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This question is based on my assumptions/understandings of the following:

  • Way back in the past, there was a multiversal war.
  • “He Who Remains” fought his variants and won the war.
  • “He Who Remains” united all timelines into one main one before the events of any shows we watched.
  • What we watched as the MCU shows happened while “He Who Remains” was taking care that no branching happened.
  • At some point, “He Who Remains” dies, and branching starts to happen.

We know that up to the point of Loki stealing the Tesseract and being taken by the TVA, there was no branching in the main timeline. Some time after that, “He Who Remains” dies, and branching starts.

Also in Loki, we learned that the TVA allowed the Avengers to time travel as it was meant to be (Avengers: Endgame). So we should be sure that no branching happened, at least not to the point of Thanos' defeat in Endgame.

Do we know, or is it possible to know, at what point in the MCU does the branching start?

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    'At some point "He who remains" dies, and branching started to happen' — not "at some point". That happened in episode 6 of Loki season 1. You saw Sylvie stab He Who Remains, right? So according to your assumptions, and with your apparent concept of us watching the MCU in the real world as a frame of reference, I guess it happened then. Mar 1, 2023 at 14:55
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    '"He who remains" united all timelines into one main one' — I'm not sure that's accurate. In Endgame, it sure looked like Thanos and his crew travelled from one timeline to blow up Avengers HQ in another. As I understood Loki, the Sacred Timeline was a myth invented by He Who Remains to give the TVA a purpose. He was just trying to make sure that no timelines survived that would produce a Kang more powerful than himself. Timelines that would only produce Kangs who wouldn't threaten him were presumably left alone for the Watcher to amuse himself with. Mar 1, 2023 at 14:59
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    @PaulD.Waite: Part of the problem is that we don't know how much we're running on San Dimas Time, and whether the branches were from that "moment" (whenever "He who remains" exists) or they suddenly started happening at past times when they would have branched.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 1, 2023 at 15:04
  • I hope these two things are clear to you , 1: Whatever happens in Loki is post The Avengers(2012) not post Avengers:Endgame, 2:You cant pre date or post date whatever HWH did while in the Citadel at the end of time because again time is irrelevant there.
    – shanu
    Mar 1, 2023 at 15:35
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    @Mocas - "That Thanos did not come from another timeline, it was time travel from the same time line." No, it was time travel from an alternate timeline. The Thanos who was native to the Sacred Timeline had his head chopped off by Thor near the beginning of Endgame. The Thanos who time-travelled from 2014 to 2023 and got snapped out of existence by Iron Man near the end of Endgame did not and never would experience that event, because he was from an alternate timeline that branched out from the Sacred Timeline when the Avengers went back in time to borrow the Infinity Stones. Mar 1, 2023 at 22:18

3 Answers 3

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The point in the MCU "sacred timeline" where this happens is when the Avengers travel to/return from the past to retrieve the Infinity stones during "Endgame", as doing so causes Loki to take the Tesseract and bounce. Prior to this point in the sacred timeline, He Who Remains is still alive and the TVA is under his control.

Everything in the TVA and at the "end of time" takes place outside of any established timeline. From the perspective of an observer within the sacred timeline who could detect it, it would appear that the number of universes in the multiverse would suddenly grow to basically infinity.

Tangentially related, I have a theory that the Scarlet Witch's power is dependent on the number of universes in the multiverse, being that she's a nexus entity. She was already extremely powerful at the end of "Infinity War", but after she came back from the blip, she suddenly had access to much more power. She simply didn't realize this until she lost it in Westview, even though she most likely could have been that powerful in the final battle of "Endgame".

The Avengers going back in time resulted in Loki killing He Who Remains, resulting in the multiverse exploding, resulting in Wanda realizing her potential as the Scarlet Witch.

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  • Have you seen the synchronization theory linking the scarlet witch and Kang? Specifically he who remains seems distracted by the same amount of time as her emergence and there's a bit of a red glow in the timeline too youtu.be/ADacNDSFRio Mar 1, 2023 at 23:42
  • I remember reading something on Twitter or reddit from the creators/writers/whatever basically saying those were coincidental and not planned.
    – Derek
    Mar 2, 2023 at 4:53
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Your assumption is incorrect. In season 1 of Loki the image of the "Sacred Timeline" is shown several times. In it we can see a redline on either side of the main timeline. This is the point at which a branch must be pruned. Any timelines that remain within the redline are allowed to continue. Thus, to answer your question, branching never actually stopped.

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  • So what is different and started to happen after the death of HWR?
    – Mocas
    Mar 1, 2023 at 16:37
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    Branches were allowed to continue beyond the redline, which was said to indicate where a Kang variant would potentially emerge.
    – Myykro
    Mar 1, 2023 at 16:50
  • I just checked episode 1 of Loki, miss Minutes explanation scene, the TVA brings that yellow guy back to the sacred time line and all of his branched off line disappears. Also on that scene, she said that Time keepers organised the multiverse into single timeline.
    – Mocas
    Mar 1, 2023 at 18:16
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    @Mocas: rule number one: Miss Minutes lies. Mar 1, 2023 at 22:38
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By release date: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

By official order in the MCU timeline: WandaVision (2021)

Marvel Studios’ The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline gives us the official order of events in the MCU. The book shows that He Who Remains met his end at Sylvie’s hands in the Loki Season 1 finale before the events of WandaVision. And WandaVision took place before Spider-Man: Far From Home.

The book tells us that the events of Loki Season 1 happened before WandaVision, Spider-Man: Far From Home, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Ms. Marvel. This makes a lot of sense and explains why those shows have so much multiversal shenanigans going on — because He Who Remains was offed by Sylvie.

image of the pages from Marvel Studios’ The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline illustrating the above

So we should be sure that no branching happened, at least not to the point of Thanos' defeat in Endgame.

That is correct. According to the Official Timeline, the events of the Loki Season 1 finale happened after the events of Endgame.

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  • If anyone has further questions about the order of MCU events, I'd be happy to look them up in the Official Timeline. Nov 4, 2023 at 2:43

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