Agent Mobius and the Tragedy of Governments that Betray Their Soldiers

Agent Mobius portrayed by Owen Wilson in Loki.

Agent Mobius lives for the mission of the Time Variance Authority in Loki. He is committed and devoted to the idea that the Sacred Timeline must be preserved at all costs.

In his unique position at the TVA, he holds the power to save others trapped in horrifying positions in time. It would be just as easy for him to rescue someone from the terrors of an apocalypse as it is to seize and arrest alleged “time criminals”, individuals that deviate from the Sacred Timeline and are classified as “variants” that must be corrected to preserve the timeline.

Yet, he is committed to permitting these tragedies to occur to preserve the timeline, because the alternative is far worse. It is a better fate to permit these tragedies and execute orders on preserving the Sacred Timeline because the alternative is opening the floodgates to a multiverse war that would risk the existence of trillions and the universe itself.

He serves within the bureaucracy of the TVA adhering to its rules and regulations designed to guide the personnel of the TVA on its mission of preserving the one Sacred Timeline. This bureaucracy can serve as an analogy for a governmental entity.

Agent Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, is portrayed as a kind character centered on doing what he believes is right. He is friendly, especially with innocent children and his co-workers — allies he serves alongside with in their mission. The authority of the TVA — in this lie — is established by the “Timekeepers” who are, in actuality, androids portraying sacred gods that do not exist. Instead, the true architect of the TVA — He Who Remains — created this lie.

Upon realizing that he was not in fact created by the Time-Keepers and is actually a variant himself, he rebels. The world he thought he was holding up, by arresting and hunting down other variants, was a lie and the morals and values he believed he was fighting for come into question. He must now work to take down the TVA.

How does a loyal servant of the TVA suddenly become its enemy? Was it the act of betrayal that set him off? Or was this just a catalyst in a simmering distrust of the TVA?

Neither. Instead, he is what I call the “Betrayed Soldier”. He is, and always was, his own man. His values lined up with the values preached by the lies of the TVA. And when he realizes these lies do not line up with his values and that the mission of the TVA is not his mission either, he fights back devoting himself to tearing down the TVA instead.

A similar tragedy of betrayal can be felt by soldiers who believed they were fighting a just war. It is not until they realize they are being played as a puppet by the very government/organization/entity they serve that they must act to correct the course of that entity. The entity believed it could take advantage of those that wish to serve a higher purpose and do what is right. Just as governments can do so with its own soldiers.

And often, just as in Loki, those soldiers come into opposition of those that wish to continue the mission of the entity despite its lies. It is when the Betrayed Soldier must severe their connection with the entity and its personnel — their friends — that they are truly tested in their commitment to their morals and values. Just as Mobius must come into conflict with his boss, mentor, and friend, Ravonna Renslayer, one of the biggest tragedies is the loss of a friend.