Who Is Agatha Harkness? Kathryn Hahn’s WandaVision Villain Explained
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 7.]
Well it took seven episodes, but we finally know who the villain is on WandaVision – even though many already guessed it weeks ago. Episode 7 of Marvel Studios’ first Disney+ series revealed that Kathryn Hahn’s “nosy neighbor” character who goes by Agnes is actually Agatha Harkness, a witchy villain from Marvel Comics lore who is not only a formidable foe for the town of Westview, but whose actions could have major ramifications for the upcoming feature film sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
So who is Agatha Harkness, what does she do, and what does she want? Let’s dive in.
What Is Agatha Harkness’ Comics Origin?
The character of Agatha Harkness first appeared in Fantastic Four #94, which was published in 1970 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. In that story, Agatha was a child rearing expert to whom Reed Richards and Sue Richards brought their child Franklin Richards… but she’s creepy as heck. As it turns out, Agatha is actually a witch, one old enough to remember the lost city of Atlantis before it got lost. In the comics, Agatha settled down in Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century and formed her own coven, only to then be persecuted during the Salem Witch Trials. (She was actually burned at the stake, but resurfaced several years later, as comic book characters do.)
What Are Agatha’s Powers?
Being a witch, Agatha Harkness manipulates magic and uses that to great effect. Throughout the comics her abilities have included teleportation, energy projection, and even tapping into extra-dimensional energy from, well, other dimensions. In the comics she also has a familiar, a cat named Ebony. But in WandaVision, it appears Ebony may be a rabbit.
What Is Agatha’s Connection to Wanda?
In the comics, Agatha is something of a tutor to Wanda, who we know takes on the moniker of “Scarlet Witch.” Their relationship is actually quite eventful and mirrors some of what we’ve seen in WandaVision, namely Agatha helping Wanda cope with her odd children and traumatic memories of her husband’s death. Indeed, in the comics, Agatha reveals that Wanda’s twin children are actually fragments of the soul of Mephisto – a major Marvel comics villain – and when Mephisto reabsorbed the children, Agatha wiped the memories of the children from Wanda’s mind. When Wanda discovers the truth, she kills Agatha – her mentor and teacher – in cold blood.
What’s Happening with Agatha on ‘WandaVision’?
Agatha appears to be the one pulling the strings in Westview. We know that Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) stole Vision’s corpse from S.W.O.R.D. and went to Westview, only to awake in an altered reality state that mirrors classic family sitcoms. S.W.O.R.D. believes Wanda is controlling the entire town, but the show now seems to suggest Agatha was pulling the strings all along as evidenced by the aptly named (and delightful) little song break “Agatha All Along.”
At the end of Episode 7, Wanda is lured down to Agatha’s underground lair – which appears to be full of witchy stuff – and then Agatha seemingly takes control of Wanda’s mind. So the question now is will the show follow the comics and find Agatha mentoring Wanda through her abilities, or are we headed for a showdown between the Scarlet Witch and this other witch?
What Does This Mean for the Future of the MCU and ‘Doctor Strange 2’?
We know that Elizabeth Olsen has a co-starring role in the upcoming feature film sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but speculation has run rampant that Wanda might actually be the antagonist of that film rather than a buddy to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme. If WandaVision ends with Agatha convincing Wanda that S.W.O.R.D. are the baddies and she should have Vision all to herself, it’s not outside the realm of possibility to think with their powers combined, they could expand this “Westview experiment” to a global scale.
There’s also that pesky “multiverse” in the title of Doctor Strange 2. We know that in the comics Agatha draws some of her magical abilities from alternate universes, and we also know that the upcoming Spider-Man sequel will also involve the multiverse theory as Spider-Men from other non-MCU movies are due to appear.
So there are a number of possibilities here. Agatha’s MCU story could begin and end with WandaVision, but the ramifications of her meddling might create a ripple in the multiverse that Doctor Strange then has to try and fix. Or Wanda comes to understand that Agatha is a baddie and teams up with Doctor Strange, while Agatha could run back to Mephisto and bring that Big Bad into the MCU for the feature film sequel. Or maybe we’re way off base and none of this happens, because we haven’t even seen how WandaVision ends yet.
Olsen previously teased that this Disney+ series would introduce the “Scarlet Witch” name once and for all, so that does seem to suggest Agatha’s witchy nature rubs off on Wanda somehow. Whether that’s for good or ill we don’t quite know yet, but Agatha has certainly been up to no good. A noisy neighbor indeed.
Here’s a breakdown in case that big ‘WandaVision’ reveal gave you whiplash.
About The Author