So What's the Deal with WANDAVISION's Agnes? - Nerdist
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So What’s the Deal with WANDAVISION’s Agnes?

The magic of Kathryn Hahn is that you always want to see more of her. That makes her casting as the mysterious Agnes one of WandaVision’s smartest moves. Her performance as Wanda’s enigmatic neighbor has been one of the series’ biggest talking points. But after a monumental if brief interaction with Vision in episode six, we thought it was the right time to really dig deep into Hahn’s character. Who is she really? What would that mean? And is she there to help or hinder Wanda? We’ve got (some) answers and (a lot of) questions for you right here!

Is she Agatha Harkness?
Agatha Harkness shouts at the sky in Marvel Comics.

Marvel Comics

This has been the big question ever since Hahn first showed up in PR photos wearing a witch’s hat. And while there has been no official confirmation yet, it does seem pretty likely that she is the iconic Marvel witch. What’s the evidence? Well, let’s get into it.

There is of course the fact that every episode of WandaVision has pointed to Agatha being a key player. In episode six, they take it one step further, even giving her a witch’s costume. Her dress is almost directly taken from the pages of the comics, as is the brooch we see her wearing in most episodes (except here when she’s in “costume”).

Aside from the obvious visual teases, there are a lot of narrative moments that hint at this outcome too. S.W.O.R.D. doesn’t know who she is. When we look at the IDs on the wall of the S.W.O.R.D. base, they do not have a real identity for Agnes. This poses a big question as to whether the S.W.O.R.D. agents potentially know her but don’t want to reveal her identity, hinting that they might have facilitated her entering the Hex. The other option is that they truly don’t know who Agnes really is, which would make a lot of sense if she’s a powerful witch.

We’ve also gotten other, more direct hints that she could be Agatha. She named her rabbit Señor Scratchy; in the comics, Agatha’s son is named Nicholas Scratch after the Devil. (Nicholas is behind much of Agatha’s trauma, stress, and conflict, so be wary if he does pop up properly on the show.)

Perhaps most of all, there’s the fact that Agnes has a lot more agency in Westview than anyone else. We see her speaking to Herb and stopping him from telling Vision the truth. Aside from the question of why she wouldn’t want Vision to know, there’s also the question of why Agnes would know “the truth” at all. If we look back to the premiere episode, she’s the first Westview resident to make contact with Wanda. She’s often there to seemingly help her when she’s in need. But she also wields a surprising amount of control over our protagonist, which once again hints at Agnes’ power.

If Agnes is Agatha, what does that mean?
Agnes cackles in her car on WandaVision.

Marvel Studios

First and most importantly, it means that Wanda is not the only magic-wielder in the Hex. But it also raises a lot of questions about Agnes/Agatha and what she’s doing there. More than anyone else, Agnes already acknowledges the artificial nature of the Hex. She’s clearly aware of what’s going on, and if she’s Agatha then that would explain why. But if she is a witch and is aware of the situation, then why is she just letting it happen? Why isn’t she stopping Wanda?

To answer that, we need to look at a few other questions. Where does Agnes live? Does she really even have a house? She accuses Monica of not having one as a way of raising suspicion, but we’ve never seen inside Agnes’ home; not like Dottie and Phil, for example. Is Agnes really a resident? Or is she an outsider trying to fit in?

Agnes is always there to “help” Wanda, but she actually seems to spend more time making Wanda do things. While it’s often framed as assistance, she’s often forcing Wanda into acting. Some key examples of this are the first episode date and dinner; Wanda talking to Dottie and performing in the magic show in episode two; in episode five, Agnes insists on watching the children when Wanda and Vision don’t want her to. She’s also there each time that the kids age up, which could be a representation of her power. When Sparky dies, Wanda has to specifically tell the children not to age up again as Agnes watches.

Basically, for a bystander in a world where Wanda is “in control,” Agnes has a lot of agency. So let’s look at what Agatha/Agnes might be up to in the wider Westview storyline.

Is she there to help?
Agnes sits on Wanda and Vision's counter in '80s attire.

Marvel Studios

In the comics, Agatha Harkness was often Wanda’s ally, which seems like the most obvious answer. The pair could have known each other in the past. Perhaps like in the comics, Agatha is connected to the greater magic of witches and felt Wanda’s need for help. There’s also the chance that Agnes is there on behalf of S.W.O.R.D. in an attempt to secure their assets.

If she’s representing the purest version of Agatha from the comics she could either be dead or alive. In the classic Scarlet Witch and Vision stories that she features in, she is often a ghost or a resurrected spirit. That could be the case here. We know that Wanda is at least partially able to bring people back; if not as “zombies,” she can recast them or reimagine them. It is possible that Agatha is stuck in such a purgatory. One where attempts to help rein in the damage of Wanda have seen her put in danger and potentially trapped in a world she has a little control over, but not enough to escape.

Then there’s episode six. Her roadside conversation with Vision does lead to his escape attempt, which could imply that she’s trying to help him. But was she being honest with Vision on Halloween? Or just playing along? We already know that Agnes is aware of the reality of Wanda’s world. So if she knows that much, then surely she might know how Vision expects her to behave. After all, if she’s a random New Jersey neighbor, why would she know that Vision is dead? And while it might seem honorable to help Vision, the outcome of that escape attempt ends up making things far worse. Wanda expands the Hex. Multiple S.W.O.R.D officers are sucked into it. And Vision, who was trying to leave, is now incapacitated… which lead us to the other option.

Could she be helping the big bad… or even be the big bad herself?
Agnes wears a witch's hat and grasps her chest.

Marvel Comics

While we’re fans of Agatha being an ally to Wanda, there’s evidence to suggest otherwise. If she purposefully sent Vision out to cause chaos, that seems like a bad guy move. Plus, we still don’t know who actually sent Pietro. Once Wanda and her brother reconnected, he had a lot of heavy questions for her. And she didn’t recall creating him or Westview.

This likely points to a bigger and badder puppet master playing with everyone’s lives and powers. Mephisto, Master Pandemonium, and Nightmare are all likely contenders. But because we’re talking about Agatha, what if she is the main antagonist? Her awareness within the Hex supports that, as does the fact that S.W.O.R.D. doesn’t know who she is. Plus, her potential role as an “evil” witch—a “bad” reflection of Wanda—would fit into an MCU-favorite trope.

Agnes/Agatha being the big bad is supported by the Marvel solo film formula. Characters often face mirror versions of themselves in their debut Marvel solo adventure. Iron Man versus Iron Monger. Hulk versus Abomination. Captain America versus Red Skull. Thor versus his own brother. Black Panther versus Killmonger. Even Black Widow versus another Black Widow in the upcoming movie! Following that logic, Agatha appears to be the obvious answer for who’s pulling the strings. And if we add the fact that Norm asked Vision to “stop her,” and never outright named Wanda, it’s easy to imagine that he might have actually been talking about Agatha instead of Wanda.

If she is the big bad, then what does she want? Well, perhaps she wants to channel Wanda’s powers? Maybe she is also dealing with grief, hoping to use Wanda to bring her son Nicholas back to life? It could even be that Agnes herself is dead and wants to survive by any means necessary. When Wanda revealed that she couldn’t bring people back from the dead, Agnes grew incredibly upset, even crying at the revelation. Which seems… suspicious.

Can Agatha’s comics history tell us about what happens next?
Agnes watches Reed Richards play with his young son.

Marvel Comics

Just like most of the Agnes/Agatha conversation, the comics offer up both possible answers and more questions. Agatha has at times been both ally and antagonist. She helped Wanda to create her children, but forced the Avengers to forget them years later. In the comics, she is essentially ageless, possibly being more than 12,000 years old. If the show goes that route, then her interest in Wanda would certainly seem notable. As for whether or not Agatha is alive or dead, death has rarely been a permanent barrier for Agatha. She often communicates from beyond the grave and even manages to return to life more than once.

In a less Wanda-specific context, she was first introduced as a governess to Franklin Richards. As the child of the Fantastic Four, this makes her interest in powerful children foundational to her character. Also, interestingly, the spooky house she lived in sat atop Whisper Hill, something which the latest episode may have set up with references to both Maple Hill and Rolling Hill. When we finally see Agatha’s house, could it be a huge looming gothic mansion? Set on Whisper Hill? We definitely wouldn’t count it out.

It’s also interesting to note that although she helped them on many occasions, Agatha initially hid her powers from the Fantastic Four, much like she may be doing here. Her connection to the FF also seems relevant as we might be seeing them introduced via S.W.O.R.D.

Of course, the biggest and most important possibility comes back to Billy and Tommy. In the comic, Agatha’s prodding and a transfer of energy created Billy and Tommy. That was possibly reflected here as Agnes directed Wanda to Dottie, who was keen on the phrase “For the Children.” And the ending of that episode saw Wanda become pregnant.

What comes next in the comics could be even more important to the future of Wanda and the MCU. Agatha revealed the truth to Wanda that her children were fragments of Mephisto’s soul. She even wiped Wanda’s memory of the two. Could she follow a similar path on WandaVision? It could be absolutely devastating, as those actions are partially responsible for Wanda’s volatility that resulted in House of M and the total rewriting of the Marvel Universe. It all remains to be seen!

Featured Image: Marvel Studios

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