Doctor Strange plainly changes the inflection of his voice after a few attempts to bargain, suggesting that he is aware this is not his first or second attempt.

If the time loop simply goes back repeatedly to the same moment, how would he be aware of what occurred during previous loops?

  • 3
    Because he's wearing an Infinity Stone, one of the most powerful artifacts in the multiverse?
    – Valorum
    Mar 5, 2017 at 14:49
  • Answered here and here Mar 5, 2017 at 14:51
  • Possible duplicate of How many times did Doctor Strange "loop"?
    – phantom42
    Mar 5, 2017 at 15:31
  • @phantom42 the answer over there explains how many times Strange looped, but it doesn't explicitly say how Strange retained his memory Mar 5, 2017 at 15:44
  • Funny because you yourself said the question was answered in that same previous question.
    – phantom42
    Mar 5, 2017 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


Note that he created a sort of HUD spell on his hand just before his confrontation with Dormammu:

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He checks it every time a new iteration of the loop is started:

enter image description here

I took that as a sign that this thing on his hand displays information on how many loops have elapsed.

On the other hand, Dormammu doesn't have this thing, but still remembers previous iterations. It is implied, subtly, that Dormammu experiences some sort of deja vu; I guess same can be said about Strange - this is how he remembers how Dormammu attacked him before.

The director Scott Derrickson referenced this in an interview with Empire (as cited in @Jason Baker's answer):

“We had a line, where Strange said, 'we've been through this a thousand times'. Literally. I fancied the idea that they went through it thousands of times before Dormammu finally realised he wasn't going to get out of it.”

So it seems that Strange is aware of the repetitions not only subconsciously, but also quantitatively.

There is also a thread at Quora, though they don't exactly provide any canonical evidence.

  • 4
    Dormmamu's experience cannot be compared to Strange's because Dormammu exists outside the confines of time, so it's understandable that he would remember all iterations of a time loop, in fact that was the whole basis of Strange's plan.
    – Jackman
    Mar 5, 2017 at 17:00
  • 1
    @Woody that's an interesting point, but how does it explain the first time the loop is triggered (i.e. the second confrontation)? Dormammu starts to say the exact things he said the first time, then snaps out of it, remembering he already said it. Mar 5, 2017 at 17:02
  • 4
    Good point, but his snapping out it almost immediately was probably due to his existing outside of time. It's much more than deja vu - Dormammu knows for certain that it happened already. Its even possible that he didn't "snap out of it" he just didn't recognize Strange immediately, he was possibly preoccupied with other things like conquering the universe and didn't pay much attention to Strange the first time.
    – Jackman
    Mar 5, 2017 at 17:14

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