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‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Wasn’t the Journey of a Villain for Wanda Maximoff

Wanda with the Darkhold in WandaVision

No matter what The Discourse™ might have you believe, Wanda Maximoff can do no wrong. Okay maybe that’s not true, but she is a character who is incredibly complicated to talk about. On one hand, I love her very much, and I do understand her journey in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but on the other hand, I knew that people were going to instantly call her a villain, and I wasn’t exactly wrong about it. But it’s more complicated than that. It’s not black and white. She’s struggling, and she’s also not in control of herself.

Again, to me, Wanda is in the same kind of category that Loki is in. They’re not perfect, and they’ve made mistakes, but they still set it right in the end, as shown in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so let’s unpack a bit of why this movie doesn’t make her a black and white villain.

**Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness lie ahead**

Wanda Maximoff

As this Reddit post points out (and as I’ve pointed out in my previous piece on Wanda), Wanda is possessed by the Darkhold in this movie. The book that Agatha Harkness gave her held a power that corrupted her in a way that also happened when Stephen Strange used it in Earth-838.

It is really a great way of expanding on Wanda’s actions and something I can use whenever there’s the “No, she’s always been a villain” comments. She hasn’t. It’s the same situation as Loki, to be honest. He’s not a villain, and his actions are driven by years of pain. The difference here, at least for me, is that the truly horrific side of Wanda, in this case, comes from a book that even possessed someone deemed a “hero” like Stephen Strange.

It brought out her darkest urges, and it did make her act in a way that showed the lengths she would go to get what she wants, but she’s also possessed the entire time we’re seeing her fighting Stephen Strange. In WandaVision, we see the pain in her realization that she’s hurting everyone. Her grief blinded her to the problem in what she was doing to Westview, but the minute she realized they were in pain, she stopped the hex and destroyed it.

That’s what Stephen Strange continued to point out to her in the movie. She set it right in Westview, and I think that, in his heart, he knew she’d set it right in the end if he could make her see reason. It was America (and Earth-838 Wanda) that helped her realize what she was doing, and she did, in turn, set it right.

But the movie makes it abduntantly clear is that this is not a book to mess with. It has an ability to destroy those who are in possession of it, and it clearly got to both Wanda Maximoff and Stephen Strange. I don’t think that was the end of Wanda. I think her destroying the mountain wasn’t her demise, and I think that she’ll come back and have a lot of questions to answer, but until then, at least we know that even if she goes into a full villainous spiral fueled by magical corruption, she’ll still set it right in the end, and that’s what makes her special.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.