After much patient anticipation, it is exciting to see that the occult has become a central theme in the MCU this year. Up until now Marvel dabbled with occult magic only using Doctor Strange but it seems that the makers are now ready to embrace not just one but two powerful female witches in all their glory.
With the introduction of Agatha Harkness and The Scarlet Witch in WandaVision, the first Marvel show of 2021 left fans absolutely stunned and breathless. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen and witnessed so far in the MCU.
When WandaVision took in medias res to the next level and rolled the plot in black and white as a reality show that has no background or explanation; it should have been a strong indicator of the franchise’s intention to completely change track and move on a radically different tangent entirely.
*Spoiler Alert* from this point forward.
Let’s talk about Wanda Maximoff a.k.a The Scarlet Witch. The superhero who is also the protagonist of WandaVision is clearly struggling with the death of The Vision, the love of her life. Grief, it appears, acts as an incredible trigger for her powers because she ends up creating a tremendously powerful illusion in a matter of minutes.
Agatha Harkness, during the recall, notices how Wanda performs her magic and almost reverentially calls her a being capable of spontaneous creation. ‘This is chaos magic, Wanda and that makes YOU the Scarlet Witch.’ Of course, Agatha’s conclusions have triggered questions of our own, like how Wanda managed to get such potent power in the first place. So here’s everything we know so far.
The origin story of Wanda Maximoff
The comic rendition and MCU rendition of Wanda Maximoff are radically different. At least as of yet, there has not even been a mention of her real parentage in the movies or the show. In the comics, Wanda was naturally born with magical powers as a Transian Witch, powers that she eventually learns to wield and control thanks to an Eastern European Coven of witches.
This Wanda is not christened the Scarlet Witch by Agatha Harkness but rather by an unnamed village that she accidentally sets on fire. The Wanda Maximoff from the comics has a much darker story than the one we are seeing portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision.
Nevertheless, both Wandas eventually overcome their terrible circumstances, see the light and eventually join the Avengers.
Where Did Wanda Get Her Powers?
Since her appearance in the MCU, fans have been made privy to Wanda as a Sokovian orphan and twin to Pietro Maximoff. The earlier impression of Wanda’s powers was that she acquired them thanks to HYDRA’s experiments. But the truth is that HYDRA was incapable of creating this kind of power in the first place. In WandaVision, a powerful scene from her time in HYDRA reveals that Wanda did not acquire her powers from the organization’s experiments.
In the guise of experimentation, they were exposing volunteers to the mind stone in the hope of invoking some sort of reaction. In the case of Wanda, the stone naturally gravitated towards her, bursting into a golden light and then we see the silhouette of a woman gravitate towards her before she faints and the scene closes.
Was Wanda from MCU born with these powers? What role did the mind stone play in this entire narrative? Indeed the one thing we can confirm is that even if Wanda was not born with these powers, she definitely inherited them from its owner at a very young age. Regarding the mind stone, it has acted as a catalyst to awaken her powers.
Indeed, if her love for the Vision is any indication, then the mind stone and her powers have a deep and intimate connection.
Unfortunately, Wanda herself is not aware of how she came to be with such fantastic powers. The ability to wield Chaos Magic, even according to Doctor Strange, is completely impossible. In fact, far as he is concerned, Chaos Magic does not exist.
So either Wanda has received these powers from her parents or she was given them at an age that it is impossible to recall the owner of the power. Nevertheless, now that we know Wanda is capable of changing the complete fabric of reality, it will be interesting to see how Marvel spins this particular plot for us.
When WandaVision first aired, it appeared unlike anything Marvel had done before. The movement of plot and reality show theme seemed completely out of place for this franchise’s general style. It seemed to be missing the heroine that we were all promised. Of course, it all makes a lot of sense now as we trace the journey of the Scarlet Witch not just in WandaVision, but even from when she was part of the Avengers.
Indeed, the formula has remained unchanged, only the application has changed rather drastically. Thought one Marvel aspect has remained absolutely consistent, the deeper the pain and harsher the trauma, the more powerful the superheroine molded from it.