The events of Spider-Man: No Way Home left many questions about the future of its main characters, among those Peter’s best friend, Ned Leeds, who is expected to become the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 4 – and a theory gives a twisted idea of how and why his transformation will happen. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its expansion with its highly-anticipated Phase 4, which is currently focused on the multiverse and its many dangers, of which some were explored in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Set minutes after the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Homein which Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) framed Spider-Man for his murder and revealed his secret identity to the world, Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Peter Parker (Tom Holland) asking Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell that would make everyone forget he’s Spider-Man. The spell was botched and instead, it opened the gates of the multiverse, allowing villains from past Spider-Man movies / other universes to cross over into the MCU. Luckily for Peter, he counted on the help of MJ (Zendaya) and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), but all this came with a big price.
At the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the multiverse chaos unleashed by Spider-Man and Strange was getting out of control, and the only solution was to cast a spell that would make everyone forget Peter Parker. This time, the spell was successful, and Peter was left all alone, though that is giving him a chance to start over. MJ and Ned not remembering Peter was heartbreaking, but it also opens many doors for both, and with a fourth MCU Spider-Man movie in development, Ned is expected to finally become the Hobgoblin, and a theory gives an idea of how it could happen , though it’s a bit dramatic.
Ned’s Powers In Spider-Man: No Way Home Explained
MJ and Ned were key in helping Peter deal with the multiverse chaos in Spider-Man: No Way Home, capturing some of the villains and later bringing “Peter-Two” (Tobey Maguire) and “Peter-Three” (Andrew Garfield) into this universe to team up with their Peter. In order to achieve this, Peter first got rid of Doctor Strange by trapping him in the Mirror Dimension and taking his sling ring, which he gave to Ned. As Spider-Man dealt with the villains’ escape and aunt May’s death, Ned discovered he could create portals with the sling ring, and he and MJ used them to locate Peter, but instead, they found the other Peters.
Although the sling ring is not an artifact that needs magic to be used, it’s not an easy one to master either, and even Strange himself struggled to open his first portals, yet Ned achieved this with minimal effort. Ned mentioned that his grandmother says there’s magic in their family and claimed to feel tingling in his hands, hinting at Ned having dormant magical abilities – and even Strange himself was surprised at how well and easy he was opening portals.
Will Ned Become Hobgoblin In The MCU?
All this, along with the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Homehas fueled speculation about Ned becoming the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 4, finally honoring his comic book history. In the comics, Ned isn’t Peter’s best friend, and instead, he’s a reporter for the Daily Bugle who competes with Peter for the affections of Betty Brant. One day, after Spider-Man battled the Hobgoblin, Ned followed the villain to a hideout, but he was captured and brainwashed by him. The Hobgoblin used Ned as a stand-in to fool the underworld into thinking Ned was the real Hobgoblin, and this led to his death by the Foreigner.
Since Ned Leeds was confirmed to be part of Spider-Man’s journey in the MCU, there has been a lot of speculation about whether or not he will become the Hobgoblin and when, but his friendship with Peter, while heartwarming, has been delaying those plans . However, the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home now makes it more possible than ever for Ned to become Hobgoblin, as his dormant magic skills have been revealed and he’s no longer Peter’s best friend, giving Marvel a lot of freedom to rebuild the character and pit him against his former best friend.
Theory: MJ Is Key In Ned’s Hobgoblin Transformation
Although it’s now more possible for Ned to become Hobgoblin in the MCU, the biggest questions now are how and why this transformation will happen. A theory posted on Save your suggests that what will kick off Ned’s Hobgoblin transformation will be a love triangle with none other than MJ. With Peter out of the equation as a result of the final spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Ned and MJ might grow even closer, resulting in a romance between the two friends. The author of the theory explains that the spell will eventually be broken and MJ and Ned will regain their memories, with Peter and MJ getting back together and a heartbroken Ned seeing the woman he fell in love with getting back with his best friend.
This, then, could be enough reason for Ned to decide to tap into his own magic, and with the remnants of the Green Goblin tech, he will transform himself into a hero to get MJ back – but things will not go according to plan , and instead of a fellow hero, he will become an enemy of Spider-Man, going full Hobgoblin. This, then, would follow the tease in Spider-Man: No Way Home of Peter’s best friends from other universes turning into villains and romantic relationships getting in their way as well.
Other Ways Ned Can Become Hobgoblin In The MCU
Of course, a love triangle between Peter Parker, MJ, and Ned Leeds is the only way Ned can become the Hobgoblin in the MCU, and one of the most believable ways this can happen is by mirroring Ned’s comic book history. Peter will now need a job to support himself now that he has no friends and no family, and this could be the beginning of his time at the Daily Bugle, where Ned could also get a job at. This could pit the two former best friends against each other, with Ned either having an encounter with some villain that will kick off his transformation or him deciding to explore his magic. Ned’s transformation into the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 4 is not confirmed, but it would not be surprising if it finally happens, as the character now has more reasons to go on that path after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Next: No Way Home Theory Reveals Thor & Captain Marvel Remember Peter Parker
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