“Who is Mephisto?” “When will Mephisto appear?” “Is this character/rabbit/bush actually Mephisto?” Those were just a few of the resounding (and annoying) fan theories that bounced around the internet for the duration that WandaVision aired, even as there was no indication that the Marvel supervillain would appear. It was an idea that fans built up in their heads as WandaVision headed towards its (Mephisto-less) conclusion, but one that hadn’t even occurred to writer and executive producer Jac Schaeffer, who revealed that she hadn’t even heard of the character until the press tour came and suddenly, everyone was asking her about Mephisto.
Fan theories were the bane, though some might say boon, of WandaVision‘s existence. In some cases the creators of the Disney+ series humored or entertained fan theories, but a couple actually had no bearing on what was in the show itself. One of which were the alleged “hints” at Mephisto, a demon lord that would frequently clash with Wanda Maximoff in the comics, and a character that Schaeffer had no familiarity with until the press tour, Schaeffer told Mashable.
“There was never any conscious intention on my part to create any Mephisto red herrings, because I didn’t know who Mephisto was until I started doing press,” Schaeffer said in an interview following the season finale.
Many fans theorized that Mephisto was the real Big Bad behind the events of WandaVision, owing to the character’s history with Wanda Maximoff in past comics, particularly in series The Vision and the Scarlet Witch, from which WandaVision drew some inspiration. Throughout the series were sprinkled references to “the devil,” which fans took as hints that Mephisto would appear, or was the secret identity of one of the many supporting characters. But these were all just coincidences, Schaeffer said:
“Why did we talk about the devil so much? That’s a real coincidence. He wasn’t ever part of our storytelling conversations. We were very clear that the big bad is grief. And then the external bad is Agatha. So as a viewer and as a lover of the show and the characters, I didn’t want anything more than that.”
So while the devil may be the details, it’s clear that fan speculation shouldn’t be. Even theories that ended up turning out correct — like Agnes’ real identity as the show’s Big Bad Agatha Harkness — were a little on shaky ground, as it was recently revealed that Schaeffer and co. only decided to make Agatha the “external” villain later in the game. The only constant — in the show, and in real life — is grief, and how we move on from it. And that’s all we should come away with from WandaVision.
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