What those post-credits Doctor Strange scenes meant

We've already broken down multiple aspects of Doctor Strange, including its ending, Easter eggs, and some secretly noteworthy characters you may have overlooked, and now we're bringing you more. It's become a Marvel Cinematic Universe tradition to sneak a few extra surprises in after the end of the main attraction, and this movie's no different: there's still a lot going on once Doctor Strange's credits hit the screen. We stuck around until the lights in the theater came back on, waded through the Dark Dimension of cast and crew member names, and now it's time to finally unearth the secrets of everything we saw after Doctor Strange's credits started to roll.

If you still haven't seen Doctor Strange and you're worried about ruining the movie for yourself, you'd better stick your face back into that book of spells right now, because there are a whole bunch of major spoilers ahead.

Thor's Doctor visit

It's Hammer Time once again as Odin's favorite son makes a long-awaited return after his noticeable absence from Captain America: Civil War. The Mjolnir-swinging blonde brute doesn't look as heroic as usual—sporting a thicker-than-usual beard and the regular clothes of puny mortals, Thor visits Stephen at Sanctum Sanctorum. After getting the Asgardian a magically-refilling giant beer, Strange gets down to brass tacks: he keeps track of major otherworldly threats to Earth, which includes Thor's brother Loki. For some reason, Thor brought his conniving sibling with him to New York to look for their missing father, Odin. For the sake of getting Loki off Earth and back to Asgard as soon as possible, Strange decides to help the Odinsons look for their missing father/king.

Loki's back in New York

The last time we saw Loki in Thor: The Dark World, he was sitting on the throne of Asgard disguised as Odin, with Thor believing his brother died during the fight against Malekith's forces over the Aether/Reality Stone. The last time we saw Odin, meanwhile, was after Thor and Loki escaped Asgard with an Aether-afflicted Jane Foster. Thor didn't seem to notice it was Loki disguised as his daddy dearest, especially when the "King" offered him the throne of Asgard, which Thor declined. He even showed sadness in describing Loki's supposed death, which shows to Loki that Thor still ultimately cares. All that being said, this brief sequence leaves a few things unclear: Did Thor see through Loki's disguise? Did the real Odin contact Thor somehow? All Doctor Strange's credits scene tells you is both Thor and Loki ended up in New York, looking for their father. It's safe to say that the last time Loki was in New York, things were kind of bad…and as we saw in Thor: Ragnarok, there's a lot more to the story.

Setting up a sequel

Instead of teasing another superhero crossover, the way Doctor Strange's mid-credits teaser did for Thor: Ragnarok, the post-credits scene established a subplot that will likely work its way into the Sorcerer Supreme's inevitable sophomore film. It's simple enough: Mordo, the sorcerer who abandoned Doctor Strange at the end of the film for his abuse of the Time Stone, visits Jonathan Pangborn—the formerly paralyzed man who first steered Strange overseas towards Kamar-Taj and the Ancient One, where he himself learned how to draw on magic energy and restore his movement. Mordo attacks Pangborn, draining him of the magical powers.


Mordo's explanation as to why he's doing this reveals a huge change in character and a dangerous vendetta. After finding out the Ancient One siphoned energy from the Dark Dimension to extend her life and remain Earth's protector even longer, Mordo was let down by his teacher bending the rules for the sake of the greater good. Likewise, he didn't approve of Strange using the Time Stone, knowing its capacity for tearing the space-time continuum. Breaking from his prior belief in rigidly following the rules, he's decided sorcerers bend these rules and break the laws of nature—and he thinks there are simply far too many in the world. It seems like Mordo is on the hunt to whittle down the number of magicians, and he'll inevitably cross paths with the likes of Wong and Stephen Strange once again.


Mordo finally becomes the villain

Fans of the printed version of Doctor Strange knew this turn was inevitably coming but were probably wondering why Mordo was made to be such a supportive character throughout almost all of the film. Even when he parts ways with Strange, it's mostly out of angry disillusionment. In the comics, Baron Mordo is a longtime antagonist to Doctor Strange. Originally a student of the Ancient One, Mordo tries to kill his master after growing jealous of Strange becoming a star pupil, leading to his banishment and pursuit of the black arts and other forbidden forms of magic in order to achieve power. Of course, many of these techniques can backfire, which is kind of what happened with Kaecilius (only a bottom-tier flunky of Mordo's in the comics) during the film. Despite his change and his crusade against other sorcerers, it's not like Mordo's gone fully evil. He could've simply killed Pangborn if he wanted.

Silencing the sorcerers

Mordo siphoning Pangborn's magical powers foreshadows his inevitable showdown against Strange. The exchange with Pangborn suggests that Mordo is coming to terms with sorcerers breaking the rules. He realizes that sorcerers are supposed to bend the rules and laws of the universe and nature, just as the Ancient One did with the Dark Dimension's powers and Strange did with the Time Stone, and he likely believes he's the only person qualified and responsible enough to restrain the powers or sorcery. Remember how he bragged about the things he did in order to uphold peace? Mordo is out stealing sorcerers' magical powers to try and bring things back to normal, and it should lead up to one heck of a fight in Doctor Strange 2: Doctor Stranger.

Pangborn needs to see a Doctor

Wong and Strange are bound to find out about Mordo attacking Pangborn. Stephen owes Pangborn a great debt, as he was the catalyst for venturing out to meet the Ancient One. The Doctor will surely be empathetic towards Pangborn's predicament, as Pangborn embodies what Strange wanted to initially do: find some miracle fix for his body. Maybe the good doctor has some sort of spiritual remedy/alternative for Pangborn to regain the use of his limbs, despite losing his power.

Dormammu is still on our doorstep

Now that we've talked about what those post-credits Doctor Strange scenes meant, it's time to take a look a little further into the future of the MCU. Just because Stephen's genius plan to trap Dormammu with the Time Stone worked, doesn't mean that the all-powerful being of dark energy is gone for good. Dormammu's Dark Dimension was spreading into our world after the destruction of two Sanctums, even while the third was still standing in New York. We wouldn't be surprised—if in all the confusion of Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok, and Mordo's campaign against the world of sorcery—if another Sanctum was destroyed, or if Dormammu actually appeared on Earth somehow. It'd be horrible timing if Thanos stole the Time Stone just before Dormammu showed up, resulting in Doctor Strange having to confront the Lord of Chaos without the Eye of Agamotto.