Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Loki episode 3.
Loki episode 3, “Lamentis,” finally gave viewers some insight into the “Lady Loki” variant, hinting that she might be an escaped agent from the Time Variance Authority (TVA). If this is the case, then it would answer a lot of questions that the previous two episodes raised about variants, the TVA, and what Sylvie’s plans could be leading to.
With the TVA distracted by Sylvie’s multitude of nexus events, she and Loki were able to access the agency together, quickly leading to a fight. But when they escaped capture through a time door and became stranded in an apocalypse on Lamentis-1, they had to work together to try to survive. With the TemPak conveniently on low battery, they started a quest across the planet’s surface providing the pair with the opportunity for some much-needed bonding time.
This allowed Loki to explore more of the variant’s backstory and motivations, and also gave an opportunity for Sylvie to fill in some gaps for Loki about the functioning of the TVA. While there are plenty of questions still remaining about who the Time-Keepers are, Sylvie being an escaped agent helps to make sense of a lot of the more puzzling elements of the show. Here’s all the evidence to support this.
After being thrown out of a train and beginning their trek towards the Ark, Sylvie explains how her enchantment powers work. She references the soldier that she kidnapped from the TVA and remarks that her mind was “clouded” and that she had to pull memories from hundreds of years prior, from before she worked for the TVA. This is news to both the viewer and Loki as the TVA had previously said that all agents were specifically created by the Time Keepers, and it seems the agents themselves believed that as well.
If this is the case, then it means that any variant could, potentially, become an employee of the TVA. This certainly tracks with previous theories that Agent Mobius M. Mobius was previously a variant from the ’90s, hence his love of jet skis and Josta. Sylvie says that she has been on the run from the TVA all her life, but it is likely that she spent some of that time working for them. If agents are kept in check with mental blocks on their memories, then Sylvie’s skill with mental magic could easily have helped her to escape their clutches. Furthermore, her having this information only makes sense if she herself had worked there.
In Loki episode 2, “The Variant,” audiences see that analysts for the TVA have access to a huge library of files related to the sacred timeline. Mobius has Loki trawl through files on apocalypse events after he comes to the conclusion that Sylvie must be hiding in those time periods to escape detection as it would be impossible to create a nexus event there if everyone dies. This theory is seemingly confirmed when they find her hiding spot, and her knowledge of these different events is solidified when she shows a certainty about the location and events of Lamentis-1.
However, there are limited ways that she could possibly have had this information. For her to have found so many apocalypse events and been certain of the zero-survival rate purely from being on the run, it would have taken her an incalculable amount of time and luck, all while evading the TVA everywhere (and everywhen) she went. The much more likely answer to how she knows about these events is that she was an agent herself and studied the files just as Loki did — but in even greater detail.
In an episode 2 conversation, Mobius notices that Ravonna’s collection of time trophies includes items that he did not personally obtain for her. Ravonna is quick to remind him that he is not the only analyst working for her. Mobius clearly thinks of himself as Ravonna’s top dog, quipping that he should be her favorite, and jealously suggesting that the stains on the table are from her “other favorite analyst.”
Assuming that Judge Ravonna Renslayer is not merely covering the possibility that Mobius’ own mind has been blocked in relation to those cases, this means that Ravonna has (or had) another skilled analyst working for her. This could possibly have been Sylvie herself. It seems strange that Mobius does not know who the other analysts are, but if Sylvie had betrayed the TVA may have wiped the minds of their agents regarding her previous existence to ensure that they could hunt her effectively. This would also explain why the TVA agents consistently refer to the variant as male even if they had worked together and would know that was incorrect.
While the first three episodes of Loki have made it clear that Sylvie wants to remove the Time Keepers from power, the reason for this remains mysterious. Loki wants to control the sacred timeline himself, but Sylvie’s lack of desire to take the final step confuses him, leading him to suggest that she cannot be a Loki if that is not what she would do. He attempts to get more out of her by taunting her that her plan would only create a “power vacuum,” but she does not take his bait, merely acknowledging that she is not a Loki anymore. Her motives are clearer if she had previously escaped the TVA. While being hunted by them for years purely as a variant might be reason enough for her to want to tear them down, her target seems to be specifically the sacred timeline and the Time Keepers themselves.
As Sylvie has such an encyclopedic knowledge of apocalyptic events that we are shown in Loki, it is likely that she had to work with those events on a regular basis. Given that these events are “supposed” to happen for the Time Keepers’ sacred timeline, she may even have had to ensure that those people still died. Her possible resentment of this task is echoed as she watches the people who will get left behind by the ark and says “this is gonna suck.” Years of enforcing mass death events to preserve the timeline could easily have swayed Sylvie to not only want to remove the Time Keepers but to destroy the sacred timeline for good so that people are not forced to die in events like the sad destruction of Lamentis with no free will or alternatives.
Loki releases new episodes every Wednesday, only on Disney+.