At the tail end of Loki's second episode on Disney+, fans were introduced to Di Martino's female Loki Variant, who was on the run from the Time Variance Authority. But looking at her power set combined with her personality, fans saw kind of a combination between Lady Loki and another iconic Marvel character in the Enchantress.
Season 1 director Kate Herron actually tackled the topic of this combination of characters, although she only teased that there was "more to be delved into" and how this version of the character is "different to the comics" and unique in her own way. But more than anything, the show made sure that she was in fact a Variant of Tom Hiddleston's leading hero that had grown up entirely different than the fan-favorite God of Mischief in the MCU.
Now, thanks to a unique new collectible item, fans have learned more about the specific inspiration behind Sylvie and whether she truly is a combination of all these sources.
Loki Star Teases Sylvie's True Origins
In an excerpt from the new Marvel's Loki: The Art of the Series book, the cast and crew of Marvel Studios' Loki finally confirmed that Sylvie is directly inspired by Marvel's Enchantress in terms of the character and the design, something that fans have speculated since early rumors of Sylvie's role in the show.
The book confirmed that Sylvie combines Lady Loki and Sylvie Lushton's Enchantress, the former being a female form that Loki shifts into and the latter being one of Thor's biggest adversaries from the comics.
Visual Development Concept Illustrator Wesley Burt revealed that he knew about the inspirations for Sylvie beforehand, looking to see "what (he) could pull from the comic book references" when developing her. And after reading the full story and finding out "what her personality is like," he was able to work out what Sylvie needed in terms of her costume and her skills:
“When I started out working on concepts for Sylvie, I knew very little. Before I was able to read the script, I knew she was going to be a variant of Loki, that it was going to draw upon both Lady Loki and Enchantress Sylvie Lushton from the comics. And so the first pass of stuff I did was really focused on just seeing what I could pull from the comic book references and build from there. Then I was able to read the entire story to get a feel for who she is, what she is after, and what her personality is like. Even though she’s a variant of Loki, she’s a different person in certain ways. And from there, you get the sense that she’s on a mission. So I wanted to make sure her costuming was functional; it wasn’t going to slow her down. She could fight in it; she could run and do whatever she needs to do because all that she cares about is 'completing her mission.'"
Sylvie star Sophia Di Martino added to the commentary about her costumes, calling them "incredible" while praising costume designer Christine Wada's work.
While complimenting the costume's functionality and comfort, Di Martino also shared how it's taken some aspects of Loki's costume like "the gold shape around the neck and the leather and the cape," while also teasing that there are "little hints of Enchantress" in the design too:
“The costumes are incredible, and Christine Wada, the costume designer, is so clever. She wanted to make sure they are really comfortable as well as looking beautiful and strong. So, they’re really easy to move in and fight in, and not too hot in the Georgia summer, which is really important. They’ve borrowed things from Loki sort of the gold shape around the neck and the leather and the cape, the green circles on the arms. The green is for Loki, obviously, and there’s little hints of Enchantress there as well. We really wanted it to be super practical as well. Something that you can fight in and that Sylvie could be on the run in.”
Wada herself explained how Sylvie "is on the run" when audiences first meet her, which she tried to show through "a scavenged and militant design battle-worn pieces" used by someone who has to keep her identity a secret:
“When the audience first meets Sylvie, she is on the run. I tried to convey that with a scavenged and militant design battle-worn pieces put together by a variant Loki who must hide her identity at first. She really needed to appear almost as a shadow when introduced.”
Wada revealed that it was director Kate Herron who pushed for Sylvie's "broken-horn look from the comics" on her crown, loving its capabilities as a weapon along with it looking good:
“Director Kate Herron really wanted to use the broken-horn look from the comics. We played around with the scale, and Kate loved them being smaller and practical for a woman on a mission almost more of a weapon than an adornment and status piece."
Di Martino reconfirmed that Sylvie is one of many Variants of Loki "in the unlimited timelines that are around," explaining how her character has been on the run for so long and is looking "to get revenge" on the TVA:
“Sylvie is a variant of Loki, so she’s another version of him in the unlimited timelines that are around. She’s been on the run for a very long time and trying to hide from the Time Variance Authority, basically, and we find her coming back to get revenge.”
Loki producer Kevin Weight reiterated how she's "spent her entire existence on the run," comparing it to how Tom Hiddleston's hero went "to finishing school" while Di Martino is "playing Loki as a feral cat," all seen through their performances on screen:
"She has spent her entire existence on the run, her life taken from her. If Tom is playing Loki as somebody who’s gone to finishing school, Sophia’s playing Loki as a feral cat. It’s the person who is just on the run, back against the wall, who is going to scratch you. And I think you see that not even just in their performances, but also in the way that they fight, the way that they move.”
Executive producer Stephen Broussard shared how the whole idea was bringing "different versions of events or different versions of even yourself" that are different than the core versions of the MCU's biggest names, diving into the chaos and different paths the universe has to offer:
“She’s kind of like a female version of Loki as we know it. The idea that there can be different versions of events or different versions of even yourself that could be a little bit different from the you that’s standing here today – or radically different, a totally different person, different gender, whole different backstory – is at the heart of this show. It’s a show about the chaos of the universe and the idea that the universe has multiple paths, and different outcomes could happen each time that time cycles through.”
During the show's run, Di Martino herself explained the ties back to Enchantress, although she admitted that it's also "a new backstory for Sylvie" than what she had in the comics:
“Um… she’s been inspired by the comics, and our story is inspired by the comics. But Loki is a new story, and it’s a new backstory for Sylvie. So it’s an entirely new story. But she is enchanting people, and therefore an enchantress. So… yeah.”
Enchantress Inspiration Confirmed for Sylvie on Disney+
While this may confirm that the MCU won't see the Enchantress used in a future story, seeing her used for Loki's Sylvie almost comes as no surprise. Once the show began showing the character with her enchanting skills in her first full episode, fans realized that this would be a new and fresh take on the MCU's first true Variant.
This is yet another instance of the MCU using the comics mostly for inspiration, which will only continue to be the case as Phase 5 and Phase 6 push forward.
Now, fans look forward to finding out how Sylvie's journey will evolve in Season 2 of Loki following the death of He Who Remains in Episode 6 at the Citadel at the End of Time. Set photos haven't given away much about her role yet, although she'll have plenty to answer for and plenty of challenges ahead of her.
Season 2 of Loki will premiere on Disney+ in Summer 2023.