WandaVision was a stellar first outing for the MCU's presence on Disney+. The fun and sometimes eerie trip through decades of sitcom styles saw Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff attempting to live out an idealized life with her deceased husband, Paul Bettany's Vision.
While much of the show focused on these titular characters, a new character entered the scene in the closing minutes of Episode 5 that took the internet by storm: Evan Peters as Wanda's brother Pietro/Quicksilver, who was killed by Ultron during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Speculation swirled about whether Peters, who'd played the same character in the Fox X-Men films, was being brought in as the version of Quicksilver he had played previously. Others speculated that Peters was playing a demonic villain like Mephisto or Nightmare, taking the form of Wanda's brother to torment her further.
In the end, Peters's character turned out to be a victim of Kathryn Hahn's Agatha Harkness, bewitched into believing himself to be Wanda's lost brother. The casting of a past Quicksilver actor was a simple meta joke, and the hopes of fans for Peters to play a larger role in the MCU were largely dashed when his character's name was revealed to be another joke: Ralph Bohner.
Teyonah Parris, who played Monica Rambeau in WandaVision and discovered Bohner's true name, revealed recently that the name wasn't always intended to be the innuendo that was settled on.
NOT ALWAYS RALPH BOHNER, BUT ALWAYS THE BUTT OF THE JOKE
Collider sat down with Teyonah Parris to ask about WandaVision's big reveal of the fake Pietro Maximoff's true identity.
While the character's name “wasn't always that" and “changed a couple of times" during development, all the options were jokes just as Ralph Bohner was. Parris elaborated:
“Even on the day there was another option. I might have said it for the camera. They're like, ‘Just throw this in, just in case,' but I can't remember what it was.”
However, "none topped Bohner," said Parris, "I'll tell you that. That was very like, ‘Okay! We're going for the Bohner!'”
PIETRO'S RETURN WAS NEVER IN THE CARDS FOR WANDAVISION
For many fans of Quicksilver and especially for those of Evan Peter's portrayal, the reveal that he was a joke character fell flat. After weeks of teasing something deeper with both the character and the wider threat facing Westview, the red herring left a bitter taste in the mouths of many.
WandaVision was full of references that made fans quickly grab onto the idea that demonic characters like Mephisto or Nightmare were going to turn out to be the "big bad."
Grim Reaper, a villain with ties to Vision, was teased in an early animated intro sequence, with his distinctive pronged helmet under the floorboards of the Vision residence.
While it's clear in retrospect that these Easter eggs were meant as references for fans of the comic stories WandaVision drew inspiration from, many die-hard fans felt let down by the show's failure to deliver on what they saw as breadcrumbs leading to something big. In the end, the references to demon spawn, devils, and grim reapers were all meant as fun callbacks to the comic book origins of Wiccan and Speed and the villains Wanda and Vision have tackled in issues past.
Fans looking for a deeper occult connection in WandaVision shouldn't be entirely let down though. Agatha revealed the Darkhold, which she called "the book of the damned." In the comics, this book is both the creation of and prison for the Elder God Chthon, who first practiced the chaos magic Wanda wields as the Scarlet Witch.
Considering the last frames of WandaVision saw Wanda delving into the Darkhold's secrets, Chthon may yet make an appearance when the Scarlet Witch next appears in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, coming to theaters March 25, 2022.