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WandaVision: The Truth About The Darkhold

Contains spoilers for the WandaVision series finale

WandaVision season 1 has officially come to an end. In episode 9, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) face off for control of Westview and Wanda's power. At the same time, SWORD is closing in with their own version of Vision (Paul Bettany), programmed to take out Wanda and her husband. 

The final episode of the season brings the story of Westview to a close, while also setting up key storylines that will play a significant role in the future of the MCU. One of these important details is the introduction of the Darkhold, an ancient book of spells that Agatha is in possession of. While the Darkhold appears in passing in an earlier episode, Agatha specifically references the magical object in episode 9, calling it "the book of the damned." The book contains a chapter on a being of immense power, forged not born, who is prophesied to destroy the world. This is the Scarlet Witch.

It might be surprising to fans to learn that this isn't the first time the Darkhold has appeared in Marvel TV or film, nor the second. But with its official introduction to the MCU, the Darkhold looks like it will be an influential part of Wanda's story going forward. So what exactly is the Darkhold? Let's take a look at the object's history and consider its possible future in the MCU.

The history of the Darkhold in Marvel TV and comics

The Darkhold has been a presence in Marvel Comics since the 1970s and it goes by many different names, including the "Shiatra Book of the Damned," the Book of Sins," and "the Bible of Black Magic." In the comics, the book is full of evil magic spells and used by many significant villains, including Mephisto, Morgan le Fay, and Doctor Doom. The specific strengths and limitations of the Darkhold are unknown, but it's safe to say that the magical artifact is extremely powerful. 

The Darkhold has already appeared in Marvel TV on both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Runaways. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the magical object plays a key part in season 4, corrupting the scientist Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) and his android Aida, known as a Life-Model Decoy (LMD). This leads Aida to replace the S.H.I.E.L.D. team with LMD versions of themselves, kidnapping the real agents and putting them in the Framework. The series explains that the Darkhold is from the Hell Dimension and made of dark matter. Once the team gets it back, Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna), also known as Ghost Rider, takes it back to Hell so it can do no more harm.

The Darkhold appears again in Runaways season 3 in the hands of Morgan le Fay (Elizabeth Hurley). Le Fay tricks fellow wiccan Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano) into letting her out of the Dark Dimension where she is imprisoned. She wants to use the dark magic of the Darkhold to merge Earth with the Dark Dimension, but thankfully the Runaways stop le Fay in time and send her back to her prison world. 

The Darkhold's role in WandaVision and the MCU's future

Making its first appearance since The Runaways, the Darkhold shows up in WandaVision in Agatha's basement hideout. Agatha, who has an affinity for dark magic and a lust for power, uses the Darkhold to learn more about Wanda. She discovers that Wanda has Chaos Magic and declares her the Scarlet Witch, saying, "there's an entire chapter devoted to you in the Darkhold." Apparently, it's not something Wanda should be proud of. Despite that, Wanda learns to accept herself as she is, embracing her Scarlet Witch status. When she successfully takes Agatha down, Wanda leaves Westview and heads into seclusion to learn more about her abilities and grieve on her own.

In one of two post-credits scenes, Wanda is seen living in a small cabin in the middle of a beautiful landscape. As the scene introduces viewers to her new simple life, the camera pans to a room where the Scarlet Witch is doing some reading. Looking quite similar to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Avengers: Infinity War when he uses the time stone to see all the possible futures, the Scarlet Witch floats in the air surrounded by her red magic. Entranced, she reads through and studies the Darkhold.

While it's unclear how using the Darkhold might affect Wanda, it's a source of magical knowledge and should help her understand her power better. Will the Darkhold be a big part of the storyline for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness? We will just have to wait and see.