- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Kang the Conquerer from the Marvel Cinematic Universe film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Kang the Conqueror.
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|“||Oh I've been dubbed many names by many people. A ruler, a conqueror. He Who Remains, a jerk. But it's... it's not as simple as a name.||„|
|~ He Who Remains revealing he has gone through many names.|
|“||You came to kill the devil, right? Well, guess what? I keep you safe. And if you think I'm evil, well, just wait till you meet my variants.||„|
|~ He Who Remains warning Loki Laufeyson and Sylvie Laufeydottir about his variants.|
Kang the Conqueror is a major antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, set to appear in the upcoming 2023 film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. A variant of him known as He Who Remains serves as the main antagonist of the 2021 Disney+ series Loki.
Originally a scientist on Earth from the thirty-first century, he discovered various universes stacked on top of his own. Eventually, a variant known as He Who Remains would found the Time Variance Authority.
He is portrayed by Jonathan Majors in his first villainous role.
|“||Not every version of me was so... so pure of heart. To some of us, new worlds meant only one thing, new lands to be conquered.||„|
|~ He Who Remains explaining how some of his variants desired conquest.|
According to He Who Remains, Kang ranges from being a pacifist that seeks to improve other universes with the knowledge and technology from his own to a tyrant that seeks to conquer all of the universes out there in the multiverse. To those variants, new worlds being discovered simply meant more worlds for them to conquer. Kang and his variants are alluded to be more evil than He Who Remains.
He Who Remains in particular appears to seek prevention of any form of chaos from occurring that could cause the timeline to branch off, believing that he is keeping everyone safe from danger. He appears to be somewhat deranged, however, as a result of being isolated within his castle for so long. His methods of doing so have proven to be villainous as he has kidnapped various variants from different timelines and brainwashing them by suppressing their memories. Even so, he acknowledges what he does is terrible and wrong but doesn't seem to care much of how he's affected others entirely, in which Sylvie accuses of him treating people's lives as nothing but a game.
Despite what He Who Remains claims, he was not against the idea of being killed to let another Multiversal War from occurring. In fact, he suggested it as one of the two options for Loki and Sylvie to do. This is because he has grown tired of ruling within the shadows of the TVA for so long that he's ready to retire from his role and pass it down to Loki and Sylvie.
A scientist from the 31st century came across the discovery of many universes stacked upon each other. Other variants of him came across this same discovery. Eventually, these variants came in contact with one another, forming peace amongst each other for awhile, sharing their knowledge and technology amongst each other. However, some variants were more interested in seeking conquest upon other worlds, leading to the major event known as the Multiversal War.
A variant who would later become known as He Who Remains rose to put an end to the Multiversal War by harnessing the power of a cosmic entity known as Alioth and came out victorious in the war. With the end of the Multiversal War, He Who Remains began to work on isolating the timeline to prevent any branches from occurring, leading to the foundation of the Time Variance Authority. He Who Remains would then create three androids known as the Time-Keepers to act as the public's official leaders of the TVA, hiding his true existence.
He Who Remains settled within the Citadel at the End of Time, a castle that exists beyond the Void. Upon the arrival of Loki and Sylvie, he greets them in to his elevator where he tries to converse with them. Sylvie attempts to take his life multiple times, but he managed to avoid her assaults with his TemPad. He eventually greets them the two variants up to his office. He offers them tea and begins to explain everything he knows. He reveals to them that he knows everything that is to come, showing the future laid out on a script, and tells them that they cannot kill him because of this. He states that he understands their moral objections to the TVA and that his methods are deceptive, but there was never a mission to begin with and that everything burns. Loki then asks what's he's so afraid in which he states he's afraid of himself. Sylvie asks who exactly he is, in which he explains to them he has gone by many names such as a ruler, a conqueror and a jerk, but it was never so simple as a name.
He then begins to explain his history and the event known as the Multiversal War where variants of himself sought out to conquer various worlds before he put an end to it by harnessing the power of Alioth and isolating the timeline. He then tells them that all he needed to do now was manage the flow of the timeline to prevent further branches, hence this lead to the foundation of the TVA. He then tells them he does all of this to keep them safe and if they think he is evil, then they wait until they get to meet his variants. He begins to warn them that something far worse will come to fill in his position if they choose to dispose of them and so he gives them two options; either kill him and let them deal with more than one "devil" or return to the TVA as its rulers.
Loki claims he's lying, not understanding why he would just want to give up control, but He Who Remains explains to him that he's grown old and tired of this position and that's he ready to give it up. He explains to them that he's been seeking someone that could take his place and believes it came in the form of Loki and Sylvie. He reassures them that there are no more lies and offers the two choices to them again, in which Sylvie accuses him of treating this as some sort of game. He reminds her that it's nothing personal, that it's simply practical, only for Sylvie to tell him it was personal to her. He then lashes out at her, telling her to grow up, calling her a murderer and a hypocrite. He acknowledges that they've all done terrible things, but assures them that they can now do them for the good reasons.
Eventually, He Who Remains hears noises in the background which tells him that they have now crossed the threshold. He tells them that, because of this, he doesn't know how things will play out from here as the timeline is now starting to branch off into different realities. He then offers up his TemPad, telling them he loves all of this honesty, saying it feels like a fresh new start. Sylvie then attempts to take his life, but Loki prevents her from doing so as he wants her to think about this. The two then begin to fight before eventually exchanging a kiss to each other. Sylvie then uses the TemPad to send Loki away. She then takes his blade and plunges it within He Who Remains. He then winks at her, saying he will see her son.
Meanwhile, Loki finds himself back at the TVA. He then runs off to find Mobius and B-15, telling them he and Sylvie found the creator of the TVA and warns them about how countless versions of this man will come. When Mobius asks who he is, Loki doesn't understand what's going on. Loki then watches in horror as he sees the statue of a variant of He Who Remains, who has taken over the TVA; Kang the Conqueror.
- This is Kang's first debut in live-action media.
- He Who Remains appears to be a composite version of his comic book counterpart, who was the remaining member of the TVA and the creator of the Time-Twisters, as well as shares traits with Immortus, a variant of Kang that aimed to prevent timelines from occurring.
- Michael Waldron, the head writer of Loki, described Kang as being "the next big cross-movie villain", believing Kang would have a big impact on the MCU moving forward.
- According to Kate Herron, the director of Loki, Jonathan Majors was not initially casted to play as Kang until he was brought in to play He Who Remains in Loki and she discussed it in a meeting with Kevin Feige and Peyton Reed. When Majors agreed to play Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, He Who Remains was rewritten to be a variant of Kang.
- He Who Remains was written and portrayed to be as least evil as possible, to give contrast to how cruel Kang will be. Jonathan Majors stated that he probably smiled more as He Who Remains than any of his other roles.
- For clothing Majors also stated he had a lot of fun with his costume designer. And that He Who Remains' clothing comes from different places in history; the cape is Victorian, the shoes belonged to Genghis Khan, the pants are Monglian.
- Kang is one of the nine villains of the MCU to actually succeed in his plans as he managed to return on numerous different timelines and founded a new version of the TVA after Sylvie killed his variant He Who Remains and freed the Sacred Timeline. The other eight are Loki Laufeyson (who has managed to take control of Asgard for himself in Thor: The Dark World), Baron Zemo (who has managed to split the Avengers apart to avenge his family's demise in Captain America: Civil War), Surtur (who has managed to destroy Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok), Erik Killmonger (who managed to get Wakanda to distribute the Vibranium around the world to help people in Black Panther), Ghost (who has managed to obtain quantum energy to cure herself from a fatal disease in Ant-Man and the Wasp), Thanos (who has managed to collect the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the universe's populace in Avengers: Infinity War) Mysterio (who has managed to frame Spider Man as his murderer and expose his true identity to the world in Spider-Man: Far from Home), and Flag-Smasher, (who managed to stop the Global Repatriation Council from relocating of millions of people in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier).