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The Mid-Credits Scene Of Doctor Strange Explained

After all the smoke settled and all the cool hand signals were waved, Doctor Stephen Strange earned his spot among Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, and Hulk as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's greatest heroes. And as with every other Marvel movie, we got an extra helping of dessert in the form of teasers for future films after the movie's ending. Keep your Sling Ring on your finger and safely stow away all magical artifacts as we explore Doctor Strange's mid-credits scene.

Just so you don't think we're possessed by the dark powers of Dormammu, here's our warning: there are 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. We've still got a lot of questions about what happened in Asgard between Thor: The Dark World and Doctor Strange, and we have a feeling Thor: Ragnarok will have answers (and a lot of fights to boot).

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, we're not sure what happened after that: Did Thor see through Loki's disguise? Did the real Odin contact Thor somehow? All we know 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. Of course, anyone familiar with Norse mythology knows there's a lot more to Ragnarok than that.

Ragnarok and roll call

Tossing the Sorcerer Supreme into the mix of Thor: Ragnarok is going to make for some interesting events. Considering Marvel is teasing parts of World War Hulk being implemented during Ragnarok, we can't wait to see what happens when Doctor Stephen Strange meets the greener half of Doctor Bruce Banner. Ragnarok director Taika Waititi supposedly played a huge role in the filming of this mid-credits sequence. Is the Master of the Mystic Arts throwing down with the Hulk? We could imagine Strange trying to fight Hulk on a more spiritual level, going astral-toe-to-green-toe against the angry green giant—and it's probably worth noting that in the comics, Strange was one of the people responsible for sending the Hulk into space exile, setting up the events of the World War Hulk arc in the first place.

Space and Time

Don't forget, Thor interacting with Doctor Strange inadvertently increases the chances of bringing multiple Infinity Stones together. Doctor Strange keeps the Time Stone/Eye of Agamotto in Kamar-Taj, which magically connects to his New York Sanctum. Likewise, the Space Stone/Tesseract remains in the vaults of Asgard under heavy protection (and usually Odin's vigilance, but he's no longer there). Putting Strange in Thor's third main movie moves these Infinity Stones awfully close together. Doc will undoubtedly learn more from Wong about the Infinity Stones, and there is bound to be some kind of crazy spell or form of Divination that Strange could use to find out where the other Stones are—just to make sure they're all properly accounted for and in the right hands. Of course, someone else is on the lookout for them too...

Thanos is still on the hunt

With Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe under way, Thanos has finally stepped off his floating throne thing and started his personal hunt for the Infinity Stones (which still seems weird considering he presumably gave Loki the staff containing the Mind Stone). Thor: Ragnarok isn't hitting theaters until November 3, 2017, and Avengers: Infinity War is scheduled for May 4, 2018 (about six months apart), so this could be the perfect opportunity for Thanos to start decorating his golden glove. Some fans believe Heimdall carries the Soul Stone in his armor, which explains how he can see every person in the Nine Realms from his lookout on the Bifrost Bridge, which means a Thor/Strange story could potentially tie together half of the Stones. Could Heimdall losing the Soul Gem explain why he went blind in Thor's dream back in the second Avengers flick? A story detailing how Thanos acquired all six is more than enough content to fill up a two-hour-long movie, so don't be surprised if the Mad Titan nabs a few before Infinity War even begins. With Thanos on the move, we're just glad the Avengers will have a doctor in the house—or the Sanctum Sanctorum, at least.