The Darkhold has a lot more to offer than the evil MacGuffins seen in comic books. This is how the Darkhold cleverly manipulates its victims in MCU.
The Darkhold has been used prominently in two major Marvel Cinematic Universe productions, Wandavision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Both show it to be an evil MacGuffin that corrupts the people who use it. This can lead to them doing terrible things for others and themselves.
However, what gets overlooked is how the Darkhold manages to corrupt its users. The Darkhold is a self-fulfilling prophecy that corrupts its users. However, it does not show the user what their most fear is. Instead of trying to stop their worst fear coming true, they use the Darkhold to make sure it does.
The strongest example of this is with Wanda in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the post-credits scene of Wandavision, Wanda is studying the Darkhold when she hears her children crying for help somewhere in the Multiverse. Wanda is driven to find her children by this scene. America Chavez takes Wanda to her kids, but they run and recoil in terror at what she’s become. Wanda was actually scared by the Darkhold when she gave her the warning. She heard her children screaming and ran away. Ironically, she was trying to save her kids by putting them at risk. This is because of the Darkhold’s corrupting power.
That is consistent with all of the book’s appearances in the MCU. In Wandavision, Agatha Harkness explains that the Darkhold warned her of the coming of the Scarlet Witch, hence her coming to Westview to claim Wanda’s power. Agatha was instrumental to Wanda’s story. Without Agatha, Wanda’s transformation into Scarlet Witch from Wanda would have been impossible. That is also the case with the Doctor Strange of Earth-838. Although he also uses the Darkhold in order to save his universe, he puts it at higher risk when causing an universal incursion.
It would have been easy for Marvel Studios to make the Darkhold like every other corrupting MacGuffin in Wandavision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Instead, the Darkhold chose to be more interesting and unique in how it corrupts its users. It was therefore so important in Phase Four’s largest movie.
To see the Darkhold’s corrupting power, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming now on Disney+.