Stratification of SU(r)-character varieties of twisted Hopf links

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We describe the geometry of the character variety of representations of the fundamental group of the complement of a Hopf link with n twists, namely Γn=⟨x,y|[xn,y]=1⟩ into the group SU(r). For arbitrary rank, we provide geometric descriptions of the loci of irreducible and totally reducible representations. In the case r=2, we provide a complete geometric description of the character variety, proving that this SU(2)-character variety is a deformation retract of the larger SL(2,C)-character variety, as conjectured by Florentino and Lawton. In the case r=3, we also describe different strata of the SU(3)-character variety according to the semi-simple type of the representation.
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