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In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness we saw

the Darkhold Strange (the one with 3rd eye) asking Doctor Strange to prove that he is another Doctor Strange from another universe, to which Doctor Strange replied telling the story of their sister who died.

But as we know, different versions of people in different universes might have different events in their lives, and what Doctor Strange said might not be what happened in other universes, so how is that a proof that

the Darkhold Strange accepted?

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    I don't think wanted proof that 616 Strange was from another universe; I think he wanted proof that 616 Strange was actually a Doctor Strange, rather than some sort of extra-dimensional or supernatural imposter. As you say, different Doctor Stranges have lived somewhat different lives, but apparently Darkhold Strange had gone through the same tragedy with his sister as 616 Strange, and that was enough to convince him that he was talking with another Doctor Strange. May 29 at 21:28
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    ”Darkhold Strange: Sounds about right... but we don’t talk about that do we?” this makes it seem like the story isn’t exactly the same in that universe. However, he knew that they had a sister who died. It just turned out to be a fortunate coincidence that they both had something similar happen with Donna.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 29 at 21:30
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    Spoiler : Sorry I might have forgotten the ask, but the question still stands, why does Doctor Strange even consider telling the story knowing that the Darkhold Strange might not share the same events? I mean there is a risk that the Darkhold Strange didn't even have a sister, then Doctor Strange would just be a liar
    – Mocas
    May 29 at 21:30
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    Alternate question: how else would he prove it? And sharing a story that only they would know that’s quite meaningful to them is a quick and easy enough place to start.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 29 at 21:31
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    Something not being explicitly explained is not a “hole in the plot”. In fact in this case it doesn’t really need to be because apparently they have had relatively similar lives.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 29 at 21:39

1 Answer 1

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Skip to the bolded part of the last paragraph for the tl;dr version of this answer.

There's a trope in fiction where characters whose identities are in doubt (i.e. they might be an imposter, or possessed by someone else) are asked to prove they are who they say they are by saying something only they would say, or know.

For example, in X-Men (2000), there's a scene where Cyclops suspects Wolverine might be Mystique in disguise, so he asks him to prove he's really Wolverine, and Wolverine does so by telling Cyclops that he's a dick. This wasn't much in the way of proof, but it was sufficient for Cyclops in that context, since Mystique likely wouldn't have known of his and Wolverine's dislike for one another.

In this case, 'Darkhold Strange' asked 'our' Strange to prove he was who he claimed to be (i.e. another Strange from another universe), and Strange reasoned that one way of doing so would be to share a childhood memory that only another Strange who experienced a similar childhood would be likely to know.

DARKHOLD STRANGE: Who are you... what are you?

STRANGE: I'm just, one of us.

DARKHOLD STRANGE: From the Multiverse?

STRANGE: That's right.

DARKHOLD STRANGE: Prove it.

STRANGE: We had a sister. Donna. She, uh... She died, when we were kids.

DARKHOLD STRANGE: How?

STRANGE: We were... playing on a frozen lake, and... She fell through the ice. I couldn't save her.

DARKHOLD STRANGE: Sounds about right. But we don't talk about that, do we?

STRANGE: No, we don't.

There's no guarantee that the sharing of this memory would've been sufficient, as Darkhold Strange might've had a very different childhood for all our Strange knew. But Darkhold Strange's reply suggests he did experience that event also, and that this revelation did therefore persuade him that our Strange was telling the truth.

The sharing of this memory also doesn't directly prove that our Strange was from another universe, but as indicated by Darkhold Strange's dialogue, he already had that possibility in mind, and in having been persuaded that he was speaking to another Strange, it made sense to also conclude that this other Strange was from another universe.

There are other possible conclusions -- like this other 'Strange' could've been an imposter with the ability to read minds -- but I think the point of this exchange was not for him to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he was another Strange from another universe, but merely that on the balance of probabilities, this was the most likely explanation.

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  • @Mocas - Let me know if there are any relevant points you feel I haven't covered in this answer, and if I can, I'll attempt to address them with an edit. May 29 at 23:24

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