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WandaVision: Elizabeth Olsen explains a surprising character change

wandavision episode 4 release date
(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

Long before the release of WandaVision on Disney Plus, die-hard and casual Marvel fans alike noticed something curious about Wanda Maximoff. When Elizabeth Olsen’s character was first introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she and her twin brother Pietro (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron) had very distinct Sokovian accents. But when WandaVision premiered, the accent had disappeared.

Naturally, fans just assumed that despite her European heritage, Wanda’s accent faded with time. This would make sense, considering she’s spent the past several years in the United States with the rest of the Avengers.

Editor's Note: There are some WandaVision spoilers ahead. 

However, in a recent interview with Collider, Elizabeth Olsen confirmed that Wanda’s accent isn’t gone for good.

“It hasn’t gone anywhere. There have been reasons for everything. It lightened up when she started living in the States, and in WandaVision she is playing the role of being in an American sitcom and so it’s not gone. It is absolutely still there.”

Olsen also shared how the Sokovian accent first came about ahead of filming Age of Ultron. “[It] was created by me and Aaron and our dialect coach because it’s a fake country and we could find different sources of Slavic sounds. And we wanted to make sure it didn’t sound Russian because Black Widow speaks Russian,” she said.

So, according to the actress behind the Scarlet Witch herself, there’s an explanation behind Wanda’s character change. We’ve already begun to see hints of Wanda’s accent returning in WandaVision, with the most recent example being when she momentarily left Westview to threaten S.W.O.R.D agents.

In case you’ve forgotten the history of Wanda’s changing accent, we’ve put together a brief film-by-film recap for you below. Spoiler alert (obviously). 

Wanda Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron 

Avengers Age of Ultron

(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

Wanda Maximoff, also known as the Scarlet Witch in the comics, was first introduced to the MCU in Avengers: Age of Ultron, alongside her twin brother Pietro (Quicksilver). The pair first appeared as antagonists before siding with the Avengers to defeat Ultron, the film’s title villain. 

As a result of her Sokovian heritage, Wanda’s heavy European accent stayed consistent throughout the duration of the movie. Listen below:

Wanda Maximoff in Captain America: Civil War 

Captain America Civil War

(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

Throughout Captain America: Civil War, you can tell that Wanda’s Sokovian pronunciation has already begun to fade. The film’s directors, the Russo Brothers, confirmed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that Wanda’s change in accent is a direct result of Black Widow training her to operate undercover as a spy. 

This makes sense, given that the first time we see Wanda in the film, she’s undercover in Lagos, Nigeria. However, despite becoming more American-sounding, very subtle hints of her original accent remained.

Wanda Maximoff in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame

Avengers Infinity War

(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

After the events of Civil War, Wanda spent two years on the run with Team Cap. At this point, her accent is non-existent. In fact, unlike what we’ve seen in WandaVision, Wanda’s “Americanized” accent persisted even in the most stressful situations (having to kill her beloved Vision only to see him die again at the hands of Thanos comes to mind).  

Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision 

WandaVision

(Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

With the release of WandaVision, Wanda's accent became a topic of discussion once more. Each episode is modeled after a different era of American sitcom history, and Wanda’s accent reflects this. Olsen's co-star, Emma Caulfield, also described working with a vocal coach to get that sitcom-appropriate mid-Atlantic accent right. 

However, we first see Wanda's accent begin to break in episode 3, when she mentions her brother Pietro for the first time since Age of Ultron.

Things take a much darker turn in episode 5, when we see Wanda leave her fake reality to threaten the S.W.O.R.D. agents attempting to free Westview from her grasp. So far, the only times we’ve seen her character break have been in moments of great emotional stress and/or anger. Which means we’re likely to see more.

In case you need a refresher as to what’s happened so far on WandaVision ahead of this week’s episode, make sure to check out our episode 5 recap

Denise Primbet

Denise is a news writer at Tom’s Guide covering consumer tech news, deals, streaming, gaming and more. When she’s not playing horror games, she’s a part-time piano enthusiast and experimenting in the kitchen. You can reach her at denise.primbet@futurenet.com.