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It seemed to me that the time loop was created by the Eye of Agamoto, so if Dormamau would have just destroyed the Eye, wouldn't that have broken the time loop? In one scene, we do see Strange and the Eye get blasted to smithereens.

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    We don't actually know if the eye gets blasted to smithereens. It's an Infinity Gem, and those are most probably not easily destroyed. – Gallifreyan Apr 1 '17 at 16:35
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The Eye of Agamoto was necessary in order to create the time loop, but it does not automatically follow from this that the time loop was dependent on the Eye for its continued existence. By way of somewhat dubious analogy, destroying a nuclear launch site will not retroactively protect you from any missiles that may have already been fired from it.

As a starting point, there does appear to be precedent in the Doctor Strange mythology for magical effects to be permanent, though I'm not sure whether there are any examples in the MCU.

However, while we could assume that the time loop was held in place by an active spell that could nonetheless outlast the existence of the artifact used to create it, that isn't necessarily what was happening in this case. Instead, it is possible that when Doctor Strange cast the spell, he was affecting the future, and that from that point onwards no further magic of any sort was necessary.

In other words, perhaps once time has been tied into a loop, no further magic is necessary in order to maintain that state of affairs. If that is the case, then the only way to escape from the loop would not be to destroy the Eye, but to use the Eye, or another similarly powerful artifact or other magic capable of affecting time, in order to reverse the effects of the previous spell.

(Presumably Dormammu, being native to a dimension without time, would be unable to do so even if he were to steal the Eye from Doctor Strange.)

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The magic was already worked by the time Strange appears. Remember, the trigger for the loop is Strange dying. Destroying the gem wouldn't break the loop as it was already part of it and Dormamu had no way to travel back before it was cast.

  • I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. It appears that you imply that the loop is independent of the gem; could you clarify that? – Gallifreyan Apr 1 '17 at 17:43
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    I'm saying the conditions of the loop were set outside the loop. So destroying​ the gem alone could not change the conditions of the loop. Logically this is the only reason Strange would bring it with him into the loop – Machavity Apr 1 '17 at 17:50
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    So you're saying a break statement will only take you out one level, and the spell is made of two nested while loops? – Gallifreyan Apr 1 '17 at 17:54
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    @Gallifreyan I think there's only 1 loop, but it's implemented as COMEFROM instead of GOTO or while – Izkata Apr 1 '17 at 23:38
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    @Gallifreyan do(loop)while(!strange) test comes at the end so, since he's dead, go back and start over – Machavity Apr 2 '17 at 0:29

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