Scarlet Witch: Wanda’s MCU Superhero Name Explained

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Marvel’s WandaVision, episode 8

In Marvel’s WandaVisionWanda Maximoff finally got her official name and title from the comics as the Scarlet Witch. Wanda’s nosy neighbor Agnes was revealed in episode 7 to be a fellow witch by the name of Agatha Harkness; episode 8 sees Agatha determined to discover the img of Wanda’s incredible power that she used to create her fantasy reality in Westview, New Jersey. Forcing Wanda to go back into her past, Agatha slowly builds a theory which she then confirms by the end of the episode, having come to the conclusion that Wanda is much more than even Wanda herself knew.

Having taken her children hostage, Agatha forces Wanda to relive her own past and traumas, something Wanda has actively tried to avoid.  It should be noted that over the course of Wanda’s time in the MCU, she has never been given the Scarlet Witch nickname/alias. Most aliases in the MCU have some sort of grounded logic behind them rather than just being the names the heroes choose (Spider-Man being a notable exception). The name Iron Man was created as an oversimplification by the media. Captain America was created by the United States’ WWII propaganda effort. As such, it makes sense why Wanda hadn’t yet been given her own alias as the term “witch” does have some negative connotations of fear behind it, and the public had only just started to see Wanda as a potential threat after the events of Captain America: Civil WarSimilarly, Wanda received the name in the comics due to superstitious and fearful villagers witnessing her powers on display.

Finally, Agatha and Wanda witness when Wanda first visited Westview, as Vision had hoped the two of them could start building a life together before being killed by Thanos. In her grief and sorrow, Wanda unleashed a massive wave of power which created the Hex of energy over the whole town. Wanda created their house as well as a new Vision, as the real Vision had been dismantled by SWORD. Her power also extended to the control of every citizen’s actions (to some degree), while also rewriting their personalities to better fit her fantasy reality. As a result, Agatha can only conclude one reason why Wanda is able to conjure and maintain so many spells at once that no mere witch should be able to cast. She declares that Wanda is a Scarlet Witch, a being of spontaneous creation that had belonged to myth and legend, finally giving Wanda a meaningful and substantial reason to hold the alias, one that she’s secretly had all along.

Agatha also notes how dangerous Wanda is as the Scarlet Witch as her power comes from chaos magic, explaining the extreme amounts of power Wanda wields on autopilot. Not only that, but Agatha’s belief in Scarlet Witch as a major threat most likely comes from Wanda’s inexperience as well. The beginning of the episode did confirm that Wanda is not trained in witchcraft like Agatha is. Furthermore, chaos magic by its very name is…chaotic, meaning that it would no doubt be hard to control regardless of any training Wanda could have had. While Scarlet Witch is very powerful in the comics, as well, it does seem as though the MCU is going the extra mile by having the name hold a much greater significance, signifying Wanda and her abilities as something that’s long been almost mythic.

While it’s very exciting that Wanda has gained her official title from the comics as the Scarlet Witch, the consequences of what that actually means for Wanda going forward are most likely going play a large role not just as Marvel’s WandaVision nears its series finale, but also for the greater MCU, particularly given the series’ reported connection to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It’s possible that the Sorcerer Supreme is about to get a new student in desperate need of training, though a name like the Scarlet Witch could indicate a darker path for Wanda as well.

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