Disney Plus’s Marvel show concluded with its ninth episode, but not before dropping in some Easter eggs for fans to analyse before Wanda’s return in next year’s Doctor Strange sequel, which is officially titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
While Benedict Cumberbatch’s character didn’t show up in the finale, as many fans had predicted, his presence was felt thanks to the introduction of the Darkhold – the book belonging to the ancient sorceress Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn).
But, what exactly is the Darkhold and how will it alter the MCU?
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
The Darkhold is a tome featuring dark magic spells that is made of substance found in the Hell Dimension, the place in which Doctor Strange is shown repeatedly fighting Dormammu in his 2016 standalone film.
This book has been the one Agatha has been casting spells from all season long. As well as dark spells, it features prophecies, including the ascension of the Scarlet Witch, which comes to fruition in the finale – and ironically marks the downfall of Agatha.
At the end of the season, the Darkhold is in the clutches of the Scarlet Witch, who is shown to be studying from it in a chilling post-credits sequence.
The reason why this is worrying is because it potentially heralds the arrival of some terrifying villains, namely the Elder God Chthon, who wrote the Darkhold, and Mephisto, who uses the book in the comics.
Mephisto’s appearance in the MCU was teased in the very first episode of WandaVision, which led viewers to incorrectly assume he was the big bad behind it all. It seems more likely that he could be one of the villains featured in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, especially considering how Wandavision’s post-credits sting sets up this film.
It’s worth noting that Doctor Strange has never used the Darkhold as he doesn’t practice dark magic. Seeing Wanda go down this route doesn’t seem like her future in the MCU will be a happy one, perhaps unsurprising considering the heartbreaking “death” scene in WandaVision’s finale.
Whether she will lock heads with Doctor Strange remains to be seen, but the synopsis seems to hint this could happen: “Dr Stephen Strange’s continuing research on the Time Stone is hindered by a friend-turned-enemy, resulting in Strange unleashing unspeakable evil.”
Thanks to the Darkhold, the “friend-turned-enemy” could well be Wanda.
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WandaVision is available to stream on Disney Plus. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released in cinemas on 25 March 2022.