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Sylki is the non-binary ship between Loki and Sylvie Laufeydottir from the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom.

Canon

Loki season 1

Sylvie has been killing Minutemen and stealing their reset charges, and the Time Variance Authority doesn't know anything other than that the culprit is a variant of Loki. When Loki is picked up by the TVA in 2012, he's recruited to help track down the variant.[2] Loki figures out that the variant could be hiding throughout time in apocalypses, which the TVA wouldn't notice because the variant's presence wouldn't disrupt the timeline. Loki helps track the variant's location to an apocalyptic event in 2050, and he goes with the team to investigate. Loki and Sylvie first meet in 2050 at Roxxcart, where Sylvie fights him to stall for time. She launches her attack on the timeline and leaves through a Timedoor. Loki has a moment of conflict, with Mobius calling to him and running after him and Sylvie leaving ahead of him, and Loki steps through the Timedoor after Sylvie.[3]

Sylvie has gone to the TVA headquarters to attack the Timekeepers, and Loki follows to try to talk to her, and they fight because he's delaying her. When they're confronted by Ravonna Renslayer and Hunters, Loki opens a Timedoor beneath himself and Sylvie to get away. This drops them onto Lamentis-1 during an apocalyptic event, which Sylvie had saved on the TemPad. The two initially continue to clash, with Sylvie wanting the TemPad back so she can proceed with her plan, but a meteor lands between them and she realizes where they are, so they run to safety. She touches Loki and tries to enchant him, but it won't work because his mind is too strong.[4]

They begin to work together to survive the apocalyptic event and to find a power source to recharge the TemPad. They board a train to an ark, with Loki using a disguise and Sylvie enchanting a guard. On the train, they discuss love, their pasts, and their families. Loki asks Sylvie if she has any romances, but she has not since she's been running to hide in one apocalyptic event after another; Loki has, with both men and women, but nothing was ever "real". They try to define what love is, but Loki takes another drink. Sylvie doesn't remember her mother because it's been a long time, and Loki shares that his mother used to show him magic as a child, and he demonstrates some fireworks in his hand for her. Sylvie falls asleep, she wakes to find Loki has gotten drunk and has the whole train car singing. He shushes the other occupants for a moment and sings softly in Asgardian, directly to Sylvie, before proceeding with the upbeat singing again. This draws too much attention, and the guards are summoned and Loki gets kicked off the train. Sylvie follows because she still needs the TemPad, which Loki has. The TemPad is destroyed in Loki's fall from the train, and Sylvie gets upset. But they come up with a new plan: in the original timeline, the ark doesn't launch, but perhaps their presence could change that if they get aboard. So they set off toward the ark on foot, and work side-by-side in the city to make it to the ark. Before they get aboard, the ark is destroyed.[4]

The pair are ready to accept their fate as doomed while on the Lamentis-1. They have a heart-to-heart about themselves as people, with Loki saying they would find a way to survive. The two share a longing look before Sylvie touches his arm, which initiates a Nexus Event within the timeline. The TVA identify the Nexus Event and go to their location, apprehending before Lamentis-1 in destroyed.

Separated for interrogation, Loki and Mobius have a talk about Sylvie. Loki at first tries to come up with the charade that he was just using her to Mobius and that it was all his plan. In order to test this, Mobius tells him that Sylvie is dead in order to get a rise out of Loki, which in fact works, as Loki starts to become distraught and asking where she is. Mobius then assumes them an unconventional pair: falling in twisted romantic love with each other since Loki is, in Mobius’ eyes, a very narcissistic person, and it would make sense for Loki to fall for a version of himself. Mobius says that their romantic connection is what created the Nexus Event, as the chaos of two variants of the same kind falling for each other would be the exact key to the TVA and Time Keepers’ downfall.

Loki and Sylvie are brought before the Time Keepers by Ravonna Renslayer after Mobius’ failed plan to help them overthrow the TVA. After arguing with the Time Keepers, Loki and Sylvie are caught in a fight after Hunter B-15 comes to their rescue. Sylvie and Loki overpower the Minutemen and the Time Keepers, soon finding out that the Time Keepers themselves are not what they seem: they are simply faux animatronics. Distraught with what to do next, Loki and Sylvie are left to try and figure out a plan for the next step. Loki, remembering what Mobius had said about their romantic connection being enough to bring the system down, prepares to tell Sylvie about his revelation. He puts his hands on her shoulders and tries to speak, seemingly about to confess his romantic feelings. But Ravonna, previously incapacitated, prunes Loki from behind as Sylvie watches. Sylvie takes Ravonna's weapon and overpowers her, and demands Ravonna tell her everything about the TVA. Meanwhile, Loki survived the pruning and awakes in The Void at the end of time.[5]

Sylvie questions Ravonna, who tells her that Loki is still alive. Sylvie wants to know how to get to him. When Sylvie is later cornered by Hunters, she prunes herself, going to The Void to find Loki and possibly whoever is actually behind the Time-Keepers. Meanwhile, Loki meets up with other Loki variants in The Void, but keeps trying to find a way to get back to the TVA and Sylvie. Sylvie meets up with Mobius, and separately both Loki and Sylvie go to confront Alioth. In doing so, they find each other again, and Loki runs to her when he sees her.

Loki and Sylvie sit in a meadow, away from the other Lokis and Mobius, and they talk. They awkwardly discuss Mobius's theory about their Nexus Event on Lamentis-1, which Mobius had said was due to them falling for each other. Sylvie tells him that she "[doesn't] have friends" or "anyone". Loki suggests that maybe after this is all over, they could figure out what to do "together." When they put their plan into motion, with Sylvie intending to enchant Alioth, Loki stays with her. Sylvie takes Loki's hand and together they overpower Alioth and enchant it, opening their path to the Citadel at the End of Time.[6]

Together, still holding hands, Loki and Sylvie walk to the citadel and enter. Miss Minutes appears before them and offers them the opportunity to live together on the sacred timeline, with Loki as king and Sylvie happy, just as they would want. But they deny her and proceed. They meet He Who Remains, who tells them that he planned for them to take over after him to run the TVA. He explains the danger of variants of himself and that, while the TVA isn't good, the alternative is far worse. He's found his ideal successor in the two of them. Loki wants to take a moment to consider the situation but Sylvie wants to continue with their original plan and kill He Who Remains. Loki and Sylvie fight, with Sylvie trying to kill He Who Remains and Loki trying to stop her. Sylvie thinks this is because Loki wants a throne, but he promises her that's not it. Loki finally teleports in front of her blade and drops his own, causing Sylvie to pause. Loki tells her that he doesn't want a throne, he just wants her to be okay. She kisses him, but uses a TemPad to open a Timedoor and she pushes Loki through it. Loki lands back in the TVA, leaving Sylvie to kill He Who Remains. Alone at the TVA, Loki sits for a moment in grief. After killing He Who Remains, Sylvie collapses to the ground.[7]

Loki season 2

Both characters are expected to return and reunited in the second season of Loki.

Moments

  • Loki sings to Sylvie on a train.[4]
  • Loki and Sylvie hold hands at the edge of a lake on Lamentis-1, awaiting the apocalypse.[5]
  • Sitting in a meadow in the Void, Loki conjures a blanket that he and Sylvie share.[6]

Quotes

Loki sings to Sylvie in Asgardian in Loki episode 3:

Original[8] Translated

I stormsvarte fjell, jeg vandrer alene
Over isbreen tar jeg meg frem
I eplehagen står møyen den vene
og synger “når kommer du hjem?”

Men traner danser og fossene stanser
når hun synger, hun synger “kom hjem”
When she sings, she sings “come home”

In storm-black mountains, I wander alone
Over the glacier I make my way
In the apple garden stands the maiden fair
and sings, “When will you come home?”

But cranes dance and the waterfalls stop
when she sings, she sings “Come home”
When she sings, she sings “Come home”

“To Sylvie, everybody!”
— Lamentis
Sylvie“You're in my way.”
Loki“You are my way.”
— Lamentis
Sylvie“She was in love.”
Loki“She hated him.”
Sylvie“Maybe love is hate.”
Loki“Should probably remember that. What was that? "Love is hate..."”
Sylvie“Oh, piss off!”
— Lamentis
Sylvie“How about you? You're a prince. Must've been would-be-princesses or perhaps, another prince.”
Loki“A bit of both. I suspect the same as you. But nothing ever...”
Sylvie“Real... Love is mischief, then.”
Loki“No. Love is... Uh. Something I might have to have another drink to think about.”
— Lamentis
Loki“I thought of an answer.”
Sylvie“To what?”
Loki“Your question. Love is a dagger. It's a weapon to be wielded far away or up close. You can see yourself in it. It's beautiful. Until it makes you bleed. But ultimately, when you reach for it...”
Sylvie“It isn't real.”
Loki“Yeah.”
Sylvie“Love is an imaginary dagger.”
Loki“Doesn't make sense, does it?”
Sylvie“No. Terrible metaphor.”
Loki“Damn. I thought I had something there.”
Loki episode 3
Sylvie“Do we trust each other?”
Loki“We do and you can.”
Sylvie“Good.”
Loki episode 3
Sylvie“I don't know how to do this.”
Loki“I don't even know what we're doing.”
Sylvie“I don't have friends. I don't have... anyone.”
Loki episode 5
Loki“What about you? What will you do when this is all over?”
Sylvie“I don't know.”
Loki“I don't know either. Maybe... Maybe we could figure it out... together.”
Sylvie“Maybe.”
Loki episode 5
“I've been where you are. I've felt what you feel. Don't ask me how I know. All I know... is I don't wanna hurt you. I don't want a throne. I just... I just want you to be okay.”
— Loki to Sylvie, Loki episode 6

Behind the Scenes

The relationship is supported by the actors, writers, and director, with many speaking out in favor of the relationship.

“When Loki meets Sylvie, he's inspired solely by curiosity. He wants to talk to her and understand her and try to discern what was similar about their experiences, and what was different. He keeps asking her questions because he wants to see if his experience was also her experience. I think he realizes, and she realizes, that while they're the same, they're not the same.”
— Tom Hiddleston[1]
“Who’s a better match for Loki than himself?” director Kate Herron chimes in. “The whole show is about identity. It's about him, and he is on a very different path, and he is on a different journey. He sees things in Sylvie that he is like, ‘Oh, I've been there. I know what you feel.’ But she's like, ‘Well, I don't feel that way.’ And I think that was the kind of fun thing about it. She is him, but she's not him. They've had such different life experiences. So just from an identity perspective, it was interesting to dig into that.”
— Director Kate Herron[1]
“That was one of the cruxes of my pitch [for the series], that there was going to be a love story,” head writer Michael Waldron explains to Marvel.com. “We went back and forth for a little bit about, like do we really want to have this guy fall in love with another version of himself? Is that too crazy? But in a series that, to me, is ultimately about self-love, self-reflection, and forgiving yourself, it just felt right that that would be Loki's first real love story.”
— Writer Michael Waldron[1]

Herron also revealed that they modified the script during COVID-19 lockdown to develop the relationship further: “As we were cutting it together in the studio, everyone was, ‘Oh, this [relationship] is really cool. Let's dig into that more,’" shares Herron. “When we went back to filming, we added or tweaked scripts basically to [emphasize it].”[1]

“The look that they share, that moment, [it started as] a blossoming friendship. Then for the first time, they both feel that twinge of, ‘Oh, could this be something more? What is this I'm feeling?’ These are two beings of pure chaos that are the same person falling in love with one another. That's a straight-up and down branch, and exactly the sort of thing that would terrify the TVA.”
— Writer Michael Waldron on Loki and Sylvie in episode 4[1]
“Obviously, Tom’s a super charming, very easy to fall-in-love-with guy. With Sylvie, I was really aware that she's never had feelings like this about anybody. This is a hugely vulnerable position for her to be in. I really wanted it to be not too easy for her to just sort of go there. It’s that moment where it's so awkward. They just don't know how to put it into words. They don't know how to behave around each other. It's all a bit too intense and a bit much.”
— Sophia Di Martino on Loki and Sylvie in episode 5[9]
“It’s incredibly distressing for both of them that they disagree in this moment. It was quite an intense scene for us. We knew we had to be quite precise about the way the scene unfolded. The confession in Episode 6 reveals how much he’s evolved. Sylvie believes Loki’s position comes from the same old motivation to sit on a throne. But it doesn’t. It comes from genuine care for another being outside of himself. It speaks to a theme that was very close to all of our hearts as filmmakers, which was about self-confrontation, and self-awareness, and self-forgiveness, and self-acceptance in some way. That the only way of moving forward is to acknowledge who you are. And then change can begin.”
— Tom Hiddleston on Loki and Sylvie's relationship and fight in episode 6[10]
“It crushes his soul. For perhaps the first time, one of the only times in his life, he was brave and he lost. He made a brave choice and it didn't work. The confusion is unprecedented and it shatters him internally. He doesn't even know how to process what he's feeling. This is why it registers as a shock [for him]. But then he becomes determined that there is still something he can do.”
— Tom Hiddleston on Loki and Sylvie's fight in episode 6[11]
“He says something really nice to her before they kiss. Loki basically says, ‘I've always hurt everyone I've always been close to. I'm a horrible person, but you've changed me because I care about you, and I want you to be OK.’ And for someone to say, ‘I want you to be OK,’ it’s such a nice thing to hear, especially for someone who's damaged as Sylvie. It sort of breaks her heart a little bit because she just wants herself to be OK as well. For someone else to acknowledge that, and to see her in that way and to just see her, is so powerful.”
— Sophia Di Martino on Loki and Sylvie in episode 6[12]
“It's almost funny because these characters are thousands of years old, but it's almost teenage the way they both talk about their feelings for each other. I think everyone can relate to that, right? In any new relationship, there's always that kind of awkwardness and like, "Oh God, am I too keen? The important thing was the hope—like when Sylvie and him kiss, I think it is genuine and it is coming from a place of these feelings they have for each other. Obviously she does push them through that door, but for me it was a goodbye and it was with heart. But it's kind of a goodbye in the sense of like, I care about you, but I'm going to do my mission because that's where I'm at.”
— Director Kate Herron on Loki and Sylvie's relationship[13]
“I don’t know if she knew exactly why she was sending him. In my head, she’s of saving him, getting him out of the way so she can do what she needs to do, but also keeping him safe. I don't know whether she realized that it’s not the TVA as they once knew. Maybe that’s got something to do with the timelines branching at a similar time to him arriving back in the TVA.”
— Sophia Di Martino on Sylvie's decision to send Loki away in episode 6[14]

Fanon

Sylki

The ship name "Sylki" is generally used by fans who ship the characters romantically. The term came into usage soon after their meeting in episode 2. The ship gained more of a following after episode 3, in which Loki and Sylvie get to know each other while trying to get off a moon before it's destroyed. Fanfiction following episode 3 generally involves Loki and Sylvie becoming closer in the face of the impending apocalypse. The ship saw a surge of interest following the revelation in episode 4 that their interest in each other is canonically romantic, and Loki nearly confessed his feelings.

Loki and Sylvie essentially share a soul (called a temporal aura), and the soulmate aspect for their relationship is often brought up by fans, and even from official Disney and Marvel social media accounts.[15] In fanfiction, Loki and Sylvie tend to understand each other in ways that are suggested to be more personal than they could share with others.

The shared-soul aspect has notably attracted many Reylo (Rey and Ben Solo from Star Wars) shippers, as a key part of Reylo was their dyad or soulmate-like connection, and Reylo fans quickly became a notable part of the fanbase and embraced the similarities. Many fans also noticed the similarities between episode 4 and The Last Jedi, with fans making direct comparisons between the two ships.[16][17][18][19][20]

Supporters of the ship also explore the relationship metaphorically, as Loki having romantic feelings for another version of himself is also part of his journey of accepting himself in a self-love sort of way.

Fanart:

Memes:

Chaos Twins

The terms "Chaos Twins" was used by fans who supported Loki and Sylvie having a relationship more like siblings, rather than a romantic one. The term came into usage after episode 3, but is no longer prominently used. Some fan commentary shortly after episode 3 included:

  • "They radiate the long-lost-twin-bickering vibe".[21]
  • "loki and sylvie’s dynamic can only be described as two siblings that were stuck in the car with each other for too long".[22]
  • "loki and sylvie have an amazing (sibling) dynamic going on and half of that is cause sylvie has the same vibes as 2012 thor".[23]
  • "Yes I'm going to call them "Chaos twins" and no you can't stop me."[24]

At least a portion of support for Loki and Sylvie's relationship to be sibling-like is from Lokius fans who would prefer the two remain platonic, as some would prefer Mobius to be Loki's primary love interest. One of the quotes above is part of an anti-Sylki thread by a Lokius shipper.

Controversy

Episode 4's revelation that the romance is canon has left some members of Loki fandom with mixed feelings, particularly Lokius shippers who thought their ship had a chance at becoming canon, which would be the first onscreen queer relationship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Queer representation - One of the criticisms of the Sylki ship is that it's a "straight" ship and thus is not good representation for the first major confirmed bisexual character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is often brought up in comparison to the possibility of Lokius, which would depict a relationship between two male-presenting characters. Supporters of the Sylki ship have pointed out that both Loki and Sylvie are bisexual, which is directly confirmed onscreen in episode 3, that Loki's sex is confirmed fluid and that both characters are likely genderfluid, so their romantic relationship is still representative of a queer relationship. Fans of the Sylki ship have also pointed out the biphobia, transphobia, and intersexphobia inherent in these criticisms.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Selfcest - Some of the controversy around the ship is the apparent "self-incestuous" nature of it, as Loki and Sylvie as variants of each other from alternative timelines. Those against the romantic relationship claim that this means that Loki and Sylvie share the same blood and DNA, although this is unconfirmed and the end of episode 4 suggests that variant Lokis don't necessarily share DNA.[33][34] Antis also point out that Loki and Sylvie have the same parents (or their parents are also variants of each other) and so are essentially siblings, although Loki and Sylvie were not raised as siblings and wouldn't necessarily see each other as such. Defenders of the ship also point out that selfcest is entirely fictional and cannot exist in reality, so it should not be compared to incest. The creators and actors have also given interviews stating that Sylvie and Loki are separate individuals.

Anti backlash - Some antis have lashed out at Sylki shippers, Marvel, Disney, the series creators, and the actors on social media, even sending death threats and doing things like threatening director Kate Herron's dogs. Reylo and Thorki shippers, who are used to antis, have become notable supporters in the fan community who stand up for Sylki against anti behavior on social media.[35][36]

Fandom

FAN FICTION

Loki/Sylvie (Loki TV) tag on AO3
Loki & Sylvie (Loki TV) tag on AO3

TUMBLR

Sylki tag on Tumblr
Chaos Twins tag on Tumblr

Lists

Fandometrics
3rd JUL 12th 2021 JUL 19th 2021
5th JUL 26th 2021
6th JUL 5th 2021
8th AUG 2nd 2021
18th AUG 9th 2021
65th 2021

Trivia

  • Prior to Sylvie's reveal, an early BBC review got attention for stating: "The ending of episode two is fairly shocking, and will likely result in some of the most perverse fan fiction the internet has ever seen."[37] The ending of episode two is that Sylvie and Loki finally meet and ran off through a Timedoor together. Fans speculated and mocked the prediction, with one fan calling the "normie reviewer" sheltered and saying he should "go on ao3 my dude, live a little".[38] It got enough attention that The Mary Sue covered the fan response.[39]

Gallery

Variations

  • Sylkior refers to the ship between Sylvie, Loki, and Thor Odinson
  • Sylkius refers to the ship between Sylvie, Loki, and Mobius M. Mobius

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Marvel, ‘Loki’: Inside the Decision to Have Him ‘Fall In Love With Another Version of Himself’ by Rachel Paige. June 30, 2021.
  2. Loki episode 1, "Glorious Purpose".
  3. Loki episode 2, "The Variant".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Loki episode 3, "Lamentis".
  5. 5.0 5.1 Loki episode 4, "The Nexus Event".
  6. 6.0 6.1 Loki episode 5, "Journey Into Mystery"
  7. Loki episode 6, "For All Time. Always."
  8. Tumblr post lyrics and translation by anbaric-eyes.
  9. Marvel, ‘Loki’: Sophia Di Martino on Fighting and Falling in Love by Rachel Paige. July 7, 2021.
  10. Marvel, Tom Hiddleston Reflects on How Loki’s Been “Changed By The Journey” by Rachel Paige. July 15, 2021.
  11. Marvel, ‘Loki’: How the Cliffhanger Ending Sets the Stage for What’s Next by Rachel Paige. July 14, 2021.
  12. Marvel, ‘Loki’: Sophia Di Martino on Completing Sylvie’s Mission by Rachel Paige. July 13, 2021.
  13. Esquire, Loki Director Kate Herron Breaks Down That MCU Miracle of a Finale by Brady Langmann. July 16, 2021.
  14. TV Insider, ‘Loki’ Star Sophia Di Martino on Sylvie’s Multiversal Consequences & Season 2 Hopes by Meaghan Darwish. July 19, 2021.
  15. Disney+ Twitter: I don't believe in soulmates but... July 3, 2021
  16. Tweet i did a thing. June 26, 2021.
  17. the last jedi @rianjohnson loki (@iamkateherron)
  18. Uncanny Parallel, right down to the wound on the right arm. #spoilers #Loki #TheLastJedi
  19. Tweet: "sylki is the properly executed reylo EVERYBODY JUMPED"
  20. sexy ships fight together in the throne room
  21. Tweet.
  22. Tumblr post
  23. Tumblr post
  24. Tumblr post
  25. just popping in to say that acting like a canon bi character having a m/f romance isn't queer "enough" or that the show is queerbaiting by not having them in a mlm romance is biphobic af actually
  26. "Yeah I hate it when genderfluid and bi-sexual representation is damaged by.... *checks notes* ...creating a canonically bi-sexual and genderfluid character...?"
  27. "The Loki discourse really illustrating how biphobia, transphobia, & intersexphobia are one beast with three heads"
  28. "Y’all lokius is a fun ship but it literally cannot be queerbaiting bc (a) Loki is canonically queer so there’s no bait and (b) lokius was never teased in canon like even a little bit"
  29. [https://twitter.com/necromancydrew/status/1410981711891111938 "Biphobia masquerading as concern for queer rep is my villain origin story!"
  30. "Loki isn't queerbaiting just because Loki isn't dating a man. Just spelling it out for you fyi. Also not queerbaiting because Loki is masc presenting."
  31. "Expressing excitement that Loki is bisexual and then disappointment that he’s in love with a woman is a great way of admitting you don’t know what bisexuality is lmao. What kind of progressive horseshoe theory lands someone at “he has to PROVE it to us or it doesn’t COUNT”?"
  32. nvm that sylki is only technically m/f-looking because loki is gendefluid. and we don't even know how sylvie ids wrt gender. stop being shitty to trans folk and bi folk and any/all queerfolk who found rep in loki just because it wasn't what *you* wanted ok
  33. "They have the same DNA" ma'am that is an alligator #Sylki
  34. There is a difference between alternate timeline variants and alternate universe variants. (thread)
  35. Meme of Reylos protecting Sylki shippers from antis.
  36. Meme of large bird Reylos protecting little bird Sylkis.
  37. BBC Culture: Marvel's Loki is the show that fans have been waiting for
  38. Tweet
  39. The Mary Sue: Loki Review Quaintly Predicts “Perverse Fanfiction” From Show Twist

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