Warning - This article contains spoilers for Loki Episode 2 - "The Variant"
Episode 2 of Loki has been dubbed as an instant classic by most Marvel fans across the internet. "The Variant" had fans on the edge of their seats leading right into the credits as the season's first big reveal was made.
The Loki Variant who has been causing havoc across the timeline was revealed to be none other than Sophia Di Martino's Lady Loki! Or is it Enchantress? If it is Enchantress, is it Sylvie Laufeydottir? Who are these characters anyway?
Some of the show's biggest questions surround the mysterious big bad. Between the costume, dialogue, and contextual decisions, the answer could be any three of these characters, or even a combination of this mischievous trio.
LADY LOKI, ENCHANTRESS & SLYVIE
The first and most popular option for Di Martino's role is Lady Loki.
As far as the Time Variance Authority is concerned, this is who has been causing all of this trouble. The only reason the TVA brings Hiddleston's Loki on board is that the temporal aura of this time terrorist matches that of Loki Laufeyson, leading one to assume this is a Loki Variant.
In the comics, Lady Loki is just that: a multiversal copy of the mainstream Loki in female form, retaining all the endearing and annoying traits that make the God of Mischief such a great character.
The next best bet would be the legendary Thor villain, Enchantress. As one of the most famous antagonists from Thor's rogues gallery, Amora is an Asgardian goddess that frequently uses magic, seduction, and deception to get her way.
While she may not match the temporal aura of the Trickster God, she is considered one of the greatest tricksters in Marvel history. With various battles, team-ups and schemes conjured up together, Loki and Enchantress have quite the storied past.
The final option serves as a 2B to Enchantress's 2A. The Enchantress mantle is one of many Marvel titles that has been passed on from one character to the next. On the page, Sylvie is a young girl from Oklahoma that was gifted (or cursed) with the powers of Enchantress by Loki himself.
Though she lacks the formal Asgardian training that made Amora such a formidable foe, Sylvie has a natural ability to control her magic and becomes the mainstay Enchantress for the 2010s era of Marvel Comics.
CLUES ABOUT SOPHIA DI MARTINO'S CHARACTER
Now that the options have been explained, let's dive into why each of the three could be the true identity.
For starters, viewers are told by the TVA that this is a variant of Loki. As dramatic irony looms around the corner, this is believed to be Lady Loki: a multiversal variant of the Loki that titles the series. The biggest visual cue is the broken horn on the horned Loki crown she dons, synonymous with the more feminine version in the comics.
That said, dialogue and context clues give plenty of reason to believe that the TVA's understanding of the criminal is wrong, and the crown could just be a red herring.
After magically turning multiple people into her own puppets, Loki applauds her by saying "Enchantment is a clever trick." When Loki tries to relate with his attacker by calling her by what he believes to be her name, Loki, she replies in disgust "Ugh. Don't call me that." Very off-brand for the God of Mischief.
Keeping along that same vein, when the smooth-talking antagonist turns to brute strength to put a beating on Loki, he reacts in shock: "I would never treat me like this."
Finally, in maybe more of a nod to the audience watching, Sophia Di Martino lets Loki know that whatever is going on "isn't about you."
Also, she's blonde. Lady Loki is known to retain the trickster's jet-black locks, while Enchantress is synonymous with a yellow mop.
If this character is in fact Enchantress, there are some clues pointing to it being the Earth-based Sylvie as opposed to the Asgardian Seductress Amora.
While Loki skims through TVA files, he comes across the name Sylvie Laufeydottir. In the comics, Sylvie's surname is Luston, but this is no coincidence. Dottir is the Icelandic word for daughter, making this Sylvie the daughter of Laufey, the same father as Loki. It is also worth noting the first time fans got a look at this antagonist, she was located in Oklahoma, the home state of Sylvie in the comics.
Most notably, the foreign language credits at the end of the episode list Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie. While this could be taken as confirmation, Disney+ has thrown curveballs before.
TWO IS A COUPLE, THREE IS A CROWD
After analyzing all the different clues leading to each of these three characters being a possibility for Sophia Di Martino, one could come to the conclusion that this specific character is a combination of all three.
There is definitive proof for each one to be the correct answer. In simple terms, this is a Loki Variant (temporal aura) with Loki's signature feature being altered to that of Enchantress (blond hair) being listed by the showrunners as Sylvie (credit listing).
The reason Marvel studios may want to combine these characters into one role is efficient. While Enchantress and Lady Loki have both carved out niche paths for themselves in the panels of Marvel Comics, they are rather similar in style, skill-set, and history.
Both of these mistresses of evil have trickster qualities, green magic, and a storied past with the royal brothers of Asgard. Enchantress is a lock to appear in the MCU at some point (if it didn't just happen). Introducing Lady Loki first would surely lessen the appearance of Enchantress down the line, seeing as they are near identical roles.
Fans, press, and even the TVA have been banging the Lady Loki drum ever since Di Martino was casts in the series. The plot twist of this also being Enchantress would surely stir the pot.
MARVEL HAS BEEN HERE BEFORE
This would not be the first time Marvel Studios has put tweaks on a comic book character to make them more adaptable to the screen.
The Mandarin was a blatant red herring in Iron Man 3, as Ben Kingsley's Trevor Slattery proved to be nothing more than a phony. The real Mandarin (no, not Aldrich Killian) is set to debut in this Summer's Shang-Chi.
The Ancient One from Doctor Strange had near-identical powers, tones, and roles within the story of the movie as the original Sorcerer Supreme did in the comics; however, Tilda Swinton's casting controversially changed the race and gender of the former Sorcerer Supreme.
More examples of gender swaps have come in the form of Mar-Vell in Captain Marvel and the trio of Ajak, Makkari, and Sprite in the upcoming Eternals film.
Finally, the love interest of the century, MJ, is actually named Michelle Jones in the MCU and not Mary Jane, as in the comics. This led to a fun twist at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming and has cemented the abbreviated nickname for Zendaya's character moving forward.
WHO IS THIS CHARACTER?
While this surely wouldn't be the first time Marvel Studios has taken liberties with comic characters, it would be the most notable fusion of multiple characters into one on-screen role.
Fans are sure to get these answers in an upcoming episode of Loki, but it's still fun to speculate. The Direct's official prediction?
Loki Variant: Sylvie Laufeydootir, aka Enchantress.
The next episode of Loki airs this Wednesday, streaming exclusively on Disney+.
This article was written alongside David Thompson of TheDirect.com.