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Loki Director Explains Endgame’s Steve Rogers Ending Mystery

Loki director Kate Herron pr0vides possible explanation to the lingering mystery about Steve Rogers' (Chris Evans) Avengers: Endgame fate. The 2019 Joe and Anthony Russo film wrapped up the Infinity Saga by seeing the defeat of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his minions. It also functioned as the swan song for some of the MCU's founding heroes, but unlike Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who died for the cause, Captain America was given a chance for a happy-ever-after.

When half of the universe's population had been brought back thanks to the reverse snap and the Mad Titan no longer posed any threat in the universe, there was only one mission left: return all the Infinity Stones from the time heist. Steve was tasked to do this by himself, and although Endgame didn't show on-screen what it took him to accomplish his goal, there's an assumption that he finished the job. But instead of returning to the main MCU timeline, Steve opted to further go back in time to reunite with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). There, he spent the remainder of his years until he jumped back to present MCU so he could pass the shield to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). It's a poignant and fitting ending to the character's arc and Endgame, in general. But, it left a lot of questions regarding its specifics.

Related: The MCU Multiverse Fixes An OG Avengers Problem (Why Marvel Can't End It)

Speaking with The Direct, Herron admitted that she, too, has been thinking about this particular mystery left unanswered in the Infinity Saga. Since Loki expounded on the idea of branching timelines, a concept first introduced in Endgame by the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), she couldn't help but come up with potential answers regarding the matter. For her, it's either the timeline Steve and Peggy created didn't veer far away from the Sacred Timeline that it was allowed to exist or they were simply pruned by the Time Variance Authority/TVA.

"So! I’ve been thinking about this (laughs). I’m just like [so excited]... People are going to be annoyed because it’s not a definitive answer, but also I can only really answer as a fan, right? My theory is this: It comes down to if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. If you’re an optimist, maybe it was okay [for] them living that way, and the branch wasn’t so severe that it didn’t need to be pruned, and that meant that they could stay together. Maybe the romantics can say somehow that managed to exist. And then the pessimists [think], ‘They probably got pruned (laughs).'"

"It depends on how people fall on that side of things, because in my head I guess it would be... generally branches have to be pruned and then maintained, right? But it depends. Like if it’s alternate, it would imply that it’s running alongside our main timeline, so yeah. I don’t want to definitively say that they were pruned, but by our logic in the TVA, probably. But maybe where there’s a will there’s a way, and they weren’t too disruptive and managed to live happily ever after."

For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like Marvel Studios has a definitive answer about this mystery either. The Russos believe that Steve's actions did create a branched timeline, meanwhile, scriptwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely believe that he didn't. This meant that there were two Steve Rogers in the main MCU from the late 1940s to the present time. Getting a new perspective on this through Herron is interesting, especially since Loki introduced the existence of variants, the TVA, and the Sacred Timeline. That being said, both options she presented can be countered based on other things known about this matter.

Assuming that Steve and Peggy's reunion and eventual life together didn't veer away much from the Sacred Timeline means that the events of the branched timeline stayed relatively the same as what was seen in the MCU. So, somehow, Captain America still eventually joined the Avengers in the early 2010s leading to the events of Avengers: Endgame. On the other hand, if they were pruned, then how was Old Man Steve Rogers able to return to the main MCU to pass the shield? Whether or not Marvel Studios is planning on offering a definitive answer for this is unknown, but given the many factors they have to consider, it might be best if they just left it unaddressed.

More: Loki Theory: Why The TVA Had Every Infinity Stone Except The Mind Stone

Loki season 2 will return on Disney+.

Source: The Direct

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