Marvel’s Doctor Strange is a truly amazing character with a lot of history. Although he has enjoyed a cult status ever since his debut, it wasn’t until his introduction to the MCU that the character became so popular among the general public. Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliant interpretation of the character, combined with a great story, made Doctor Strange such a popular guy. In today’s article, we have decided to focus on Strange’s role in the MCU and the importance of his Sling Ring in it.
A Sling Ring is a small mystical ring worn on two fingers that has the ability to create a dimensional gateway to another location or even a different dimension. It was created specifically for the MCU and it is used primarily by Doctor Strange.
The goal of today’s article is to give you all the information you need on Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring. You’re going to find out about the origins of the name and its main function. You’re then going to find out how it was used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and why it was not used when you’d think it would’ve been most useful. We’ve prepared an interesting article so keep reading!
What is Doctor Strange’s ring called?
As one could see in the movies, Doctor Strange wears a very special ring. The ring obviously has some special powers, aside from the fact that it looks quite intriguing. It is golden in color and it is worn on two fingers at the same time, meaning it has two rings. The exact origins of these rings are unknown but it is known that they have been used by the Ancient One for some time now.
As director Scott Derrickson confirmed, these rings have been created for the purpose of the Doctor Strange movie and are an original artifact used for the film. He explained it as follows: “The gateways, the forming of the gateways that are used for that, that’s straight out of the comics. I just needed an object for them to carry it on.”
So, Derrickson actually combined some original comic book elements with a completely new artifact and he decided to call the artifact a Sling Ring. It is not unique, like some other object, as it has been used by Wong and other characters, but it has some unique traits compared to other objects. Namely, Sling Rings are used by Masters of the Mystical Arts to make long-distance travel easier, when a temporary portal is needed. Sling Rings are worn on the second and third fingers of the left hand when evoking a portal, and this is accomplished by having the wearer trace their right hand in a circular pattern counterclockwise. of a watch while focusing on a target outside the room directly in front of them. Most of the time, they’re just worn until you need them, usually somewhere on a user’s belt.
Each ring is unique to its wearer although, as we’ve said, they are not unique in general.
Does Doctor Strange need a Sling Ring?
Well, while a Sorcerer Supreme doesn’t really have a standard equipment kit, a Sling Ring is more than useful for a Master of the Mystical Arts. Not only does it facilitate travel, it can be used in battle as both a defensive and offensive tool, it can be used to save life and also for fun, as we are going to see in the next section. So, although it’s really not fully mandatory, we can state that Doctor Strange needs a Sling Ring to fully use his potential.
What does the Sling Ring do in Doctor Strange?
Based on the powers and abilities described above, here is a list of situations where the Sling Ring has been used in the first Doctor Strange movie:
- After the Ancient One killed several Zealots in the Mirror Dimension, Kaecilius used his Sling Ring to open a portal to escape into a park-like area. The portal closed before the Ancient One could follow him. She used her own Sling Ring to return to the real world.
- At first, Doctor Strange struggled to use the magical device, which could only produce orange sparks where his colleagues could summon full portals. As an “encouragement,” the Ancient One used her Sling Ring to move Strange to Mt. Everest and left him there along with her Sing RIng. Strange managed to return to the Kamar-Taj along with his Sling RIng before freezing to death.
- Kaecilius and therefore the Zealots used Sling Rings to come to the New York Sanctum. When Strange managed to catch Kaecilius in Cyttorak’s purple bands, the Zealot noticed that the amateur wizard had lost his Sling Ring, which distracted Strange long enough for Lucian to stab Strange. Doctor Strange used Kaecilius’ Sling Ring to open a portal to the Metropolitan General Hospital to seek out Christine Palmer to fix her wound from the Lucian Aster attack. In his rush to invite help, he accidentally left the portal open for the Zealot astral figure to follow. After being rescued by Palmer and confronting Lucain, Strange led Palmer to the warden’s closet, where he showed him the open gate; after Strange returned to the Sanctum in the big apple City, Strange used the Sling Ring to shut the portal.
- During the Battle in the Mirror Dimension, Doctor Strange desperately tried to use his Sling Ring to flee the dimension, just for the Zealots to warp the planet round the portal, causing Strange to lose focus and destroy the portal. The Ancient One used her Sling Ring to enter alternate reality to fight Kaecilius. Kaecilius allowed his Zealots to attack them before stabbing them to death and using his own restored slingshot to push them many stories onto the deadly ground below. Wizards used their Sling Rings to flee the Mirror Dimension after battle.
- Kaecilius and also the remaining Zealots used their slingshot rings to trip and destroy the last Sanctum Sanctorum. Doctor Strange and Karl Mordo used their own Sling Rings to induce to the identical area. After the battle, Mordo left the Masters of the Mystic Arts and took his Sling Ring with him. Wong and Strange presumably used their Sling Ring to return to Kamar-Taj.
- After he discovered that Thor and Loki had arrived on Earth, Doctor Strange used his Sling Ring to transport Loki and bring Thor into the New York Sanctuary. After a brief discussion on Odin’s exile and Thor’s intentions, Strange used a lock of Thor’s hair along with his Sling Ring to create a portal to Norway, where Odin was located. Strange used his Ring several times to bring Loki back and transport the two Asgardian princes.
Why didn’t Doctor Strange use his Sling Ring on the ship in Infinity War?
Seeing how the Sling Rings make movement easier, one has to wonder why Doctor Strange never used it in tight situations, thereby avoiding unnecessary risks. Okay, we understand that using it during the fight with Thanos on Titan would’ve made the Avengers’ plan obsolete, as it would’ve gone against the future timeline in which the Avengers win, but why not use it on the ship in Infinity War? That was a pretty good situation to use it in.
Well… honestly… we don’t really know. This is one of the MCU’s numerous plot holes and there really is no proper explanation. One could argue that they did not think they were in danger and that the crash was mostly “improvised”, but that doesn’t seem to be a proper explanation if you ask us. It seems that it happened like that because it fit the whole narrative concept so it was a bit adapted to the whole idea.