Like all of Marvel Studios' other TV shows to this point, the upcoming Loki series has been shrouded in mystery. We know that Tom Hiddleston returns to play Loki once again, and that his taking of the Tesseract from 2012 in Avengers: Endgame created some problems with the timeline, causing the Time Variance Authority to step in and help clean things up. Even the identities of many of the characters are being kept under wraps, save for Owen Wilson's Mobius. That changed a bit on Monday morning after the release of the new Loki trailer, as Marvel revealed the name of Gugu Mbatha-Raw's character, confirming that she provides a massive connection to one Kang the Conqueror, the time-hopping villain that many fans believe will be involved in this series.
Along with the trailer, Disney and Marvel Studios released a small batch of photos for Loki, one of which included Mbatha-Raw's character. In the photo's credits, the actress is listed as playing a character named Judge Renslayer. If you're familiar with Kang's story in the pages of Marvel Comics, the name Renslayer will immediately set off some alarms.
The tale of Kang and a woman named Ravonna Renslayer is a long and complicated one, so we'll stick to the short version.
Fast-forward to the 40th century here on Earth. Ravonna Renslayer is the daughter of King Carellius, rule of the last kingdom that hasn't been conquered by Kang. See, Kang is in love with Ravonna, so he spared her kingdom, but those feelings aren't mutual. He brings the modern Avengers to the future in order to show how powerful he is, hoping to impress Ravonna. When the Avengers arrive, however, they team up with Ravonna to take down Kang. Later, Kang's general Baltag betrays him and the Conqueror is forced to work alongside Ravonna and the Avengers. At the end of the battle, Ravonna sacrifices herself to save Kang, revealing a newfound love for him in her final breaths.
Renslayer is tied to Kang because of this old story about the future, but their relationship grows more complicated in a subsequent story, one that may offer more connections to the Loki series.
During a battle with Thor, Kang is split into two divergent entities, two different versions of himself, so to speak. One variant of Kang goes back and takes Ravonna away from the battle where she dies, letting a different version of himself die instead. In this reality he's able to be with Ravonna. The other Kang variant, however, puts Ravonna in a state of limbo, as she lingers on the verge of death, exacting his revenge and hoping to find a cure.
The TVA in Loki is all about fixing Variants and divergent realities. Kang travels through time and leaves hordes of divergences in his wake. It always felt like he was going to make some kind of appearance in Loki. But the knowledge of there being a character named Renslayer in the series changes everything.
One of the biggest characters associated with Kang's history is coming to the MCU, so it won't be too long before the great conqueror follows.
Loki arrives on Disney+ on June 11th.