Varian is a teenage alchemist who appears as a recurring character in Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure. but became a major one in the third season. He serves as the main antagonist for the second half of the first season but later redeems himself, becoming the tritagonist of the third season.
Varian is the son of Quirin, member of the Brotherhood, and an unnamed mother.
In "What the Hair?!," Cassandra advises Rapunzel to enlist Varian's help in solving the mystery of Rapunzel's hair. At first, they think he is a wizard with magical abilities, but learn that Varian is actually an alchemist; he doesn't believe in magic, but is a man of science (specifically alchemy). At the same time, he reveals that he's a huge fan of Flynnigan Rider, confusing the fictional character with Eugene, and willingly tells Eugene that he constructed on five machines throughout the caverns to supply his village hot running water. However, Varian fails to realize that these creations are unstable and cause numerous earthquakes underneath his village and eventually explosions that destroy all his work.
In "Great Expotations" he comes to the "Exposition of Sciences" event with his latest invention. The way he asks Rapunzel and Eugene if Cassandra is going to be at the event suggests he has a crush on her. . He considers Cassandra (who he calls "Cassie") his friend and is willing to help with her Lady-in-waiting's duties in exchange for her assistance with his invention, using alchemy to help her clean up the castle and set up the event. He also shows Rapunzel and Cassandra the black, spiky rocks which had grown near Old Corona and react when Rapunzel stands near them. Rapunzel asks Varian to help them figure the mystery of the rocks and keep it a secret, to which he agrees.
In "Queen for a Day," the black rocks start growing and destroying everything in Old Corona. Varian wants to find a way to stop them from destroying anything else, but Quirin tells him to stay away from them. Varian then goes with his father to see the King and inform him of the situation. Upset when his father openly lies to the king about the rocks, Varian tells Rapunzel the truth. He then decides to take matters into his own hands and works on finding a way to remove the rocks with alchemy. When Quirin finds out what Varian is doing, Varian admonishes his father for trying to run away from their problems; during this altercation, Varian spills a chemical on the rocks which cause amber crystals to burgeon forth from them. Quirin pushes Varian away from being trapped in the glowing amber but is caught himself. Desperate to keep his father from being encased in the amber, Varian runs to Rapunzel to get her help, but, with her people in the crisis of the upcoming snowstorm, she reluctantly turns her back on him and lets him be dragged out by Pete and Stan. Varian returns home and finds his father completely encased in solid amber. In tears and feeling Rapunzel's apparent betrayal bitterly, he vows to find a way to save his father and to make everyone who had turned their backs on him pay.
In "The Alchemist Returns," he pretends to have forgiven her and convinces Rapunzel to help him steal a withered Magical Golden Flower. Rapunzel agrees to help him only because he says it is for Corona. He later confesses that he used Rapunzel merely to get to the flower it was to save his dad and not the kingdom, as part of his revenge on everyone who had turned their backs on him. Rapunzel pleads with him, promising to free his father, but he knows firsthand how well she keeps promises then he escapes the castle after hearing the door being opened. Later, in his alchemist's lab, Varian tries to free his father from the rocks with the flower, but it does not work, much to his anger and frustration. Remembering back from his conversations about the black rocks and the flower, he then realizes the heart-rending truth: the flower is not the Sun Drop any more, Rapunzel is.
In "Secret of the Sun Drop," Varian launches an assault on the castle with an automaton hidden among Rapunzel's birthday gifts. Rapunzel, Cassandra, and Eugene quickly find out how to deactivate the automaton, but the surprise assault leaves King Frederic fearing for Rapunzel's safety, ordering her to be placed under maximum security. The same night, Varian launches another assault on the kingdom, this time a giant and aggressive Ruddiger under influence of a serum.
The guards successfully protect Rapunzel (who had broken out of the castle) from harm, and Rapunzel in hand assists the guards to eventually capture Ruddiger, who returns to his normal size after being captured in Rapunzel's hair. Unfortunately, the attack turned out to be a distraction, letting Varian easily infiltrate the castle and kidnap Queen Arianna, but not before leaving half of the guards (including the captain) wounded after the attack and the kingdom terrified over the black rocks growing all over the kingdom. After the kingdom realizes what had happened, a full-scale counterattack on Old Corona, now surrounded in black rocks, is organized.
Rapunzel and King Frederic decide to sneak into Varian's home separate from the kingdom army to sneak out the Queen. Unfortunately, he had planned ahead, and traps Rapunzel and the King, while launching an army of automatons on the kingdom's forces. Varian reveals his plot of kidnapping the Queen as simple bait to lure Rapunzel to him. Varian threatens to encase Queen Arianna in the same amber his father was trapped in if Rapunzel didn't give him her hair to free his father.
Much to his heartbreak, Rapunzel's hair doesn't work against the amber, and the kingdom's forces defeat the automatons, the plan failed. Varian is devastated that he no longer knows how to save his father anymore, so he lashes out his anger on Rapunzel by controlling a giant robot, bent on still having revenge on Rapunzel. He grabs Cassandra in the robot's metal hands and sadistically taunts her on his former crush on her. When Queen Arianna orders him to stop, he grabs her too and starts to crush them both. In a moment of revelation, Rapunzel realizes how her sun drop energy can control the black rocks. Varian violently charges toward Rapunzel in anger, only to get his robot destroyed by Rapunzel through the black rocks, much to his fury. Defeated, Varian is arrested by the castle guard. Varian, as he and Ruddiger are sent to prison, he swears that he will still make his father proud. However, under Rapunzel's urge, the king assures Varian will get the help he needs.
He made a cameo appearance in "Happiness Is..." as a hallucination created by the Idol of Vershaftsbezeigungengien, threatening to use Frederic for experiments. He was also mentioned by Adira as "the son of Quirin" in "Rapunzel and the Great Tree."
At some point after Rapunzel and her team left to follow the Black Rocks, Varian has revealed himself to have allied with Andrew and the Separatists of Saporia, using the Saporian Wand of Oblivium on King Frederic and Queen Arianna to erase their memories. He reveals his plan to use the same wand to create a synthetic gas that will erase everyone's memories in Corona, dubbing it Quirineon in honor of his father. It is later revealed that Varian pretended that he still wanted vengeance and that the real reason he created the gas was to make everyone forget about his mistakes and win back their trust. But when he learned that the Separatists were planning to destroy Corona with his Quirineon, Varian teamed up with Rapunzel to stop them. After saving Corona, he and Rapunzel managed to free Quirin with a Reverse Incantation. When he asked about the note, his father told him that it only said that he is proud of him and he always has been. Varian and Quirin later joined Rapunzel and the others in a celebration. Since then, he did everything he could to make up for his past deeds, The Lost Treasure of Herz Der Sonne, which includes rebuilding the throne room and trying to help King Frederic and Queen Arianna restore their memories from "The King and Queen of Hearts". He was also tasked to translate the text of Demanitus' newly reassembled scroll, burning both ends of the candle doing so.
However, in "Be Very Afraid!" it is revealed that Varian hadn't gotten over the guilt of his past deeds yet and was afraid of repeating his mistakes. When Corona was plagued by fear-induced rocks, he and Rapunzel went underground to encase the source in amber. However, Varian was still afraid he'll make a mistake that'll cost him the trust of Corona. But Rapunzel assures him that he could face his fears and save Corona. With Rapunzel's encouragement and empathy, he managed to tackle through his fear, used his compound to encased the rocks in amber, and gain the admiration of the entire kingdom.
In "Cassandra's Revenge", he celebrates Eugene's birthday, which is, however, cut short when Cassandra crashes the party, demanding the scroll containing the sun and moon drop incantation. Varian reveals he has almost finished translating the whole scroll and has the incantations memorized, whereupon Cassandra kidnaps him and uses his own truth serum to make him confess the incantation for full control of the Black Rocks. Varian pleads with her not to make the same mistakes as he did in the song "Nothing Left to Lose," but she refuses to listen and cages him as her prisoner. While in the cage he has a dream wherein the Enchanted Girl tells him to "use the sun to see the sun" as part of her plan to be released from her prison. When he woke up, he tried find the answers from the scroll but he gave up, until his goggles reflected sunlight onto the scroll, which revealed it to have hidden words. He wrote down the translation in time just before the scroll is destroyed for good. Then he gave the new incantation to Rapunzel, allowing her to defeat Cassandra.
In light of the threat Cassandra poses to Corona, Varian takes matters into his own hands to protect the kingdom from her. In "Race to the Spire", he provides Rapunzel and Eugene (who have received a warning from Calliope with a hot air balloon that will enable them access to the Spire before Cassandra herself does. In "FlynnPoster", Varian builds another invention that will warn Corona if threats like Cassandra show up. Unfortunately, the machine gets tampered with by Lance, Kiera, and Catalina, to Varian's frustration.
In Once a Handmaiden..., he and Eugene started "Project Obsidian", which involves imprisoning Cassandra in the same amber his father was trapped in if she harms them, though Rapunzel is insistent on only using it as a last resort, still believing Cassandra is not gone. Later, Varian attempts to fight Cassandra when she brutally attacks Corona with her black rocks, and evacuates to the village once she has taken over the kingdom.
In Plus Est En Vous, Varian comes up with the plan to rebuild Demanitus' machine in order to banish Zhan Tiri back to the Lost Realm. However, he and most of the citizens of Corona accidentally got sucked instead. They managed to get back out thanks to Varian's dad. But the machine gets destroyed during the chaos. He later fights Zhan Tiri head-on along with the rest of Corona, but their efforts do little to stop her. After Cassandra's redemption and Zhan Tiri's destruction, Varian is healed by Rapunzel due to having previously been weakened by Zhan Tiri's use of the Decay Incantation. Once peace is restored to Corona, he becomes the Royal Engineer and is finally able to give Corona hot running water.
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Varian is an intelligent scientist, inventor, and alchemist. He does not believe in magic and tends to solve problems through scientific means. However, his experiments were confused as magic, which makes others believe that he is some kind of wizard. He has good intentions and wanted to make his father proud of him for his creations. He has heard about the princess's hair along with his father and the villagers and also shows respect to the royal family, as he bows to Rapunzel and calls her "Your Highness" until he was told to just call her Rapunzel. Despite his intellect, he is pretty naive and sometimes overlooks his plans and inventions. While he has a gift of inventing and alchemy,
Besides inventing and alchemy, he enjoys reading about the adventures of Flynn Rider. He became Flynn's biggest fan for his bravery and combat skills, but the excitement of his hero had him confuse Eugene Fitzherbert as Flynn Rider when Eugene used the name in his life of crime. He quickly trusts Eugene with his secret hot water machines and tries to assure him that it's under control when Eugene expresses his concerns about how unstable the machines really are. When the machines start to cause mayhem, he did try to turn them down but nearly got hurt in the process. After his home and village fell to the ground and the machines got destroyed, he shows regret for his actions and for letting his father down.
Varian is shown to be very kind, supportive, and understanding. He is also constantly willing to help others in need like Cassandra in Great Expectations and also Rapunzel, Eugene and Pascal with a hot air balloon when the latter three received a note and a key from Calliope in Race to the Spire, attempting to find a solution to the black rocks before they reach the castle in Queen for a Day, and rushing to aid when he apparently sees Stan in danger of drowning in "The Lost Treasure of Herz Der Sonne".
The events of "Queen for a Day", however, have left Varian hurt after his father was encased in an amber he accidentally formed out of the black rocks. His heart is then filled with rage and an obsession for revenge after feeling betrayed by Rapunzel for turning her back on him during his time of need; as well an urge to save his father. Varian's dark turn left him a much more bitter and unreasonable person, focused on proving himself able to save his father, even at the expense of others. Despite Rapunzel's attempts to make amends with Varian by aiding him to get the withered Sundrop Flower, Varian betrays Rapunzel as soon as he gets what he wants. Even when Rapunzel tried to heal Varian's heart with her apology and promising to help him save his father, the barriers that Varian placed around him, so he wouldn't get hurt the same way again.
Varian also proves himself to be capable of being ruthless in achieving his goals, manipulating and attacking people if necessary. After stealing the sun drop failed, Varian sets out to force Rapunzel into helping him free his father by means of assaulting the kingdom, only to fail. It should, however, be noted that Varian had spent months in complete isolation prior to committing crimes against Corona, which very likely had a deteriorating effect on his mental health.
Even after learning that not even Rapunzel's hair could help him free his father, Varian remains committed to making his father proud of him, no matter what it takes.
After about a year later though, Varian showed deep remorse and shame for his past deeds and believed that he could never be forgiven, which was why he teamed up with the Separatists of Saporia to erase everyone's memories so that he could have a fresh start and be friends with Rapunzel again. However, by Rapunzel's compassion and the Separatists' change of plans, Varian turned over a new leaf and helped the princess and her friends save Corona. His rekindled friendship with Rapunzel gave him back his father.
Via Cassandra's red rocks, it has been shown that Varian's greatest fear is his father being encased in amber again and the people of Corona declaring him a traitor and telling him he deserves to be unable to free Quirin for his past crimes. It is also revealed that Varian still harbors guilt over everything he has done and still believes that the citizens of Corona will hate him more than ever. He also considers himself ordinary in comparison to Rapunzel. With Rapunzel's help, however, Varian manages to tackle his fear and save the kingdom from the red rocks, being hailed as a hero by Rapunzel and the citizens of Corona. Even after being abducted by Cassandra, Varian expresses sympathy for what she went through and attempts to get through to her, which is ironically what Queen Arianna attempted with him after he had captured her. He even relates to her, admitting that the path of hatred may feel good at first but will slowly lead to the person losing their mind and conscience, having evidently went through the same thing. Aside from this, Varian's bravery manifests again, with him refusing to tell Cassandra the third incantation despite not knowing what she will do to him if he does not comply. He is also revealed to have an extremely good memory and is capable of fully memorizing The Scroll. Additionally, Varian is implied to be a bit mischievous, tricking Eugene into thinking that him touching a part of the hot air balloon he built will cause it to explode in "Race to the Spire".
As he matures, Varian takes on a more responsible approach in regards to his inventions, telling others not to touch them and scolding Lance for ignoring his warnings and causing the explosion of his "rooster" invention. Although Varian told Master. Dr. St. Croix that latter is building too much pressure for the Elemental Remogrifier when the former and Cassandra notices it then run to the stage in Great Expectations. Also, Varian tells Lance not to touch the button on the machine inside Lord Demanitus' tomb in Plus Est En Vous. Also, Varian told Eugene to be careful with the alchemies in Cassandra's Revenge.
In Once a Handmaiden..., he seems to have given up hope that Cassandra could relinquish her vengeful desires, even starting a project alongside Eugene that involves destroying her by encasing her in amber if she attacks again. However, at Rapunzel's urge, he agrees to show restraint, and attempts to reach out to her once more later on. Varian also seems to be somewhat skilled at shooting and horseback riding.
In "Plus Est En Vous", Varian does everything he can to banish Zhan Tiri back to Limbo, including rebuilding the machine used by Demanitus to do so, even taking somewhat of a leadership role when Rapunzel and Eugene are not around. Additionally, he expresses denial and anger over Eugene's concerns that his father, like Adira and Hector was mind -controlled by Cassandra but is nonetheless willing to take precautions just in case, putting the welfare of Corona first. After she gains possession of the Sundrop and Moonstone, Varian battles Zhan Tiri head-on along with the rest of Corona, yet again showing his bravery and is made the Royal Engineer following Zhan Tiri's destruction, showing the royal family has trust and faith in him even though he conspired against them. He is also shown to have become closer with his father, as Quirin helps him with his machines, and when one of them explodes, both of them simply laugh it off.
- What the Hair?! (debut appearance)
- Great Expotations
- Queen for a Day, Part 1
- Queen for a Day, Part 2
- Painter's Block (voice & mentioned)
- Not in the Mood (cameo)
- The Quest for Varian (nightmare & painting & mentioned)
- The Alchemist Returns
- Secret of the Sundrop, Part 1
- Secret of the Sundrop, Part 2
- Rapunzel's Return, Part 1
- Rapunzel's Return, Part 2
- The Lost Treasure of Herz Der Soone
- No Time Like the Past (younger self; cameo; no speaking lines)
- The King and Queen of Hearts
- Day of the Animals
- Be Very Afraid
- Cassandra's Revenge, Part 1
- Cassandra's Revenge, Part 2
- Race to the Spire
- Once a Handmaiden...
- Plus Est En Vous, Part 1
- Plus Est En Vous, Part 2
- Plus Est En Vous, Part 3 (final appearance)
At fourteen years of age (in season 1), Varian is a slender teen with fair skin, shaggy black hair with brown highlights and one teal streak, freckles, two front buck teeth, and light blue eyes. He wears a blue-gray shirt with a teal patch sewn on to it, brown pants, dark maroon apron, black gloves, dark brown shoes, and brown-and-gold goggles. Plus, he wears this outfit at the near end of Rapunzel's Return, during the time travel episode No Time Like the Past and error of Once a Handmaiden... when he is on Fidella. In The Alchemist Returns, he is carrying a brown shoulder bag that he wore while wearing this outfit with his winter outfit. Also, in The Alchemist Returns and Secret of the Sun Drop, he has the branch that he tied his chemicals to during the song Let Me Make You Proud.
When Rapunzel and Cassandra first met him, he was wearing a black and gray coat and a gray bauta, which makes his eyes appear to be glowing a yellow-green colour and makes his voice sound intimidating.
During a blizzard in "Queen for a Day," he wore a brown coat with a two grayish-brown coloured cloak with a white fur-lined hoodie, a black belt, a red scarf and a brown shoulder bag to carry his alchemies.
In "Rapunzel's Return," he donned a bad boy outfit, consisting of a black coat with red outlines, a red bandanna with sharp teeth design, gray vest, brown belt and straps that could carry his chemical balls, red gloves with metal straps, tan pants, gray-and-black boots.
From "The Lost Treasure of Herz Der Sonne" and onward in Season 3, he wears a more adventurous steampunk style outfit, consisting of a collared beige long-sleeved shirt, maroon vest, dark brown gloves with brown straps, brown pants, dark brown utility belt, tan apron, dark maroon-and-khaki boots and a dark brown backpack to carry his belongings.
Varian possesses no magical abilities. However, he displays a wide range of skill and talents, far beyond what is normally expected.
- Alchemy and Engineering: His knowledge on alchemy and engineering skills allow him to build and make his creations and ideas, like machines, gadgets, and chemical mixtures, come to life. Even when his inventions don't always work and sometimes lead to nearly killing people, he still tries to overcome and fix his mistakes and to become the alchemist that he can be. Varian was also able to use his alchemy to modify the mood potion into a truth serum, as well as replicating it, while his engineering allowed him to build an army of Reverse-engineered copies of the Automaton he encountered in the underground tunnel system. He also used his engineering to build a hot air balloon in The Lost Treasure of Herz Der Sonne.
- I mean, technically, it's not magic. It's alchemy, but yeah don't don't sweat it.
- Hello, Cassandra. I always knew I could sweep you off your feet.
- I will make you proud of me, Dad… if it's the last thing I ever do.
(In a vision)
- Hello, Rapunzel. I need your father to help me with a little experiment.
- Welcome home, Rapunzel.
- I'm not sure if I should be fascinated or terrified. And we have a winner.
- Oh, yeah, I think, I think we're safe up here for a while, heh, heh.
- I think I know what's going on here. This place, it's changing us.
- According to the first book in the Tales of Rapunzel series, Secrets Unlocked, Varian is canonically fourteen years old at the time of "What the Hair?!".
- Ben Balistreri specifically designed Varian so that people could cosplay as him. He added goggles to him so that he can have an iconic costume piece.
- The name Varian is French for "variable", which means something not consistent or liable to change, which could be a reference to him starting as a good guy, who later became bad until he redeemed himself, as well as a nod to his role as a scientist.
- He has been shown to faint at the sight of blood. This could mean that he has Hemophobia.
- Varian's hair (specifically his bangs) is drawn in a way that hardly covers his face, regardless of head and camera angles. This was inspired by a similar technique that is used when animating Mickey Mouse's ears.
- Varian is shown to be able to play piano and tambourine.
- Varian is Corona's first Royal Engineer, and is the youngest to hold that position.
- He has a crush on Cassandra, as shown in "Great Expotations". In addition, both characters are similar.
- In "Cassandra's Revenge", both Cassandra and Varian fall off Cassandra's Stronghold. However, Varian fell into the arms of Lance, whereas Cassandra had to save herself using her powers. This reflects how Varian turning back to the side of good has caused him to be surrounded by friends once more, but Cassandra's path of hatred and darkness has left her with no one but herself.
- Also, he and Rapunzel are the two characters that reasoned with Cassandra during a hero/heroine/villain duet song of season three.
- In "Plus Est En Vous", Varian was seen drinking alcohol in The Snuggly Duckling even though he was only 16 years old by then. However, since the series is set in the 1810's, its possible that kids could drink at a young age.
- His mother has never been mentioned so it is unknown what happened to her since Varian is only raised by his father. According to story boarder Kaitlyn Ritter, her name would have been Ulla and she would have been an Alchemist like Varian.
- Varian very nearly had a spin-off series that would have been called "Varian And The Seven Kingdoms," and would have centered around Varian teaming up with a cast of several other alchemists to pass 7 Trials and unlock ancient alchemical totems which would free Varian's mother from being trapped in another realm, as well as help the other kingdoms face their own share of hardships.
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|— Characters —|
|Main characters||Rapunzel • Eugene Fitzherbert • Cassandra • Pascal • Maximus|
|Other characters||King Frederic • Queen Arianna • Varian • Quirin • Angry and Red • Lance Strongbow • Fidella • Nigel • Hook Foot • Ulf • Xavier • Weasel • Ruddiger • Monty • Mrs. Sugarby • Old Lady Crowley • Owl • Ruthless Ruth • The Stabbington Brothers • Friedborg • Feldspar • Four Sisters • Attila • Axel • Lady Caine • Willow • Captain of the Guards • Andrew • Uumlaut • Shorty • Pete and Stan • Fernanda Pizazzo • Separatists of Saporia • The Collector • The Baron • King Herz Der Sonne • King Trevor • King Edmund • General Shampanier|