Who are the Loki Variants?
We have been thoroughly enjoying the time and space bending spectacle that the Marvel show ‘Loki’ is turning out to be. If you have been following the show, then you are aware of the often underrepresented sentimental side of the mischievous god as seen in the first episode. In Loki’s current reality in the series, truth is definitely stranger than fiction, as he finds himself first as an unwilling participant and then as an enthusiastic “consultant” in the timekeeping squad ‘Time Variance Authority’ (TVA). And as charming as the banter between Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Loki has been so far, the star pairing of the show definitely has been Loki and Loki.
Watch: Loki Trailer
Wait, what? Yes – the basic premise is that the TVA is hunting a particular mischievous variant (another version of the being) of Loki himself, as this variant has been killing off TVA agents and throwing a spanner in the otherwise smooth operation of time-keeping. At the end of the second episode, as the TVA agents circle in on catching the Loki variant, she is able to create enough diversion in the Sacred Timeline to let her escape. Further, the latest episode showed us Kid Loki, Classic Loki and a Black Loki, This is what brings us to this particular question: how many variants are there?
What is a Loki variant?
A variant is essentially another version of a character that exists within an alternate timeline. This is why Loki is able to see his fate at the hands of Thanos (getting choked by him) in the Endgame arc, while he’s imprisoned by the TVA. We are no time-travel experts, but this messes with the Sacred Timeline which has been decided by the Time Keepers in advance. Don’t get us started on how that works, because even Mobius gave a really airy version of how the timeline is guarded and determined (see episode 1 and 2). But Mobius does mention that none of the variants are alike – they have a slight difference in powers and abilities.
Annoyed, Sylvie shouts at Hiddleston to, “Don’t ever call me that … a Loki” in the third episode as they’re making their way around a planet ending scale event on Lamentis-1. As the two Lokis – sorry – Loki and Sylvie put their minds together to get off the plant, we learn more about Sylvie’s skills. She says that she taught herself the magical skills she possesses. We do see a hint of respect develop between Loki and Sylvie, as they are able to board the train to escape the apocalypse.
As the canon would have it, Sylvie was originally willed into existence by Loki himself. Whatever the god’s wish at the time, Sylvie seems to be motivated by proving her worth. Getting chucked aside by the Avengers didn’t sit right for her and she’s spent a considerable amount of time, using her powers to trick and deceive. If any of her backstory is to be covered in the show, it’s one heck of a wildride.
How many more variants?
Loki isn’t backing down of being the “alpha-Loki” in all realities. After all, he believes that his version of existence is to fight for a glorious purpose. Even then, there are other Loki variants that are perhaps living their versions of glory. During the brief with Mobius and the rest of the TVA team, we get a glimpse at a few other versions:
L6792 (blue Loki) – this version is the Loki that we see in the Thor story arc. This is the version that was rescued by the Frost Giants and raised as Odinson’s own. This realization is too bitter of a pill to swallow for Loki, and his plans set in motion a reality where he is responsible for his mother’s death.
L1247 – A Lance Armstrong lookalike? Does Asgard or any other gard where Loki exists, have an epic bike race? This version is donned in a bright yellow jersey with black cycling shorts, cradling a trophy.
Orc/Hulk Loki?- Yup – there’s a big green version of Loki as well, but no guesses on if this version has its own version of a Hulk Smash or not.
President Loki?- This version which is seen in the series trailer, is probably a hint of things to come. But is it POTUS or a higher council? Given Loki’s ambition, there probably is a larger plan at play.
Pursuing the variants
Mobius technically has his neck on the line when he chooses to work with Loki. Ravonna Renslayer warns Mobius that the Time-Keepers are watching this case very closely. Given Loki’s escape from the supermarket at the end of the second episode, we are unsure of what Mobius’ fate looks like. All episodes had their own cliffhanger sequences, so the following episodes might spend some time clarifying the fates of the TVA squad, and the Lokis’ separately.
For now, it’s safe to say that Hiddlestone Loki, has got his hands full and is trying to figure out his escape from Lamentis. Maybe the TVA figures out some way of tracking down the two Loki’s – otherwise how else would both survive the destruction of the planet
And Loki’s career as a consultant for the TVAs has probably come to a close. It’s unlikely that Mobius is able to convince Renslayer a second time – and even more unlikely that he is motivated enough to do so. We are all waiting for what’s to come next.