Released last Friday, the eighth episode of WandaVision may have brought us more questions. Still, it also provided us with several answers about the mysteries surrounding the origin of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. In the chapter, the heroine is forced to revisit the most significant traumas, fears, and trepidations of her life by Agatha Harkness.
The villain takes us back to several crucial moments in the heroine’s life and reveals a bit more about the origin of the powers and energy that reside in the Avenger. And amid all this, one name has caught the attention of fans: the Chaos Magic. But what is it anyway? How did it come about, and how is it related to the comic book Wanda? Here, we will explore a little more about it!
What is Chaos Magic?
In Marvel comics, Chaos Magic is a scarce and powerful type of magic. It is so unique that it was banned from Earth for many years by the Elder Gods. Not even the youngest sorcerers, such as Doctor Strange, were aware of this form of energy, as only the Scarlet Witch became capable of controlling and mastering this gift.
Through Chaos Magic, its user can control every aspect of reality, making this energy very dangerous. Basically, a user of Chaos Magic can rewrite history, erase people and genetic traits, give and take away powers, and even create compact realities where everything happened differently from the reality that the user came from.
This energy arose from another reality and came from an ancient and evil cosmic god, but experienced magicians use it. It is important to remember that Chaos Magic is not Wanda Maximoff‘s primary power in the comics. Still, it is an energy that eventually permeated her life and became inseparable from her other innate gifts. For this reason, she is considered a sorcerer, even though her gifts originally had nothing to do with magic.
Where Did this Energy Come From?
Chaos Magic came about through Chthon, an elder god inspired by the legends and myths of H.P. Lovecraft, who ruled the Earth many years before humankind even dreamed of existing. Chthon, like other Elder Gods, was created by the Demiurge, a conscious life force responsible for forming the universe as we know it. Among Chthon’s “siblings,” there are good and evil deities, such as Gaia, Set, and Oshtur.
Chthon was regarded as the “God of Chaos,” proliferating and dominating the Earth in an age of gods and monsters. His magic was so powerful that he was responsible for creating the Darkhold, a book full of dark spells capable of rewriting reality itself. This book was eventually lost and found over the years by various evil entities, who sought to revive the power of Chthon or the god himself.
Over the millennia, Chthon had his strength increased to dangerous levels. He would only be defeated at a much later period, long after humanity and the Supreme Sorcerers had existed. Once stopped, he was banished and sealed away in a mountain in Eastern Europe, in the place that would be known as Mount Wundagore. This place turned out to be the scene of much mystical activity and the birth of Marvel’s greatest heroines.
How Did Scarlet Witch Become Involved With Chaos Magic?
The daughter of gypsies and heir to the title of Scarlet Witch (a hereditary mantle passed down among the women in her family), Wanda Maximoff was born along with her twin brother Pietro at the base of Mount Wundagore. She grew up in the area where she had her DNA altered by the High Evolutionary in a series of genetic experiments that eventually granted her the powers of probability manipulation.
However, this proximity to the mount caused Wanda to become a target of the demon-god Chthon. Even though he was sealed, Chthon was awake and could sense Wanda’s presence, noting that her probability-altering powers would be a potent vehicle for his chaotic energies. Therefore, while she was still a little girl, Wanda was marked by the God of Chaos to become his vessel.
This ultimately never happened, but Wanda Maximoff was imbued with the powers of Chaos Magic. So in her first appearances (when she was still a mutant, before the more recent retcons), she started just altering the odds and causing unexpected effects. When she started going into the side of magic, she discovered in herself the ability to rewrite realities and change everything within her power field. Years later, she would be trained by Agatha Harkness and Doctor Strange to control this power without letting it take over.
Chaos Magic in MCU
From what we’ve already seen from the eighth episode of WandaVision, the Chaos Magic is also very powerful in the MCU. In the franchise, this gift is what makes Wanda worthy of the mantle of “Scarlet Witch,” although that hasn’t been explained very well yet. Also, from what Agatha Harkness (who, in the series, is a villain and not a mentor to Wanda) has already revealed to us, chaos magic is what gave the heroine her original powers, unlike in the comics where the mystical gifts came after her “mutant” powers.
We still don’t know precisely if Chaos Magic‘s origins will be retained since, so far, we haven’t had a reference to Chthon. Nevertheless, considering that magic in the MCU is always derived from other dimensions and entities, it is very likely that this will eventually be revealed in the last episode of the series or even in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Speaking of the Sorcerer Supreme movie, we know that the Scarlet Witch has already confirmed her participation in the feature film and that the events of WandaVision will directly influence its plot. We will likely see Stephen Strange as the heroine’s great mentor in the ways of magic, since Agatha (who fills this role most of the time in the comics) is being portrayed as a villain and probably won’t have a chance for redemption, considering the MCU’s historical record.