Be aware: the whole question is basically a major spoiler!

In the last arc of Doctor Strange (2016), Strange and Mordo

arrived in an already destroyed Hongkong. Strange then used the magic of his infinity stone to rewind time, presumingly aiming to get to the point, where everything was okay.

But while doing this, Kaecilius managed to break the effect on him. How was he able to do this? How did he get to know, that something on a different timeline was affecting him AND breaking the effect?

I mean, Strange used

an Infinity Stone!

How comes, that some above-average mage was able to break

the effect of one of the six strongest forces in the universe?

  • I think perhaps mages in general get to ignore time spells on them? But Dormammu got looped.... Possibly Dormammu is a bit naïve about time.
    – Adamant
    May 26, 2017 at 0:19
  • 4
    But I think the deal is that there are levels of Infinity Stone usage. For example, Loki had the Mind Stone in his staff, but was limited to controlling people via touch. Vision has it, but gets different powers. Of course, it should be capable of far more, in the hands of someone who can use it fully. Similarly, Strange was using the Time Stone to cast various specialized time spells (that he couldn't manage on his own), but it could probably do a bit more.
    – Adamant
    May 26, 2017 at 0:24
  • 4
    Recall in Guardians of the Galaxy that wielding an Infinity Stone in its purest form will kill anybody other than a Celestial or similarly powerful being. The Eye of Agamotto is a housing for the Time Stone, just as Loki's staff was a housing for the Mind Stone. They're probably limiting the stones' power in some way, because otherwise how would a Human or even an Asgardian wield it without dying? May 26, 2017 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


Because Kaecilius understood Time and how to operate outside it

During that battle, Kaecilius and his Zealots had been infused with the power of the Dark Dimension (Dormammu's realm), a dimension without time. While Strange was rewinding, Kaecilius and his Zealots were aware of the change and used their dark power to make themselves effectively "timeless", thus becoming unaffected by the rewind. It's kinda difficult to rewind something that is unaffected by time.

One could argue that Dormammu would have been able to break out of Strange's time loop in the same way, but Dormammu doesn't understand time, because his realm doesn't have any, so he didn't even know he had the power to do that. This is evident from the fact that Dormammu, like Kaecilius, was aware that time was being altered in some way whilst Strange was using the Eye of Agamotto. He just didn't understand how to counteract it.

  • 2
    It's entirely possible Dormammu wouldn't have been able to do anything even if he understood time: Kaecilius and the zealots were already able to use magic prior to getting more power through Dormammu, so the magical technique they employed to break out of the reversal might not have had anything to do with the Dark Dimension at all. Nov 8, 2017 at 22:01

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