In Infinity War, Dr. Strange flat out says to Tony Stark and Peter Parker:

that if he has to choose between saving the Time Stone or saving them, that he would leave them to die without hesitation in order to save the Time Stone.

Yet, when it comes down to it:

Dr. Strange readily offers to give Thanos the Time Stone in exchange for Stark's life, without even being prompted, or coerced to do so.

Why did Dr. Strange so willingly give up the Time Stone he very explicitly stated he had sworn to give his life to protect?

  • 5
    This seems like the classic "future works policy". We can all guess at an answer now or we can wait until the answer's revealed in the next film.
    – Valorum
    Aug 6, 2018 at 6:27
  • 1
    While this is "classic FWP", according to new policy, this is not FWP 1) we have a word of god response on this. 2) this is a question specifically about an existing work. 3) we have been made no promise that this will be addressed in any specific FW - we are all just assuming that it will.
    – phantom42
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:39
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    @phantom42 that is not the new "Future Works Policy". That is merely a clarification of the term "Future Works". The Future Works Policy remains the original one.
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 6, 2018 at 14:28
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    @phantom42 - I'd say the quotes you provide in your answer are sufficient proof that this will be addressed in a FW.
    – ibid
    Aug 6, 2018 at 15:21
  • Will we get a more specific answer? Likely, yes. Do we have a reasonable, canon, answer based on existing information right now? Yes.
    – phantom42
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


Because Doctor Strange saw the futures.

The Russo Brothers were asked about this in Iowa City High School Q&A they did this spring.

The original, famous Reddit recap simply related

When asked why strange gave the time stone, he highly alluded to the “this is the only way” and him seeing the future scene so that basically confirmed that strange gave the stone to achieve the victory.

But more detailed quotes came out a short while later.

“Uh… Yeah, spoilers- I’m not going to say what he did but doctor strange- closure is given to doctor strange….But Doctor Strange- what did he say in the film.”

“He saw 14 Million futures, potential…futures. So maybe Doctor Strange knows something.”

Strange declared that the stone was more valuable than Tony and Peter's lives before they arrived on Titan, and more importantly, before he peered through time to glimpse the 14,000,605 possible outcomes - with only one positive possible pathway.

While he didn't divulge any details to the others, Strange's trademark pragmatism and his sudden reversal makes it fairly clear that trading the stone for Tony's life was the only way to keep on the correct pathway to victory.

  • 4
    Edits rolled back as I am directly copy/pasting sources.
    – phantom42
    Aug 6, 2018 at 18:02

We don't know.

What we do know is that Strange had used the time stone to check through millions of possible scenarios and only found one way to succeed, so we can only assume that giving Thanos the stone is part of that one scenario.

He also alludes to this when he says to Stark "we're entering the end game".

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