The Illuminerdi examines what Sylvie’s revelation about the TVA could mean for her identity and the mysteries surrounding the TVA and Timekeepers.
Loki has been full of mysterious twists and turns, introducing an entirely new corner of the MCU with the TVA, Timekeepers, variants, and the “sacred timeline”. But the latest episode of Loki seems to point to the possibility that everything that has been revealed to Loki and the audience so far can’t be trusted. Sylvie has forced Loki and audiences to reevaluate everything the TVA has established when she revealed that all employees of the TVA are themselves variants.
The Miss Minutes video was one of the first signs of the TVA’s suspiciousness with the video framing the Timekeepers as saviors who control the “sacred timeline” to keep the universe safe. In the video it is explained that in the throes of a multiversal war the “all knowing” timekeepers emerged and reorganized the multiverse into a single “sacred timeline” that they control to create peace. The Timekeepers decide what events happen in the universe, implying there is no free will in the MCU, and apparently created the TVA and all the employees to control the timeline in an attempt to stop a new multiverse and subsequent war from breaking out.
When Loki is brought into the TVA it’s revealed they not only know his entire life, and use this to manipulate him, but that there have been many Loki variants throughout time. And the most dangerous is apparently Lady Loki who has been killing TVA agents who Mobious asks Loki to help catch. But the third episode of Loki had some important revelations about Sylvie that shed light on a disturbing truth about the TVA.
HOW DOES SYLVIE KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT THE TVA ON LOKI?
Sylvie explains to Loki the limits of her powers of enchantment and reveals that on strong minds she must create a fantasy from the person’s memories to pull information out of them. At the start of the episode she created a scene in the TVA hunter’s mind out of her memories to interrogate her, but the hunter shouldn’t have had past memories if she was created to be a TVA employee.
Sylvie revealed game changing information for Loki when she told the god of Mischief that all TVA agents are variants. She pulled memories from the hunter’s memories of her life on Earth hundreds of years ago because the hunter’s mind was “messed up” and “clouded”. And as Loki states no one at the TVA knows they themselves are the very people they hunt, variants.
Sylvie, who becomes angry when Loki calls her variant or a Loki, a name she no longer goes by, is an enigmatic character. Sylvie’s goal seems to be to destroy the Timekeepers and TVA which is a plan she has been working on for years. She knows how to use TVA technology, she understands the multiverse well enough to set off the equivalent of a time nuclear weapon, she knows their secrets, how to hide from the TVA, and her grudge seems personal. Could it be that Sylvie herself was at one point a TVA agent who woke up?
When Loki is taken to judge Renslayer for his trial she finds him guilty and sentences him to be “reset” which is never actually seen or explained. If resetting the variants means wiping or suppressing their memories, the TVA could technically be creating their employees. Mobius believes he was created to work at the TVA and Casey tells Loki he has lived his entire life at a desk, but this no longer seems to be the case. And perhaps Sylvie, who at the time was Loki, was a victim of this action long ago. She admits to Loki that she doesn’t remember her mother and maybe this is because the TVA stole those memories.
If all TVA agents are in fact variants that have had their minds clouded to hide the fact that they are variants this likely means that to be “reset” is to have your mind wiped and rewired to believe you have always been a TVA employee. But maybe the truth can bleed through like Mobius’ interest in jet skis or the hunter’s memories of the bar and liking margaritas.
The TVA is powerful enough to hold multiple Infinity Stones and stop any magic from working within its walls, but outside of that they have no control over individual’s magic. Sylvie’s magic, like Loki’s, works when she is outside the TVA so perhaps it bled through when she was out in the world hunting a different variant. And with her enchantment magic being mind magic, that could be part of how she woke up when other TVA agents haven’t. And with time moving differently in the TVA she, like the hunter she interrogated, could have been used by the Timekeepers for years, centuries even.
Manipulation, physical, mental, and emotional, are all tricks that the TVA is known to use. This was shown when Mobious broke Loki down by showing him his life and forcing him to examine who he is. And with mind control of a sort on the table it’s hard to see them as the omnipotent force selflessly guiding the universe in the right direction that they frame themselves to be. If Sylvie is a Loki variant plucked from the timeline and forced into servitude she may not be the villain that the TVA has framed her to be, although she can’t be classified as a hero either having killed many.
If the TVA lies about their agents what else could be a lie? Who are the Timekeepers and why do they have control over everything? What really happened with the multiverse? Are the Timekeepers peacekeepers or tyrannical dictators holding the universe or multiverse in an iron clad grip? And what about what Mobius said about the Timekeepers “toiling away” to figure out the end of the timeline, why is that the story the TVA agents believe? Nothing that has been revealed by the TVA can be trusted and as history has shown, those who win the war, the conquerors, are the ones who write or in many cases rewrite history. Is this the case with the Timekeepers?
Do you think Sylvie is a former TVA agent? What do you think the TVA and the Timekeepers are truly up to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and for more MCU and Loki speculation check back with The Illuminerdi here and on our Marvel Watch Along Tuesdays at 11:40 pm Pacific on our YouTube channel.