WandaVision has rewritten the history of Wanda Maximoff, deepening her mysterious connection to the Mind Stone – and this could tie directly into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Figures at Marvel Studios have been openly talking about retconning Wanda Maximoff’s powers for quite some time, but that finally became a reality in WandaVision episode 8. According to Agatha Harkness, Wanda was a young witch whose magic would probably have dwindled with age had she not been exposed to the Mind Stone.
Exposure to the Mind Stone apparently transformed Wanda into something even a centuries-old sorceress like Agatha Harkness previously believed was just a myth. She is officially the MCU’s latest “Scarlet Witch,” a being who manipulates Chaos Magic and is capable of spontaneous creation. This appears to contrast with “normal” magic in the MCU, which the Ancient One defined as harnessing energy drawn from other dimensions of the Multiverse. Where their magic technically obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics – energy is neither created nor destroyed, but rather transferred from one plane of reality to another – Wanda’s seems to openly defy it. She rewrites reality at will.
Scarlet Witch is being retconned ahead of Doctor Strange 2, with Elizabeth Olsen confirmed to be playing a major role in Sam Raimi’s still-mysterious sequel. It’s difficult to say whether Wanda will be the cause of the “Multiverse of Madness” or the only one who can put it right, or perhaps even both. But one subtle detail in WandaVision episode 8 may set this up.
It’s easy to forget the Infinity Stones are very different to the powerful gems from the comics. Accounts of their origin were given by Odin and the Collector, with the latter telling the Guardians of the Galaxy they predate the universe. “Before creation itself, there were six singularities,” he explained. “Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots… Infinity Stones.” While most of the Infinity Stones seem to manipulate tremendous flows of power, the Mind Stone is different; when Tony Stark experimented on it in Avengers: Age of Ultron he detected a network of neurons, suggesting it is some sort of conscious entity in its own right. Marvel has clarified Loki’s invasion of Earth in The Avengers was conducted under the Mind Stone’s influence, with an update to their website saying that “Unbeknownst to [Loki], the Scepter was also influencing him, fueling his hatred over his brother Thor and the inhabitants of Earth.” And in Avengers: Infinity War, Vision had the sense the Mind Stone was attempting to speak to him, presumably warning him of Thanos’ impending arrival. The Mind Stone certainly seems to have an agenda, which means it does nothing without a purpose.
WandaVision episode 8 included a flashback to the moment Wanda Maximoff’s magical powers were amplified by exposure to the Mind Stone. Previous Hydra test subjects had died, but the Mind Stone immediately reacted to Wanda’s proximity, shattering open and bathing her with the cosmic energy of creation itself. It granted her a vision of what is presumably her future self as the Scarlet Witch, a figure of incredible grace and majesty. But if the Mind Stone is not some mere abstract power but rather contains an entity in its own right, then this scene takes on a very different perspective; it is the moment the Mind Stone chose Wanda as its agent.
Agatha Harkness suggested Scarlet Witches are rare, and it is possible this is because they are all chosen by the Mind Stone. That would explain why, in Avengers: Infinity War, Wanda was able to destroy the Mind Stone because her powers operate on a “very similar… signature” to the Infinity Stone, although Vision never defined what exactly that means. Likewise, in WandaVision episode 8 Director Hayward was able to use Wanda’s Hex magic to reactivate the Vision because the synthezoid “needed a little energy directly from the img.” The Mind Stone was originally a core part of Vision’s creation, and reactivating him required a flood of power related to it in some mysterious way. Somehow, the powers of the Scarlet Witch seem to be inextricably linked to the Mind Stone – as though it is actually the wellspring of energy she draws upon.
Thanos believed he destroyed the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Endgame, but that does not actually seem to be the case; according to the Ancient One, they create the flow of time itself, so their destruction would cause the end of all reality. Avengers: Endgame‘s directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained the Infinity Stones are not actually lost, resolving this apparent plot hole by clarifying Thanos simply reduced them to an atomic level. “The stones are still present in the universe,” they noted, but are essentially inaccessible – by conventional means.
Scarlet Witch’s magic is, of course, far from conventional – meaning she could actually be drawing upon the power of the Mind Stone. The Mind Stone could be the img of Chaos Magic, or alternatively, it could have bound itself to Wanda, meaning it is interwoven with her abilities. That would explain why Wanda is now displaying more power than ever before, because when she was restored to existence during Avengers: Endgame she was plunged into a reality where the Mind Stone had been shattered, its power diffused into the fabric of the universe, now available to her in an unlimited form. And all that is happening now could be in accordance with the consciousness driving the Mind Stone’s power, with Wanda serving as its “Chosen One” for precisely this purpose.
Scarlet Witch has always been a “Chosen One” in the comics. Most Chosen Ones are heroes like Harry Potter, but in the comics Wanda was chosen by an ancient force of evil, Chthon, who imbued her with mystical energy in order to break down the barriers between different planes of existence and allow him to invade the Earth. The more she grew in power, the stronger Chthon’s hold on her became, until finally, the time came for her to fulfill her destiny. Chthon intended her to become his avatar, the host of his demonic power and personality, but fortunately, he had underestimated the innate goodness of Scarlet Witch’s humanity and she broke free from his control.
Scarlet Witch’s story has clearly changed in the MCU, but the basics certainly feel similar; she has been chosen by a cosmic entity, and her magic seems to be bound to the power of this being. The Mind Stone’s true agenda must be different to Chthon’s – for one thing, it is already present on this plane of existence – but it is entirely possible it desires to cause a Multiverse of Madness. Worse still, the destruction of the Time Stone means Doctor Strange has lost any ability to see this threat coming; the Masters of the Mystic Arts have lost their greatest weapon, the tool they used to avert countless terrible futures. As in the comics, Scarlet Witch’s humanity could be the Earth’s last defense against the coming storm.