Warning! This article contains spoilers for What If…? season 2, episode 8.


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Summary

  • Scarlet Witch’s death in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may have been unnecessary due to new revelations in What If…? season 2, episode 8.
  • Wanda’s powers in the What If…? series have introduced a new ability to transport beings from other dimensions, as seen with Captain Carter.
  • These powers could have been used by the MCU’s core Scarlet Witch to transport her children to her in Doctor Strange 2, thus negating her journey that led to her death.

What If…? season 2, episode 8 introduces a multiversal change that makes Scarlet Witch’s MCU death somewhat unnecessary. Scarlet Witch’s demise in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has long been the subject of debate, with many claiming she did not die and went into self-imposed exile after her villainous actions. However, Marvel seemingly confirmed Scarlet Witch’s death in October 2023 when an official timeline book for the franchise was released.

Despite this supposed death, What If…? season 2’s various episodes feature the return of Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in animated format. A tease at Wanda’s return was provided in What If…? season 2, episode 5 before episode 8 fully included the character. During this episode, a change to Wanda’s Scarlet Witch powers was made which all but negates the need for her death in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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What If…? Season 3: Stories, Characters & Everything We Know

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Scarlet Witch’s What If…? Powers Change Explained

What If Season 2 Scarlet Witch

The return of Elizabeth Olsen to What If…? season 2’s cast saw her character receive a significant power change stemming from the 1602 setting of season 2, episode 8. In the episode, Scarlet Witch acts as a Merlin-like figure, a wizard serving the king of an Elizabethan-era Marvel universe. What If…? season 2, episode 8 introduced an intriguing new power for Scarlet Witch, one that allows her to reach across the vast multiverse to other Marvel characters.

This power was teased in What If…? season 2, episode 5’s ending when Scarlet Witch from 1602 opened a portal beneath the feet of Captain Carter. Carter was transported to the Shakespearean universe, aiding the Scarlet Witch in her attempt to stop incursions from plaguing the universe. While Doctor Strange 2 showed Scarlet Witch to possess some multiversal power, they were largely enabled by the Darkhold’s corruption, and she could only pass multiversal barriers herself via certain methods like Dreamwalking. In What If…?, however, the Scarlet Witch can transport other people from one universe to another which is an incredible new power.

Wanda’s What If…? Powers Make Her Death A Problem

Wanda Maximoff's Scarlet Witch in Phase 4's Doctor Strange 2

Despite Wanda’s new What If…? abilities being extremely exciting, they create somewhat of a pothole regarding her MCU death. The hook of What If…? season 2, episode 8 is that the MCU characters shown have similar abilities to the prime MCU universe, only with the limitations of the story being set in 1602. This is the case for every single character in the episode besides Happy Hogan, meaning Scarlet Witch’s powers must be the same in that they are identical to other universes.

This hints that the Scarlet Witch of Earth-616 had the ability to transport beings from another dimension thus negating her death. While the corruption of the Darkhold likely would not have allowed for this, Wanda could have simply used her powers to transport her children to her from another universe, therefore removing the story path that resulted in her death. Despite What If…? acting as a fun experiment for Marvel Studios surrounding the multiverse, the show is introducing concepts that could reflect negatively on prior MCU projects when viewed from a certain point of view.

Marvel’s What If…? season 2, episode 8 is streaming now on Disney+.

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