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|“||You have no idea what it was like. What it took to keep the lights on.||„|
|~ Tyler Hayward to Monica Rambeau.|
|“||World's not the same as you left it. Space is now full of unexpected threats.||„|
|~ Hayward to Monica.|
Tyler Hayward is the secondary antagonist of the 2021 Disney+ miniseries WandaVision.
He is the extremist director of the Sentient Weapons Observation and Response Division (S.W.O.R.D.), that will do whatever it takes to free the town of Westview from Scarlet Witch's fantasy reality and use her power to revive Vision to create a sentient weapon. Hayward is willing to take violent means to accomplish his goals and doesn't listen to Monica Rambeau, Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis who are trying to negotiate with Wanda peacefully.
Hayward was an agent of S.W.O.R.D. under Director Maria Rambeau for years. He worked with Monica for most of this time, but became acting director of S.W.O.R.D. after every other candidate for the job was killed in Thanos' snap. When Hayward became director, he shifted the organization's extraterrestrial priorities in favor for technological demands instead.
Return of Monica Rambeau
When Hulk snapped and revived everyone that was killed in the original snap, Monica Rambeau was alive again. For a month after the second snap, Hayward was investigating a missing persons case in a town called Westview. When Rambeau came back, Hayward told her that her mother, Maria, grounded her on Earth, saying that she could complete terrestrial missions only. Hayward assigned her to go to Westview and send a drone into the anomaly, investigating the case further.
Investigation of the Westview Anomaly
When Rambeau went to investigate the forcefield in Westview, she was sucked into the anomaly. Because of this, Hayward set up a S.W.O.R.D. basecamp outside of Westview and began a full-fledged process to figure out what was happening in the town. Hayward and S.W.O.R.D. teamed up with the FBI to uncover this mystery.
After Captain Rambeau was cast out of the anomaly, she said that Wanda Maximoff was the one controlling the Westview anomaly and creating this bizarre sitcom reality. Hayward asked Monica what it felt like to be under Wanda's mind control. Monica described the experience as incredibly painful, like drowning.
Hayward called all agents to a debrief of the situation. He explained that Wanda was controlling Westview, the Vision, and all of the residents inside of the town. After Jimmy Woo gave a background explanation of Wanda, Hayward interpreted the events as Wanda being a terrorist, explaining her involvement in HYDRA and her affiliation with Ultron overshadowed her heroic actions and alliance to the Avengers. Hayward then showed footage of Wanda breaking into a S.W.O.R.D. facility and stealing Vision's corpse, which was being operated on by S.W.O.R.D. scientists.
Monica came up with the idea to send a 1980s-style drone into the anomaly, so it wouldn't be changed because it fit the time period of the sitcom. Hayward secretly wired it with a lethal missile that would kill Maximoff if she would tried to inflict harm on the citizens. Rambeau then tried to talk to Wanda through the drone, though Wanda would view the missile as a threat, resulting in Hayward firing it.
Confrontation with Wanda Maximoff
After he fired the drone, a furious Wanda stormed out of the Hex and warned the S.W.O.R.D. agents not to disturb her. Although Hayward tried to argue that she had taken an entire town hostage, she threw the drone back at him and replied that he was threatening her and Westview by aiming weapons at her. When Rambeau stepped in and tried to negotiate, Wanda only felt further aggravated. Maximoff then used her mind powers to brainwash the S.W.O.R.D. agents to point their guns at Hayward, intimidating him. Upon entering back into Westview, the agents dropped their weapons, free from mind control.
Ejecting Monica, Jimmy and Darcy from S.W.O.R.D.
After the confrontation, Monica expressed her fury to Hayward, claiming that his cowardice and threats escalated the problem rather than relieve it. He countered by telling her that she didn't live through the trauma of the past five years after the universe had been decimated. Frustrated from their differences, Hayward demanded his personnel to expel Monica, Jimmy, and Darcy from the S.W.O.R.D. basecamp.
Unbeknownst to him, the trio escaped from his agents and reentered into a technology base where Darcy began to hack into some secret files that Hayward had been hiding. She discovered he was privately tracking Vision and all the citizens around him, followed by a secret plan to reactivate Vision called "Cataract" that he was hiding and that remained under wraps.
When Vision began to cross through the energy field of the Hex, Hayward stood by, watching with awe. Despite Darcy's cries to help Vision, Hayward handcuffed her to a car as Vision began to disintegrate. The Hex then began to expand, enveloping Vision in, all of the S.W.O.R.D. agents, and Darcy. Hayward hopped into a car and sped away while calling for a response to all of his agents, to no avail, leaving him without a base and any of his staff left.
Although Hayward is presented as a calm man who can keep situations in check, underneath his demeanor reveals a more hasty, ruthless and extreme individual jagged from the impact of the Snap. He oversimplifies the Maximoff twins' past, labeling them as "radicalized" for joining HYDRA and for their alliance with Ultron, while dismissing that they joined the Avengers later, and also judging Wanda as a terrorist based on the destruction at Lagos, despite it being an accident. Darcy and Jimmy are unsettled by this, to the point of insulting him.
Despite sharing similar intentions with Monica Rambeau to free the people in Westview from Wanda's control, he attempts more desperate approaches to do so, exhibited by the missile he launched disguised inside the drone without Monica's knowledge. Although he claims to care for the citizens' safety, his judgement over Wanda's behavior results in him neglecting that she was accompanied by her children. As Wanda noted, he tried to use more force in his negotiations by his agents targeting her with weapons, compared with Monica's methods of reasoning without them. Upon being confronted by Monica over his violent methods, he is shown to be clouded by anger and is insensitive about her feelings, dismissing her as wanting them to reason with Wanda as softness, an effect of not having to endure the trauma after Thanos' Snap and not witnessing Maria's death.
He is shown to be impatient and stubborn when contradicted, as after being distressed because of Monica's complaints, he ordered his agents to take her out of the base along with Jimmy and Darcy, since they also support her. Upon seeing Vision break through the barrier, Hayward merely did nothing and watched. When the energy field around Westview began to expand, he fled and allowed several of his agents to be consumed by it.
He is also a liar and manipulator, as he claimed that Wanda stole the Vision's body from S.W.O.R.D. headquarters and clearly doctored video footage to make it appear that way, when really Wanda left S.W.O.R.D. peacefully after mournfully confirming Vision was truly dead, all to paint Wanda as a terrorist and a threat in order to kill her.
- His obsession with killing Scarlet Witch has led some fans to speculate whether Hayward if he was really a good guy and if he genuinely wanted to free the citizens from Westview, or if he had secret motives to get rid of Wanda Maximoff. Some speculated that he would be a Skrull in disguise, a disguised Mephisto or even a revived Ultron.
- While these theories were proven to be false, Hayward in fact had secret motives as he wanted to create a sentient weapon by reviving the original body of Vision that was in the possession of S.W.O.R.D.