVIE: No, it’s just another lie. Another manipulation.
HE WHO REMAINS: Oh. No lie. No manipulation.
(HE WHO REMAINS SIGHS)
HE WHO REMAINS: Wow. (CHUCKLES) I love this. I love… all this honesty. … Feels like a fresh start. … Oh, holy…
SYLVIE: What’re you doing?
LOKI: Hang on a moment. Let’s just talk about it.
SYLVIE: Well, how about we finish what we started and kill him?
LOKI: What if he’s telling the truth?
SYLVIE: So what?
LOKI: I believe him.
SYLVIE: Believe what? That a bazillion boogeymen will turn up just because we give people free will? He’s a liar, Loki.
LOKI: So am I. (PANTING) And I don’t think he was lying. Not about that. Insane? Yes. But maybe he was telling the truth.
HE WHO REMAINS: Better hurry. Timeline’s already branching.
SYLVIE: So, what are you suggesting?
LOKI: That we think about it.
SYLVIE: And what precisely is there to think about?
LOKI: Weren’t you listening to what he was saying? That’s the gambit. Remove the dictator and what fills the void?
SYLVIE: Ah. You want the throne?
LOKI: No, that’s not it. No.
SYLVIE: I don’t believe you.
LOKI: Sylvie, the universe is in the balance, everything we know to be true. Everything. I know the TVA has hurt us both. But what if by taking him out, we risk unleashing something even worse? All I’m suggesting is we just take a minute to think about it. I promise you from my heart this isn’t about a throne.
SYLVIE: What was I thinking trusting you? Has this whole thing been a con?
LOKI: Really? That’s what you think of me… after all this time? Sure. Why not? Evil Loki’s master plan comes together. Well, you never trusted me, did you? What was the point? Can’t you see? This is bigger than our experience.
SYLVIE: Why aren’t we seeing this the same way?
LOKI: Because you can’t trust… and I can’t be trusted.
SYLVIE: Then I guess we’re in a pickle.
LOKI: Sylvie, wait. (PANTING) Wait.
(GRUNTS AND GROANS)
LOKI: Sylvie. Sylvie.
LOKI: Maybe he’s lying! Maybe he’s not. The cost of getting this wrong is too great.
SYLVIE: Fine. Do it. Kill me. Take your throne.
LOKI: Sylvie, stop. Stop.
(SYLVIE BREATHING HEAVILY)
LOKI: I’ve been where you are. I’ve felt what you feel. Don’t ask me how I know. All I know… is I don’t wanna hurt you. I don’t want a throne. I just… (SIGHS) I just want you to be okay.
SYLVIE: But I’m not you.
(SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING)
HE WHO REMAINS: Incredible. (LAUGHING)
SYLVIE: Aren’t you gonna beg for your life?
HE WHO REMAINS: Um, could, could. (CHUCKLES) … (GRUNTS) I’ll see you soon. (CHUCKLES)
(SOMBER MUSIC CONTINUES)
MOBIUS: No turning back now.
Who said anything about turning back?
“For all time.”
MAN: Copy. Reporting to the armory, sir.
That’s, what, 63 new branches in this unit alone?
Does he want us to just let them all branch?
At this point, how are we gonna stop it?
LOKI: We can’t!
What? What’d you say?
LOKI: It’s done, Mobius. We made a terrible mistake.
LOKI: We freed the Timeline. We found him beyond the storm. A Citadel at the End of Time. He’s terrifying. He planned everything. He’s seen everything. He knows everything. It’s complicated. Okay?
LOKI: But someone is coming. Countless different versions of a very dangerous person. And they’re all set on war. We need to prepare.
Take it easy. You’re an analyst, right? What division are you from?
LOKI: What? What are you talking about?
Who are you? What’s your name?
Boots on the ground now. Archives.
Who are you?
(LOKI BREATHING HEAVILY)