“Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” Explained


After casting a forbidden spell, Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns to the big screen as he embarks on a life-changing journey across the multiverse in a mission to stop Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), aka, The Scarlet Witch, from corrupting every single known universe.


A lot had happened in this movie, and it was pretty hard to keep up with everything. With the Illuminati making their debut appearance in the MCU, Wanda in the temple, the third eye, and Clea (Charlize Theron) appearing in the secret ending of the movie to recruit Strange to enter the dark dimension and address an incursion caused by his doings.


Let’s dissect the movie to understand what happened.


What caused the multiverse to happen?


The MCU came to be in the series finale of Loki when Loki and Sylvie found themselves face to face with ‘He who remains’ or Kang the conqueror for simplicity. The series finale, ‘He who remains,’ explained that he was a scientist living in the 31st century- well, at least his variant was for all we know.


This variant of himself not only discovered the multiverse but also found a way to hop through different universes. As the multiverse is infinite, not all the ‘He who remains’ were pure of heart as they saw these new universes as new lands to conquer and take over, leading to the multiversal war between each universe.


The ‘He who remains’ we saw in the series is the only version of himself who survived the war. His mission was to keep all the universes together.


However, that didn’t last long. ‘He who remains,’ explained in the series that if he dies, (which he did by Sylvie when she drove a dagger right through his chest) the one universe we knew of would branch out to infinite universes and thus concludes the story of how the multiverse came to be and how it all links to the Doctor Strange movie.




Who are the Illuminati?


The appearance of the Illuminati was teased in the multiverse of madness trailer. Still, now we got the entire painting of who’s actually in the Illuminati, we can start to see how large the MCU is.


The MCU Illuminati consists of six members: Professor Charles Xavier, Black Bolt, Dr Strange, Reed Richards, Namor, and Iron man.


However, we didn’t get to see Namor and Iron man sitting on the chairs in the movie. Rather than having these original six as the Illuminati, we saw Captain Marvel, Baron Mordo, and Captain Britain (Peggy Carter) sitting on the chairs rather than Strange, Namor, and Iron man.


But don’t be disheartened. I know how desperate we all are to see Iron man make his return after his tragic death in Endgame. But that’s not to say that Iron man will never return to the MCU. Since the multiverse is opened, Iron man doesn’t exist in the Illuminati, perhaps in that universe. There are infinite other universes in which Iron man could be a part of the Illuminati. As Mordo explained, the Illuminati we saw in the movie were formed on Earth 838 to protect their world from multiversal threats, which hints that this Illuminati we saw were only unique to their universe. However, even if Marvel has plans for the return of Iron man, it’s implausible that Robert Downey jr will return and play the role. I’m pretty sure our Iron man is as dead as a doornail.




What happened to Wanda?


It appears that our Wanda (the main MCU) died in mount Wundagore when she destroyed darkhole in every universe. However, Wanda fans shouldn’t see this as a betrayal. Her last act of heroism saved the different versions of Wandas from other universes from ever taking down that dark path she took.


While the central MCU Wanda died in the temple, that’s not to say we’ll never see her again. The fact that the multiverse is now open, superheroes’ deaths seem to be only temporary. So, if Marvel writers ever decide that they want to bring back the character, they could easily do so.




The third eye?


During the movie’s final scene, we see Dr Strange walking down the streets of New York till he collapses on the floor and screams in agony till he crumbles down to his knees. New Yorkers looked upon Strange in confusion. It was then we saw the third eye appear at the centre of his forehead, and then it cut to the end credit.


It seems like the darkhole had taken its toll on Strange when he used the dark magic to dream walk and possess another Stranges’ body from another universe. Does that mean our Strange will become like the other Strange? Evil, and letting his reality collapse? I hope not!


However, the secret ending of the movie introduces a new character we’ll be seeing in future Marvel movies. We see Strange walking down the streets of New York with a scarf wrapped around his neck until we see Clea appear, asking Strange to help fix the incursion he created.


She then opens up a portal, and Strange happily accepts to go with her on this journey by wrapping his magical cape and looking at her with all three of his eyes calmly. What happened? Has Strange fought the effects of the toll and become used to the third eye? It left fans scratching their heads about this. Still, nonetheless, we will surely get an explanation for this in the foreseeable future.




Who is Clea?


Based on the comic books, Clea’s full name is ‘Doctor Clea Strange’, wife of Dr Strange. She’s also a sorceress who hones the same ability as Dr Strange, becoming a sorcerer supreme.


However, knowing how Marvel likes to change up the story from the comic book to the movie, Clea might appear to have a different relationship with Strange. Possibly a daughter or a niece of Strange from a different universe. But only Marvel knows best what they will do with the character. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to see the team-up of these sorcerors in upcoming movies.

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