“Wanda is in fact the Scarlet Witch.”
In December 2019 during CCXP, Kevin Feige promised fans that WandaVision would see Wanda Maximoff become the Scarlet Witch, a moniker that had not been associated with the MCU version of the character. The-One-Above-All told us that Wanda’s transformation into the Scarlet Witch would be scary and he told us that it would have repercussions for the rest of Phase 4. With one episode left of WandaVision, it’s clear that Feige has kept his promise to fans and that while WandaVision is coming to an end, Wanda is just beginning her journey down the witches’ road.
Episode 8 took Wanda and the audience on a harrowing journey down memory lane that not only showed us how Wanda’s past grief led her to her present situation in Westview but also what the future holds for her. Agatha spelled it out pretty clearly: Wanda’s a witch (and a thumpin’ good’un), has always been a witch and she’s only just now coming into her powers. Agatha’s reveal that she believes Wanda is the Scarlet Witch of myth, a being so dangerous and powerful in her ability to wield Chaos magic that she shouldn’t exist, works so well because both the audience and Wanda have waited a long time to find out something we probably should have known all along. We finally have a clean and complete origin story for Wanda in the MCU, something that’s not always been so easy to accomplish in the comics.
Few Marvel Comics characters have suffered through more complex and confusing retcons than Wanda Maximoff. Mutant or not? Magneto or the Whizzer? High Evolutionary or Django? It goes on and on but what’s relevant here is that Feige, Jac Schaeffer and Matt Shakman chose to avoid all the mess and turn to James Robinson’s 2016 Scarlet Witch for inspiration. Robinson’s book follows the 2014 retcon that revealed that Wanda and Pietro are not mutants. For decades, their mutantness defined them as characters and to readers and Robinson cleverly turned Wanda finding out who she isn’t into a way to explore who she is. Wanda meets the specter of her dead mother and learns that the Scarlet Witch is a title that has been passed on through generations of her family, firmly anchoring her to the mystical corner of the Marvel universe.
It would seem that Feige and company have chosen to take Wanda down that same witches’ road here. Unless they’re planning to complicate what right now is a very clean origin by later explaining that her ability to use magic comes from her being a mutant (something that’s entirely unnecessary at this point), it seems that Wanda is simply a witch, albeit an incredibly powerful one whose power was made greater after exposure to the Mind Stone and one who seems to have experienced a full psychotic break and unleashed her power to create a new reality. The flashbacks show us a witch so powerful that she seems to be converting energy into matter as she builds a house, a neighborhood and a Vision. Now that Wanda has learned who she is, it’s clear that the answers to the questions of how she’ll handle her grief, her power and her destiny are going to shape the MCU in Phase 4.
WandaVision‘s final episode is set to stream this Friday.