- “Sometimes, people like you veer off the path the Time Keepers created. We call those Variants. Maybe you started an uprising, or were just late for work. Whatever it was, stepping off your path created a nexus event, which left unchecked, could branch off into madness, leading to another Multiversal War.”
- ―Miss Minutes[src]
The Variants are individuals who deviated from the path determined by He Who Remains on the Sacred Timeline, creating a branched timeline, which could lead to a new Multiversal War. The Variants are identified and captured by Time Variance Authority after causing an event which was not supposed to happen, the nexus event, before being judged for their crimes against the timeline.
Among these Variants is Loki, who stole the Tesseract and escaped from the Avengers after the Battle of New York, and Sylvie, a female Loki Variant that is a fugitive hunted by the Time Variance Authority since she was a child.
An individual becomes a Variant when they do something they are not supposed to do in their predetermined path on the timeline, creating what it is called a nexus event. The event can be a major incident as starting an uprising, but it can also be caused by simpler actions like being late for work. This nexus event cascades into a whole range of other events which are not supposed to happen on the timeline, eventually causing the timeline to branch.
A long time ago, the Variant of an individual who calls himself Kang, discovered the other timelines besides his own in the Multiverse, at the same time that other Kang Variants found out the same. This caused many Kang Variants to meet and share knowledge to improve their own universes. However, this also caused the Multiversal War. The war almost resulted in the destruction of all timelines because many of these Variants fought for the supremacy of their own timeline, trying to annihilate the others.
The war ended after a Kang Variant discovered a creature that can consume the matter and energy of the branched timelines, Alioth. Another Kang Variant, who calls himself He Who Remains, weaponized Alioth and used it to organize all the timelines into a single one, the Sacred Timeline, which also resulted in the elimination of his own Variants. He then created an organization called Time Variance Authority, to stop new branches from being created, which would lead to the return of the Kang Variants and cause another Multiversal War.
The Time Variance Authority is responsible for managing the proper flow of time, capturing the Variants and fixing mistakes on the Sacred Timeline. Many of the Variants who are captured are judged for their crimes and pruned, being sent to the Void, where Alioth lives consuming everything that is sent there. In similar way, the branched realities are pruned and its matter sent to the Void as soon as the Variants are arrested.
However, the members of the TVA are unaware that they are themselves Variants who were kidnapped from their timelines and had their memories erased to become the workers of the organization. Instead, they think that they are creations of the Time Keepers, not knowing that the Time Keepers are actually mindless androids who were placed as puppet rulers of the TVA, while He Who Remains hides at the Citadel at the End of Time and controls everything from behind the scenes.
Loki Variants are a type of Variant that is frequently captured and pruned by the TVA, more than any other Variant. They are also the kind of Variant that exists in greater number in the Void, not only because of how often they are pruned but also because Lokis are good at surviving, managing to escape being devoured by Alioth.
When the Avengers attempted to acquire the Infinity Stones from a timeline in 2012, they accidently allowed the Loki from this timeline to get the Tesseract and use it to escape after the Battle of New York.
After stealing the Tesseract and escaping from the Avengers, Loki ends up in the Gobi Desert. There, the Time Variance Authority captures him for deviating from his predetermined path, and Judge Renslayer sentences this Loki to be reset. However, Agent Mobius asks Ravonna to let Loki help them to capture another Loki Variant who has been killing their Minutemen and stealing their reset charges.
While helping the TVA, Loki learns that his Variants are often pruned by the TVA, more than the other types of Variants, so the TVA is familiar with dealing with Lokis. He later finds out that apocalypse events are great hiding places for a Variant. Because everything and everyone in the location is destined to be destroyed, a Variant could do anything during an apocalypse and the timeline would not branch, thus it would be undetected by the TVA. With this, they figure out that the rougue Variant is hiding at the apocalypse of Alabama 2050, where Loki meets the Variant, who reveals to be a female version of himself. When the Variant tries to execute her plan to destroy the TVA, Loki follows her. After confronting each other, they are transported to Lamentis-1 when Loki selects one of the apocalypses saved on her TemPad.
On Lamentis-1, the Variant is frustrated that Loki ruined her plans to destroy the TVA, which took years to execute. She tells him to not call her "Variant" or "Loki" because she changed her name to Sylvie. The two of them ally to escape the apocalypse and she accidentally reveals to him that the TVA workers had normal lives on the Sacred Timeline while she is explaining how to do magical enchantments. Sylvie tells Loki that the mind of Hunter C-20 was clouded, so in order to enchant her, she had to create a fantasy based on a memory from before C-20 joined the organization. Surprised, Loki says that he was told that all the members of the TVA were created by the Time Keepers. Sylvie replies that this is incorrect because C-20 was a regular person on Earth and all the members of the TVA are Variants. Loki then realizes that the workers of the TVA are unaware of their past lives.
The duo becomes unable to leave the apocalypse when the Ark that was going to take off the moon is destroyed. They both accept that they are going to die and sit together watching the moon being destroyed. Sylvie tells Loki how she was captured as a child and her reality was destroyed by the TVA, which prompted her to plot to take down the organization. Loki comforts her, recognizing how amazing it is that she not only survived but also almost destroyed the TVA by herself. When Sylvie becomes emotional hearing this and touches Loki affectionally, the timeline of Lamentis starts to branch. At the TVA, the workers detect this nexus event, which results in an unusual straight-up branch, allowing them to locate the two Variants even during the apocalypse of Lamentis. While Loki and Sylvie are holding hands and awaiting their deaths, the TVA appears and captures them both.
Later, at the TVA, Mobius interrogates Loki to figure out the cause of the nexus event. After lying by telling him that Sylvie was pruned just to observe his reaction, Mobius is surprised to realize that Loki in love with Sylvie. Mobius explains that the cause of the nexus event was Loki and Sylvie falling in love with each other, a romantic relationship between two Variants of the same being, which is a bizarre event in the timeline and could break the current reality. During this discussion, Loki reveals to Mobius that all the members of the TVA are Variants who were abducted from their timelines and had their memories erased to become workers of the organization, but Mobius seems not to believe him.
Mobius later investigates the information that Loki told him by checking a record of Hunter C-20 on Ravonna's TemPad. C-20 had been under Sylvie's enchantment and afterwards Ravonna had told him that she had gone mad and died. However, the record shows that C-20 was actually sane and had found out that all the TVA members are Variants after gaining accessing to her suppressed memories thanks to Sylvie's enchantment. While this is happening, Hunter B-15, another soldier who had been under Sylvie's enchantment, confronts Sylvie to have answers. B-15 confirms about her past as a Variant and cries upon realizing that she was happy in her previous life. After confirming the truth, Mobius returns to help Loki, but they run into Ravonna. Knowing that Mobius learned about the TVA members being Variants, Ravonna orders the Minutemen to prune him while a horrified Loki watches it.
Sylvie and Loki are then taken by the Minutemen and Ravonna to face the Time Keepers and be pruned, but are saved by Hunter B-15, who frees them. After defeating the guards together, Sylvie and Loki find out that the Time Keepers are actually just mindless androids. Questioning who created the TVA, Loki is distracted trying to comfort Sylvie and confess his romantic feelings for her, but he is pruned by Ravonna. Loki wakes up in the Void, initially thinking that he is in the afterlife, but then he meets other of his own Variants. Meanwhile, Sylvie pressures Ravonna for answers. Ravonna tells Sylvie that Loki is not really dead, explaining that when the branched realities are pruned, it is impossible to destroy all its matter of, so they transport it to the Void at the end of time.
In the Void, joining Classic Loki, Kid Loki, Alligator Loki and Boastful Loki, Loki is informed that they should move to avoid being devoured by Alioth. When Loki asks why there are so many of his Variants in the Void, they reply that Lokis are great at surviving. Despite this, they tell Loki that it is impossible to leave the Void without a TemPad, so surviving is the only thing left for them to do. Loki is then surprised when they reveal that the alligator among them is in fact a Loki Variant as well and that the Loki who has the appearance of child is actually the King of the Void. Loki also becomes stunned when Kid Loki tells him that his nexus event was killing his brother, Thor. Meanwhile at the TVA, Sylvie correctly deduces that the creator of the TVA is hiding beyond the Void because it is impossible to cause a nexus event there as the timeline is still not written. So, when she is surrounded by Ravonna and the Minutemen, Sylvie prunes herself to find Loki in the Void.
Upon arriving at their hideout, the Lokis share their stories with Loki. Boastful Loki claims that his nexus event was killing Iron Man and Captain America and then acquiring the Infinity Stones, but the other Lokis don't believe him. He then provokes the alligator because his nexus event was eating the neighbor's cat. Classic Loki says that lived his life in the predetermined path, but was able to fake his death to avoid being killed by Thanos as it was supposed to happen on the timeline. After isolating himself for many years at a remote planet, he was captured by the TVA when he decided to search for his brother, making him realize that Lokis are meant to be outcasts on the Sacred Timeline. Loki then tells the other Variants about Sylvie, explaining that she is a different Loki Variant because she is not trying to take over the TVA, instead she is trying to destroy it, and he wants to go back to the TVA to help her.
Later, Boastful Loki betrays them by telling their location to President Loki, with the intent to gain an army of Lokis and overthrow Kid Loki to become King. However, Boastful Loki is betrayed by President Loki, who wants to keep his army and claim the throne. Then, President Loki is betrayed by his own army of Lokis as all of them start to battle for the throne, forcing Loki, Kid Loki, Alligator Loki and Classic Loki to escape the hideout. After witnessing these consecutive betrayals, Classic Loki and Kid Loki complain that all their versions are broken and blinded by their own ambitions, and that whenever the Lokis try to fix themselves, they are captured by the TVA and sent to the Void to die. Loki says that this is the exact reason why he needs to find Sylvie as she is their only chance to stop the TVA. Upon realizing how much Loki trusts Sylvie, the other Loki Variants decide to help him face Alioth to escape the Void. Meanwhile, Sylvie meets Mobius in the Void, and later reunites with Loki and the other Variants. Loki presents the other Lokis to her and she is surprised upon seeing Alligator Loki. She tells them that she plans to enchant Alioth as the creator of the TVA is beyond the Void and is using the creature to protect the entrance.
When Mobius is sitting discussing with the Lokis, he questions if the Alligator Loki is even a Loki because he does not recall the TVA capturing him. Classic Loki tells him that he should be because he is green, but Mobius replies that the alligator could be lying, although this would increase the chances of him being a real Loki. When Kid Loki asks what Mobius is going to do when he returns to the TVA, he replies that he wants to tell the other workers about the truth of them being Variants. Nearby, Loki sits with Sylvie and conjures a blanket to share with her, and she reveals to him that Mobius told her about the cause of their nexus event on Lamentis. Sylvie claims not to believe in "Mobius' theory", but they both clearly feel awkward around each other because of their feelings, and Sylvie explains that she is not used to have anyone in her life since she lived as a fugitive with the main focus to destroy the TVA.
When Sylvie and Loki face Alioth, Classic Loki sacrifices himself to create a distraction and give them time to enchant it. After succeeding on their goal, the storm dissipates, showing a castle beyond the Void. Upon entering the castle, Sylvie and Loki meet Miss Minutes, who welcomes them to the Citadel at the End of Time and says that He Who Remains, the creator of the TVA, is proposing a deal. If they stop intervening in the TVA's work, He Who Remains will reinsert the duo on the Sacred Timeline and give them anything they want, even putting them together on the timeline. Loki and Sylvie hesitate upon hearing this, as it would be improbable to have two Loki Variants together on the Timeline, but Miss Minutes explains that He Who Remains could make it happen. Despite being tempted by the offer, Sylvie and Loki refuse it and continue to search the castle. They soon find He Who Remains, who invites them to his office.
At the TVA, Mobius meets Ravonna and tells her that he figured out her true origins as Variant. Simultaneously, Hunter B-15 visits a High School on the Sacred Timeline while being chased by Minutemen. Upon following B-15 to the vice principal's office, Hunter D-90 is surprised to see the Vice Principal Rebecca Tourminet, who has the same appearance as Ravonna, revealing that the TVA's judge is a Variant of this high school teacher. Even after this reveal, Ravonna still confronts Mobius, stating that the TVA's work is for a good reason because chaos will happen if they do not prune the Sacred Timeline and the Variants and tells him she is frustrated that he betrayed their years of friendship to help a pair of Lokis. Mobius replies that they should not take the free will from the individuals, but Ravonna tells him that only the one in charge of the TVA is allowed to have free will. She then leaves the TVA to investigate an information given to her by Miss Minutes earlier, leaving Mobius behind.
Inside his office, He Who Remains tells Sylvie and Loki that he knows everything they did during their journey before their arrival and that he actually had facilitated their way to the castle. He explains that he created the TVA to stop his own Variants, who caused a Multiversal War. A Variant of He Who Remains was once a scientist on Earth and found out other timelines of the Multiverse besides his own, at the same time that his other Variants did the same. After these Variants met, they shared knowledge but some of them wanted to conquer the new timelines. While fighting for the supremacy of their own timelines, they almost destroyed the entire Multiverse. He Who Remains was able to end the war using Alioth and pruning the Variants and timelines, reorganizing the Multiverse into the Sacred Timeline and founding the TVA to maintain it without branches.
He tells Sylvie and Loki that they can kill him, but this would allow his Variants to start another war, or they could replace him and become the new rulers of the TVA. When questioned why he would give them the control of the TVA, He Who Remains reveals that he is too old for his job and has been looking for someone to replace him. He then says that when he finally found the right successor, the person came to him as a pair. Loki believes in this story, while Sylvie is convinced that He Who Remains is lying to manipulate them. When Sylvie tries to kill He Who Remains to finally have her revenge for her destroyed timeline, Loki stops her. The pair argues and then starts a duel because Sylvie wants her revenge while Loki wants them to think about their choices before risking unleashing all the He Who Remains Variants in the Multiverse. When Sylvie jumps to kill her target, Loki blocks her blade with his body and states that he doing this because the only thing he cares about is her well-being. Sylvie becomes emotional hearing this and passionately kisses Loki, but then uses He Who Remains' TemPad to send him back to the TVA and be able to complete her mission.
Alone with He Who Remains, Sylvie kills him with her machete. Just before dying, he smiles and says that he will "see her soon", which makes her question her own actions while the Sacred Timeline is shown to be branching off innumerous times. At the TVA, after crying for failing to stop Sylvie, Loki finds Mobius and Hunter B-15 and attempts to tell them how he and Sylvie freed the Sacred Timeline and that the infinite versions of He Who Remains are going to start another Multiversal War. However, Mobius and B-15 do not recognize Loki, asking if he is a new analyst of the TVA. Loki then sees that where once stood the statues of the supposed founders of the TVA, the three Time Keepers, now there is a statue of Kang, a Variant of He Who Remains. This shows that this is actually a new version of the organization with a different ruler.
A Kang Variant will appear in this film.
- Loki: He is a Variant of Loki that created a nexus event when stole the Tesseract and escaped from the Avengers after the Battle of New York. He was captured by the TVA, but then recruited by Agent Mobius to help them capture another Loki Variant, Sylvie. However, while stranded at the apocalypse on Lamentis, he fell in love with her, creating a nexus event that allowed the TVA to capture them. After being pruned and venturing through the Void, he and Sylvie met the creator of the TVA, He Who Remains, at the Citadel at the End of Time. When Sylvie decided to kill He Who Remains, she sent Loki back to the TVA, not knowing that it is a new TVA which is ruled by Kang.
- Sylvie: She is a female Variant of Loki who calls herself Sylvie. Her nexus event is unknown, but she was captured by the TVA when she was still a child. She managed to escape before her judgment and lived as a fugitive for many years hiding within apocalypse events. She fell in love with another Loki Variant during the apocalypse on Lamentis, causing a nexus event that allowed the TVA to finally capture her. After pruning herself and journeying through the Void, she and Loki reached the Citadel at the End of Time, where Sylvie killed He Who Remains, freeing the Sacred Timeline, which is now split into countless branches.
- Kid Loki: A child Variant of Loki. His nexus event was killing his adoptive brother Thor. He was captured by the TVA and pruned, and later became the King of the Void. Despite having the appearance of a child, he is the oldest Variant in the Void. When Loki and Sylvie arrived in the Void, Kid Loki helped them to plan how to defeat Alioth. He currently lives with Alligator Loki at the Loki Palace.
- Alligator Loki: A Variant of Loki who was born or turned into an alligator. His nexus event was eating the neighbor's cat. He was captured by the TVA and pruned. When Loki and Sylvie arrived in the Void, Alligator Loki helped them to plan how to defeat Alioth. He currently lives with Kid Loki at the Loki Palace.
- Classic Loki: An elder Variant of Loki. He managed to live his entire life in the predetermined path on the Sacred Timeline, and then fake his own death to survive his final encounter with Thanos, but this didn't create a nexus event. After isolating himself at a remote planet for many years, he caused a nexus event when he tried to leave to search for his adoptive brother, Thor. He was captured by the TVA and pruned. In the Void, he lived with Kid Loki, Alligator Loki and Boastful Loki at the Loki Palace, until the day he sacrificed himself to help Sylvie and Loki to defeat Alioth, allowing the duo to reach the Citadel at the End of Time.
- Boastful Loki: A Variant of Loki who claims that his nexus event was killing Captain America and Iron Man before acquiring all six Infinity Stones, although it is unknown if this story is true or not. He was captured by the TVA and pruned. In the Void, he lives at the Loki Palace with Classic Loki, Kid Loki, Alligator Loki, but he eventually betrayed them by making a deal with President Loki to overthrow Kid Loki. This ultimately failed when President Loki betrayed him to have the throne.
- President Loki: A Variant of Loki that became president at some point of his life. His nexus event is unknown, but he was captured by the TVA and pruned. In the Void, he acquired an army of Loki Variants that eventually betrayed him when he tried to overthrow Kid Loki to become the King of the Void.
- Mobius: A Variant who became an analyst for the organization, known as Agent Mobius. He is specialized in hunting the most dangerous Variants and recruited Loki to help them capture Sylvie. However, he befriended Loki, who eventually revealed to him about his origins as a Variant. Because he found out the truth, Ravonna had the Minutemen prune him, but he was able to survive, escape the Void and return to the TVA. After knowing that he is a Variant, Mobius became determined to tell the truth to the other workers of the organization.
- Mobius (new TVA): A Variant of Mobius who works for the new TVA ruled by Kang.
- Ravonna Renslayer: A Variant of the Vice Principal Rebecca Tourminet of the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Fremont, Ohio. Upon joining the TVA, she changed her name to Ravonna Renslayer and became the Hunter A-23 for the organization. She was later promoted to a judge and, at some point, acquired the knowledge that she is a Variant. Despite this, she remained loyal to the TVA and made everything to keep the order within organization. She blindly followed orders from the Time Keepers, unaware that He Who Remains is the true ruler of the TVA. After discovering that the Time Keepers are just mindless androids, she became determined to discover who is really behind the TVA.
- Hunter B-15: A Variant who became a Hunter for the TVA. While hunting Sylvie, she was enchanted by her, gaining access to the suppressed memories of her past life. After confronting Sylvie and confirming the truth of her origins as a Variant, B-15 helped Loki and Sylvie fight against the ones who were protecting the Time Keepers. Upon discovering that the Time Keepers are just mindless androids, she became determined to reveal the truth about the TVA to the other members.
- Hunter B-15 (new TVA): A Variant of Hunter B-15 who works for the new TVA ruled by Kang. Similar to the other B-15 Variant, she works commanding the Minutemen as a Hunter.
- Hunter C-20: A Variant who worked as a Hunter for the TVA. While hunting Sylvie, she was enchanted by her, gaining access to the suppressed memories of her past life. Afterwards, Ravonna told Mobius that C-20 had gone insane as result of Sylvie' magic and eventually died. However, Ravonna actually had C-20 pruned and sent to the Void because she found out that the members of TVA are Variants. It is unknown if C-20 is still alive in the Void or if she was devoured by Alioth.
- Hunter U-92: A Variant who worked as a Hunter for the TVA. He helped Mobius investigate a cathedral in Aix-En-Provence in France, 1549, where Sylvie had attacked a Minutemen unit. Later, while on a mission at Salina, Oklahoma, in 1858, he was killed by Sylvie when she attacked his Minutemen unit to steal their reset charge.
- Hunter D-90: A Variant who works as a Hunter for the TVA. He took part on the mission to hunt Sylvie at the Roxxcart superstore, Alabama, in 2050, and later was the one who pruned Agent Mobius under Ravonna's orders. Shortly after, he led the Minutemen to help Ravonna when she was being threated by Sylvie at the Time Court. While chasing Hunter B-15 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Fremont, Ohio, in 2018, to capture B-15 after she escaped her imprisonment at the TVA, he learned about Ravonna's identity as a Variant upon meeting a version of the Vice Principal Rebecca Tourminet on the Sacred Timeline.
- Casey: A Variant who works as a front desk clerk at the Time Variance Authority headquarters. He collects and fills evidence from the Variants who are captured by the organization, and often receives Infinity Stones which are confiscated from the timelines.
- Hunter K-5E: A Variant of Casey who works for the new TVA ruled by Kang. Different from the other Casey Variant, he works as a Hunter.
- 31st Century Scientist: A Variant who was scientist in the 31st century on Earth. He discovered other timelines besides his own, while other of his Variants did the same. This allowed them to meet and eventually start the Multiversal War. He was the Variant who discovered Alioth.
- He Who Remains: A Variant who is a scientist and calls himself He Who Remains. He ended the Multiversal War after weaponizing Alioth and reorganizing the multiverse into the Sacred Timeline. Then, he created the TVA, before moving to the Citadel at the End of Time from where he controlled the organization and observed everyone and everything for a long time. After ruling the TVA for so many years, he looked for someone to replace him. So when two Loki Variants, Sylvie and Loki, searched for the creator of the TVA, he facilitated their way to the Citadel and upon meeting the pair, he told them that they are the ones who could succeed him. He explained to the two Lokis that they could either kill him and allow his Variants to start another war, or become the new rulers of the TVA. Ultimately, Sylvie kills him to avenge the destruction of her timeline by the TVA, which results in the Sacred Timeline being freed with countless branches being created.
- Kang: A Variant who calls himself Kang and has the desire to conquer the new timelines discovered. When He Who Remains was killed by Sylvie and the Sacred Timeline was branched, this Variant created a new version of the TVA, becoming its ruler.
- Throg: A Variant of Thor who was turned into a frog. He was captured by the TVA and pruned. He currently is trapped inside a jar in the Void.