While Marvel’s trademark mid-credits scenes have played a role throughout WandaVision, consistently appearing since the show’s seventh episode, Friday’s finale was the first to feature a post-credits scene. Though the finale’s mid-credits scene left plenty for fans to theorize on, Comicbook assures that “[the] final scene is the more important of the two when it comes to Wanda’s story.”
“Marvel told us pretty early on that its Scarlet Witch spinoff series WandaVision would set up the events of Doctor Strange 2,” Den of Geek kicks off its explanation of the finale’s post-credit scene. Many thought this Phase 4 Marvel itinerary guaranteed an appearance from Benedict Cumberbatch’s (Doctor Strange, Sherlock) Sorcerer Supreme, in order to set up the sequel film within WandaVision.
An Entertainment Weekly interview with WandaVision director Matt Shakman (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Good Wife), inferred that fans may experience disappointment in the finale due to the snow-balling speculation online. An anticipated appearance from Cumberbatch can certainly be marked among the dashed expectations harbored for WandaVision’s finale, via Den of Geek.
View this post on Instagram
However, Nerdist expressed relief that Doctor Strange did not intervene in the events of WandaVision‘s series finale and that “the creative team went for a story that gave Wanda more agency.” Kathryn Hahn’s (Transparent, Mrs. Fletcher) Agatha Harkness, who unveiled Wanda Maximoff’s mantel as the Scarlet Witch in the series’ penultimate episode, did reference Strange in the finale, by remarking that Maximoff’s powers outrank those of the Sorcerer Supreme.
The allusions to Doctor Strange continue into the post-credits scene, where Elizabeth Olsen’s (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War) Scarlet Witch can be seen astral projecting and studying the Darkhold “in a very Stephen Strange style pose” (Nerdist). The ancient and magical text has been featured in previous Marvel properties such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Runaways.
In Marvel comics, the Darkhold has a slightly different origins then what has been established in properties such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The Darkhold, cataloguing the dark deeds of the Elder God Chthon, “served to maintain a connection between Earth and Chthon’s legacy of power” in the comics, according to Den of Geek. Conversely, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. established the text as “thought to have been created with matter from the Dark Dimension” (Den of Geek).
While the Darkhold will certainly play a role in both Wanda Maximoff and Stephen Strange’s immediate future, the exact nature of that role may depend on whether the MCU sticks with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s explanation of the text or retcons its origins to be more comic-accurate.
If the MCU retains Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s explanation of the Darkhold as canon, then “having the book in her possession will connect Wanda to a realm that Doctor Strange already paid a visit to during the climax of his standalone Marvel movie” (Den of Geek). This would also allow an opportunity to revisit Doctor Strange villain Dormammu or establish Mephisto, the villain once speculated to be responsible for WandaVision’s Westview anomaly.
However, a more comic-book accurate origin of the ancient text could provide crucial insight into the mountain range where Wanda has found solace in the final post-credits scene of WandaVision. Nerdist speculates that the comic book location Mount Wundagore “might become a key location for the next phase of the MCU.” Wundagore is not only a frequent solace of the Scarlet Witch in Marvel comics, it’s also where Chthon is rumored to have first written the Darkhold.
“The potential of Wundagore Mountain is just as rich and fascinating as the Scarlet Witch herself,” Nerdist says of the location potentially glimpsed in WandaVision’s finale. According to Nerdist, the location’s connection to multiple comic book story-arcs could provide pathways to revive the real Pietro Maximoff, introduce Magneto into the MCU or even see Clint Barton and Wanda reunite in the upcoming series Hawkeye. Of course, at the moment this all remains speculation as even the plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Olsen’s only confirmed upcoming MCU project, remains under wraps for the time being.
According to Nerdist, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was meant to arrive mere weeks after WandaVision” prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now fans will have to wait until 2022 to find out more.
The few known details about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have already been intrinsically connected to WandaVision’s final moment in a myriad of ways. Most notably, the distressed cries Wanda hears from her sons Billy and Tommy have been connected to the multiverse.
Since Billy and Tommy’s comic book origins, as the shards of the demon Mephisto’s soul, were foregone in WandaVision’s story, Marvel readers have little to go on in terms of what fate awaits Wanda’s twins. While Comicbook does not rule out the possibility of Mephisto’s involvement entirely, they find it most likely that the collapsing of the hex “sent them out into the multiverse and trapped them somewhere.”
— WandaVision (@wandavision) March 7, 2021
It’s possible that Wanda could enlist Doctor Strange’s help to fully understand the multiverse in order to retrieve her sons. “Though the Darkhold reveals that the Scarlet Witch is more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme,” says Comicbook “Wanda still needs some help and navigation from someone with a little more experience.” Comicbook also notes the importance of Xochitl Gomez’s (The Baby-Sitter Club) recent casting as America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as she could likewise serve as an important ally in such a quest.
Den of Geek infers a more subtle, visual connection to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness from WandaVision’s post-credits scene. The site calls WandaVision’s post-credits scene “a delightful Evil Dead homage” due to its remote cabin location shrouded in darkly magical overtones, via Den of Geek. The Evil Dead franchise was directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Army of Darkness), who’s slated to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and starred Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead, Burn Notice), who has also been tapped for a role in Rami’s upcoming MCU entry. Den of Geek points out that this visual parrelllel is not the only reference WandaVision has made to Rami, as his film Oz the Great and Powerful was featured on the marquues of Westview’s Coronet Theater.
According to Den of Geek, Dormmamu may not be the only Doctor Strange antagonist with a vested interest in the Scarlet Witch’s powers. As Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo “continues his mission” of hunting down sorcerers “he may consider Wanda an even bigger threat than Strange” (Den of Geek).
WandaVision’s post-credits scene certainly left lingering questions and intrigue about Marvel’s newly initiated Phase Four, it also provided a faint road map full of possibilities to excite fans. Though, for now, Olsen’s inclusion in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the only confirmed post-WandaVision role for the Scarlet Witch actress, and the exact nature of her role in the film is till a matter of speculation after Friday’s post-credits scene.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat