Varian is a young, brilliant, yet often clumsy alchemist and a recurring character in the Tangled series. He started out as an ally to Princess Rapunzel and her friends, but after a tragic accident involving his father and Rapunzel's inability to help him, he becomes the vengeance-seeking main antagonist of the season although he returned in the second season.
See description above and personality section below.
A young but brilliant-minded scientist, alchemist, and inventor, Varian started out with a youthful idealistic view that sought to be of help to others through his work as an alchemist. But he was often at odds with his father and his wishes to make his father proud made him insecure and awkward, especially around other people.
He is irritated by people calling his work magic when he insists it is science, and he has a progressive mind, wanting to help his village when it is under siege by mysterious spikes of unbreakable rock despite his father's wishes to pretend the problem doesn't exist.
When one of his experiments in finding a solution goes horribly wrong that it entraps his father in unbreakable amber, Varian is overwhelmed with guilt and went to the only person he hoped could help, Princess Rapunzel. But due to a crisis going on, Rapunzel reluctantly turned Varian away, causing him to lose all faith in her and the royal family and the people of Corona, vowing to make them pay.
He became bitter, spiteful, and manipulative, setting up a large-scale problem and tricking Rapunzel into helping him acquire the dried remains of the Sundrop Flower and hatefully telling her off for breaking her promise to help him should he ever come to her and turning him away from a moment of real need.
Varian threw away his moral compass when he came to the conclusion he needed Rapunzel, not the flower, to free his father. He sent an automaton to attack her, which caused her father, King Frederic, to confine Rapunzel to a tower, and then willfully mutated his pet raccoon to attack the castle guard, distracting everybody while Varian kidnapped Rapunzel's mother, Queen Arianna. He showed himself to be remorseless to Arianna, spurning her sympathies and attempts to convince him not to go down this path. However, he does admit to her that he is aware of the path he's taken but feels he has gone too far to turn back. He's also proven incapable of taking responsibility for his actions because despite what happens to his father being his own fault he instead blames Rapunzel and the entire kingdom.
Varian also proved to have excellent foresight, as he accurately predicted Rapunzel and Frederic would try to sneak up on him while their friends kept Varian's automatons occupied, and he went as far as to threaten Arianna by spilling the same amber mixture that imprisoned his father to do the same to the queen, in order to force Rapunzel to comply with his demands.
When he realized Rapunzel's unbreakable hair could not free his father, Varian suffered an emotional breakdown and threatened that if he could not have a happy ending then neither would Rapunzel. He became murderous, virtually psychotic, and even after he was foiled and arrested, he seethed with a promise to his father he would make him proud.
Frederic promised Rapunzel he would make sure Varian gets the help he needs and that he would do everything he could to free the boy's father.
He was confirmed to return in the second season of the series, because his name is in the main voice cast of the season, although the circumstances leading up to his return are currently unknown.
Magic?! I do not work with magic! I mean, technically it's not magic, it's alchemy. But yeah, don't sweat it
~ Varian explaining his profession.
They... Will... Pay.
~ Varian swearing revenge after finishes singing.
Fascinating! I believe this is an automaton, a marvel of ancient technology, really
~ Varian describing The Automaton.
What difference does it make!!? It's just sitting here, rotting anyway!! (A small bottle fall from Varian's bag.) (Rapunzel: That flacon. This had Xavier's mood potion in it.) (Varian takes the bottle away) (Rapunzel: Varian, that potion is dangerous! You shouldn't be fooling with it!) There was just one drop left. But it was enough for me to replicate and modify! I had to be sure the flower was here. (Rapunzel: So you made a truth serum and gave to everyone?) Heh. You’d be surprised what people will tell you for a cookie. (Rapunzel:(gasps) Pete? Stan? How could you?!) Oh, do you honestly expect me to be concerned about the welfare of Corona!? (Rapunzel: But you said you..) Rapunzel, I used you!! I've begged to you and this kingdom for help! Everyone turned their back on me!! It has to be this way!! (Rapunzel: I defied a direct order from my father - the King because I trusted you! We both broke the Law! (sighs) Give me the flower, Varian. We can find a way to fix all of this: the Rock, your dad, everything! I promise you! I promise!! Just... this is not the way. Please?) (Varian hesitates and gives a stern look) Sorry... Princess. But I know firsthand how well you keep promises.
~ Varian revealing his true colors to Rapunzel and Pascal.
I'm the bad guy, that's fine, It's no fault of mine, And some justice, at last, will be served.
~ Varian during "Ready As I'll Ever Be".
I can't make any promises Princess.
~ Varian, after Rapunzel begs Varian to let her mother go.
No! No!, I wasn't wrong! It's not my fault, none of it is! It her fault!
~ Varian blaming Rapunzel for being unable to free his father.
I will make you proud, dad. If it's the last thing I do....
~ Varian's last words after he is arrested.
Varien's evil stare.
Varien's dark side begins awake.
Varian revealing his true and new colors to Rapunzel.
Varian have similarities with Syndrome in The Incredibles: Both used to be geeks boys that wanted to be respected and admired (Varian wanted to make his father proud while Syndrome wanted to be a hero or to be famous), until someone that they worship or see a friend turned their back to them (Rapunzel broke her promise of helping Varian while Mr. Incredible turned down the offer of Syndrome becoming his sidekick), causing them to both begin to harbour a grudge against everyone for "forsake them". Due to this, both became villains with the intentions to fulfill their objectives, even if it does mean make amoral actions. Finally, Varian got arrested for his crimes while Syndrome get killed after getting his cape caught in a jet turbine.
In the fanbase, Varian is considered as the person that Hiro Hamada would become if he would be incapable of overcoming his hatred against Callaghan. As both are inventors that lose a family member (Varian lost his father and Hiro lose his brother), both blame Rapunzel and Callaghan for this. But the difference is that Hiro was capable of overcame his hatred in the end, allowing keep himself in a heroic way, unlike Varian that allow that his hatred control his actions, causing his path to becoming a villain