Who is Sylvie? The Lady Loki of the MCU explained
Loki episode three is all about getting to know the titular Asgardian trickster himself - who even comes out as bisexual in the course of the episode (Happy Pride!). In fact, it's about multiple versions of Loki, as Tom Hiddleston's main Loki variant connects with his alt-universe Lady Loki counterpart, digging deeper into their shared history.Spoilers ahead for Loki episode 3
First and foremost, the episode confirms that the Marvel Cinematic Universe's apparent version of Lady Loki actually goes by the name Sylvie, as seen in the credits of the previous episode. That name is significant as, along with the details of her life that Sylvie offers to Loki and the powers she displays, it could point to the character's true nature on the show.
Beyond being a variant, Sylvie appears to be more of a true alt-universe Loki from another world of the Multiverse. Either that, or their histories separate from a common point so far in her past that she has almost none of the same experiences or knowledge as Hiddleston's Loki.
As the two compare their lives, Loki reminisces about learning Asgardian sorcery from his mother, Frigga. But Sylvie says she learned her Asgardian magical enchantment abilities - themselves a nod to the character's comic book origins - all on her own.
Sylvie also states she's been alone since a young age, and that like Loki, she's adopted, though her true heritage was not hidden from her. And, maybe most interestingly, she says "I'm Sylvie now," when Loki calls her by his name, implying that she did once use the name Loki in some form or fashion.
In Marvel Comics, Sylvie isn't a Loki variant at all, but a human girl with the power of Asgardian magic and connections to both Loki and the Asgardian villain the Enchantress, whose name and powers Sylvie adopts in the course of her comic history.
With the comic book connections between the MCU Sylvie and her counterpart growing, what could Sylvie's comic book history say about what's coming in Loki, and about the future of the MCU? We'll break down everything you need to know about Sylvie Lushton, the Enchantress, right now.Who is Sylvie Lushton?
There have been several characters known as the Enchantress in Marvel Comics history. The original, Amora, is an Asgardian sorceress who was also one of the Avengers' earliest enemies. Amora possesses powers of mesmerism and illusion, even once impersonating Brunnhilde, Marvel's original Valkyrie, in one of her attempts to take on the team.
Amora's sister, Lorelei, has her own relationship with Loki that began when Loki enlisted her to seduce Thor - though this scheme evolved into Loki and Lorelei becoming on-again-off-again lovers while attempting to manipulate each other. Lorelei later became an ally to Loki again while he was working as an Agent of Asgard, which also involved some lies on his part.
Lorelei was a one-off character in season 1 of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which may or may not be official MCU canon.
The version of the character who may appear in Loki is Sylvie Lushton, a more recent incarnation of the Enchantress. Sylvie was a human girl who was granted Asgardian power by Loki as one of his schemes - or who may even have been created by Loki whole cloth.
Following one of Asgard's cyclical Ragnarok events in which the realm and its denizens die and are reborn throughout time, Thor finds himself as the only Asgardian to return. Discovering his fellow Asgardians are trapped in human form, he rescues as many as he can - including Loki, who is reborn as a woman.
Using their combined might, the Asgardians summon Asgardia, the capital city of their home realm, to Earth, where it floats high above the plains of the small town of Broxton, Oklahoma - putting the Asgardians in closer contact with humanity than ever before.
Naturally, Loki exploits the situation to rope the people of Broxton into his schemes to conquer Asgard - part of which includes teaming up with the villainous Norman Osborn, then the leader of the sanctioned security force known as HAMMER, a kind of authoritarian replacement for SHIELD.
Loki and Osborn's plans are spearheaded by the creation of the Dark Avengers, a team of ersatz heroes comprised of villains impersonating known heroes such as Spider-Man and Hawkeye - though working solely in the interests of Osborn and HAMMER.
Here's where Sylvie comes in.
Before Asgard appeared over Broxton, Sylvie was a normal teen girl, living an average life, until the day she woke up with inexplicable magic powers which she sensed were connected to Asgard in ways she couldn't understand. Inspired by the Asgardian Enchantress, Sylvie takes the name for herself and moves to New York to use her newfound Asgardian sorcery to be a hero.
But there's a twist in her journey.Sylvie Lushton in the Marvel Universe
Along with a team of Dark Avengers, Osborn helps organize his own version of the Young Avengers, a team of teen heroes whose identities are inspired by the original Avengers (many of whom have now appeared in their civilian guises in the MCU).
Taking the name the Young Avengers for themselves, Osborn's recruits are secretly the Young Masters, inspired by the Avengers' old foes the Masters of Evil - a team that included the original Enchantress and her longtime enforcer Skurge the Executioner (played by Karl Urban in Thor: Ragnarok) in its earliest incarnation.
The Young Masters, with Sylvie in tow as the new Enchantress alongside a new, non-Asgardian Executioner, take after the original Masters in one other key way - the original Masters of Evil, who were led by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Baron Zemo, took on secret heroic identities to disguise their villainy as the Thunderbolts, a team Norman Osborn later led and which inspired his Dark Avengers.
The Young Masters, calling themselves the Young Avengers, clash with their heroic namesakes, with the original Young Avengers demanding the Young Masters either stop calling themselves the 'Young Avengers,' or try out to join the actual team.
At first, the Young Masters play along, but only two of them - Coat-Of-Arms, and Sylvie/Enchantress - are invited into the Young Avengers. Early in her time with the team Enchantress tries to strike up a magical mentorship with Wiccan (who would later come under the tutelage of Kid Loki in a subsequent Young Avengers story), but when she attempts to seduce him, her relationship with them sours.
Spurned by the Young Avengers, the Young Masters turn coat and fall in with Osborn, trying to take out the Young Avengers once and for all just as Osborn plans to eliminate the real Avengers.
As Osborn schemes with Loki how to best use their team of Young Masters, Loki, then still in the body of a woman, reveals she is responsible for empowering Sylvie with Asgardian power, even potentially implying she created Sophie entirely out of Asgardian magic, to have a mortal pawn of her own in play.
The Young Masters call in Osborn's Dark Avengers for back-up, resulting in a clash with the Young Avengers, who wind up winning out and escaping Osborn with the help of Sylvie, who soon becomes deathly ill with her powers fading when Loki and Osborn's scheme results in Loki's death. Sylvie winds up surviving and regaining some of her powers, though she decides to leave the Young Masters for good.
Sylvie then enrolls in the Avengers Academy, attempting to fulfill her goal of being a true hero, though she only stuck around for a little while before it was revealed that she was once again being manipulated by one of the Academy's foes.
Sadly, after leaving the Avengers Academy, Sylvie fell back into a life of crime, first joining a version of the Masters of Evil proper before falling in with the Hood while she pretended to be the original Enchantress - a choice that led to Amora returning and banishing Sylvie to an unnamed place in the Ten Realms, which Amora implies will be a hard place for Sylvie to survive for long, unless she's truly got the power of Asgardian magic.
Unfortunately, Amora may have been correct about Sylvie's inadequacy, as she hasn't been seen since being banished.Sylvie Lushton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Loki episode three confirms that Sophia Di Martino's character is a version of Sylvie Lushton - however, the circumstances of Sylvie's inclusion in the show are still relatively mysterious.
According to the TVA, this version of Sylvie is actually a Loki variant, perhaps the show's version of Lady Loki. But being named Sylvie, especially with Sylvie Lushton's relationship to the Enchantress, we have to consider that there's some trickery or misdirection involved - especially because Sylvie herself asserts that nearly all TVA agents are actually variants themselves whose minds have been wiped, as opposed to creations of the Time-Lords as they themselves believe.
Sylvie also seems to imply she once went by the name Loki, or was even a version of the Asgardian trickster closer to Tom Hiddleston's version, which could mean that the MCU Sylvie is a combination of the comic book Sylvie Lushton and Lady Loki.
In comic books, Loki became a woman by stealing Sif's body during the cycle of Ragnarok. However, Sylvie is obviously not played by Jamie Alexander, the Sif of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, essentially ruling out that plotline for Sylvie's MCU origins. That said, aspects of the Lady Loki story could be transferred to Sylvie.
Recall that in comic books, Sylvie's power comes from Loki, and her magic waxes and wanes along with Loki's different incarnations - she may even be a magical creation of Loki's and not a person at all. Could the MCU Sylvie also be a creation of the Loki of her timeline, or perhaps possessed by Loki in some way? Could she be a mortal who stole Loki's power, creating a variant?
There's also the chance that she's not a Loki variant at all, but a version of the Enchantress who is using the requisite powers of illusion and mesmerism that come with the title for a scheme of her own.
She even tells Loki that she is able to enchant people by creating elaborate illusions in their minds. Considering Loki's explanation of illusion magic in episode three, and the constant clues that the TVA aren't what they seem, that could become extremely relevant - especially if Sylvie is somehow using this trick on Loki himself to create the entire ruse.
If she's a full-on Enchantress, what are the chances she could bring in a version of Karl Urban's Executioner - or moreover, what are the odds she might join up with Daniel Bruhl's Zemo to form a version of the Masters of Evil?
We also should consider Sylvie's relationship with the Young Avengers in comic books. With numerous members of the Young Avengers already introduced in the MCU or on deck to debut soon - Loki himself included - Sylvie's history with the Young Avengers must be taken into account as a potential path for her.
In comics, Loki and Sylvie's experiences with the Young Avengers have no overlap - Sylvie actually predates Loki as a member of the team, with Loki joining later after dying and being reborn again as Kid Loki.
It's also worth noting as eagle-eyed MCU fans have noticed that the Loki variant's headdress has only a single horn. Loki himself had a similar design for his headdress as teen Loki, following his time with the Young Avengers, and into the Agent of Asgard era. That could be notable considering Sylvie's connection to the Young Avengers - and the Agent of Asgard Loki's quest for heroic redemption.
Whatever happens, in a show with multiple universes, opposing timelines, and the potential for multiple versions of the same character to appear, adding in the potential of the Enchantress and her specific brand of illusory magic could signal some serious twists ahead for Loki.
While you're waiting for the next episode of Loki, read up on the best Loki stories of all time!