Now that Wanda’s erstwhile brother Pietro has been in the series for an entire episode, it seems like a good time to ask some serious questions. Ever since Evan Peters’ arrival, fans have been alight with theories, thoughts, and out-there reasons for his arrival. WandaVision is a mystery wrapped in an enigma stuffed into a giant Easter egg. But when it comes to Pietro, we have a few more concrete hints towards his machinations and possible role in the greater tale. That’s why we’ve put together this Pietro explainer—to work out just what’s true, what’s false, and what’s a trick-or-treat-worthy stinky red (pickled) herring.
Who is he?
Marvel Studios/Marvel Comics
So this begins as a relatively easy answer. He’s, as far as we know, Pietro Maximoff. According to him, he’s the same brother Wanda lost in Age of Ultron. But we know he’s actually Peters’ iteration of the hero from the Fox X-Men movies. Or at least that’s who he looks like in the confines of Westview. But nothing is really as it seems in WandaVision, which is why the answer to this question quickly gets far more complex… and exciting!
Let’s start with the Nerdist theory pool fave: Pietro is actually… Mephisto! Dun dun dun! The demonic force has long been a favorite to blame for Westview and Wanda’s troubles. There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to support this too. Some questions do a good job of summing this one up. Starting with: How does Pietro know so much about Westview? Everyone else in the town— aside from Agnes—is under Wanda’s spell. But Pietro can see through the ruse, and even congratulates her on it. That implies that he might know more about the whole situation than he’s letting on. And if he is behind it then, of course, he’d be even more knowledgable about it than Wanda… who can’t seem to recall how it all began.
During episode six, Pietro asks Wanda a lot of questions. The sort of questions that a magical villain who wanted to channel her powers might ask. Rather than, say, a loving brother. But if he is Mephisto and created all of this, wouldn’t he know the answers? So let’s go another route. Maybe he’s Nightmare, another big Marvel bad! In this scenario, he’s trying to harness Wanda’s power for his own nefarious means. Even with Wanda imprisoned in the Hex, he hasn’t been able to understand her magic, so he’s sent in a Pietro-shaped envoy. If that’s the case, it could explain the creepy skeleton hand that many eagle-eyed fans spotted at the end of episode five. You can see something odd in the mirror almost touching Pietro, implying he’s under someone’s control.
Crazy Theory about #Pietro of #WandaVision . As he enters, there's some distortion in the mirror with a thin creepy hand. It could be a trick to give her one more thing she always wanted— Meet Makwana (@MeetMakzz) February 7, 2021
(Continued below in the thread) pic.twitter.com/rYGBEZ3Bdu
What is he doing there?
According to Pietro, he was called there by Wanda. (A basic answer, but also an emotionally fulfilling one.) There’s a tiny but very unlikely chance that Wanda’s pain was so massive that her Hex powers tore reality itself. Pietro from another universe heard his sister crying out and used his superpowered speed to run to her. But as sweet as that is, it’s probably the least likely of all of our options when it comes to Pietro’s real motivations.
As we mentioned above, if he’s here under the guise of someone else, then it’s pretty likely he’s trying to do one of two things. The first is to control Wanda and potentially weaponize her powers. Who wouldn’t want the ability to shape reality? Plenty of supervillains would be desperate for that. There’s also the chance that he’s supposed to be securing the knowledge of Wanda’s powers. How do they work? How did she create the Hex? What are its limits? Some primo questions that the big bads would want to know.
Then there’s the other option. The outlier. It’s an unlikely situation, but definitely one worth mentioning; the most famous incident in the comics of Pietro manipulating Wanda was at the behest of their father Magneto. If that’s the case here— which it could be, as the show is taking directly from House of M—then Pietro might be goading Wanda into expanding the Hex. His ultimate goal alongside his father would be to create a world where mutants rule. And seeing as Westview is seemingly creating more superpowered heroes, we wouldn’t count this out.
What does his comics history tell us could happen next?
Something that might surprise movie fans is that Pietro has often been an antagonist. And we’re not even talking about House of M here. In fact, much of his conflict revolves around his feelings for Wanda. Besides what we’ve discussed already, the comics offer up a lot of solid source material that could potentially give the speedster his own motivations to mess with Wanda and her crew of superpowered friends.
During the West Coast Avengers series in the late ’80s, Pietro was really going through it. He felt betrayed by the Avengers for multiple reasons. The creepiest was his obsession with Wanda and Vision’s relationship, which gives off big Twincel vibes. He was angry that she loved a synthezoid more than him and that the Avengers supported the relationship. That moment isn’t directly referenced in the show, but episode six did feature that weirdly cruel moment when Pietro told Wanda, “It’s not like your dead husband can die again.” So there’s clearly some frustration there. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Could this Easter egg explain his anger?
If you’ve been keeping up with our Easter eggs post then you’ll know certain comic book issue numbers pop up throughout WandaVision. Avengers #104 is one of these referenced issues. Interestingly, some of Pietro’s most virulent anger comes from the events of that comic. In this story, he was attacked by Sentinels while trying to save his sister and the Avengers, and later thought to be missing. But he remembered things differently. In West Coast Avengers Annual #1, he talks about being left for dead by the team after the Sentinel attack. This comes to mind when WandaVision‘s Pietro speaks about being “shot like a chump in the street.” Could Pietro feel that he was sacrificed by the Avengers? And forgotten by his former team and sister? The comics would certainly suggest so. And if that’s the case, then perhaps he’s out for revenge.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the final three episodes to know the truth about Pietro. But until then, we’ll be here theorizing and dreaming about the MCU’s first mutant.