Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for all of WandaVision.
Contrary to the song, it wasn’t Agatha all along.
WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer has spoken on how, despite what the show seemed to say, the witch Agatha Harkness wasn’t intended to be the architect of Wanda’s actions but that Wanda herself was the true “big bad” of the show.
For much of WandaVision, Wanda appeared to be the one behind warping the town of Westview to be like a TV sitcom to escape the pain of so many losses in her life.
When she discovered the mystical book the Darkhold, Wanda was confronted by quirky next-door neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), who revealed her true identity of centuries-old witch Agatha Harkness.
The series quickly showed (via a fun theme song-set montage) that Agatha had secretly been manipulating events such as acting like she was under Wanda’s spell to drive a wedge between her and the Vision.
She was also the one who made Wanda believe that local actor Ralph Boehner (Evan Peters) was somehow Wanda’s resurrected brother Pietro.
This was all to drive Agatha’s plan to push Wanda into accepting her full magical power so Agatha could steal it for herself.
In a final battle, Wanda managed to defeat Agatha, taking away her powers and rewriting her memories to believe she really was Agnes to live in the town.
To viewers, it appeared that Agatha was the one pushing Wanda along to take darker actions. Yet Agatha herself points out that Wanda created the “Hex” to warp Westview, she simply took advantage of it.
A powerful scene in the finale is Wanda confronted by the people of Westview, who make it clear how she’s made their lives a living nightmare by being forced into becoming sitcom characters.
Showrunner Jac Schaeffer shared to an Empire magazine podcast that the writers didn’t want Agatha to be a scapegoat when Wanda was the one truly at fault for what happened.
“[Agatha’s] just messing with things, like, she’s not actually responsible for anything. She does some things with the kids and Vision, and she’s kind of nasty, but the majority of the things that she says to Wanda are true and correct, and she’s right. Heroes don’t torture people.”
“It was important to us that it be all Wanda and that it would be her responsibility because we didn’t want—we weren’t doing Mephisto, Nightmare, the Grim Reaper, or any other people or entities. If we’re not going to take the cheap way out that there’s this other force, right, if we’re going to give the gift of storytelling to Wanda, I give the whole power, she also then has the culpability and has the accountability.”
Schaeffer clarified that not only were there never plans for Mephisto to appear in the show, but she didn’t even know who the demonic character was until fans began theorizing about his involvement.
Among the big twists of the show was Pietro’s appearance as fans leaped to the idea that Peters cast in the role meant a connection between the MCU and the X-Men movies.
While some were let down at the revelation of his being just Ralph, Schaeffer said this was deliberate, first as a nod to the recasting of characters on TV shows and also to show Wanda’s mental state.
“We had a grief counselor come to the [writers] room, and we did some research on grief, and there’s a lot about how people remember faces. The anxiety of not remembering the faces of your loved ones, misremembering, or actively misremembering things as a self-preservation tactic—all of that became fascinating to us, and we thought that by casting Evan [Peters] in the role, it would not only have that effect on Wanda, but it would have this meta layer for the audience, as well.”
The series ended with Wanda reading from the Darkhold and perhaps hoping to bring back her lost children. Whatever her future holds, Schaeffer wants fans to be sure that it was Wanda, not Agatha, who was truly behind the dark events of Westview.
WandaVision season 1 now streaming on Disney+.