Loki and Sylvie should become Marvel’s new power couple

(L-R): Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Loki Season 2 will be premiering on Disney+ starting October 5th, 2023, which means the season of mischief is upon us once again. Marvel Studios so far has eight live-action series under its belt, but Season 1 of Loki still holds the title of most-viewed premiere episode. Needless to say, expectations are sky-high for this follow-up season, with Loki Season 2 even snagging a desirable primetime release slot – episodes will be dropping at 6 pm PT – for the very first time for an MCU show (a strategy that was already tested this fall with the Star Wars show Ahsoka).

It wasn’t initially apparent when Season 1 began in June of 2021, but Loki ultimately became a series-long exploration into numerous different variants of Marvel’s beloved anti-hero. We were treated to a kid Loki variant, an alligator Loki variant, a female Loki variant, a classic Loki variant, and a president Loki variant, among many, many others.

Two of these variants, Tom Hiddleston’s titular Loki (plucked from the main MCU timeline shortly after the events of 2012’s The Avengers, in which he served as the primary antagonist), and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie (the only female Loki variant, and the one responsible for unraveling the Sacred Timeline – a less confusing statement if you’ve seen the show!), even developed a romantic relationship with each other over the course of the series.

Both Hiddleston and Di Martino, along with the rest of the main cast, are returning for Season 2 (although they will unfortunately be unable to embark on a promotional tour for the show due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike). I’m hoping that this new season of Loki will spotlight this duo and their…let’s just say complicated relationship (while they did kiss in the finale, they didn’t exactly end the season on the best of terms, with Sylvie sending Loki through Time Door and into a presumably different Time Variance Authority (TVA)), and I also think it would be in Marvel’s best interest to do so.

In Season 1, the very existence of Di Martino’s Sylvie was a closely guarded secret. Her face didn’t appear in any of the trailers, her name wasn’t uttered until the third episode, and her individual character poster was only unveiled halfway through the season. Looking back on it, the only clue that she would go on to become a major player in the show was Di Martino’s presence alongside Hiddleston at Loki’s London premiere in 2021 (a scaled-down affair due to the timing of the show’s release in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic).

This time around, however, there’s nothing stopping Marvel from fully embracing Sylvie as a co-lead right from the get-go, and, more than that, Loki and Sylvie as a dynamic duo. In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that the potential of this couple extends far beyond just the confines of this one particular show. More than just headlining this next season of Loki, I could see Loki and Sylvie becoming the new leads of the Multiverse Saga. I want them to be a power couple in the MCU for the foreseeable future, and I even think they’d be perfectly poised to spearhead the next big team-up movie, 2026’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Think about it.

In the last three years of new Marvel projects (post-Avengers: Endgame, and also post-COVID-19 pandemic), dozens of characters have been introduced, but despite this, the MCU still lacks a definitive new “face” of the franchise. Back in July, Comicbook.com’s Brandon Davis expressed this sentiment. He remarked how, following the death of Tony Stark’s Iron Man and the retirement of Steve Rogers’ Captain America, the franchise hasn’t really solidified its new big lead yet.

Davis posed this question to the online Marvel community, asking fans to consider their answer as if a new Avengers movie were about to be released and they were staring at the poster:

"“Who would be the big floating head on the poster?…Who would be the one that sells the tickets, tells the story, and essentially is the protagonist of the MCU’s next big event? Who do you think it would be? Because I’m not really sure.”"

Now, there are certainly a handful of Marvel heroes who could theoretically fill this role: you could consider those with immense power (Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel, Thor, Wanda Maximoff’s Scarlet Witch), those already in a purported position of leadership (Stephen Strange’s Doctor Strange, Sam Wilson’s Captain America), or those who are already exceptionally popular with comic book movie fans (Peter Parker’s Spider-Man). What all these candidates currently lack, however, is a legitimate and compelling storytelling reason to lead the Multiverse Saga.

With Loki and Sylvie, though, positioning them as co-leads would actually make a lot of sense. For starters, they’re both multiversal variants, and this is the Multiverse Saga. It was Loki’s first season that introduced audiences to the concept of multiple versions of the same character existing in different timelines.

Additionally, by the end of this upcoming second season of Loki, this pair of misfits will have had more up-close-and-personal experience with the variants of the saga’s main villain, Kang the Conqueror, than anyone else on the roster (having confronted He Who Remains, a Kang variant, in Season 1, and another Kang variant, Victor Timely (and possibly others), in Season 2).

And sure, while this February’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania established that Janet van Dyne forged a connection with Kang years ago while they were both stuck in the Quantum Realm, I just can’t imagine the MCU choosing to center an Avengers film (not to mention an entire saga) around a supporting parent character who’s only had spoken dialogue in two movies thus far.

This wouldn’t be an issue for Loki and Sylvie, though. There’s no question that Loki himself is and always has been incredibly popular – who can forget the time Hiddleston-as-Loki took over Marvel’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in 2013? I’m sure fans would be overjoyed to get to spend even more time with this character on the big screen.

Speaking of time, we’ll have had over eight hours with Loki and Sylvie when Season 2 concludes on November 9th – and that’s not counting the seven prior MCU films the original Loki appeared in. This degree of recent exposure can’t be said for anyone else who’s currently an active player in the MCU.

Hiddleston himself has also been quite vocal about his affection for playing this character, despite having already been in the franchise for a dozen years. He certainly doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down, and Marvel would be wise to continue to capitalize on that enthusiasm.

On a thematic level, positioning Loki as the protagonist of an Avengers film would also be inherently poetic, after he served as the antagonist of the very first Avengers film – talk about satisfying character evolution!

And I haven’t even mentioned the alluring prospect of this variant of Loki getting a chance to finally reunite with his brother, Thor, should the two characters cross paths in one of these Avengers movies down the line (personally, I’m still holding Loki to his Avengers: Infinity War promise to Thor that “the sun will shine on [them] again.”).

At this point, it should hopefully be pretty clear how Loki could absolutely (and successfully) lead an Avengers film and an entire saga, so you might be asking, then, why am I even including Sylvie in this pitch?

It’s simple — I want to see more of her, and I want Marvel to further explore her and Loki’s relationship. In addition to no clear lead hero, this era of Marvel is also somewhat lacking in rich interpersonal dynamics. There isn’t a relationship between heroes in the MCU right now that even comes close to how complex and oftentimes strained Tony and Steve’s interactions were throughout four Avengers movies (and Captain America: Civil War), not to mention several of the other prominent Infinity Saga heroes.

Conversely, Loki and Sylvie already have an entire season’s worth of history with each other and are about to generate another season’s worth starting this week. Over the course of six episodes in 2021, Loki and Sylvie underwent quite an evolution as a duo. As a quick refresher, let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

This couple went from not knowing of the other’s existence in Episode 1, to actively hunting them down (in Loki’s case) or actively eluding them (in Sylvie’s case) in Episode 2. They were forced to work together to try and escape an exploding moon in Episode 3 and started to actually care for each other, only to be forcibly separated by the end of Episode 4. Episode 5 showed them both doing whatever was necessary in order to be reunited and then they confronted the ‘man behind the curtain’ as a unified team. Finally, in Episode 6, their newfound connection was put to the test, they shared a kiss, but ultimately still couldn’t fully trust each other, and Sylvie ended up betraying Loki in order to fulfill her lifelong mission of destroying the organization that had stolen her childhood.

So, yeah…that’s quite a lot, and who knows what the next six weeks will hold for these two? Truthfully, Loki and Sylvie’s inevitable reunion (seemingly in a 1980s McDonald’s, of all places) is the moment I’m most looking forward to with the return of this show, and a quick perusal of online fan communities (or the comments sections of McDonald’s social media posts) makes it clear I’m not alone in this. We just love love, okay?

As Season 1’s head writer, Michael Waldron told Marvel.com at the time:

"“In a series that, to me, is ultimately about self-love, self-reflection, and forgiving yourself, it just felt right that [this] would be Loki’s first real love story.”"

There’s a reason the idea of Loki falling in love in Season 1 was so tantalizing to the creative team.

Focusing on a romantic pairing like Loki and Sylvie would also further set the Multiverse Saga apart from the Infinity Saga. There were certainly romances (or attempts at romance) scattered throughout the first three phases of the MCU, but one only was between two actual superheroes (Scott Lang’s Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne’s Wasp), and romance in general has never been a main priority for these comic book movies. How refreshing would it be for Marvel to bring a romantic couple to the forefront of this current saga, something they’ve never done before in any substantial way?

Loki and Sylvie leading the charge would have the added benefit of definitively answering the question that’s been plaguing the Marvel shows ever since their inception in early 2021 – do you actually have to watch these shows to understand the movies?

Or, to put it more simply, do these shows even matter?

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, given the reportedly 100-200 million dollar price tags for some of these MCU streaming shows, it would probably serve Marvel well to underscore their shows’ importance to the overall narrative every now and then. What better way to convince casual fans to finally sign up for Disney+ (or buy a Loki Season 1 boxset on Blu-ray or 4K-UHD) than to market the next Avengers movie as a direct follow-up to this series, with Loki and Sylvie in prominent starring roles?

Finally, speaking as both a woman and an avid MCU fan, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this move would also appeal to a historically underserved demographic of moviegoers (see: the incredible success of Barbie this summer). I’d love more attention given to a female hero and her story, especially one as nuanced and interesting as Sylvie, and I’d especially love that to be in a big Avengers movie.

As we’ve seen in the first season, Sylvie’s an equal to Loki in terms of intellect and capabilities, she’s already dealt with a great deal of her own trauma, and despite being variants of each other, she and Loki are still refreshingly distinct characters, and with a great rapport, to boot. There’s also the teensy tiny detail that it was her decision to kill He Who Remains, not Loki’s, that ultimately set free the multiverse at the end of Season 1. Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens the next time Sylvie crosses paths with a Kang variant, be it in this show or elsewhere in the MCU.

I think I’ve made myself clear that I’m very much looking forward to this pairing gracing our screens again this month in Loki Season 2. But, as I’ve expanded upon in this article, I see an entire multiverse’s worth of potential in Loki and Sylvie, and I hope a time comes when Marvel realizes this too and gives this couple that central spot on the poster that they deserve.

Here’s hoping they both survive this season! [After all the deaths in this past summer’s Secret Invasion series, I feel like no one is safe…]

The first episode of Loki Season 2 will be available for streaming on Disney+ starting October 5th, 2023. All six episodes of Loki Season 1 are available for streaming on Disney+, and the complete first season is also available for purchase in disk format through online physical media retailers.