The following story contains spoilers for WandaVision through episode 8.
Ever since her first starring appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron) Elizabeth Olsen has been credited as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. But it wasn’t until Episode 8 of WandaVision, titled “Previously On,” that she was ever referred to by that superhero moniker. (Remember Jimmy Woo’s memorable “not a one,” exchange with SWORD Director Tyler Hayward earlier in the season when referring to Wanda’s catchy nicknames). As it turns out, it took a now-revealed villain in Agatha Harkness familiar with the dark arts to recognize Wanda’s actions as coming from something called Chaos Magic. And as a result, she says, this makes Wanda the Scarlet Witch.
But what the hell is Chaos Magic, anyway? It hasn’t been explicitly spelled out yet in the MCU or in WandaVision, but given that the episode shows that Agatha has at least been around dealing with Witchy stuff since the Salem Witch era of 1695, it feels like she’s a pretty decent source for that kind of thing.
“You have no idea how dangerous you are. You’re supposed to be a myth, a being capable of spontaneous creation. Here you are, using it to make breakfast for dinner,” Agatha tells Wanda as she holds her twin sons, Billy and Tommy, hostage with a lasso of her purple magic. “Your children. Vision. This whole little life you’ve made. This is Chaos Magic, Wanda. And that makes you the Scarlet Witch.”
We should also note that while the original Scarlet Witch costume from the Marvel Comics—her red outfit complete with horned headdress—was teased in Episode 6, Wanda has never worn the outfit properly in the history of the MCU. In looking into the mind stone, however, she certainly saw images of her future self.
Clearly this will be explored more in the WandaVision finale. But for now, we have a decent idea: the magic that Wanda has tapped into comes from a place of the unknown. Something that feels risque, even for a hundreds-year-old villain like Agatha.
So, what exactly is Chaos Magic?
Before we get too deep into the Marvel Comics explanation of Chaos Magic, let’s look a bit deeper into what we’ve already seen within the MCU. Because there has been a good bit of magic already shown in the 23 films and now 1 Disney+ series of the universe so far.
Let’s first consider the different colors. Agatha’s magic, as we’ve seen in Episodes 7 and 8, is purple. We can consider that dark magic. Magic from the other witches—the Salem witches who attempted to hold Agatha accountable in 1695—was blue. The magic we’ve seen Doctor Strange use (in Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame) has always been orange. We can think of this as sorcerer magic, as it matched the magic used by his companions such as Wong and The Ancient One. The magic Wanda uses, in turn, has always been red. Has she always used Chaos Magic? Sure seems that way.
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