Scarlet Witch Could Still Break The MCU’s Multiverse


Scalret Witch may have died in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but she could still break the MCU’s multiverse. When Wanda Maximoff crossed paths with Agatha Harkness, she learned her powers did not originate from the Mind Stone at all. Rather, she possessed latent magical abilities that would have “died on the vine” had she not been exposed to the power of an Infinity Stone, which set her on a journey to becoming the Scarlet Witch. Yet, while these abilities made her a potent threat in the main MCU timelines, the nature of the multiverse means that – even after her death – she can still wreak havoc.

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Agatha Harkness revealed the Scarlet Witch was foretold in the Darkhold, an ancient book of black magic. In the MCU, the Darkhold had been created by the first demon, Chthon, and one of its most ominous prophecies spoke of a coming Scarlet Witch whose power exceeded that of the Sorcerer Supreme – and who was apparently destined to destroy the universe. Wanda’s overwhelming sense of grief and loss completed her transformation into the Scarlet Witch, and in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness she tried to take advantage of the multiverse to restore her lost children. It soon became clear that she wouldn’t stop at that, however; even if Scarlet Witch accomplished her goal, she would have been driven onwards by her growing darkness, until she posed a threat to the entire multiverse.

Fortunately, the end of Doctor Strange 2 saw Wanda Maximoff’s humanity reassert itself. She realized she had been manipulated by the Darkhold’s magic, twisted and corrupted until she became a monster her children would fear. Wanda sacrificed herself to destroy the Darkhold across every reality, ensuring its dark magic would be lost forever. The shadow of the Scarlet Witch seemed to have been cast aside at last. However, the very existence of the multiverse means that this sense of safety may just be an illusion. As revealed by Doctor Strange 2, there remain innumerable other Wanda’s each capable of wielding their own innate magic. This means that, while the most familiar Scarlet Witch is no more, the villain can yet make a comeback via another variant.

The Scarlet Witch Still Exists In Other Universes

The fact that Scarlet Witch still exists in other universes is a major problem. No doubt there are many timelines where Scarlet Witch is completely different to the character seen in the MCU, as different as the Quicksilvers of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Fox’s old X-Men films. But Marvel’s What If…? has already confirmed there are branching MCU timelines where Wanda is becoming the Scarlet Witch. There will be countless branching timelines where Wanda began to study the Darkhold, learning its evil lessons.

It’s important to note that no variant of Scarlet Witch could have taken quite the same path as the one of Earth-616. This is because she sought out America Chavez, a being who seems to be unique in that she has no variants. It’s unclear how this works, but somehow America’s power must “fix” a timeline she is interacting with so it is unable to branch out. When Scarlet Witch began to focus her attention on America Chavez, it must have affected Earth-616 on a fundamental level, preventing any further so-called “nexus” events. Still, there will be other Scarlet Witches who learned different spells from the Darkhold, and chose other paths. They will have been disrupted when their own copies of the Darkhold were spontaneously destroyed, of course, but there is no reason to assume the taint of evil upon them has been erased.

It’s tempting to dismiss the threat of the Scarlet Witch. With the corruptive influence of the Darkhold destroyed, these variants of Wanda Maximoff will see their own humanity restored. But every one of them has already been twisted to some degree by the Darkhold; every one of them has still been tainted. There is no evidence that taint can be removed simply by destroying the Darkhold.

The Scarlet Witch Is Still A Being Of Chaos Magic

The fundamental problem lies in the fact that, even without the Darkhold, every Scarlet Witch still wields Chaos Magic. This power was demonstrated before Wanda Maximoff ever came across the Darkhold, when she instinctively used Chaos Magic to rewrite reality itself around the town of Westview, New Jersey. According to Agatha Harkness, it is Chaos Magic that proves Wanda was the Scarlet Witch in the first place; it is Chaos Magic that makes her more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme.

Agatha Harkness claimed the Scarlet Witch is not created, she is forged. There will surely be many variants of Wanda Maximoff who never became the Scarlet Witch, because that forging was never completed. But every variant created by branching timelines between WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will have done so, and there will even be other timelines where the forging went differently but created the Scarlet Witch nonetheless.

In the comics, Scarlet Witch’s Chaos Magic links her to Chthon, the same being who created the Darkhold. The same is likely true in the MCU as well, because according to Doctor Strange every sorcerer draws power from other dimensions and uses it to shape reality. Scarlet Witch must be drawing a phenomenal amount of power from some distant plane of existence, and it is probably the one on which Chthon dwells. This means that, although all variants of the Darkhold have been destroyed, Chthon retains a foothold in some timelines through the Scarlet Witches. His corruptive taint remains, albeit likely diluted.

Variants Of Scarlet Witch Could Still Destroy The Multiverse

This is the problem with the multiverse; if a villain is defeated in one timeline, they can still triumph in another. Earth-616’s Scarlet Witch may have reclaimed her humanity and destroyed the Darkhold, but there will be other timelines where Chthon’s influence endures. What’s more, because his dark magic influences the nature of reality and threatens the MCU’s entire multiverse, all it will take is one variant who falls to his influence. One Scarlet Witch who goes rogue can tap into all the power of Chthon, the wellspring of the Darkhold’s magic, and fulfill its prophecy by blazing a trail across all time and space.

This means Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness shouldn’t really be considered the end of the Scarlet Witch’s story. Rather, it should be viewed as potential setup for the story of another Scarlet Witch, one every bit as grave a danger to the multiverse as Kang the Conqueror or Ultron in Marvel’s What If…? season 1. The Scarlet Witch of Earth-616 may have rejected evil at the end of her life, but another Scarlet Witch could easily emerge from a different timeline who has chosen another path. The Darkhold’s prophecy may yet come true.

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