The other witches in WandaVision episode 8 — as well as Agatha’s mother — play a short but memorable role in “Previously On.” WandaVision‘s penultimate episode started a little differently following Agatha Harkness’ big reveal in the episode before, showing the witch’s past in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693. Audiences discover how old Agatha truly is: she’s been a witch for centuries, surviving to an unnaturally old age by sucking the power and life force out of her sisters. It truly has been Agatha all along, for longer than audiences suspected.
In the flashback, Agatha was put on trial, echoing the real-life Salem witch trials where suspected magic users were burnt at the stake. But this was a trial by her own coven, who wanted to punish Agatha because she “stole knowledge above (her) age and station” and for “practiced the darkest of magic.” Her mother and her sisters have decided she must pay for her abuse of the rule. Unfortunately for them, they underestimated Agatha quite severely: Instead of burning her at the stake – or whatever they intended to do with their magic – they end up as dried up, lifeless husks, while Agatha appears to become more and more powerful.
The cast members convincingly played the role of using their powers to curse Agatha and then being sucked dry. Who plays Agatha’s mother, and who plays her fellow witches in the coven?
The lead witch in the coven, the one referred to as “mother” by Agatha, is played by Kate Forbes. While it’s not especially clear in the episode if “mother” is a title for the leader of the coven or if Agatha is pleading with her actual mother, the role is credited as Evanora Harkness. It’s likely Agatha is being put on trial by her actual mother, who also leads the coven. Kate Forbes has previously appeared in minor roles in films such as A Dark Place and All Saints.
Interestingly, Evanora is the name of another famous witch: the Wicked Witch of the East, who gets squashed beneath Dorothy’s house in The Wizard of Oz. The role was played by Rachel Weisz in 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful. Could there be a future in the MCU for Evanora’s sister, Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West (Mila Kunis in the same film), or is this just a subtle nod to one of Disney’s other properties?
There are seven other witches in the coven in the WandaVision flashback. They’re credited in WandaVision as “stunt witches.” Most of the seven actresses have experience with stunt work, with credits on major blockbuster movies – even some in the MCU. The actresses who play the witches in WandaVision episode 8 include Stacey Carino Marcus (The Host, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Jessica Medina (The Hate U Give, Luke Cage), Elizabeth Davidovich (Stranger Things), Nicole Reddinger (The Walking Dead, Black Widow), Jennifer Badger (Avengers: Endgame), and Rachel Hoffpauir (Dynasty). Nadia Lorencz has had a broader role in WandaVision in several episodes – she regularly steps in as the stunt double for Teyonah Parris.
While these roles are all minor characters that don’t survive the one scene where we meet them, it’s nice to see actresses who have mostly played stunt doubles getting some face time in a significant production like WandaVision.