WandaVision has come a long way. What started as an innocuous sitcom surrounding Wanda and Vision’s life together in Westview has now completely spun out of control, its every episode engendering tons of unexplored avenues and fodder for fan theories. Even though much of the increasingly weird aberrations of Westview are finally being explained, there are still many theories that could turn out to be correct about what’s really happening and who is actually pulling the strings.
One of those many theories surrounds Nightmare, a Marvel supervillain. But who is Nightmare really and how is he related to the events of WandaVision? Here’s all you need to know going ahead.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be reading this story unless you’ve seen the show until episode 8, ‘Previously On’. So, with that out of the way, let’s dive right in.
Related: Who is Evil Vision in WandaVision!
Who is Nightmare?
In the comics, Nightmare is the ruler of the Dream Dimension and is one of the Fear Lords. His chief ability has been described as feeding off of psychic energies of dreaming beings and trapping entities (including superheroes) inside manifestations of their own worst nightmares. Although Nightmares has had multiple adversaries in the Marvel universe, he is most notably the nemesis of Doctor Strange.
So where does Nightmare fit into the MCU? Well, the idea that Nightmare could actually be behind Wanda’s Westview, specifically her amnesiac denial about how it all started, had gained quite a bit of steam. That is, until the penultimate episode revealed it was Chaos Magic and the powers that come with being a Scarlet Witch.
However, there are still a few questions surrounding what could actually be taking place behind the scenes, and the plausible theories need to be taken to their logical end. MCU does have a knack for pulling the rug from underneath the feet when the viewers least expect it. But the signs are always there for those who’ve been following closely. Let us look at a few and find what Nightmare’s possible role could be.
Related: The Scarlet Witch Myth!
All just a bad dream?
In episode 8, we see Wanda, under duress, returning to her past memories and showing Agatha where her obsession with the ’60s sitcoms originated. Trapped under debris with her brother for over two days, with a Stark bomb before them (that never went off), child-Wanda watched “Dick Van Dyke” episodes playing on TV just as they were before the air raid began. She tells Agatha that she loved such genre of sitcom because “at the end of the episode, you realize it was all a bad dream. None of it was real.”
Now, we’re not one to read too much into passing dialogues, but when it dangles a possible connection to a Marvel supervillain, it is hard to resist.
Nightmare’s dream-reality powers of drawing from the psychic energies of subconscious minds make him the perfect prospect for the true power behind Wanda’s Westview, given how all its dreamlike qualities are now degenerating into a really bad dream.
Related: Is Agatha Harkness Good or Bad?
Fan theories abound, and one intriguing one involves Agatha’s link with Nightmare, albeit an indirect one. The occult is strong with Agatha, but she may be using her supernatural ability for a very human reason – to get her son (Nicholas Scratch) back. One theory that allows us to fit the pieces together tells that Agatha, in a bid to bring her son back (through Wanda), may accidentally end up summoning Nightmare. It is possible that this could take place, and we’ve all been scratching our heads as to when something will become of Senor Scratchy anyway.
Starting to think Agatha will be the main ‘villain’ until the end & not necessarily a multiverse villain. Agatha needed some sort of motivation for doing this to Wanda tho.
Theory: Agatha is using Wanda to get her son back (Nicholas Scratch) & she accidentally summons Nightmare. pic.twitter.com/X2QtJbRJTW
— AnotherMarvelGuy (@AnotherMarvelG) February 23, 2021
Then there’s the Pietro angle. Before the latest episode, there were myriad speculations on who Pietro could actually be. However, Agatha basically let the secret out – he was a fake. Fietro, as she called him, was a transformation. But a transformation of what? She’s already said that necromancy and resurrections were out of the question since Pietro’s body is on another continent, full of holes. So, whose body is it exactly?
This is where we run out of clues and end up speculating again. Of course, the simplest answer could be that it is a Skrull, an extraterrestrial shapeshifter. But it could also be one of the many villains that fans have mulled over throughout the course of the show – Nightmare, Mephisto, or Chthon. These contenders, however, including Nightmare, do not make a strong case.
What does make a strong case is actually outside WandaVision – Doctor Strange’s upcoming 2022 sequel: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Director Scott Derrickson has said before that he had considered ‘Nightmare’ to be the main villain in the first Doctor Strange movie. But bringing in multiple complex ideas, such as nightmare dimensions and multiverses, could have been too much to begin with.
But now that we’ve had more than just a taste of the multiverse, it would be the perfect time to introduce Nightmare. We know that the sequel is set after the events of WandaVision and with Wanda playing a part in the Doctor Strange movie, nothing would make more sense than having Nightmare introduced beforehand, possibly in the finale of WandaVision.
It is by far one of the best things Marvel has produced. I feel like this could very much be a set up for multiverse of madness. The Wanda Vision comics has the first appearance of Nightmare who is the prominent villain in the House of M comics on which DS 2 is based.
— Ashwini Kelkar #BLM 🌺 (@AshwiniKelkar1) February 27, 2021
The show will then seal its fate as a bridge to the multiverse story. The last episode can’t get here fast enough, for it will put an end to all speculation and theorizing (or beget new ones?) and reveal what Nightmare’s role is in the story, if there is any.
Is Mark Hamill the Nightmare in WandaVision?
Fans have been freaking out ever since Elizabeth Olsen teased that there might be a Luke Skywalker-level cameo coming up in the season finale (mentioned in reference to the appearance of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian season 2 finale that stunned viewers and had us all wondering how such a thing could have remained a secret until the episode aired).
Olsen has been a huge fan of Mark Hamill and is, reportedly, “really excited” for the fans to see who’s going to come. Although Olsen didn’t divulge any more details, fans think they’ve got it down. It could be that she’s having a bit of fun with the fans with the Luke Skywalker-level cameo reference when it could actually be Mark Hamill himself as one of the MCU characters.
It has been said that there is a Mandalorian's Luke Skywalker type reveal coming to Wandavision….. Could it be that @HamillHimself will be Nightmare?…. and it will be a Luke Skywalker type reveal as it is Luke Skywalker?? #WandaVision
— MrCuffey (@MrCuffey) February 20, 2021
So far, the only character that could arrive as per the logical sequence of events of the show so far (and our own assumptions) is Nightmare. If that turns out to be the case, then it’s almost assured that it would be Mark Hamill that dons the role of the supervillain. With less than a week to go for the next episode, the show’s creator asks “all fans to settle in, because there’s more coming”. And we’re all waiting with bated breaths.
Related: Is Agatha Harkness a Scarlet Witch?