21

It's never really explained how "relics" choose which sorcerers can wield them, but the Cloak made an exceptionally fast decision about Strange. Only a few minutes after his arrival in the sanctuary, without any apparent threat to its own well-being or prompting from Strange, it went out of its way to defend him from Kaecilius. Then it served him faithfully for the rest of the movie. Mordo and the Ancient One even comment on it "accepting" him, implying that the Cloak taking such a quick liking to someone is impressive or highly unusual.

I have zero familiarity with Doctor Strange outside of this movie, but the Cloak seems to be at least as intelligent as (for lack of a better comparison) Aladdin's magic carpet, so it's conceivable it consciously chose to help Strange. Did it just really like Strange? Could it somehow tell that helping Strange was the best chance at saving the world? Was Strange "worthy"?

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    Sometimes you just know, you know? Especially when you’re a magic cloak. – Paul D. Waite Oct 28 '16 at 12:32
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    Do we know that other relics take time to "accept" people? Maybe it's always an instant thing? – AidanO Mar 7 '17 at 10:48
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In this Cloak of Levitation TV spot, Mordo says "it likes you," refering to the cloak choosing Doctor Strange.

Marvel Studio President Kevin Fiege said this:

He has a Cloak of Levitation that allows him to fly, but he doesn’t fly like Superman or like Thor. It’s almost got a consciousness of its own, this cloak, which, again, gives us a superhero with a red cape — which we’ve seen a few times — but allows us to do it in a wholly unique and wholly original way. - Entertainment Weekly

So it appears for whatever reason, the cloak took an instant liking to Strange, and decided to choose him.

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    Also, The Ancient One says something like "It's a fickle thing"... Meaning that it probably just does what it wants, and who knows why. – Möoz Feb 20 '17 at 20:46
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    There's a quote you might add: Strange: When do I get my relic? Mordo When you're ready S: I think I'm ready M: You're ready when the relic decides you're ready. So the Cloak deemed Strange worthy of itself. – Gallifreyan Feb 27 '17 at 13:07
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    Love at first sight! – I Love You 3000 Mar 3 '17 at 20:44
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    The cloak was a strange relic.... – Wayne Werner Aug 1 '17 at 21:46
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As per the conversation mentioned in @Gallifreyan's comment, the cloak didn't instantly accept Dr. Strange, unless the cloak was actually somehow bound by the glass cage. (The cloak seems to be powerful enough that it could probably break glass if desired, but I don't know the nature of that seemingly-innocent glass cage.)

The cloak may have been judging him since that moment, and Dr. Strange may have been deemed unworthy at the start.

As the cloak seemed to favor Dr. Strange in the battle with Kaecilius, there is one possibility that the cloak really did choose Dr. Strange, but there is another possibility that the cloak just wanted to help Dr. Strange because the cloak didn't want to see Kaecilius win that fight. So the cloak's motivations might have been more about being anti-Kaecilius.

Granted, once the fight with Kaecilius was over, the cloak has continued to serve Dr. Strange. I can see three possibilities for this:

  • the cloak performed some sort of "binding" to Dr. Strange during that fight, and is now forced to continue to be bound to the same person
  • the cloak had already decided that it really liked Dr. Strange
  • or the cloak became more familiar during the fight with Kaecilius, such as fully realizing how underpowered Dr. Strange was when he chose that fight, and respecting Dr. Strange's noble decision to likely sacrifice himself

Based solely on what happened in the movie, I think any of those possibilities could be the case. To figure out which of those possibilities is actually the case, a person could rely on familiarity with the comics which I suspect may provide some more relevant lore somewhere... or you could try just asking the cloak.

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