WandaVision episode 8 spoilers follow.

Who is the Scarlet Witch? On the face of it, this feels like a rather redundant question. For decades, Wanda Maximoff has fought evil using that exact code-name in Marvel comics. And since her debut in the MCU, fans and journalists alike have continued to describe her as such.

So why did the penultimate episode of WandaVision suddenly make such a big deal of Agatha’s revelation, that Wanda is indeed the Scarlet Witch?

Earlier on in season one, Hayward, AKA that bastard who revived Vision, asked if Maximoff has a superhero alias: “No funny nickname?” Jimmy Woo confirmed that she does not, reminding us that there isn’t anyone called the Scarlet Witch currently roaming the MCU.

At the time, it felt like a rather odd and unnecessary conversation, but in hindsight, it’s clear that the writers wanted to remind us that Wanda isn’t the Scarlet Witch, at least not in this traditional heroic sense. Instead, the Scarlet Witch could be even more dangerous than Thanos, threatening not just the MCU but the multiverse as a whole.

After forcing Wanda (and us) to confront the most traumatic moments of her life, Agatha has finally determined the true source of Maximoff’s power. Yes, it turns out that Wanda possessed magical gifts before HYDRA experimented on her, and sure, her power was undoubtedly amplified by an infinity stone, but there’s something else going on too, something that can explain how Wanda is able to create matter out of nothing (including her dead husband and two non-existent children).

At the end of this stroll through memory lane, Agatha applauds Wanda. But it’s not long before she teleports away and grabs hold of Billy and Tommy to keep them hostage. The implication here is that Agatha is not just impressed by Wanda — she’s also afraid, hiding behind the twins to keep herself safe.

“I know what you are,” Agatha declares. “You have no idea how dangerous you are.”

But isn’t Wanda supposed to be one of the good guys? While she has indeed enslaved an entire town, something which doesn’t exactly scream “hero”, Agatha is referring to something else entirely.

“You’re supposed to be a myth,” the former Agnes continues. “A being capable of spontaneous creation… and here you are using it to make breakfast for dinner.” While we can’t help but applaud Wanda’s culinary choices, it turns out that these abilities are born of something far darker.

“This whole other life you’ve made… It’s chaos magic, Wanda. That makes you the Scarlet Witch.”

In the comics, Wanda was long described as a mutant, much like the X-Men, until a 2014 storyline revealed that her powers are purely magical in origin. As mutants haven’t yet been introduced to the MCU, it makes sense that WandaVision would stick to this explanation, doubling down on Wanda’s power as a sorceress.

But why is Chaos Magic something to be feared? Agatha isn’t exactly a wallflower, after all. While the show won’t tackle this directly until the season finale, comic book fans will already know that Chaos Magic is linked to an Elder God/Arch-Demon known as Chthon.

Not only is he someone you would want to avoid at all costs, but the power of Chaos Magic itself far exceeds that of anything seen in the MCU to date. If not handled right, Chaos Energy can destroy all of existence across all planes of existence. And let’s face it, Wanda isn’t exactly living her best self right now.

But there’s more to it than that. Remember, we’ve never actually heard the name “Scarlet Witch” uttered before in the MCU, so what is Agatha referring to here exactly? Well, let’s just say this isn’t a cute superhero codename for Wanda.

According to Agatha, the Scarlet Witch is widely regarded to be a myth, something too powerful to exist. But how did Wanda tap into this power? If you were watching this episode very closely, you might have noticed that Wanda has a brief vision of someone wearing Scarlet Witch headgear when the infinity stone unlocks her gifts.

While it’s possible that Wanda might have somehow seen a future version of herself in that moment, it seems more likely that this was her first actual encounter with the Scarlet Witch’s form. This could either represent a separate cosmic entity, much like the Phoenix in X-Men movies, or perhaps Wanda had a vision of an ancestor, a previous Scarlet Witch.

Just a few years ago, Marvel retconned Wanda’s history entirely in a limited comic book series by James Robinson. This twelve-issue arc revealed that Wanda isn’t Magneto’s daughter after all. Instead, it turns out that her real birth mother, Natalya Maximoff, was the Scarlet Witch before Wanda. This means that the mantle is actually passed down from generation to generation, along with an innate affinity for Chaos Magic.

Whether the Mind Stone showed Wanda’s true heritage or whether it enabled her to see the “Scarlet Witch” as a separate entity, it’s clear that these powers are now intrinsic to her as well.

And that’s why Wanda dressed up in that costume during the Halloween episode. Yes, it was a cute tribute to her outfit in the comics, but it also ties back to that moment in Strucker’s lab when Wanda saw the ‘Scarlet Witch’ up close and personal. Westview was created almost entirely out of Wanda’s subconscious, so this suggests that she already sees herself as the Scarlet Witch too, whether she realizes it yet or not.

So we now have a better idea of what the Scarlet Witch might actually be, but what’s not yet clear is whether this force, this energy, will be used for good or evil. Either way, it positions Wanda Maximoff as perhaps the most powerful person in the entire cosmos. Let’s just hope she gets a handle on this power very soon, or WandaVision could end up feeding into one of Marvel’s most harmful, tired tropes.

WandaVision airs weekly every Friday on Disney+.

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