Loki — who are the Time-Keepers?

The Time-Keepers in Loki.
(Image credit: Disney+)

This post contains spoilers for Loki.
Read our review of the first episode

Tom Hiddleston's Loki Laufeyson has returned to our screens, and he's burdened with glorious purpose. But that purpose is being hindered by entities that he cannot begin to understand in the beginning of the series. The Time Variance Authority (TVA) gives him plenty of trouble in the first few episodes, but his problem extend passed this paramilitary force. It's the Time-Keepers — the founders of the TVA and basically time — who pose the biggest threat to the god and his goals. Being Loki, his immediate response is that he'll simply overthrow them. But is such a thing even possible? Who are the Time-Keepers anyway? Let's take a look. 

The Time-Keepers comic origins

In comics canon, the Time-Keepers didn't create the TVA. Instead, they were created by He Who Remains. The being was the very last member of the TVA from the last reality who, in a last-ditch effort to save time, He Who Remains created two entities: the Time-Keepers and the Time-Twisters. 

After a not-so-fun intervention from Thor, the last reality was split into two timelines. The first is the one where the Time-Twisters were destroyed and the Time-Keepers are able to keep a diligent watch on the timeline and all that must be protected in it. In the other, the Time-Twisters live on and destroy reality after reality. As far as we can tell this early on, the timeline where the Twisters were destroyed is the MCU prime universe.

Those statues you see in Loki depict the three main members of the Time-Keepers: Ast, Vort, and Zanth.

What are the Time-Keepers powers?

Though we don't know a ton about their individual personality traits because they are largely perceived as one entity in three bodies. They work together with the power of the Forever Crystal to do what they deem necessary and claim that no entity can judge their authority. With that heavy judge, jury and executioner vibe comes a whole host of powers that most beings aren't silly enough to mess with.  

The Keepers manipulate temporal energy. This means that your existence at any point of time can be snuffed out by the beings, whether it be through aging you until your bones crumble or de-aging you to a point of pre-existence. They're also capable of simply summoning any person or creature from any point in the timeline, and then wiping them out of existence as to not damage the time stream. As if that's not enough, they can shoot force blasts, generate nearly impenetrable shields. And then there's the obvious aptitude for time travel and the much less obvious ability to grant power to other beings. 

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.