[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers fort WandaVision .]
We don’t know a whole ton about the plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, other than the fact it will involve Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the multiverse (possibly even one of madness), and Elizabeth Olsen‘s Wanda Maximoff. Now that WandaVision has come to a devastating conclusion, things are just a bit clearer on how Wanda — now officially dubbed the Scarlet Witch —f its into the MCU’s Phase 4. The gist is this: Wanda is now meddling in magics that are above even the Sorcerer Supreme’s paygrade.
The proof is in WandaVision‘s second credits scene, which finds Wanda in a remote cabin getting well-acquainted with the cursed book of spells known as The Darkhold. We have a deeper dive into the Darkhold right here, but the thing to know is that it’s full of ancient, dark magic, the type of forbidden incantations that get Doctor Strange to leave the Sanctum Sanctorum. WandaVision itself makes the connection; composer Michael Giacchino‘s Doctor Strange theme plays over the credits scene, and Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) says outright that Wanda’s newfound power is going to put her higher on the magical totem pole than Strange himself.
“The Scarlet Witch is not born, she is forged. She has no coven or need for incantation. Your power exceeds that of the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s your destiny to destroy the world.”
It’s the whole “destiny to destroy the world” bit that’s probably going to concern a few of Wanda’s superhero peers. The thing is, Wanda’s deep-dive into forbidden magic mirrors Strange’s own journey in Doctor Strange. He, too, cracked open the pages of deeply powerful books before he was ready, for slightly less noble reasons—Wanda is acting out of trauma, Strange is just ambitious to a fault—without fully understanding the possible consequences of his actions. “Temporal manipulations can create branches in time. Unstable dimensional openings! Spatial paradoxes! Time loops!” Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) admonishes Strange.
Then Wong (Benedict Wong) adds: “We do not tamper with natural law. We defend it.”
Now, the roles have switched around. As the current Sorcerer Supreme, Strange is solely responsible for defending natural law, and it’s another hotshot new magic-wielder—one who just recently learned about the potential of her power—tampering with the order of things. But where Strange was interested in time, Wanda is focused on reality. The last thing we hear in WandaVision is the voices of Wanda’s twin sons, Tommy and Billy, calling out for help. The problem is, Tommy and Billy…don’t actually exist; like Vision, they existed inside Westview as an extension of Wanda’s longing for a less traumatic life. So wherever they’re calling from, it’s not here. At least, not a here that we, people without access to a reality-altering spellbook written by a Lovecraft monster, can comprehend.
I refuse to say that’s definitely going to lead straight into the multiverse because the MCU has now teased that concept twice now; one time it was just Jake Gyllenhaal as a disgruntled illusionist, the second time Evan Peters was playing a boner joke. But, look, “multiverse of madness” is right there in the title, and Wanda is now taking a crash course in Chaos Magic. One of the first lessons the Exalted One (Tilda Swinton) taught Strange is that a threat to the multiverse is the highest priority possible.
“Learning of an infinite Multiverse includes learning of infinite dangers,” she says in Doctor Strange. “If I told you everything else that you don’t already know, you’d run from here in terror.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to hit theaters on March 25, 2022. All episodes of WandaVision are now available to stream on Disney+.
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