Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, being re-arrested by the TVA in 'Loki'

Loki Finally Revealed Sylvie’s Past And It’s Heartbreaking

The Sacred Timeline can be cruel.

by Ani Bundel
Marvel Studios

Ever since she was introduced at the end of Loki’s second episode, the Sylvie variant has raised dozens of questions for fans. Several were convinced she wasn’t a Loki. She didn’t like to be called “Loki;” her chosen name matched that of a different Marvel superhero, Enchantress. Moreover, her magic was the same color as Enchantress’ and she used the word “enchant” to describe her magic. But the truth in her origins came when the series revealed why the TVA took Sylvie on Loki in the first place.

Warning: Spoilers for Loki Season 1, Episode 4 follow. Loki’s third episode gave fans time to chat with Loki and Sylvie, when Loki reminisced about his mother, Frigga. At the time, Sylvie didn’t respond, other than to say she didn’t remember her mother well, giving more fuel to the idea she wasn’t a Loki variant after all.

But as it turns out, fans were incorrect in this assessment. Sylvie was born Loki, an abandoned “Goddess of Mischief,” adopted by Odin and Frigga and raised in the palaces of Asgard — until, one day, out of nowhere, a young Hunter led a team of TVA agents to remove her from the timeline. That young Hunter was Renslayer before she was promoted to Judge. She dragged the small girl before the tribunal, but Little Lady Loki was too quick; she snatched away a TemPad and went on the run. Once she discovered the “Apocalypse loophole” that hid Nexus events, she started drifting from cataclysm to cataclysm, growing up in the shadows of others’ despair.

Marvel Studios

But what is fascinating about this story is why the TVA took her in the first place. As Sylvie explained to Loki, the “Sacred Time” is an unnatural state of the universe. The long arm of reality bends toward chaos, and every so often, the timeline will rebel, producing variants of its own accord. Once those variants get old enough to register in the TVA database, they are removed.

Her story also seems to be confirmed by Renslayer. On their way to see the Time-Keepers, Sylvie asked why Renslayer took her as a child. What Nexus event was her life causing that was so catastrophic that the TVA had to rob her of the existence she should have had?

Marvel Studios

Renslayer said she doesn’t even remember; it was so insignificant as not to matter. The TVA doesn’t care about people’s lives, only the “sacred” flow of time as has been declared. For all fans know, that truth is the one behind every TVA agent, from Mobius to B-15, variants whose lives were destroyed for no reason, crushed under the boot heel of endless bureaucracy in the service of something no one even wants.

Or perhaps not? Having discovered the Time-Keepers are nothing but literal puppets (like actual literal animatronic puppets), Sylvie demanded Renslayer tell her the truth about the Time-Keepers, the variants, and about herself. What that answer is, fans will have to wait and see.

Loki continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.