Warning: Spoilers ahead for Disney’s WandaVision (and practically the entire MCU)
The last time we saw Wanda Maximoff (also “Scarlet Witch,” though she’s yet to be called this moniker, officially) was at Tony Stark’s funeral at the tail end of Avengers: Endgame. Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was mourning with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), both having lost Stark and someone else close—Hawkeye mourning Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Wanda mourning Vision (Paul Bettany), who died at the big purple hands of Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
Well, now Wanda is back in Disney+’s WandaVision, inexplicably reunited with Vision in a 1950’s styled sitcom, featuring several recurring oddities and symbols. One of these is a sword insignia, which appears three times: once on a control panel at the end of episode 1 (as if Wanda’s world/reality was actually being viewed by an audience); once on a crashed toy helicopter, appearing in color à la the The Giver; and finally on the person of a mysterious beekeeper who emerges out of a sewer drain before Wanda rewinds and resets the story back in her living room.
While it’s unclear just what the heck is going on, there are some identifiable features of Wanda’s world, particularly that sword insignia, which belongs to a real MCU organization, though not one we’ve seen on screen yet.
Here’s what to know about the sword insignia and what it could mean for the future of the MCU.
What is S.W.O.R.D.?
The Sentient World Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D) is a government agency combatting extraterrestrial threats and complimenting S.H.I.E.L.D’s domestic operations; if SHIELD is the FBI, then SWORD is the CIA, and by that we mean: they deal with UFOs.
Marvel recently got the live action rights to SWORD (which is technically under the X-Men umbrella of copyrights), meaning it will likely play more of a role in recent Marvel properties.
And we have seen something of SWORD before. In Captain Marvel, we’re introduced to Monica Rambeau—as a little girl—who is a SWORD agent in the Marvel comics. In Wandavision, that character (now an adult and going by the name “Geraldine”) is being played by Teyonah Parris. So whatever game SWORD has afoot in Wanda’s 1950s reality, there is a known agent on the ground (and being used as a part of Wanda and Vision’s magic trick).
What’s the deal with the beekeeper in WandaVision Episode 2?
Another possible agent is the beekeeper, who wears the SWORD symbol on his back and who Wanda seems to recognize. In fact, Wanda seems to unconsciously know the SWORD symbol, at that point having seen it twice. Wanda’s already conceded to memory loss throughout the first two episodes, forgetting why she moved to the neighbored and when she and Vision married.
Superhero blockbuster aside, Avengers: Endgame was also notable for tackling themes of loss and trauma, as the earth mourned the dusting of half of its population. It’s possible that WandaVision is exploring similar themes, following the death of Stark and Vision, with Wanda constructing her own fake realities to hide this sad reality she’s actually in.
In one commercial we see a watch company named “Strücker,” the same name as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who had imprisoned Wanda and Pietro Maximoff during their first appearance in the MCU in the credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in the first act of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps Wanda is constructing a fake world with real memories to hide her sadness. Perhaps the “nosy neighbor,” Agnes, isn’t quite who she seems. Perhaps SWORD is there to rescue her. Perhaps their intentions are more nefarious. Who the heck knows.
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