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"The Darkhold."
"You're familiar with the Darkhold?"
"I know it's the Book of the Damned, and that it corrupts everything and everyone that it touches."
Stephen Strange and Wanda Maximoff[src]

The Darkhold, also known as the Book of Sins, the Book of Spells,[1] or the Book of the Damned,[2] was a book of spells containing transcribed dark magic based on ancient engravings carved by Chthon.

For years many people tried to find the Darkhold, including Johann Schmidt, Daniel Whitehall, and Nick Fury. It was finally found by Joseph and Lucy Bauer, although the Darkhold corrupted them along with Eli Morrow, who tried to kill his co-workers to take the book for himself. In 2017, after Morrow's demise, the book was used by Aida and Holden Radcliffe to upgrade the Framework virtual reality, which was used to trap several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Aida used the Darkhold to create herself a human body using Dark Matter, pitting her against Ghost Rider, who helped S.H.I.E.L.D. defeat her before taking the book back to the Dark Dimension.

The Darkhold was retrieved by Morgan le Fay in an attempt to merge the Dark Dimension with Earth. However, she was stopped by the Runaways and PRIDE, who used the book to imprison her in the Dark Dimension.

The Darkhold was owned by Agatha Harkness, who brought it with her to Westview in order to amplify her powers so she could manipulate the Westview Anomaly without being noticed. It was later taken by Wanda Maximoff, who began studying it.

Eventually, the Darkhold's influence took over Maximoff, corrupting her mind and making her believe that the only way to see her children again was to find them in the Multiverse. This led her into a conflict with the Masters of the Mystic Arts, led by the Sorcerer Supreme Wong and Doctor Strange. Initially, the Darkhold was destroyed by Sara Wolfe who sacrificed her life to do so, leading Maximoff to force Wong to take her to Mount Wundagore, the site of the Darkhold Castle where the Darkhold was transcribed. After unleashing her ferocious rampage, Maximoff eventually broke out of the book's influence. She then used her powers to destroy the Darkhold and every copy of it within the Multiverse to stop it from influencing anyone else.

History[]

Origins[]

DarkholdTranscriptsWundagore

Chthon's magic spells, which would later be transcribed into the Darkhold

"Eons ago, the first demon, Chthon, carved his dark magic into this tomb. These same spells were later transcribed into the Darkhold."
Wong to Scarlet Witch[src]

The Darkhold was transcribed from Chthon's dark magic which was carved into the walls of a castle at the top of Mount Wundagore. The Masters of the Mystic Arts were aware of this transcription.[3] Due to its dark nature, the Darkhold was believed by some to have roots in the Dark Dimension. It was created from dark matter.[4][5] The Darkhold was made in the early days of bookmaking with peculiar elements such as metal and stones. The ornate cover for the book also featured an obscure illustration of Yggdrasil.[6] As a higher-level dark-magic power totem,[7] it was said to contain infinite knowledge,[8] and had a full chapter dedicated to the myth of the "Scarlet Witch."[2] Among its many spells, the Darkhold contained a spell that allowed a sorcerer to possess their alternate selves in other universes.[3]

Search for the Darkhold[]

Darkhold File

The S.H.I.E.L.D. file about the Darkhold

"Well, you know where to find it?"
"No one ever has. Not Daniel Whitehall, not the Red Skull, not even Nick Fury himself."
Robbie Reyes and Phil Coulson[src]

Over the course of history, many individuals searched for the Darkhold, including Red Skull, Daniel Whitehall, and Nick Fury. During the search for the book, S.H.I.E.L.D. created a file on it, including a draft based on an ancient description of the book's design.[1]

The Masters of the Mystic Arts were also aware of the book's existence and its connection to the Demon Chthon. They also knew that the Darkhold corrupted everything and everyone that it touched, and it was a magical object to be afraid of.[3]

In the 21st century, Lucy and Joseph Bauer found the Darkhold in the basement of its former owner's home, who had killed the previous owner of the book,[4] and opened it. When Lucy touched it, she discovered she could read the text in English, whereas when Joseph touched it, he could read it in German.[9] As she studied the Darkhold, Lucy became obsessed with it.[10]

Momentum Labs[]

Bauer-discouvery-darkhold-lockup

Joseph and Lucy Bauer read the Darkhold

"It was a mistake. We never should have taken it. We should've left it buried!"
Joseph Bauer[src]

The Darkhold helped Joseph Bauer in building the Quantum Particle Generator in Momentum Labs in order to help him allegedly create matter out of thin air, when in truth the machine was siphoning energy from another dimension. The engineer of the project, Eli Morrow, desired the book for himself. He tried to reason with Joseph to give him the book, but he refused to give it to him. One day, Morrow put all the Momentum Labs workers inside the machine in order to kill him and take the book for himself.

JBauerReadingDarkhold

Joseph Bauer reading from the Darkhold

Morrow personally attacked Joseph, but the latter refused to tell him where he had hidden the Darkhold,[11] so he put him into a coma. Unbeknownst to Morrow, Bauer and three of her co-workers Hugo, Frederick, and Vincent transformed into spiritual entities, contained within the special boxes that were created with the Darkhold's knowledge. Years later, Lucy visited Joseph and snapped him out of his coma to get the current location of the Darkhold.[1]

Targeted by S.H.I.E.L.D.[]

Darkhold5

Eli Morrow reads the Darkhold

"I know you're hurting, but Coulson was clear―Do not open that book."
"He didn't know what was inside it."
"He knew enough. It's Pandora's Box, and you don't know the consequences."
Alphonso Mackenzie and Melinda May[src]

Upon heading back to where the Darkhold was found by her and Joseph, Lucy found herself unable to read it in her current state. In order to get the Darkhold read, she and her remaining ghosts Hugo and Vincent had to infiltrate South Ridge Penitentiary in order to spring Eli Morrow from his prison. Lucy was successful in her mission at the cost of Hugo and Vincent who were taken out by Ghost Rider. At the Pasadena Momentum Laboratory, after killing the security guards there, Lucy had Eli touch the Darkhold and the text appeared before them in Spanish.[9]

Coulson - Darkhold - May - AOS406

Melinda May takes and hides the Darkhold

With the knowledge of the book, Morrow managed to rebuild the Quantum Particle Generator in an abandoned Roxxon Corporation power plant. As S.H.I.E.L.D. stormed into the building, Phil Coulson found the Darkhold unguarded. He asked Melinda May to bring it back to the Quinjet and hide it.[11] Following Coulson and Leo Fitz's sudden vanishing, May thought about using the Darkhold to save them. She tried to explain this to Alphonso Mackenzie, but he tried to talk her out of it, claiming that Coulson had stated that the book was dangerous.

Darkhold Binary

Aida reads the Darkhold

In the Playground, May showed Holden Radcliffe the Darkhold and asked him to read it in order to save Coulson and Fitz from being dragged to Hell. Radcliffe read the book but immediately closed it, saying that it was too much knowledge for a human mind. May, however, still tried to convince him to use the knowledge; however, it was Radcliffe's android assistant, Aida, who volunteered to read the book. With the knowledge she received, Radcliffe built for her the Inter-Dimensional Gate and Laser-Coupling Gloves, which helped her bringing Coulson and Fitz back to Earth.[8]

Targeted by Holden Radcliffe[]

DarkholdFoundByAida

Aida finds the Darkhold in the Playground

"I only glimpsed it but it opened my eyes to possibilities beyond my wildest imaginings, it can show us how–"
"How to live forever?"
"It's a bit more complicated but yes. Man could once and for all break the bonds of his mortal restraints."
Holden Radcliffe and Aida[src]

While reading the book, Holden Radcliffe noticed a way to prevent death. The idea had corrupted him and he developed an obsession for the Darkhold, causing him to betray S.H.I.E.L.D.. As part of his plan to steal the book, he programmed Aida to appear as if she had become self-aware via reading the Darkhold as well as taking Melinda May hostage and replacing her with a Life-Model Decoy.

BP Aida's Death

Aida is stopped from taking the Darkhold

Radcliffe planned that Aida would be seen as though she wanted to steal the book for herself. At the same time, Director Jeffrey Mace hid the book in his office and cloaked it, as Mace and Phil Coulson figured out that it was for the best that the Darkhold be destroyed. Radcliffe then initiated his plan, as Aida attacked the base and stole the book. However, Aida was destroyed by Alphonso Mackenzie, and Coulson retrieved the Darkhold in the process.[12]

AIvanov-ReadingDarkhold

The Superior reading parts of the Darkhold

Coulson then brought the book to Billy Koenig, who had passed it to his brothers. When LT Koenig returned it to Billy, he hid it inside the Labyrinth. The Watchdogs, assisted by Radcliffe, tried to take the book, but were stopped by S.H.I.E.L.D. However, LMD May took the book and brought it to Radcliffe. Anton Ivanov wanted to use the book to kill both Inhumans and Coulson.[13] Ivanov then briefly read the book, which gave him the answer to use Radcliffe in order to fight the Inhumans. Radcliffe later also read the Darkhold.[14]

Aida's Plan[]

Darkhold (AoS)

Aida gives the Darkhold to Anton Ivanov

Under Holden Radcliffe's request, Aida used the Darkhold to improve the Framework so it would be a virtual world. With the knowledge provided by the Darkhold, Aida created a full Life-Model Decoy body for the severely wounded Anton Ivanov. While Ivanov's head was inside a jar, his brain controlled the body remotely.[15]

The Darkhold showed Aida how to accomplish her ultimate goal: to become a human being. Using the Quantum Batteries, Aida could create for herself a human body, so she would no longer be chained to Radcliffe's protocols. Leo Fitz designed for her the machine inside the Framework (known as "Project Looking Glass") and Ivanov's men built it on his oil platform.[16] Aida successfully created a living body with Inhuman abilities.[17]

Aida - Darkhold - AOS421

Aida makes a new plan to use the Darkhold

Ivanov told Aida that with the help of the Darkhold, they could ensure that the real world would become its replica in the Framework.[18] Due to Aida's creation, a rift in Hell was created. The Spirit of Vengeance inside Robbie Reyes wanted to retrieve the Darkhold to Hell and kill Aida. Reyes passed to the other side and returned to Earth and came after the book. Aida managed to escape with the Darkhold before the Ghost Rider could get his hands on it. Later on, Ivanov, controlling LMDs of himself and Sergei Mishkin, brought the Darkhold to the International Inquiry Committee and told the attendees to read the book, intending for it to corrupt their minds to make them follow his anti-Inhuman crusade.

Ghost Rider Returns Hell

Ghost Rider takes the Darkhold into a portal

However, Ghost Rider managed to steal the Darkhold before that could happen. Afterwards, though Reyes asked to take the Darkhold, Phil Coulson asked that he wait, since he intended to use the book in order to lure Aida into a trap. Thus, Coulson held the book close to him when he returned to the Playground. When Aida came for him, having been fooled by Fitz into thinking he was planning to use the Darkhold against her, he revealed himself to be possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance and used its power to destroy her. Afterwards, Coulson handed the book to Reyes, who then opened a portal to Hell and took the Darkhold with him, thereby ensuring that it could no longer corrupt any more innocent lives.[5]

Used by Morgan le Fay[]

Morgan le Fay - Darkhold - R306

Morgan le Fay opening the Darkhold

"So, uh, what was that book Morgan was reading last night?"
"It's her book of spells. Don't you have one?"
Nico Minoru and Bronwyn[src]

The Darkhold was eventually acquired by Morgan le Fay, who planned to use the knowledge contained in the ancient book to conquer the Earth. It became le Fay's most prized possession, as she had a connection with it. Having escaped from the Dark Dimension, le Fay stored the book at the Essex Tower Hotel.

Runaways S3 -000145

The Darkhold is used in a witch ritual

Le Fay took the Darkhold to the ritual room, where a ceremony was held to induct Nico Minoru into her Coven of witches. The Darkhold was opened by le Fay during the ritual, with Minoru getting curious about the book. The next morning, Minoru asked Bronwyn for information about the book.[19]

Doorway to Darkness[]

Robert Minoru - WizGlass - Darkhold

Robert Minoru finds and reads the Darkhold

"Permit my entry into night, and allow the darkness find its light."
Nico Minoru[src]

In order to rescue Alex Wilder, Nico Minoru had planned to steal the Darkhold from Morgan le Fay to cast the spell required to return to the Dark Dimension. She and her mother Tina infiltrated the Essex Tower Hotel to retrieve the book. When Tina freed Robert from le Fay's Crow Necklace spell, he offered to help his wife and daughter in the search for the grimoire. Robert successfully located the Darkhold in a secret room.

Morgan le Fay - Darkhold - R307

Morgan le Fay taking the Darkhold back

While Robert was using his WizGlasses to record the necessary pages to help Nico to access the Darkhold's spells, including a page with the phrase "doorway to darkness", le Fay sensed that he had found the book. Once Robert finished recording the necessary pages, he tried to run from the secret room with the Darkhold. However, le Fay immediately teleported to Robert and took the book from him. Angry at the Minoru family's attempt to steal the Darkhold, le Fay mentioned her connection to the Darkhold and how sacred the book was before killing Robert with her powers.

Cloak - Dagger - Nico Minoru - Darkhold

Cloak, Dagger, and Nico read the Darkhold

Robert, in his final moments, gave his WizGlasses containing a video of the Darkhold to Nico. At the Hostel, Nico used the content of the book to cast a spell with the Staff of One. However, instead of opening a portal to another dimension, the spell from the Darkhold caused the appearance of two young people: Cloak & Dagger.[20] While explaining her mission, Nico showed the recorded footage of the Darkhold to Cloak and Dagger. The spell from the Darkhold was useful after all: using Cloak's powers, the Runaways and Cloak & Dagger teleported to the Dark Dimension and rescued Wilder.[21]

Banishing Morgan le Fay[]

"You crossed over to get Alex. How? Your father failed to get the Darkhold."
"No, he didn't."
Tina Minoru and Nico Minoru[src]

When PRIDE united with the Runaways to stop Morgan le Fay's grand plan to merge the Dark Dimension with Earth, Nico Minoru revealed to Tina Minoru that Robert Minoru had recorded pages of the book on his WizGlasses. Using the contents from the book, Tina started working on a banishing spell while Nico and the other kids were fighting le Fay at the Hostel.[22] Joining the battle, Tina cast a powerful spell from the Darkhold and successively banished le Fay from the Earth.[23]

FitzSimmons' Illusion[]

Inescapable 5

Leo Fitz reading the Darkhold's recreation

"That's not a good book. That's a bad book, bad story, very poorly written."
Leo Fitz[src]

During a recreation of the shared memories of Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons induced by the Chronicoms, Fitz realized that the book a child version of Simmons wanted him to read from was an illusion of the Darkhold. Fitz, who remembered that the book was dangerous as it had been involved in the creation of the Framework's fascist world, immediately rejected the book, calling it "very poorly written".[24]

Westview Anomaly[]

Darkhold (WV)

The Darkhold in Agatha Harkness's possession

"Did you know there's an entire chapter devoted to you in the Darkhold?"
Agatha Harkness to Wanda Maximoff[src]

In November 2023, Agatha Harkness brought the Darkhold with her when she went to Westview, New Jersey to investigate the Westview Anomaly created by Wanda Maximoff.[25][26] The book enhanced Harkness' powers allowing her to manipulate the Anomaly without being noticed.[7]

Agatha Harkness reads the Darkhold

Agatha Harkness reads the Darkhold

When she and Maximoff eventually came to blows, Harkness revealed the book to Maximoff and explained to her that there was a whole chapter on the "Scarlet Witch" in it. She then revealed the blackened fingers that she had due to the Darkhold's corruption and used dark magic from the book to fight Maximoff.[2]

Studied by Wanda Maximoff[]

Scarlet Witch reading the Darkhold

The Darkhold is studied by Wanda Maximoff

The Darkhold was then taken by Wanda Maximoff, who wanted to study it, hoping to learn more about her true power. After fleeing to a cabin, Maximoff learned about the Astral Dimension and mastered astral projection. She studied the book while her physical body performed other menial tasks. Sometime later, while studying the book, and learning about the Multiverse,[3] Maximoff heard the voices of her children crying out for their mother, and proceeded to slam the book shut in alarm.[2]

Scarlet Witch's War[]

Influencing Wanda Maximoff[]

"I wonder what it has done to you.”
“The Darkhold has only showed me the truth."
Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch[src]

Throughout the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, Wanda Maximoff's mind became corrupted by the Darkhold which allowed her to learn more about the Multiverse and how to see other universes using the book's spells. Once she saw that her children existed in alternate universes and lived happy lives, she became obsessed with reuniting with them and finding a way to live in an alternate universe where they lived. During her studies, she learned of America Chavez, a supernatural being who had the ability to travel through the Multiverse. Maximoff used the Darkhold to summon inter-dimensional beings to find and capture Chavez.

Stephen Strange and Scarlet Witch

The Darkhold is revealed by Scarlet Witch to Doctor Strange

When Maximoff learned that Chavez had entered her universe and encountered Doctor Strange, she prepared herself for Strange's visit by putting away the Darkhold and using her magic to change her living space into a lush plantation full of apple trees and sheep. Strange arrived and spoke with her, but she accidentally gave away that she knew of Chavez and admitted that she was the one who tried to capture her. She then unveiled her illusion and summoned the Darkhold. Strange recognized it and asked what it had done to her. Maximoff told Strange that the Book of the Damned only showed her the truth, but he told her that she what she was planning on doing was a violation of natural law. Dismissing his warnings, Maximoff then ordered Strange to return to Kamar-Taj and hand over the girl peacefully while dematerializing the Darkhold to carry it with her.[3]

Siege of Kamar-Taj[]

OtherBillyTommyDSitMoM

The Darkhold is shown by Scarlet Witch to reveal other universes

"She's got the Darkhold and the Darkhold has her."
Doctor Strange[src]

When Wanda Maximoff laid siege on Kamar-Taj and cornered Doctor Strange, Wong and America Chavez, Maximoff justified her actions and manifested the Darkhold to show Strange how her kids existed in every other universe in the Multiverse.[3]

Dreamwalking[]

DreamwalkingSpell

The Darkhold's Dreamwalking spell

"There is a spell, contained within those pages, corrosive to the soul, a desecration of reality itself."
Baron Mordo[src]

Having arrived on Earth-838 after escaping Wanda Maximoff, Doctor Strange and America Chavez were greeted by Baron Mordo who welcomed them into the New York Sanctum. Inside, Mordo explained that there was a Darkhold in his universe too and revealed that he guarded it in the Sanctum. He later commented on how it contained a spell that allowed someone to dreamwalk into another universe, something that was deemed a desecration of reality. When Strange asked if Mordo knew about the Book of Vishanti, Mordo revealed it was the Darkhold's antithesis and that it could indeed be used to fight Maximoff. However, due to his experience with his Doctor Strange and the Darkhold, Mordo betrayed Strange and Chavez, using the Sands of Nisanti to knock them unconscious.

Meanwhile, Maximoff used the Dreamwalking spell to project her consciousness into her alternate self from Earth-838, possessing her body.[3]

Destruction of the Darkhold[]

Scarlet Witch Dreamwalking

The Darkhold is used by Scarlet Witch to dreamwalk

"I need to destroy the book."
"No. It cannot be you."
Wong and Sara Wolfe[src]

While Wanda Maximoff was Dreamwalking, Sara Wolfe used her dagger to stab the Darkhold and destroy it. The destruction of the book caused Wolfe to be burned to death along with it. Hoping that there was a way to recover it and use its spells, Maximoff attacked Wong and demanded that he revealed to her where she could find another copy of the Darkhold. After torturing some sorcerers, Wong finally revealed that the Darkhold was a copy of Chthon's magic which was carved into the walls of the Darkhold Castle on Mount Wundagore. Maximoff then forced Wong to take her to the mountain. There, she used the Dreamwalking spell once again to successfully possess her alternate self from Earth-838.[3]

The Incursion Destroyed Universe[]

"Careful. The Darkhold exacts a heavy toll."
Doctor Strange to Doctor Strange[src]

During their escape from the Illuminati Headquarters, Doctor Strange, Christine Palmer, and America Chavez went to the dimension where the Book of Vishanti was hidden. However, they were ambushed by Wanda Maximoff who was possessing her alternate self from Earth-838. Maximoff then destroyed the Book of Vishanti and used Chavez's powers to send Strange and Palmer to another universe. They eventually found themselves in a reality that was being destroyed by an Incursion.

DSMoM Spot 35

Sinister Strange uses the Darkhold to counter Doctor Strange's spell

Strange and Palmer looked for the New York Sanctum of that reality. Once there, Strange entered the Sanctum and discovered an alternate version of himself whose mind had become corrupted by the Darkhold, which he had used to dreamwalk in several universes to find one where he was happy with Palmer, eventually causing the Incursion that was destroying his reality. Sinister Strange told Strange that he kept possessing his alternate selves and started killing them after seeing that none of them were with Palmer. Sinister Strange then showed Strange that using the Darkhold had caused him to develop a third eye. Strange told his sinister counterpart that he needed the Darkhold to communicate with his universe. Sinister Strange agreed to lend the Darkhold to Strange if he let him have the Palmer from his universe. When Strange refused, saying she would never agree to such a deal, they both got into a fight for the Book of the Damned.

SinisterStrangeDarkhold2

Darkhold has broken by Doctor Strange's spells

During their fight, Strange used musical notes around the Sanctum and turned them into attacking spells, which managed to break Sinister Strange's locket that contained the Darkhold. Strange then tried to reach to the book, but Sinister Strange used his dark magic, which he obtained thanks to the Darkhold, to fight him off with ease. Strange then trapped all of his musical note spells in a powerful energy ball and used it to blast Sinister Strange, who flew out of the New York Sanctum to his death.[3]

Strange's Difficult Decision[]

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (film) 24

Doctor Strange uses the Darkhold to take a glimpse into his universe

"What are you doing with the Darkhold? Are you going to dreamwalk?"
"It's a little bit more than just dreamwalking."
Christine Palmer and Doctor Strange[src]

Now in possession of Sinister Strange's Darkhold, Doctor Strange realized that the only way to stop Wanda Maximoff was by Dreamwalking into his universe. This was met with criticism by Christine Palmer, who remembered how her universe's Strange had made a similar decision and doomed an entire universe. Strange told her that she was right, but clarified that America Chavez needed him and that he could not save her without Palmer's help. Palmer reluctantly agreed to help Strange by protecting his body from the Souls of the Damned, who would attack Strange for trespassing into another universe by possessing a dead version of himself.[3]

Battle at the Darkhold Castle[]

SinisterDarkholdDestroyed

Doctor Strange and Christine Palmer witness the Darkhold's destruction

"No one will be tempted by the Darkhold again."
Scarlet Witch to Doctor Strange[src]

Doctor Strange, who was possessing his alternate self's corpse, fought Wanda Maximoff who was at the Darkhold Castle trying to take America Chavez's powers. Strange realized that the only way to defeat Maximoff was to show her what she had become and encouraged Chavez to try to harness her powers and fight Maximoff. During their brief duel, Chavez decided to give Maximoff what she wanted and opened a portal to the Vision Residence on Earth-838 where Billy and Tommy Maximoff were watching television.

Upon noticing her arrival, the Maximoff twins got scared of Scarlet Witch and ran into their mother's arms. Maximoff broke out of the Darkhold's corruption when she saw them rejecting her. Wanda Maximoff from Earth-838 noticed what her alternate self had been trying to do and consoled her by telling her that she would take care of the twins and that they would be loved. Once she returned from Earth-838, Maximoff decided that nobody should be influenced by the Darkhold again and that it was her duty to destroy every single copy of the book in the Multiverse. She used her chaos magic to achieve her goal which caused the Darkhold Castle to collapse on top of her, seemingly killing her.[3]

Alternate Universes[]

Earth-838[]

"He turned to the Darkhold. Began dreamwalking. In hopes that our salvation might lie in the Multiverse."
Baron Mordo[src]

During the Infinity War, Doctor Strange resorted to the Darkhold in order to find a way to defeat Thanos. He discovered the Dreamwalking spell and used it to navigate into other universes. Unfortunately, Strange inadvertently caused an Incursion, which led to the entire destruction of another universe.

Strange eventually renounced the influence of the Darkhold, which was handed to the Illuminati. Together, they found the Book of Vishanti and used it to defeat Thanos. To avoid any further consequences, Strange was willingly executed by Black Bolt. The Darkhold was then given to Mordo who guarded it inside the New York Sanctum, vowing to never let the dangerous book fall into the wrong hands. Strange's actions were kept a secret from the public, with only the members of the Illuminati and Christine Palmer knowing the truth.[3]

Sinister Strange's Darkhold[]

SinisterStrangeDarkhold

Sinister Strange's Darkhold

"The Darkhold. You guard the Darkhold in this universe?"
"Yeah. For good reason."
Doctor Strange and Doctor Strange[src]

Following Christine Palmer's wedding, Doctor Strange returned to his home in a fragile emotional state. Due to a lack of closure, Strange turned to the Darkhold with the intention to finding a universe where he was happy with Palmer. However, he found out that multiple versions of himself were just as unhappy as he was. As the Darkhold begin corrupting his mind, Strange decided to do his alternate selves a favor by killing them, something that he considered mercy. His Dreamwalking actions eventually led to an Incursion between his universe and another universe which eventually led to his universe turning into a desolate reality where Strange remained as the only survivor.[3]

Disappearing from the Multiverse[]

"So she destroyed the Darkhold in every universe."
Doctor Strange[src]

As a result of Wanda Maximoff's actions, every copy of the Darkhold in the Multiverse was destroyed.[3]

Capabilities[]

DarkholdChapterSW

The book's content about the Scarlet Witch

"Look, if the internet is a garden hose, this book is Niagara Falls, blasting the universe's deepest thoughts through your eyeballs."
"It's a piece of technology, a tool."
"So's a grenade, until it's in the hands of a child."
Holden Radcliffe and Melinda May[src]

The Darkhold contained infinite knowledge;[1] not only did it have a full chapter on the Scarlet Witch myth,[2] but it also contained spells, formulas,[9] information on how to create machines to harness energy from other dimensions,[27] and even coding.[12] While most of the time, its pages were blank, there have been certain occasions when the reader had immediate access to its content, for example, when Robert Minoru opened the book to find the spell to access the Dark Dimension.[20] When the pages were blank they could be read when they entered in contact with the reader, the dark book read the reader and adapted to them by showing them the information that they were looking for, featuring instructions to make their desires come true, written in the language the reader would fully understand.[9][19] The instructions that came from the book could guide the reader to their ultimate goal by showing them how to build items, some of which harness energy from other dimensions.[8] Therefore, even brilliant scientists, like Leo Fitz, could not understand how the creations worked.

LucyUnableRead1 image

Lucy Bauer is unable to read the Darkhold

Witches such as Agatha Harkness and Wanda Maximoff appeared to have access to all of the book's content.[2] In the hands of Harkness, Maximoff, and Doctor Strange,[3] the content of the book could be read in prophecy language.[28] It cannot be read by beings trapped between the Hell Dimension and the Earth Plane[8] as the ghostly Lucy Bauer could not read it.[9] However, those limitations can be overcome by Chaos Magic, as Maximoff was able to read it while she was projecting herself in the Astral Plane.[2]

Superior-ReadingDarkhold

Anton Ivanov reads the Darkhold

The secondary ability of the book was to corrupt the reader's mind and create a dangerous obsession over itself. A person who had used the Darkhold for a long time may not want others to even touch it.[9] Even a brief skim through the book can corrupt the reader's mind, like in the case of Holden Radcliffe, who, despite recognizing the danger the book posed and not even attempting to read it properly, allowed himself to betray his friends simply to regain possession of the book.[27] Abiotic beings, such as the Life-Model Decoy Aida, could also become corrupted if they read the book. The Darkhold could even corrupt people who have yet to read it; an example is Eli Morrow, who attempted to murder his Momentum Labs coworkers after learning the capabilities of the machine they were building.[11]

WeaponizedDarkhold

Sinister Doctor Strange uses the Darkhold to deflect Doctor Strange's spells

The book had a third ability. It amplified the user's magic, as shown with Harkness. The Salem witch used the book as an amplification totem. It enhanced her magic, which allowed her to break into the reality known as the Hex. Therefore, she was the only person unable to be controlled by Maximoff and was able to manipulate the course of events of the reality without being noticed. Harkness was able to hold her own against Maximoff due to her Darkhold-increased powers. However, this was not enough to overpower Scarlet Witch.[7] The book also amplified Scarlet Witch's magic to such a high-extent that she was able to easily destroy Kamar-Taj and defeat all of the sorcerers present there during the Siege of Kamar-Taj, besting the likes of the Sorcerer Supreme Wong and Doctor Strange. The book not only amplified someone's magic, but could also alter it, as seen with Sinister Strange's magic, giving it a purple color, which tended to be related to dark magic users such as Harkness.[26][2] While not common, the Darkhold could also be used as a weapon, as Sinister Strange used it to deflect Doctor Strange's spells.[3]

Among its capabilities, the Darkhold enabled its user to visualize and see other universes, as shown when Maximoff used the Darkhold to navigate the Multiverse in order to find universes in which she had her twin boys.[2] Through the use of the Darkhold, the user could also summon beings to attack their enemies in other universes, a spell which Maximoff used to summon the Ribboned Creature and Gargantos to capture America Chavez for her.[3]

Perhaps the book's most dangerous and deadly power that transcended boundaries of universes was providing its user the ability to dreamwalk in other universes. If the user dreamwalked in a universe for too long they could cause an Incursion between their universe and another universe, which could result in the complete destruction of one or both universes, as shown when Sinister Strange's pursuit of dreamwalking with his Darkhold caused the complete destruction of his universe.[3]

Darkhold (WandaVision)

The book is manifested by Agatha Harkness

The Darkhold had a special connection with beings who are related to the book itself, dark matter, the Dark Dimension, and dark magic. When Aida built herself a body with the knowledge of the Book of Sins, she used dark matter in the process, which was felt by Ghost Rider who decided to exterminate Aida and return the Darkhold to Hell, where it "belonged".[5] Morgan le Fay considered the Darkhold to be her book of spells and part of herself, due to her having a strong connection with the grimoire. She could even feel when it was used by others.[20] When the book was in possession of Harkness, a master of the dark arts, she was able to teleport the book from her basement into her presence and then return it without any effort,[2] something that Maximoff was also able to do.[3]

WandaMaximoffBlackFingertips

Scarlet Witch's fingertips acquired a black color due to her use of the book.

The extended use of the dark magic filled within the Darkhold not only caused deep corruption to the user's soul, but it also latched on to their biggest fears and desires, amplifying them to such an extent that they almost turned insane, as shown when Maximoff became mentally unstable due to the Darkhold's influence. Despite the short amount of the time that a person used the Darkhold, it still could permanently corrupt the user upon use, as shown when Doctor Strange developed a third eye on his forehead after using the book to temporarily dreamwalk.[3] Due to its prolonged use, and in specific cases, the Darkhold's effects caused its user's fingertips to acquire a black color, looking like rotten flesh, this happened to Harkness,[2] Doctor Strange, and Maximoff, but not to Sinister Strange.[3]

The Darkhold's corruption of its user could only be broken through their own conscience and sheer will, with guilt acting as a counter to break it, as shown with Maximoff[3] and Radcliffe.[29]

Known Inventions[]

Appearances[]

Appearances for the Darkhold

In chronological order:

Trivia[]

  • In the comics, the Darkhold is the ultimate dark grimoire, a collection of all evil spells in existence that was gathered by the Elder God Chthon. Pages of the Darkhold were copied into the Book of Cagliostro. It had different designers across time such as Morgan le Fay and Paolo Montesi. The Darkhold has also had different copies of it spread around the world, as well as different designs.
  • The cover of the Darkhold in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways features an ambigram, which makes the writing on it read "Darkhold" from both directions. This design was changed for WandaVision.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jeffrey Bell said that the addition of the Darkhold to the series was their way to tie-in with Doctor Strange and added that he felt the "Darkhold feels like it belongs in the library in Kathmandu."[30]
  • WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer revealed that they did not take into consideration the previous appearance of the Darkhold in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when they decided to include it in WandaVision,[31] and that they used the Darkhold only considering the story they wrote for the Disney+ series.[32] She later added that other projects "would probably tell more" about the Darkhold outside of what was seen in WandaVision.[28]
  • When WandaVision director Matt Shakman was asked if the Darkhold that appeared in the series was the same book from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or a completely different book, he said that he "would imagine it's the same book."[33]
  • WandaVision co-executive producer Mary Livanos pitched the idea to use the Darkhold in the series as it would increase the level of danger that Agatha Harkness posed to Scarlet Witch.[7]
  • The redesign of the Darkhold and how it functioned in WandaVision was decided after taking a look at how it worked in the comics rather than in its previous iterations in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Runaways. When talking about the design phase of the prop and the book's physical placement within scenes, Matt Shakman said that the design would try to answer questions on what it could look like, how it had been created, and how it would appear and disappear.[7]
  • According to WandaVision prop designer Russell Bobbitt, the Darkhold "went through many iterations of design" and to create the final look they had help from the team working on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Bobbitt also said that it was important the book looked "like a book from the Kamar-Taj Library."[6]

References[]

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Darkhold.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.04: Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 WandaVision: 1.09: The Series Finale
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  4. 4.0 4.1 Guidebook to the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Four
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.22: World's End
  6. 6.0 6.1 WandaVision: The Art of the Series
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 WANDAVISION'S CREATIVE TEAM DISCUSSES THE DARKHOLD, THE SCARLET WITCH, AND FAN THEORIES
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.07: Deals With Our Devils
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.05: Lockup
  10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.02: Meet the New Boss
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.06: The Good Samaritan
  12. 12.0 12.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.09: Broken Promises
  13. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.12: Hot Potato Soup
  14. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.13: BOOM
  15. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.15: Self Control
  16. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.19: All the Madame's Men
  17. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.20: Farewell, Cruel World!
  18. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.21: The Return
  19. 19.0 19.1 Runaways: 3.06: Merry Meet Again
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Runaways: 3.07: Left-Hand Path
  21. Runaways: 3.08: Devil's Torture Chamber
  22. Runaways: 3.09: The Broken Circle
  23. Runaways: 3.10: Cheat The Gallows
  24. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 6.06: Inescapable
  25. WandaVision: 1.07: Breaking the Fourth Wall
  26. 26.0 26.1 WandaVision: 1.08: Previously On
  27. 27.0 27.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.08: The Laws of Inferno Dynamics
  28. 28.0 28.1 'WandaVision' secrets revealed: The missing Doctor Strange cameo, a goofy 'Growing Pains' reference and the 'Contact' connection
  29. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.17: Identity and Change
  30. Agents of SHIELD EPs on the Season 4 Midseason Finale, Ghost Rider
  31. WandaVision Head Writer Jac Schaeffer On Changes, Endings, and Vision's Beautiful Words (Exclusive)
  32. Jac Schaeffer Interview: WandaVision
  33. Matt Shakman Interview: WandaVision

External Links[]

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