Leaks can come from anywhere. Sometimes, merchandise is revealed before it’s supposed to be. Sometimes, a grainy photo is snuck off set. And sometimes, the leak comes directly from the show itself.
That’s the case with “Sylvie,” the name given to the female Loki who appeared in Episode 2 of Loki. While she was credited as “The Variant” in every other credit sequence, the credits in the Castilian dub of Loki listed her as “Sylvie.”
But as it turns out, that’s not the only Sylvie reference in Episode 2. In fact, one is planted deep in the episode’s story, and it paints a different picture of the character many had assumed was Marvel villain Enchantress.
In the hours following Loki’s second episode dropping on Disney+, Twitter user @dokidokiIoki posted a screenshot of Loki’s case file, which appears on screen when he comes face-to-face with an incident report detailing his destruction of Asgard. But another piece of paper on the table bears a name we haven’t seen before: Sylvie Laufeydottir.
When the Variant was first called “Sylvie” in those credits, it seemed like a foregone conclusion she was Sylvie Lushton, the human who in Marvel comics is given powers by Lady Loki in order to wreak chaos within the Young Avengers, becoming the villain known as Enchantress. But “Sylvie Laufeydottir” means something very specific, if you know Icelandic culture.
In Iceland and other Scandinavian countries, children are named using patronyms. Male children adopt a last name combining their father’s first name with -son, and female children use -dottir. In Marvel, Thor is Odin’s son, so he goes by Thor Odinson. Joker composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, to give a real-life example, is named after her father, Guðni Franzson.
Loki Laufeyson, meanwhile, is Loki’s full name, given that he was adopted by Odin after his biological father, a Frost Giant named Laufey, was killed in battle. A character named Sylvie Laufeydottir, consequently, isn’t just some mortal granted immense power. If Loki is following the traditions of Icelandic culture, Sylvie Laufeydottir is indeed the female version of Loki, albeit one granted the name “Sylvie” as an Easter egg reference to Enchantress.
From a storytelling perspective, this move makes sense. After all, it’s hard to continue an entire series when the hero is named “Loki” and the villain is named “Lady Loki” or even just “Other Loki.” By giving this alternate Loki a distinct name, the conversations between and about the two time-traveling tricksters will get a lot less confusing.
This is just another example of the MCU lifting elements of characters without preserving those characters in their entirety. In WandaVision, Agatha Harkness kept her name and her powers from the comics, but she wasn’t an elderly mentor to Wanda, instead arriving as a devilish villain.
Though Sylvie isn’t the character we initially thought she was, she’s still a female variant of Loki, a reveal that will have massive implications across the MCU.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+.