The aftermath of Loki and Sylvie’s battle with the Time Variance Authority has dramatically changed the MCU. And the impact of destroying the Sacred Timeline will be explored in upcoming movies and Disney + series.
While those stories will examine the future, the splintering of the Sacred Timeline and the creation of the Multiverse, it will also impact the past. This is something the Ancient One tried to warn the Avengers about.
How this all shakes out will be interesting, to say the least. Over the coming years, the damage will become more apparent. But at least one MCU character may have seen all of this coming and attempted to warn one of the Avengers about the possibilities. The Ancient One knew more about time than anyone else. And she laid out the events of Loki quite clearly in Avengers: Endgame.
A remedial course in the Ancient One
The Ancient One hasn’t exactly had a huge presence in the MCU. As the Sorcerer Supreme, she made her debut in Doctor Strange. She would mentor Stephen Strange in the mystic arts before passing away. But her own past was extremely mysterious. None of her students knew her age or her real name. That being said, it was known that she was exceptionally old and of Celtic descent.
As the Sorcerer Supreme, it was the job of the Ancient One to defend Earth from any and all major threats, particularly mystical ones. Part of that effort was training new mystics to aid in this endless battle. Many of her students were killed during the events of Doctor Strange. Stephen and Wong are likely the two most powerful of those students left behind in the wake of the movie.
During the events of Avengers: Endgame, the team searched the past for the Infinity Stones. Several of the Avengers ended up back at the Battle of New York. Hulk went in search of the Ancient One who had the Time Stone in that era. Despite the mind of Bruce Banner being in charge of the Hulk’s body, he still attempted to use brute force to retrieve the stone instead of reason. It did not work.
Explaining the timeline
After the Ancient One separated Bruce Banner’s astral form from his body, the duo had a relatively reasonable conversation. She showed him the timeline as one single thread. Looking back at it now, the Ancient One was essentially showing Banner the Sacred Timeline. She continued by demonstrating the branch that would be created by her giving him the Time Stone and discussed its impacts.
Neither the TVA nor the Sacred Timeline were mentioned in this scene. That being said, it’s hard to deny how similar her example was to the visual shown to Loki by the TVA. Viewers didn’t know this in 2019 but they were being given a preview of what was about to happen in 2021. During the course of Loki, the branching the Ancient One warned Banner about actually happened. It was on a much larger scale, of course.
The question remains as to how much the Ancient One actually knew about the TVA. It stands to reason that she would be the most likely person to know about the organization’s existence. Additionally, she may also have been aware of He Who Remains, aka Kang. It was her job to watch out for powerful threats to Earth and that was a pretty big one.
If there are answers to these questions, fans may get them in the upcoming film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As the new Sorcerer Supreme, Strange will inevitably have to deal with the fallout from both WandaVision and Loki. The Ancient One may be dead but her presence looms large over the life of her former student. He may need to consult her for advice one more time.