Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness allowed us to see a lot of different surprises that are relevant to the growth of Strange’s character. One such instance was when he traveled to a ruined universe where he met a variant of himself called Sinister Strange, who had a third eye. And at the end of the movie, the universe-616 version of Doctor Strange himself developed his own third eye. So, why does Doctor Strange have a third eye, and what does it do?
The movie doesn’t explain where the third eye comes from or what it does but we can make the assumption that it is tied to Doctor Strange using the Darkhold because both he and Sinister Strange used it and awakened their third eye. In the comics, the third eye is a result of using the Eye of Agamotto.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was true to its nature as the MCU’s first horror-like movie in the sense that there are a lot of creepy things and considerably more brutality than the average MCU movie. The third eye is only one of the creepy things in this movie as we seek to make sense of where this eye came from and what it does for Doctor Strange.
Why Does Doctor Strange Have A Third Eye?
The release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gave the MCU its creepiest, darkest, and most brutal production yet as this movie is full of death, destruction, and creepiness. Of course, that comes with the territory when you’re talking about a movie that focuses on witchcraft and demonic entities, considering that Scarlet Witch was revealed to be the antagonist in this film.
So, throughout the entire movie, we see Doctor Strange and America Chavez running away from Wanda in both their own universe (616) and the other universe they went to (838) because she wants to acquire America’s powers as her own for the purpose of traveling to another universe where she could be with the children she never had in her own universe.
While Strange and Chavez were in universe-838, Wanda used the power of the Darkhold to use a spell called dreamwalking, which allows her to possess her version in another universe. This 838 version of Wanda chased Strange, 838 Dr. Palmer, and Chavez and managed to acquire the girl. Using America’s power, she sent Doctor Strange and Christine Palmer to another universe.
The universe they were sent to was ruined and was seemingly at the point where it was about to crumble. But while there were no people or any other living objects left in that ruined universe, Doctor Strange still saw a variant of himself affectionately called Sinister Strange, who could be the same Doctor Strange we saw in one episode of Marvel What If…?.
616 Strange and Sinister Strange were trying to strike a bargain for the Darkhold, which the good version of the doctor wanted but was in the possession of the evil version. They weren’t able to come to an agreement because the evil sorcerer wanted Christine Palmer in exchange for the book. This led to a fight between the two Strange variants as the sinister one opened a third eye.
After Doctor Strange defeated Sinister Strange, he went on to use the same Darkhold to save America Chavez over at universe-616 by dreamwalking into the corpse of Defender Strange. Wand came to her senses after a fight with America as she made the tough decision to destroy the Darkhold not only in 616 but in all of the other universes as well.
At the end of the movie, a seemingly happier Doctor Strange, who had a moment of catharsis in the film after he was able to tell the 838 version of Christine Palmer what he truly felt, was walking around the streets of New York. However, he came to a halt when he felt a screeching pain that led to his own third eye opening. Then, in the post-credit scene involving Clea, who invited Strange to help her out to stop an incursion, the same third eye opened again. But why exactly does Doctor Strange have a third eye?
Unfortunately, the movie never addressed what this third eye was or where it came from. However, we can make an assumption that this third eye has something to do with the Darkhold. That’s because the only Stephen Strange variants that have this third eye are 616 Strange and Sinister Strange, who both used the Darkhold. The 838 Strange, although he used the Darkhold as well, died before it was ever revealed whether or not he had a third eye.
In that regard, the third eye is probably one of the effects that happens to a master of the mystic arts whenever they use the Darkhold. As you probably already know, the Darkhold is made of dark energy from the Dark Dimension, which is the same dimension that Dormammu inhabits. In that regard, it is a sinister artifact that has immense dark power.
It could mean that a master of the mystic arts that gets exposed to the dark power that the Darkhold contains will eventually awaken this third eye, which is probably a sinister side-effect of using the book. Still, it was never really explained where it comes from or why Doctor Strange has it.
In the comics, the only instance when Doctor Strange has a third eye is when he uses the Eye of Agamotto, the very same relic he wears around his neck. The comics’ version of the Eye of Agamotto allows Strange to play back recent events or see into the soul of the person. When he uses it, a third eye manifests on his forehead.
However, the third eye that Strange has in the comics is only a temporary effect of the Eye of Agamotto. Meanwhile, the third eye in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to be something that’s permanent but can be closed or opened at will.
What Is The Purpose Of Doctor Strange’s Third Eye?
In the comics, the Eye of Agamotto allows Strange to develop a third eye that he could use to look into the souls of people or to try to replay memories of an event. The very same eye could also pierce through the Dark Dimension and fire energy bolts.
While the third eye that Doctor Strange has in the comics as a result of the temporary effects of the Eye of Agamotto has a purpose, the third eye that he has in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still quite ambiguous in the sense that we are not yet aware of what it does for him.
Then again, we can speculate that, based on its Dark Dimension origins, that it has something to do with Doctor Strange and the Dark Dimension. It is worth noting that this eye also popped open when Strange entered the portal that Clea opened in the post-credit scene. In the comics, Clea is a sorcerer who came from the Dark Dimension.
It is quite possible that this third eye will have something to do with Doctor Strange in his next movie, especially if it involves going to the Dark Dimension. Or it could be some sort of a tie that he has with the Dark Dimension, considering that he has already exposed himself to the dark energy of the Darkhold. No one knows for sure what it does but it might allow him to have a host of dark magical powers.