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The Creepy Physical Transformation at the End of ‘Dr. Strange 2,’ Explained

Doctor Strange's 3rd Eye in Doctor Strange 2

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premiered on May 6th, 2022, and was quite unlike any Marvel film so far. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film bore resemblance to some of Raimi’s past horror films. Doctor Strange 2 amps up the horror and creepy factor to a level we didn’t expect from Marvel. One of the creepier depictions we saw was Doctor Strange with a third eye on his forehead. Fans have wondered what this third eye could represent or lead to as it was such a massive cliffhanger.

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In the film, the Strange with a third eye is an evil variant of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). This Sinister Strange lives in a collapsing universe and has been corrupted by the Darkhold. Our Strange battles this Sinister Strange for access to the Darkhold. While the book does corrupt all who read it, it is truly the only hope that Strange has in defeating Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). Hence, once Sinister Strange is defeated, Strange uses the Darkhold to dreamwalk and save America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).

Now, we saw what happened to Wanda when she read the Darkhold. So, we were kind of waiting for some serious corruption to hit Strange, but it seemingly doesn’t. He even tells Wong (Benedict Wong) that he feels fine. However, once he leaves the sanctum, it is clear that he has been impacted by the Darkhold, or by something else. Stumbling to the ground, Strange appears disoriented and in pain. As he looks upward, we see a third eye open up on his forehead.

What does the third eye mean in the film?

Evil Doctor Strange in What If...? and the Multiverse of Madness trailer.

What does Doctor Strange’s third eye mean? Unfortunately, we aren’t given an explanation, as the film abruptly ends at the moment when Strange’s third eye is revealed. It’s natural for fans to assume that Strange has been corrupted by the Darkhold and the third eye is a manifestation of that. In the comic books, however, the third eye is not directly related to evil.

What does the third eye mean in the comics?

Is Doctor Strange’s third eye in Marvel comics? Yes! In the comics, Strange’s third eye is a manifestation of the Eye of Agamotto, which is a relic we’ve seen before. In the first Doctor Strange film, the Eye of Agamotto holds the time stone. Later, the stone is destroyed, and Thanos (Josh Brolin) crushes the Eye. However, we see in this film that Strange has reconstructed it, though it now remains empty. Traditionally, the Eye of Agamotto is worn as an amulet, but in the comics, it occasionally manifested itself on Strange’s forehead and gave him special powers.

The third eye gives Strange a sort of magically enhanced sight. It’s a revealer of truth that can reenact recent events and see into the souls of others. In the films, it seems the two Stranges get the third eye manifestation from reading the Darkhold. The other Strange clearly used his powers for evil, but that doesn’t mean our Strange will. After all, the power of truth-revealing would function far better as a source of good than evil. Overall, it seems the third eye is simply a manifestation of Agamatto that indicates a growth in Strange’s powers and abilities. How Strange chooses to use it, though, remains to be seen (with our measly two eyes).

(featured image: Marvel)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.