In the movie,

Strange finds the Eye of Agamotto and notices it can manipulate time. He can manipulate individual objects such as an apple from being fresh to completely moldy and rotten. It is later shown he can use the time warping power with one hand and that there is at least one Master who is missing a hand altogether and can still perform magic spells.

Why didn't Strange use this to heal his broken hands, one at a time?

  • He can not do that for himself. But if another person do this for his hands only, this would create a meaningless natural hole, just like the removed papers from an old book. The nature might be preserved (not sure about it) if one is using the time manipulation for the whole universe.
    – Afghan
    Nov 5, 2016 at 5:02

5 Answers 5


Doctor Strange initially discovers the ability and perhaps would have attempted to heal his hands if he was not interrupted. After he was interrupted, he did not have another opportunity because of the fast paced action afterwards. By the end of the movie, his focus is no longer on healing himself and he may view his hands of a reminder of how he got where he is.

Also possible is that Doctor Strange believed Wong. Wong told him there were serious consequences for using it, and Doctor Strange apologized and only used it later in the movie for important matters such as saving the world.

  • 14
    One should add that in the scene close to the end when he puts back the Eye, it is implied that he is considering it by his look on his hands. His Cloak floats away, indicating its disapproval, and after Strange finally put the Eye into its hold, Wong enters the picture, stating that it was 'a wise descision'. This supports the idea that he had finally overcome the needs and egoism of early Strange. Nov 15, 2016 at 1:03
  • 1
    @PhilipKlöcking But his Cloak floats away in order for him to take down the Eye, if you look closer.
    – Kinzle B
    Aug 2, 2017 at 14:53

Wong tells Strange about the dangers of using the Eye, including the possibility of time loops and paradoxes.

There is no evidence in the movie that the Eye can be used to reverse time for a single object, so using it to fix his hands would require reversing time all the way back to prior to the accident. This would create a paradox, since he would no longer have a reason to end up searching for Kamar-Taj and a way to heal his hands.

Of course, he does use the Eye to reverse time later, and even intentionally create time-loops, but only when there is no other recourse, and no real danger of creating a paradox.

  • 2
    Of note, I think Strange probably could have used magic to heal his hands, just not the Eye, itself.
    – phantom42
    Nov 5, 2016 at 21:50
  • 11
    Doesn't the apple count as a single object? Nov 6, 2016 at 4:02
  • 1
    The apple is a single object, also the city was several objects, or part of a bigger whole. Also, how do you define a single object? Also "This would create a paradox, since he would no longer have a reason to end up searching for Kamar-Taj and a way to heal his hands.", wouldn't his hands heal but the rest of him would not go back in time?
    – Goose
    Nov 6, 2016 at 14:08
  • @Goose: “wouldn't his hands heal but the rest of him would not go back in time” — as the time-reversing powers of the Eye are entirely fictional, we can only try to figure out what “would” happen in a given scenario using the rules laid down in the movie. And the movie doesn’t seem to lay down any specific rules for how magic works. Nov 6, 2016 at 19:49
  • So, if healing his hands would have created a paradox, would we have two Dr Stranges?
    – Verdan
    Apr 3, 2017 at 13:52

On several occasions during the film it is pointed out that using the Eye of Agamotto to manipulate time is, at best, risky.

It’s not hard to imagine that turning back time for just one part of his own body might cause much more damage than Strange’s original injury, to him and/or the space-time continuum at large.


He chose not to. He got past his ego and finally realised that it was not about him, as the ancient one said. Healing his hands would mean he is choosing to live as the old Strange and not embrace his responsibilities as a sorcerer.


It's because he doesn't care to heal his hands. As he descovered his new calling. He wasn't obsessed with his past profession and life anymore


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