Wenwu and Hela standing back to back in What If...? Season 2, Episode 7 | Agents of Fandom

‘What If…?’ Season 2, Episode 7 Recap: Hela Finds the Ultimate Power

Does Hela handle being stripped of her power any better than her brother Thor?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for What If…? Season 2 Episode 7

With only two episodes remaining in What If…? Season 2, Marvel has built a formidable team to take on the next multiversal threat. Episode 7 of What If…? is now streaming on Disney+, and it features the return of one of the most iconic MCU villains, Hela. On Earth-616, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) imprisoned Hela (Cate Blanchett) in Hel, but what would have happened if Odin had given her the same treatment as his son Thor (Chris Hemsworth)? Let’s dive into all the details in our What If…? Season 2, Episode 7 recap.

A Young Wenwu Shows Hela Mercy When She Arrives on Earth in ‘What If…?’ Season 2, Episode 7

Odin holding his spear Gungnir in What If...? Season 2, Episode 7 | Agents of Fandom
Even in other universes, it appears Odin is still one of the worst fathers in the MCU. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

How would things have been different if Hela discovered the Ten Rings? In this universe, Odin stripped Hela of her power and sent her to Earth instead of banishing her to Hel. He cast out her crown into the cosmos and deemed that if someone possessed mercy, they were worthy of Hela’s power. A young Wenwu (Feodor Chin), already in possession of the Ten Rings, discovers Hela’s crown buried in the ground.

Hela arrives on Earth shortly thereafter, and Wenwu’s forces are there to greet her. She quickly realizes she has no powers, but still stands and fights against his troops nonetheless. Wenwu escorts Hela to her crown, but she is unable to utilize its power. Now with the chance to strike her down, Wenwu opts for a different path and invites Hela back to his castle for a nice dinner.

Wenwu offers Hela the chance to fight together and bring peace to the world. Shortly thereafter, he makes a move and attempts to kiss her, but she slams his head down on the table and escapes out the window. On her way out of the castle, she falls through a roof and runs into the mystical creature Morris, who escorts her to the safety of Ta Lo.

Odin Is No Match for the Combined Strength of Hela and Wenwu

Odin standing his ground  against Hela and Wenwu outside Wenwu's castle in What If...? Season 2, Episode 7 | Agents of Fandom
Wenwu has not yet been driven to madness or discovered his lust for vengeance in What If…? Season 2, Episode 7. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

Heimdall (Idris Elba) informs Odin he can no longer see Hela, and tells him about the Ten Rings. Odin perceives their existence as a threat to peace and decides to head to Earth to claim them for himself. After arriving at Ta Lo, Hela has a brief conversation with Jiayi and agrees to join them and learn their ways.

Hela does not take to the training until she finally acknowledges that she’s fighting for freedom from her father’s control, not for violence. Once she comes to this realization, she masters herself and the art of Ta Lo combat right as her father Odin arrives on Earth. Hela and Wenwu stand against Odin’s forces and emerge victorious. Odin offers Hela the chance to return to his side and put Earth under their protection, but she refuses.

Offended by her disrespect, Odin attacks Hela and Wenwu. After a brief and fleeting battle, the pair defeat the All-Father and Odin encourages Hela to end his life. It’s here that Hela discovers her inner mercy, her crown finds its way to her head, and she is reborn as a protective Goddess of Death. She masters the art of peace, accepts an alliance with the Ten Rings, and together they bring balance to the nine realms.

‘What If…?’ Season 2 Episode 7 Is a Fresh Story With Familiar Aspects

Hela's new and improved white crown ready to ascend off the ground and make its way to her in What If...? Season 2, Episode 7 | Agents of Fandom
Hela gets her hero moment when she accepts that mercy is a strength and not a weakness in What If…? Season 2, Episode 7. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

This episode contains striking parallels to previous MCU installments such as Thor and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Hela’s change of heart is proof that if she had a decent father who actually cared for her, perhaps she would have never grown into the menacing threat she is in Thor: Ragnarok. With two episodes remaining, the penultimate will likely unveil the new threat and see The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) assemble the team to defeat it.

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