Remember Captain Marvel's haircut in Avengers: Endgame? At the time, it just felt like a fashion statement, but WandaVision may have casually given Carol's new look a lot more significance.
Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers had long hair in both the solo Captain Marvel film and in the prologue for Avengers: Endgame, before suddenly having short hair when we meet her again following the film’s 5-year time jump. The change is never really explained or acknowledged — apart from one joke Rocket makes — and is more or less shrugged off by the film. However, a new Marvel fan theory suggests that the explanation for Carol’s style change in Endgame can actually be found in WandaVision Episode 4.
The Theory — One of the biggest reveals in WandaVision Episode 4 is that Maria Rambeau — the mother of Monica (Teyonah Parris) and Carol’s best friend in Captain Marvel — passed away from cancer two years after Avengers: Infinity War. The episode reveals that Monica missed Maria’s passing because she was one of the people snapped away by Thanos, but it doesn’t reveal if Carol got to say goodbye to her friend.
Nonetheless, Marvel fans have begun to speculate that Carol may have been there for at least part of Maria’s battle and that she may have shaved her head as a show of solidarity for her friend. If true, that could explain why she still has short hair three years after Maria’s death when we see her in Avengers: Endgame.
A Heartbreaking Explanation — This theory, whether correct or not, is devastating, and the idea isn’t all that outlandish either. The Captain Marvel film went out of its way to show the strength of Maria and Carol’s friendship, so it wouldn’t be out-of-character for Carol to shave her head in support of Maria. If she did, that would probably mean that Carol and Maria’s friendship stayed strong after Captain Marvel, despite Carol leaving Earth at the end of that film and spending years away from the planet.
That would, in turn, add further mystery to the apparent rift between Monica and Carol hinted at in WandaVision Episode 5. Monica has a clear, negative reaction to hearing Carol’s superhero alias in that episode and quickly changes the subject back to Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda before any questions can be asked. But if Carol and Maria were still friends decades after the events of Captain Marvel, then what could the reason be for Monica’s apparent resentment of her?
The Inverse Analysis — Marvel fans will, undoubtedly, learn more about Carol and Monica’s relationship in Captain Marvel 2 when Teyonah Parris reprises her role as Monica (or maybe as the superhero Photon). But no matter what the drama is between Carol and Monica, this WandaVision theory does add yet another tragic layer to Avengers: Endgame for fans to consider next time they rewatch it.
Of course, there doesn’t necessarily need to be an explanation for Carol’s different hairstyle in Avengers: Endgame, but assuming there is (and this is it), then it’s just further proof of how deeply Marvel Studios thinks about its characters and their emotional journeys (whether in the moment or even retroactively).
WandaVision is streaming now on Disney+.