Wednesday, March 10, 2021

So it turns out Wanda Maximoff in the MCU was just using magic all along.

It turns out that the red glowy thing was just a magical spell all along. It also can
be turned off by just painting some runes on a wall. That's so disappointing.

There are spoilers ahead for WandaVision.

I just finished watching the short made for television series called WandaVision. I'd written about it in a previous post, and I said that it was difficult to watch because I empathized with Wanda's incredible pain and grief. Here was a character who was suffering who needed professional help. She needed therapy. My opinion on that has not changed a bit with the end of the series. But there were a few things I learned from this version of Wanda Maximoff that I wasn't aware of (and I'm strictly talking MCU Maximoff).

The most important of these realizations is that Wanda is a magic user. She was always the Scarlet Witch in the comic books. However, the MCU portrayed her powers in a way that made me think that they weren't going with straight spellbooks, sorcery, and Harry Potter-esque props. I'm talking old school wizard here. Wanda is just a student that never made it to Hogwarts, and I think I find that disappointing.

I mean, the MCU went a long ways with the Asgardians to portray their technologies as just super advanced versions of science, and the powers that Thor wielded kind of reminded me of how Jedi use "The Force" in Star Wars. They can just do things because of whom they are. Being children of Odin, Thor, Loki, and Hela just had a natural bent for tapping into the Odin Force, and they could just alter and manipulate versions of reality using that power.

I thought Wanda had been set up similarly. In other words, I wasn't expecting them to explain the mechanics of her powers. Nor did I think that this was necessary. She was just fine with the red swirly thing around her fingers and being able to do whatever the plot dictated with it. One character way back in Avengers: Age of Ultron defined Wanda's powers as being "weird." I liked that...the idea of "weird chaos powers" was kind of cool.

But by the end of WandaVision, it became clear that Wanda is in fact a witch. She's the Scarlet Witch, and she wields the magic of an entire coven all to herself. She was also prophesied to do so, and there are runes that can keep one from tapping into this magic (I thought that kinda sucked to be honest once I realized that Wanda's powers could be turned off by just writing some runes on a wall). Look...I get it...the need to establish limits to a power. I just didn't anticipate that they were going to be so...purely magical. I mean, essentially this entire time, Wanda has just been casting spells like a Dungeons & Dragons wizard. Oy! Yes...the rune thing really did bother me even if she did turn them against Agnes in the end by putting runes in the sky. This (apparently) is all it takes to get rid of a magic-user.

Magic does seem to fit well within the framework of the MCU. However, I wasn't quite ready to accept that what Wanda was wielding was actual "abracadabra" magic. So, I was a little disappointed. Overall, though...I really liked how this series is sparking conversations about mental illness. And it's inevitable now that Wanda meet Doctor Strange (and work with him), because they both use magic. And who better than the Sorcerer Supreme to help Wanda to cast bigger and better spells with the chaos magic that she wields? I wonder if she will create a patronus in the future. That might be kind of neat.


  1. Sounds like a lot of retconning.

  2. Lots of discussions about this since the finale. It sounds like they took it from what might have been a cute concept and turned it into a deep meditation on things.