What's Next For Wanda After Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness? Here's What We're Hoping To See

When Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff first arrived on the scene, she was a Mind Stone-powered science experiment gone wrong. Who could've known that she'd end up becoming one of the most important and undeniably powerful beings in the MCU? Since teaming up with Ultron to take down the Avengers, Wanda has come a long way. After losing her brother in the "Age of Ultron" showdown, she opted to fight alongside Earth's defenders, backed into the shadows with Captain America following the whole Sokovia Accords debacle, and eventually, made some startling discoveries about the truth behind her magic. From four major film appearances to her own Disney+ miniseries, Wanda's journey has meant suffering loss after loss. Her latest outing in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" sees her funneling that pain into action, transforming into a villainess and becoming a formidable opponent not just for the titular sorcerer, but anyone who stands in her way. So is this descent into darkness that last we'll see of Wanda Maximoff?

Spoilers follow. 

The Witch's Road so far

Before "Multiverse of Madness," Wanda's latest appearance was in the post-credits sequence of "WandaVision," where she embraced duality by peacefully making tea in a remote cabin whilst astral projecting a second form to continue studying chaos magic. Wanda was brushing up on her magical knowledge from what "Multiverse of Madness" reveals to be the Darkhold, an ancient spellbook with unspeakable power. Performing its spells ends up corrupting Wanda, just as she learns more about the multiverse and realizes that in alternate dimensions, her twin boys do exist. Determined to begin a new life alongside them, Wanda sets her sights on America Chavez, the mysterious young girl with the ability to hop between dimensions.

Unfortunately, Wanda wants much more than to negotiate with America — she wants to absorb her power and doesn't care that this would lead to the teenager's death. Having access to infinite universes would be the ultimate safety net, should she lose her children again. Between her grief and the influence of the Darkhold, Wanda has the blackened fingers and soul of someone losing touch with their humanity. She spends the film laser-focused on getting America, never hesitating to kill heroes and innocents to achieve her goal. The only thing capable of shaking her from that tunnel vision is the children she's so dead set on reuniting with.

The two-hour chase sequence comes to a head at the top of Wundagore Mountain, where Wanda faces down America Chvez and a zombified Strange. Realizing his magic won't be enough to fend her off — even with the Sorcerer Supreme by his side — Strange opts against taking Chavez's magic for himself and convinces her that she's powerful enough to defeat the Scarlet Witch. Knowing she won't be able to fight her head to head, America gives Wanda what she wants, opening a dimensional portal to Earth 836, and exposing her to the twins, who cowers in fear. Through their eyes, Wanda realizes what she's become and after sharing a moment with her other self, she accepts that they'll be loved elsewhere. Her redemption is sacrificing herself to make sure no one will ever follow her down such a dark spiral, so she destroys the Darkhold and goes down with it. The burst of red chaos magic that follows is presumably a sign that Wanda's magic has been snuffed out of the world for good.

Is Wanda Maximoff really dead?

In a lot of ways, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" feels like the end of Wanda Maximoff's arc. Whether or not it's a satisfying end is up for debate, but the movie certainly wants us to believe that the Wanda we've seen grow and transform is really dead. Even the final credit card reads "Doctor Strange will return" but makes no mention of the Scarlet Witch. So is Elizabeth Olsen's magical tenure over? Only time will tell ... but probably not.

Naturally, Marvel is keeping tight-lipped about whether or not Wanda is set to return, but by the rules of movie logic, we all know her death isn't set in stone — no body means she could very easily be alive. And even if the temple does end the life of Earth 616's Wanda, there are infinite Wanda Maximoff's throughout the multiverse. So far, the MCU hasn't been shy about reintroducing characters through different iterations — they made an entire series about a new version of a much-beloved character. Per Comicbook, Elizabeth Olsen is certainly interested in returning, saying, "If they have a good story to tell, I'll be there." The possibilities for more Wanda are endless thanks to the multiverse, but what about the version of Wanda we've known for the past 8 years? It would be a shame for this to be the end of her arc. Before Wanda, um, snaps his neck, Professor Charles Xavier says "just because someone stumbles and loses their way, doesn't mean they're lost forever."

I know, I know, Wanda did a lot more than stumble in "Multiverse of Madness." Last year, audiences were grumbling about her unforgivable actions in "WandaVision" (enslaving an entire town of people was very uncool of her) and I'm guessing those people might take issue with her spending 120 minutes trying to murder a child. But that complexity shouldn't go unexplored. Wanda isn't one of the MCU's cut and dry hero types, nor is she a straightforward villain. We've empathized with her just as often as we've rooted against her. So while there are many possibilities for exploring an alternate reality Wanda, why leave behind a version that's so full of depth and potential?

How might Wanda Maximoff return?

The obvious answer is a Wanda Maximoff solo outing. She sort of had this opportunity with "WandaVision," which was a vehicle to really delve into the titular characters who previously served as tiny elements of the overall Infinity saga. But "WandaVision" doesn't quite tell a complete story, especially given the way "Multiverse of Madness" goes back on so much of Wanda's presumed growth.

Wanda has been trapped in a stasis of grief for nearly her entire MCU existence, whether grieving her brother, those lost during the Lagos incident, Vision, and then her own children. "Multiverse of Madness" operates like an accidental Wanda movie, delving further into her grief and how it manifests. By the end, she accepts the loss of her love and children, so how might she move forward from here? A solo film could pick up right where the Doctor Strange sequel left off. 

Presuming Wanda survived the destruction of the Darkhold, will she truly continue along the path of light or delve back into darkness? There's an abundance of Marvel comic storylines to pull from. Remember when "WandaVision" was airing and literally every tiny detail birthed its own Mephisto conspiracy theory? Perhaps there's actually room for the MCU's devil to rise up. Plus, somewhere out in this universe, White Vision is running amok. That wasn't all for nothing ... right? There's also James Robinson's "Scarlet Witch" solo series, which follows Wanda on a globe-trotting adventure to defeat villainous magic-users and restore witchcraft to the world. With the right adventure to get her back on a path towards either light or darkness, Wanda could easily lead a story all on her own! Sans a solo outing, here are a few other places Wanda could appear.

  • House of Harkness: Agatha Harkness is a powerful centuries-old witch. She's been around, so her spinoff series could easily be a prequel tracing the events that led her to cross paths with Wanda. But on the other hand, she makes it out of "WandaVision" alive and trapped within her own mind. Should she escape, she probably won't take very kindly to all Wanda's done. Or who knows, maybe they could team up and be friends! Wishful thinking? Either way, should the spinoff pick up where "WandaVision" left off, there's a good chance that Wanda comes face to face with her fellow witch once more, presenting a prime opportunity to learn more about MCU magic.

  • Halloween Specials: That Wanda Maximoff sure knows how to conjure up nightmares. Half of "Multiverse of Madness" sees her going monster mode, chasing down the heroes and killing her foes in increasingly creative ways. Wanda could easily be the monster leading her own horror special, and since the MCU has a Holiday special and Halloween special already on the way, why not add another to the slate?

  • Quantumania or Loki season 2: We only get to meet a single alternate universe Scarlet Witch and she's just a very chill lady in mom jeans. With two MCU projects set to dive straight back into the multiverse, there's always the opportunity for other Wanda's to pop in and showcase some chaos magic of her own. Given the rise of Kang, it would certainly help to have the MCU's most powerful magic user by their side, so maybe Wanda will reunite up with Ant-Man or make friends with her follow former villain, Loki.

  • An X-Men project: With the introduction of Charles Xavier, it's only a matter of time before an X-Men project is officially announced. Wanda Maximoff has deep ties to mutants in the comics, and while her previous appearances have already brushed up with the infamous "House of M" storyline, the word mutant has yet to be uttered. If the MCU goes the X-Men route, it's not hard to imagine a space for Wanda to return.