Loki's place on the MCU timeline has seemingly been revealed

Loki episode 1
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

One of the many mysteries surrounding Loki is where the Disney Plus TV series sits on the MCU timeline.

Marvel's latest show is in somewhat of a gray area in relation to the studio's other movies and TV series, what with this Loki being a 'time variant' and the version of the character that we saw in 2012's Avengers Assemble.

Now, though, it appears that Loki's placement on the MCU timeline has been revealed – albeit with one major caveat.

The revelation comes by way of Reddit user Wallbreaker-g (as reported by Inverse), who discovered that Loki really does exist in its own separate timeline.

Using Disney Plus to explain how Loki's TV series isn't intrinsically linked to the rest of the MCU, Wallbreaker-g used the streamer's version of our 'How to watch the Marvel movies in order' article to reveal all.

As you can see in the image in Wallbreaker-g's post, Disney Plus' 'Marvel Cinematic Universe in Timeline Order' shows that Loki isn't nestled between Avengers Assemble and Thor: The Dark World, which is where you would expect it to.

What can we deduce from this? Well, what we already know really – Loki's TV show isn't part of the MCU's continuity, and it's a timeline that branches off (also known as a Nexus event) from the MCU's so-called sacred timeline.

Analysis: Loki will still impact the MCU moving forward

While Loki doesn't exactly fit into the MCU, we already know that it'll affect Marvel's Phase 4 plans moving forward.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed that the Disney Plus series will "have more impact on the MCU than any of the shows thus far" (per Empire Magazine). This will be based on where the TV show goes over the course of its next five episodes, of course, but it's abundantly clear that Loki will influence Marvel's upcoming movies including Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2.

Again, we were aware of this fact before Loki premiered on Disney Plus on Wednesday, June 9. However, it's obvious that Loki's Nexus event (and any other similar incidents that occur in the future) will directly impact the MCU and the sacred timeline.

What does that mean? Regardless of whether movies or TV shows, such as Loki, exist in the same timeline as other MCU productions, they'll still affect it to varying degrees. 

As such, we may have to revise how we view the 'Marvel Cinematic Universe in Timeline Order' from this point on, and start factoring in any Nexus event-style branching timelines into the equation. Whatever happens, things are about to get messy for the MCU – and those of us who work out the order of its films and TV series.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.