Wait, Sylvie in ‘Loki’ Isn’t Gender-Fluid!?
In recent years, Loki has become a beloved Marvel character among queer folks. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s a an outcast who also happens to be bisexual. In Marvel comics, they’re genderfluid, shifting between male and female at will.
However, fans were disappointed by Loki’s supposed gender fluidity in the Disney+ series Loki. Loki’s arrest record lists his gender as “fluid,” which led fans to expect some serious shapeshifting and gender exploration in season one. However, that fluidity seemed to end up pointing to Loki’s female variant, Sylvie. Having a gender-swapped variant elsewhere in the multiverse isn’t what gender fluid means, and fans were left disappointed and frustrated about Marvel’s misuse of the term—especially in episode 5, when all the male Lokis express amazement at the idea of a “woman variant” of them.
Now, a new prop from Loki has surfaced on Reddit, complicating things even more.
The prop is Sylvie’s arrest record from Lamentis, posted by actor and film critic Matt Rodriguez (click through for the photo). The record lists Sylvie’s variant ID number, L1190, and describes her arrest with Loki on Lamentis in episode 3.
And her gender? Female.
If this prop is real, then there are two possibilities about what it means.
Possibility #1: It’s a continuity error
The first possibility is the simplest one: whoever designed the prop didn’t get the memo about the gender of Lokis. It’s a simple mistake that didn’t even make it onto the show. The record contains other errors, like listing Sylvie’s name as “Laufeyson” instead of “Laufeydottir.”
The second possibility is more farfetched, but much more fun to speculate on.
Possibility #2: Loki’s genderfluidity hasn’t actually been explored yet
If variants can be any gender in the multiverse (or any species, when you think about Alligator Loki), that means Sylvie could be female, while Loki is gender fluid. If that’s the case, we haven’t actually seen his gender fully explored onscreen yet—and his “woman variant” line in episode 5 means that he hasn’t started exploring it himself.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Marvel will get into it in the future. And to be clear, Marvel’s portrayal of gender fluidity in season 1 was still a misstep.
Gender questions aside, there’s another interesting detail in the prop: an extended version of the arrest scene on Lamentis, which would finally make some bizarre dialogue in episode 4 finally make sense.
Why Loki’s dialogue after Lamentis is so weird
After Loki and Sylvie are captured by the TVA on Lamentis, Mobius accuses Loki of betraying him. Then Loki comes out with a head scratcher, accusing Mobius of betraying him. Except we haven’t seen Mobius do anything that remotely resembles betrayal. Loki escaped, and Mobius arrested him. It sucks that Mobius works for the time fascists, but there’s no backstabbing involved.
Sylvie’s arrest file, though, describes a version of that scene that we didn’t see onscreen, saying that “agents observed L1130 [Loki] holding a knife/dagger to the unknown female variant in a manner suggesting intent to harm.” (There’s even a moment in the Assembled: the Making of Loki in which we see him doing that on Lamentis, and Sylvie biting his arm.) If Loki attempted some gambit after the TVA showed up on Lamentis, then that extended scene could have included some interaction between him and Mobius that he would see as a betrayal.
Unless Marvel releases deleted scenes from the series, though, we can only speculate on whether that’s the case—and hope for better gender fluidity representation in season 2.
(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)
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