Nexus Events Prevent Time Travel From Stopping Apocalypses in the MCU

Thanks to Loki and Mobius’s TVA work, it’s now clear why time travel can’t be used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to prevent apocalyptic events.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Loki, Episode 2, “The Variant,” streaming now on Disney+.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one of the biggest debates among fans has been about time travel being used to stop apocalyptic events. Since Avengers: Endgame allowed Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to collect Infinity Stones through time, many have wondered if they could simply use a Time Stone, just like what Doctor Strange did against Kaecilius’ army, to avert disaster by reversing time and stopping deadly acts. Well, thanks to Loki, it’s now clear know time travel can’t be used as an easy way out.

The reason time travel is unable to prevent apocalypses is directly a result of the “Nexus Events” the Time Variance Authority deem as occurrences that alter history drastically. As Loki explains, the TVA monitors these events so the Sacred Timeline isn’t broken and branches aren’t created. And while that seems noteworthy enough, Mobius mentions something early on in “The Variant”  about Nexus Events that could change how fans look at the MCU forever.

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Hunter U 92 is an agent alongside Mobius

Loki asks why they don’t just save themselves the trouble and reset things by setting off a charge before the Variant arrived. That way, no matter what the rogue did, the TVA would be able to clean the damage up and apprehend the criminal as they arrive. But Mobius reveals that, due to the nature of Nexus Events, there is chronological instability as a branched timeline begins to form. To put it simply, the TVA cannot intervene prior to the event because it would only add to the chaos.

But while this is an easy explanation for this specific instance in Loki, Mobius’ revelation means time travel can’t be used as a cop-out in future MCU films, even if the likes of Kang the Conqueror are involved. If someone like him were to tamper with time, the TVA would be unable to right the timeline because the ripple effect would be too great. And with no preventative measure in place, the MCU once again feels unpredictable.

RELATED: Loki Pays Homage to the MCU’s First Film

Doctor Strange reminds Tony that they only have one chance to win

Nexus Events also explain why Strange was unable to use any other option to stop Thanos, as there was likely destabilization that clouded the other scenarios. This instability in the timeline led to one clear route popping up to reboot things in Endgame — the only the TVA foresaw happening. And so, with its second episode, Loki has provided the ultimate plot convenience moving forward in the MCU, making it clear that while it’s worked in the past, time travel will not be the go-to way to save the universe in the future.

Loki stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Sophia Di Martino, Richard E. Grant, Sasha Lane and Eugene Cordero. New episodes air Wednesdays on Disney+.

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Karen J. Simmons

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