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The Loki Director Finally Explains All Those Branching Timelines

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga concluded in 2019 with "Avengers: Endgame," eager fans were unsure where the MCU would be headed next. However, as we've moved deeper into Phase Four, it's very clear: time travel is our next great adventure. Marvel set the rules for time travel in "Endgame." As we learned from both the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), "Back to the Future" rules don't apply — when you time travel, you create an entirely new timeline, and an entirely new version of yourself.

"Loki" only explored this concept further, showing us branching timelines are not without consequences. Now, thanks to Sylvie's decision to kill He Who Remains in the "Loki" season finale, the sacred timeline is no longer protected. The branching timelines are out of control, and it appears we're headed for an all-out multiversal war in the MCU. Time travel, of course, poses questions for even the most dedicated Marvel fans. What exactly do all those branching timelines mean? Now, "Loki" director Kate Herron has shed some light on the phenomenon.

The branches connect different timelines

In an interview with Murphy's Multiverse, Kate Herron explained how the branching timelines work. She said that the branches are like "the alternate reality," but that there are also "basically other bigger physical timeline branches." Herron elaborated, saying, "It's almost like these different separate trees that are now connecting. It's almost like a bridge. If you imagine the branch, it is like another reality. But if the branch extends beyond a certain point, it will then connect to other physical timelines...[then] there are other like thicker [branches] that are meant to be like our timeline. And there are other timelines like that and the branches are the connectors basically."

In short, as the branches grow, they start to connect, meaning the timelines can overlap, which, as we've seen, usually means chaos. It's clear "Loki" is setting us up for the core themes and antagonists of Phase Four, with Jonathan Major's Kang the Conquerer poised to be the next big bad of the MCU and Stephen Strange cleaning things up in his upcoming sequel film, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." We could not be more excited to see where these new branches take us.!