Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron has gone on record saying that he envisioned the Scarlet Witch as the villain of the latest entry into the MCU right from the start. That decision hasn’t resonated with Wanda’s internet stans, many of whom feel it undoes her character’s arc in the Marvel Studios streaming series WandaVision. In an interview with Playlist, Waldron addresses their concerns and gives some insight into Wanda’s journey.
I guess I would say to the WandaVision fans, like, I get it. Watching a character you love do bad things sucks. That elicits a strong feeling, which is what we’re trying to do in the movies. We never would have done it if it didn’t feel like the next step in her character journey.
Wanda’s villainy is not unprecedented in the source material, where she was first introduced as a villain in 1964’s X-Men #4, nor in the MCU itself where she began as a Hydra experiment meant to counter the Avengers and was responsible for holding an entire community hostage in WandaVision. And while she ultimately freed the people of Westview, the series ended on an even darker note with Wanda studying the Darkhold, leaving fans to understand she hasn’t quite overcome the traumas she’s suffered, as Waldron points out.
To me, my interpretation of the story of WandaVision was, that Wanda is confronting her grief in that show, but I don’t think she’s necessarily conquering it. It’s a show about her living in denial to some extent and she’s conquering her denial, but I don’t think that she’s properly reckoning with her anger over what she’s endured, and that anger is what she carries with her as she walks away with the knowledge that she is the Scarlet Witch and with the Darkhold, this evil book. And I think it’s that anger that the Darkhold preys upon and pushes her on what is a, to me and I think to Wanda, a very justifiable, noble journey. She just wants her kids.
Wanda’s journey in the MCU has been nothing short of the universe’s most tragic. Defined almost entirely by what she’s lost, Wanda has rarely had time to breathe between tragedies. With Lizzie Olsen keen on continuing the character’s story, it’s worth considering that Wanda’s best days almost certainly lie ahead of her.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters now and you can stream all 9 episodes of WandaVision on Disney Plus.