The Loki train has well and truly left the station over on Disney+, which means that the Marvel fandom is once again going into overdrive, poring over every frame of the show to find Easter eggs and plot clues. Some of these have merit; for example, episode one, “Glorious Purpose,” foreshadows the arrival of Kang, a major villain who we know will be appearing in upcoming movies in the MCU. But others feel like a bit of a reach on the part of viewers.
Exhibit A: several fan videos which have popped up in the 24 hours since episode two dropped to speculate that a background character is actually none other than WandaVision antagonist Agatha Harkness.
In the episode’s opening moments, a team of the TVA‘s hunters appear via portal at a Renaissance fair in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1985. Immediately upon their arrival, a woman passive-aggressively points out that they aren’t “dressed right” for their surroundings, later bemoaning: “Some of us need this.” Given the offbeat, frequently wacky tone of the show, you would think you’d be safe in assuming that this is simply a funny aside.
And I’m going to go ahead and say that’s exactly all this is.
Sure, there is a passing resemblance between Agatha actress Kathryn Hahn and this woman, played by comedian Kate Berlant. You could just about imagine them playing sisters in a movie. But does this mean every female character that we see in the MCU with dark wavy hair moving forward was actually Agatha all along?
It’s understandable why fans might be eager to read so deeply into such a brief moment. Even if the visual parallels are slight at best, who wouldn’t love to see the conniving witch appear in a show alongside the God of Mischief, or even just see what she was up to in 1985 prior to clashing with the Scarlet Witch? Imagining how these characters would spend time bouncing around that universe when not on-screen is the stuff great fanfiction is made of. But, as is the case for a great many of the so-called “fan theories” on the internet, fanfiction is actually a much more accurate term.
Because why, exactly, would Agatha be at a Renaissance fair in 1980s Wisconsin? To wear a vastly less impressive version of her own outfit, and reminisce about that time she was almost burned at the stake by her own coven?
I get it. Marvel’s slate of Disney+ shows have been so packed with allusions to events and characters from the comics’ sprawling mythology that parsing them becomes part of the wider viewing experience. And it can be fun to speculate. But not everything is an Easter egg. Sometimes, as was the case with that stained glass Satan from the season premiere, which triggered a whole lot of Mephisto theorists, a coincidence is just a coincidence.
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