At the end of “Loki” Episode 2, Loki is fighting an evil Loki variant—they have not revealed themselves and they are using enchantments to resemble other beings—but when they do finally reveal themselves, we discover that the evil variant is what appears to be Lady Loki. But who is Lady Loki?
This is your spoiler warning.
What Makes a (Lady) Loki a Loki?
Comic Versions of Lady Loki and Loki
In the 2008 Thor Vol 3. #5 comic, during the events of Ragnarok, Loki died and was reincarnated as a woman in the body of Lady Sif. In the 2009 Thor Vol 3. #12, Hela restores him to the Loki he previously was, son of Laufey. But at that time, while Loki was in possession of Lady Sif's body, he was known as Lady Loki.
In the comics, Lady Loki, Loki, and all of the other Loki variants get a little complicated, but the TL;DR you need to know is that since Lady Loki and Loki are the same person, she possesses the same powers he does, including illusion projection, mind control, shapeshifting, and sorcery. Even though Hela restores Loki back to himself, he kept the trickster act of becoming Lady Loki for manipulation of antagonists such as Wonder Man and Nightmare.
In the comics, there are multiple iterations of Lady Loki throughout the years, as there are multiple iterations of Loki dying and being reincarnated. A perfect example is Kid Loki who grows up embracing their character's gender fluidity. That canon is part of the MCU, but Lady Loki and Loki are two separate entities in the show.
Lady Loki and Loki Have Different Abilities in the MCU
Because they are two separate entities and Lady Loki is a different version of Loki, they have different abilities—so far the only one we've seen is her ability to completely possess someone, including taking over their body, speaking through them, suppressing their own personality, altering their memories to retrieve information, and making them do whatever she wants them to as we saw in Episode 2 (which reminds me a little of the demon possession in Beetlejuice). It also reminds me of Wanda Maximoff's mind control abilities. Mobius also confirms in episode 2 during their briefing that no 2 variants are exactly alike.
In addition, to the possession power, we did see her baller hand-to-hand combat, barely batting an eyelash while defeating several TVA agents and Minutemen in her raid on their facility, but I don't believe that skill is one to focus on as a “power” she possesses different from Loki.
If the variant Lady Loki's mind control use is a hint, it could be a big one. Loki can use mind control at that same level, but only with the Scepter and Mind Stone (like when he controls Eric Selvig and Clint Barton in The Avengers). His normal mind control ability is limited to the power of suggestion and manipulation.
Though we are led to believe initially she is Lady Loki (a female Loki variant), the Variant Incident Report TVA paperwork lists her as “Sylvie Laufeydottir,” Laufeydottir meaning daughter of Laufey—as in Laufey the Frost Giant is her father.
So is she a variant Lady Loki? Or is she someone else?
The Variant Lady Loki is also able to pass her power on to another person through touching them; so while different from Loki's powers, not entirely different from another comic character who shares the same powers and first name: Sylvie Lushton aka Enchantress.
Who is Sylvie Lushton aka Enchantress?
In the comics, Sylvie Lushton's origins are a bit interesting and unique. Sylvie believed for most of her childhood and early teenage years that she was merely a human and woke up one day in her hometown of Braxton, Oklahoma, with magical powers. She decided to use her powers as a superhero and named herself Enchantress thinking she was a lost Asgardian. What Sylvie didn't know was that she was actually created by Loki Laufeyson, the Trickster God Loki.
Loki created Sylvie, essentially, as a pawn (a mole for his dirty work to infiltrate the Young Avengers). He wanted her to be his unknowing eyes and ears as she sabotaged the Young Avengers, but his plan failed when they learned of her origins. Sylvie is turned away by the Young Avengers but keeps trying to prove herself as a hero. She is eventually sent to another of the Ten Realms by Amora—the original Enchantress from whom Sylvie got her moniker—where she remains to this day.
She is an incredibly powerful sorcerer, rivaling any from Asgard. As she practices her magic, her abilities seem to grow. At one point she went head-to-head with Doctor Dtrance and his apprentice, Clea, and was only unable to handle both simultaneously (Fearless Defenders #9).
Sylvie possesses all the traditional comic book sorcery powers: deflection of other magical attacks, enchantments, summoning spells, telekinesis, teleportation, transmutation, and summoning spells.
The Disney+ “Loki” version of Sylvie appears to be fairly different from the comic book version, too. She's not a creation of Loki; if we can believe her, she's also not a variant of the God of Mischief from a branched timeline as the TVA would have us believe. She was adopted, although she hasn't said by whom, only that her mother died when she was young and she taught herself the magic she knows (which sounds a bit like Enchantress in the comics in that she one day “magically” had powers and learned how to use them).
With all the gaps and flaws in her storyline, there are a lot of questions unanswered, and as with the comics, it's highly likely that Sylvie is not what she seems to be. It's also plausible she may be a melange of Sylvie Lushton/Enchantress and Lady Loki. Only time will tell.
Sylvie has spent years jumping the timeline to figuring out how to take down the Time Keepers and the TVA. In “Loki” Episode 2, when they are all in Alabama, B-15 wakes up after being possessed and is discussing what happened with Mobius. The other Hunter says to Mobius, “It looks like your favorite Loki betrayed you, Mobius,” perhaps a quick but subtle nod to the fact that Mobius has encountered at least one other identifiable Variant in the field before.
The TVA also has her name on the Variant Incident Report, which likely could only happen if they had crossed paths previously. At the very beginning of Episode 3, Sylvie is enchanting C-20 and asks how to find the elevators and C-20 tells her they are gold. This indicates that Sylvie has encountered the TVA and enchanted someone else previously because she knew she was looking for elevators to get to the Time Keepers.
Is Sylvie the real villain of “Loki?”
While it's uncertain who The Variant/Lady Loki/Sylvie is exactly, the real question lies in whether or not she's the true villain of “Loki?” It seems like she's a secondary villain, at best, as the Time Keepers are likely the true villains of the story, or perhaps there's even a more evil Loki variant we have yet to see.
Loki is streaming now on Disney+