The third eye of Doctor Strange was revealed just before the credits rolled in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, leaving viewers scratching their heads to make sense of what they had witnessed. Prior to that, during Stephen’s fight with him, Sinister Strange could be seen with a similar third eye on his forehead. The eye is linked to Sinister Strange having used the Dark Arts in his pursuit to find Christine Palmer, the love of his life, and even going as far as to kill his alternate selves.
Stephen drops to his knees with a head-splitting headache when he first gets his third eye. However, in the end credits, he seems comfortable with using it at will when he goes with Clea to fix the incursion that his battle with the Scarlet Witch caused. This indicates that in the follow-up Doctor Strange movies, Stephen will be able to freely use his third eye, but whether for good or evil, is yet to be revealed.
Does Doctor Strange’s Third Eye Mean the Darkhold Is Taking Its Toll?
Fans of the MCU comic books know that the third eye of Doctor Strange is a manifestation of the Eye of Agamotto, which would float up to his forehead to give the appearance of a third eye. This was temporary and happened only when Stephen would use the Eye of Agamotto, which allowed him to play back recent events or see into the soul of a person. In the movie, however, it seems that the third eye is the physical form the Eye of Agamotto has taken and is permanent.
The reason why Doctor Strange grows a third eye is directly linked to his practicing the dark arts. Through the darkened fingers of Agatha Harkness and Wanda, both of which dabbled in the dark arts, it’s clear that the user has to pay a price for using the Darkhold. Being the Sorcerer Supreme and a human who uses magic, Stephen had to pay a different price, in the form of a physical third eye, similar to Sinister Strange.
What Are the Implications for the MCU?
In comic books, the powers of the third eye give the user a higher level of consciousness, allowing them to see the intentions of others, and has no link to the Darkhold. For a sorcerer, a third eye indicates their magical prowess and experience, and can only be possessed by the souls that are pure. But in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the third eye being the direct consequence of the Darkhold’s influence indicates that the future of MCU could see a morally challenged Stephen.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that Doctor Strange will turn evil like Wanda, instead, his decisions are much more likely to lie in a grey area of right and wrong. A similar decision was taken by Stephen — who can see into the multiverse — when he handed Thanos the Time Stone, which seemed ridiculous at first but was necessary to save his reality. After getting his third eye, Doctor Strange might face similar decisions more regularly owing to the extra powers granted by the eye, but since the Darkhold is destroyed, any lasting negative effects aren’t likely to be seen.
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