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In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it's revealed that the Scarlet Witch is prophesied to either "rule the multiverse or destroy it", with her even having a throne in the Darkhold Castle on Mount Wundagore.

So my question is: Was this prophecy specifically created for the MCU, or does it have some prior basis in the comics?

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Judging by an interview with Vanity Fair, the Scarlet Witch prophecy spoken of within the MCU was a plot point cooked up by the WandaVision showrunner, Jac Schaeffer, and her team:

So what, exactly, is the Scarlet Witch, according to the lore Schaeffer and her team cooked up? Defining the term was part of her mandate from Marvel, she explains. WandaVision, as conceived by the creative team at Marvel Studios, was a series about a woman processing her grief through TV shows. But the comic-book-level “Marvel” idea, Schaeffer says, was “let’s learn more about the Scarlet Witch and her powers. That was the directive from the very beginning.” For a longtime fan of genre storytelling like Schaeffer, that meant it was prophecy time.

In the version of the WandaVision finale audiences saw last week, there were a few lingering hints of the prophecy Schaeffer had concocted. “Did you know there’s an entire chapter devoted to you in the Darkhold?” Agatha says to Wanda during the episode’s big showdown. “That’s the book of the damned. ‘The Scarlet Witch is not born; she is forged. She has no coven. No need for incantation’…Your power exceeds that of the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s your destiny to destroy the world.”

WandaVision Showrunner on the Tricky Scarlet Witch Prophecy She Cut

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I am going to suggest that the most meaningful antecedent—which probably partially inspired the prophecy about the Scarlet Witch—is not actually something from the comic books. Rather, I believe it was (bizarrely enough, one might think) most likely from an entirely different kind of literacy source: Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Cooper Union speech. (For those unfamiliar with it, Lincoln's speech is incredibly eloquent and prescient; it stands as a powerful indictment of the treasonously pro-slavery forces who opposed his election, as well as regressive politics in general—making it recommended reading for anyone interested interested in nineteenth-century American politics.)

Addressing the tactics of pro-slavery Southerners, he said:

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.

As far as I have been able to tell, this idea—that a powerful faction will either rule the realm or destroy it—does not seem to have been put in a pithy, well-remembered form prior to Lincoln's speech. (There had been similar dichotomous statements about the alternatives for someone who would be permitted to rule, such as, "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven," From Paradise Lost—but the meaning there is not the same.)

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    Well I am gonna say I dont think the writers of Wandavision or multiverse of madness read Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Cooper Union speech
    – shanu
    Jul 12, 2022 at 14:39

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