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Loki's Latest Episode Teases A Scarily Powerful Marvel Villain

Contains spoilers for "Loki" Episode 5

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is making its way back to theaters for the first time since 2019 with the release of "Black Widow," fans of the franchise haven't been left high and dry. The franchise is rapidly expanding through streaming series on Disney+, having thus far released three shows centered on characters who'd received secondary focus in the movies to date.

The latest Marvel-Disney+ series is "Loki." Starring Tom Hiddleston in the lead role, the show follows the exploits of MCU antagonist-turned-antihero Loki Laufeyson, adoptive brother to Thor (Chris Hemsworth), after the events of 2012's "The Avengers," where he absconds with the Tesseract during the time heist mission and creates a new timeline. This runs him afoul of the Time Variance Authority, aka the TVA, the institution claiming to be in charge of maintaining the flow of time.

The end of "Loki" Episode 4, titled "The Nexus Event," sees Loki get pruned by the TVA, only to wake up in the Void, the place where anyone and anything that gets pruned ends up. Episode 5, "Journey into Mystery," explores the Void, and in the process reveals numerous Easter eggs and clues — including one scarily powerful Marvel villain.

This previously unseen villain signifies power on a massive scale

One of the artifacts seen in the Void is the stone head of the Living Tribunal. In the pages of Marvel comics, the Living Tribunal is a cosmic entity with three faces that works to keep the Multiverse in balance (via Marvel). The entity works to make sure no single universe becomes too powerful, and that the balance of good and evil in every universe remains steady. This gives the Living Tribunal immeasurable power, allowing the entity to destroy fully inhabited planets or blow stars up to maintain this equilibrium.

The presence of the Living Tribunal's head in the Void opens up a lot of questions. The traditional powers of the Living Tribunal keep it from having variants the way others would, as the Living Tribunal exists outside of the multiverse to be able to oversee it, which rules out the possibility that the head seen in the Void is simply a variant. Per Miss Minutes' assertion in the first episode of "Loki," the multiverse doesn't exist, and the TVA's purpose is to ensure it never exists again. This could have put the TVA in conflict with the Living Tribunal, which would fight against destroying the multiverse, as Miss Minutes claims the Timekeepers did. Being able to prune the Living Tribunal thus suggests that whoever's running the TVA is much more powerful than they've appeared to be.

Whether the Living Tribunal's existence is addressed will be seen when the season finale of "Loki" airs on Disney+ on Wednesday, July 14.