Lucy's Geek Palace! #1: Looking Back at Wanda's Character


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Since Wandavision released early last year, the character of Wanda Maximoff seems to be getting more attention, both positive and negative... Well, a lot more negative. People say she is a horrible person and that what she did to the town of Westview was unforgivable. That she has nothing to be sad about and even getting downright ugly about her... All this, as put in the Doctor Strange trailer, seems unfair. I just wanted to use this to go over a lot of things fans seem to overlook when talking about her character.  

Let’s start from the beginning.

Right from the start, we see Wanda grew up poor in war-torn country. Her only escape was sitcoms, an export from a country without the problems plaguing her everyday life. Her parents were brutally killed in an explosion right in front of her. Then Wanda and her brother were left in a destroyed building looking at a missile for two days in petrified terror, thinking it was going to go off any second and kill them. After that, the only person she had left was her brother Pietro. He was also killed later on fighting Ultron. Now completely alone, Vision comes into her life and finally it seems there's some good coming her way again, only for her to be forced to kill her love just so she can watch it be undone and have him die all over again. When Wanda comes back from the blip all she wants to do is bury her love and yet she’s told she can’t on the grounds that he’s nothing more than a thing and government property, all while she looks on at his dissected corpse.  

Empty-handed, Wanda goes to the place where she and Vision were going to live together and her mind finally snaps. With a broken mind dictating her powers, she creates her own little world like the sitcoms she treasured, a world that grants her the love of her life back. Wanda taking over this town was a horrible thing to do, I'm not defending that but, I think people really overlook everything that happened leading up to this so they can paint Wanda is entirely malicious. The amount of trauma Wanda went through is outstanding, and any ONE of these things would have broken most people to pieces. Also, while her actions still aren’t a moral good, Wanda doesn't seem to fully grasp how much she's affecting the townspeople around her until Agatha lets down the curtain for a moment, but by then she's so deep into her own world it's hard to let go. 

Once again this does not excuse what she did, it's still wrong, but people still overlook how it came to this and as a result they miss the bigger moral questions. If you could create your version of heaven at the cost of others losing their freedom, can you say for sure that you would be able to resist that, especially if you’ve suffered in any way close to how Wanda did?  What if you didn’t know that others would be suffering for your happiness when you made the choice?  There are a lot of people that will say no but I don't think most are being honest.  I truly think you wouldn't really know until you got a taste for it without any of the guilt, same as Wanda did at first. There are so many more interesting and nuanced conversations to be had that are being overlooked here. And this is why I think this line often gets so much backlash and hostility. 

"They'll never know what you sacrificed."

Firstly, I would never put that line in the show if I were writing it myself.  It's never a good idea to try and make the audience feel bad for someone so quickly after they realize the thing they were doing was terrible. Bad timing aside though, there's SOME truth to that statement. She did give up her version of heaven for these strangers so it's true she did give up a lot for them, even if we acknowledge she had no right to take over their lives in the first place.  Other characters have done far worse things than Wanda has, yet get afforded a lot more forgiveness and leniency from fans.

This leads us to a discussion of double standards. Loki, for example, has committed so many more horrible crimes than Wanda. He tried to genocide an entire species, tried kill his brother, succeeded in committing acts of terrorism attacks, tried to enslave earth, and killed hundreds. He did all this because he was jealous and felt inferior to his brother and upset at his dad...  I know he was the villain at the time but the fandom is all too willing to forgive him now for all those horrible things, and count him among heroes all because he displayed some personal growth afterward. Yet Wanda, who has been through some imaginable trauma and wasn't trying to hurt everyone still gets mocked belittled and doesn't get any forgiveness from a lot of the fandom.

Once again, doesn't seem fair...