Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' ending showcased game-changing ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Benedict Cumberbatch-led sequel ended with a cliffhanger, revealing that the titular sorcerer had gained the same third eye as his Sinister counterpart. However, before that shocking reveal, the fate of Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch became one of the lingering questions of fans.
Throughout the movie, Wanda Maximoff was corrupted by the Darkhold, with a mission to retrieve America Chavez's powers to be with her kids, Tommy and Billy, in another universe. However, Wanda is defeated by the combined might of Strange and Chavez, with the latter making the Scarlet Witch realize the damage that she has done.
Ultimately, the Scarlet Witch seemingly sacrificed herself when she destroyed Wundagore Castle, leaving everyone to believe that she died in the rubble. Despite that, a hidden detail in the sequel's ending may hint that Wanda is still alive.
MCU Theory Explains Why Wanda Isn't Dead
When Wanda destroyed Wundagore Castle, a red flash of light could be seen, potentially teasing her survival. Olsen previously teased that "there's a couple different versions of what could happen" with the Scarlet Witch moving forward, admitting that she wants to hear fans' opinions on where they want to see the character next:
“There’s a couple different versions of what could happen at the end of this film. Mostly, I want to hear what the fans who know her best, what they would like to see from her next.”
Now, it seems that Olsen's wish came true as several MCU fans have reacted to this key sequence in the movie while also sharing their respective theories:
Twitter user @zwollenaar1987 pointed out the red light on the scene, asking everyone if Wanda is really dead:
"Wanda can't be dead right? Even though it looked like it when she brought down mount Wundagore on herself. I saw a red light flash."
Given that Multiverse of Madness didn't address this hidden detail, it's possible that this will be explored in a future project.
It's possible that Wanda formed a shield around her to block the rubble. This could be the easiest explanation since she already exhibited this ability during the Infinity Saga. Even though the Scarlet Witch knew the weight of her actions in the sequel, Wanda is still aware that she needs to live another day to help her friends against future threats.
Another possible scenario was pointed out by @McR1B69, speculating that Wanda might've teleported out at the last second:
"I wanted Wanda to be dead but I just noticed a little red flash after the building comes down on her. Could be used to retcon that she teleported out at the last second or something."
In Marvel Comics, the Scarlet Witch has the ability to teleport. During the Avengers: Disassembled storyline, Wanda's future self teleported through time to save Scott Lang from the devastation that she caused.
While it is not yet confirmed if the MCU's Wanda can teleport, there was one instance in WandaVision that might've shown that she can. During her final battle against Agatha Harkness, Wanda quickly vanished before eventually appearing behind the villain. However, Wanda may have turned invisible at that moment to sneak up behind Agatha to gain an advantage.
Still, this doesn't eliminate the possibility that Wanda may have teleported away from Wundagore once she realizes the castle is destroyed. As to where she went, it is unknown, but she could end up in her former home where Doctor Strange found her, or she could go back to Sokovia (or what's left of it).
@nataliaRROGERS unveiled a crazy theory involving Agatha Harkness, saying that a Variant of the witch could be the one who saved Wanda:
"WHAT IF AGATHA IS THE SCARLET WITCH IN SOME UNIVERSE AND SHE'S THE ONE WHO HAD THE RED FLASH IN THE END AND SAVED WANDA"
This is a different case of "It's Been Agatha All Along," but in a good way. Given that Multiverse of Madness deals with Variants and alternate realities, wouldn't it be fitting if a good version of Agatha swooped in and saved Wanda? At this point, this seems to be a long shot, considering that America Chavez didn't open a portal during that moment. Still, if this ended up happening, Agatha: House of Harkness could be the key to explaining Wanda's rebirth.
@jhlvoo applied the "no corpse, no death" rule to Wanda, giving fans hope that the Scarlet Witch is truly alive:
"believe wanda’s dead? doubt it. red flash when tower collapsed, also film rule; no corpse, no death."
In superhero movies (or any movie in general), when a body isn't found after a character's death, it usually means that that individual is poised for a grand return in a future project.
Multiverse of Madness head writer Michael Waldron already said that the Scarlet Witch's death is "up for interpretation," saying that it is up to the viewer to determine "whether she's dead or not" after the sequel. Given the popularity and importance of the Scarlet Witch, it's reasonable to assume that Marvel Studios will not pull the plug on the character, especially considering that there are still more stories to tell, such as the introduction of the X-Men.
What's Next for the Scarlet Witch?
Even though the Scarlet Witch's future is unknown, Elizabeth Olsen revealed in several interviews that she is willing to return to the MCU. That development alone is a major clue to what lies ahead for her and her character, mainly because her willingness to come back is the easiest route for the Scarlet Witch to return at some point.
For a powerful being like Wanda, dying in a collapsing castle isn't the best swan song. Although she served as the villain in the Doctor Strange sequel, there are still lingering threads that have yet to be addressed before closing off the Scarlet Witch's chapter, such as her reunion with White Vision and Clint Barton, and a potential encounter with Magneto.
From a potential WandaVision Season 2 to even a Scarlet Witch solo movie, there are numerous opportunities for Wanda's story to continue. Marvel Studios simply needs to find a way to showcase a fitting continuation that would honor her current MCU journey so far.
UPDATE: Kevin Feige has now commented on Wanda's apparent death in Multiverse of Madness.