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A History of the Darkhold and How It Could Factor Into ‘Doctor Strange 2′

It's not for the faint of heart.

wanda maximoff with red eyes in wanda vision

2021’s WandaVision ends with a stunning transformation: Wanda Maximoff, after trying to assuage her grief in a picture-perfect suburban town, takes on the mantle of the dreaded Scarlet Witch. At the end of the series, she’s seen studying a book called the Darkhold. But what is the Darkhold? Will it appear again in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when Wanda returns to help Stephen save the multiverse? Here’s everything you need to know!

The Darkhold in the MCU

The Darkhold, an ancient spellbook, is open to an illustration of the Scarlet Witch. Flames surround the pages.

In the series finale of WandaVision, Agatha confronts Wanda with a spine-chilling prophecy. She says that Wanda is the Scarlet Witch, a witch with no coven and no need of incantation, whose powers surpass those of the Sorcerer Supreme. The worst part? According to Agatha’s source, it’s Wanda’s destiny to destroy the world.

And what is Agatha’s source? Why, it’s none other than the Darkhold, or the Book of the Damned—an ancient grimoire that has an entire chapter on the Scarlet Witch. As she confronts Wanda, Agatha raises her arms, and an evil-looking book, wreathed in flames, materializes out of thin air. It opens to a page with an illustration of the Scarlet Witch, a crowned figure with some kind of sigil in the background.

Later, in the post-credit scene, we see Wanda’s astral form studying the book. Like Agatha, she turns the pages without actually touching the book, implying that it’s too powerful or dangerous to interact with directly. It seems like the Darkhold is made of pure magic. We don’t get a lot of information about the Darkhold in WandaVision—all we really know about it is that it’s a magical spell book that Wanda can use to learn more about her powers.

WandaVision isn’t the Darkhold’s only onscreen appearance, though. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., several characters try to use the Darkhold to manipulate dark matter and, in a couple of cases, bring themselves back to life. The book also appears in Runaways, as the grimoire that belongs to the sorceress Morgan le Fay. In both series, the book has a much more mundane appearance, and characters can leaf through it like a normal volume, although it does still have immense magical power.

The Darkhold in Comics

The Darkhold has an even deeper history in the vast world of Marvel comics. Created by the Elder God Chthon, and called the Book of Sins or the Shiatra Book of the Damned, the Darkhold is originally made up of a series of scrolls made from human flesh (that are later bound into a book). The Darkhold pops up numerous times throughout the Marvel universe after that and is closely associated with the Scarlet Witch. It’s often considered the “dark” version of the Book of Vishanti, Doctor Strange’s book of spells, and it contains all of Chthon’s evil spells and knowledge.

The Darkhold’s Powers

The Darkhold doesn’t just serve as a grimoire for whoever’s using it—it also has some powers in its own right. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for instance, it has its own sort of intelligence and can choose who it allows to read it. It can also corrupt those who try to use it. Now that Wanda possesses the Darkhold in the MCU, we may see those powers of corruption manifest.

The Future of the Darkhold

The Darkhold’s next appearance will likely be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which promises to show us a darker side of Wanda. Take a look at Wanda’s fingertips at the top of the new poster that just dropped (click through if the image is cropped):

In WandaVision, Agatha also has blackened fingertips. Is that purely a byproduct of Agatha’s habit of sucking energy from other witches in order to gain their power? Or does the Darkhold have something to do with it? We know that the Darkhold has a corrupting influence on whoever uses it, so Wanda might be suffering from that corruption by the time we catch up with her in Multiverse of Madness. It seems very likely that we’ll be seeing the Darkhold again in Doctor Strange 2.

The Darkhold could also turn up in Marvel’s untitled Halloween special, due out in October 2022. The Halloween special will focus on Gael Garcia Bernal as Jack Russell/Werewolf by Night, and in the original comics, the Darkhold pops up occasionally in Werewolf by Night’s adventures.

(featured image: Marvel)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.