Doctor Strange 2 ending and post-credit scenes explained

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had a pretty complicated finale — so here's the lowdown on the Doctor Strange 2 ending and post-credit scenes

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange 2

What is the Doctor Strange 2 ending? We all know that the only thing more vast and sprawling than the multiverse is an MCU ending. Just when you think all the loose ends are tied up, Feige pulls the thread at the last minute and unravels everything — and with MCU movies‘ infamous post-credit scenes on top of that, you’ll often find yourself left with more questions than answers. Phase 4 is no exception.

Despite having a considerably shorter runtime than other fantasy movies at 2 hours and 6 minutes, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness covers a lot of ground. Not only does it introduce us to brand new heroes like America Chavez, but it also continues the story of established characters like Strange, Wong, and The Scarlet Witch (who really can’t catch a break).

We also have a lot of lore and lingo to think about, including the Darkold, the Book of Vishanti, and whatever the hell incursions are. This thriller movie and all its different universes and variants collide and reach a crescendo in the final act. It’s a lot to get your head around, so to avoid a migraine, we’ve broken down the Doctor Strange 2 ending and post-credit scenes just for you.

What is the Doctor Strange 2 ending?

Things tie up pretty neatly at the end of Multiverse of Madness, but the final scene suggests that trouble might be on the horizon. So, let’s recap that final battle and its aftermath. With Wanda finally getting America alone to kill her and harness her powers, it looked like she was about to succeed on her mission. However, after killing another universe’s variant of himself who had been corrupted by the Darkold (Sinister Strange) Earth-616 Strange used the dark magic book himself to ‘dream-walk’ into his universe.

Because there wasn’t a living Doctor Strange in that universe at that time, he took over the dead body of another Doctor Strange variant (Defender Strange) that he buried on the top of a building in Earth-616 towards the start of the movie.

Ironically, Defender Strange, the body he reanimated to try and save America’s life, is the same Doctor Strange who tried to kill America in another universe at the start of the movie. After harnessing the powers of the demons that were unleashed by him using the Darkhold, Corpse-y Strange his cloak of grabby demon hands flew to the castle to rescue America.

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After unleashing the demons on Wanda to placate her,  Corpse-y Strange is told by Wong (who, after looking at him, simply said “I don’t even want to know”) that America dying is the “only way” to stop Wanda’s reign of terror. However, Strange disagrees, instead giving America a pep talk and encouraging her to harness her powers and use them to defeat Wanda rather than letting her power control her.

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So, America does just that and decides to “give Wanda what she wants” — she takes her to Earth-838 to see Billy and Tommy, who recoil with horror at her and proclaim she’s not their mother after she previously possessed and hurt this universe’s variant of Wanda, who then forgives and comforts her as she breaks free from her corruption and becomes overcome with guilt.

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Wanda then goes to put things right, and after a sad goodbye with Christine-868, Strange seems content after visiting Wong and America at the Kamar-Taj. He jovially walks down the street before collapsing in pain as a third eye appears on his forehead. What the eye actually is and what it represents isn’t fully explained, but given Sinister Strange is the only other Doctor Strange variant to have a third eye, we can safely assume that it’s a consequence of using the Darkhold.

Does America Chavez survive?

The good news is, she does! Poor America spent the whole movie trying to evade being murdered on account of her multiverse-hopping — if not by another universe’s ponytailed Doctor Strange, who determined that her power is too dangerous, then by The Scarlet Witch, who wanted to take her power to inhabit a universe where she could be with sons Billy and Tommy.

Fortunately, although she was willing to sacrifice her life if it was the “only way” to ensure her power didn’t fall into the wrong hands, Earth-616 Strange (who was dream-walking in the rotting body of Defender Strange), encouraged her to instead harness her power and use it to overpower and defeat Wanda once and for all.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Defender Strange in Doctor Strange 2

Then, she ended up being the Multiverse’s Uber driver of sorts, as she picked up Strange and Earth-838 Christine before dropping off Christine back in her universe and returning to Earth-616 with Strange.

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She might have learned how to control her powers, but America has a long way to go, which is why she stayed with Wong at Kamar-Taj (which is being rebuilt after Wanda attacked it), to study the mystic arts and become a fully-fledged sorceress herself.

What happens to Wanda?

She’s either dead, or more likely, just out of action for a while. After being confronted by how much damage her corruption has caused — and how it wouldn’t truly give her what she wanted — Wanda decided to not only destroy the Darkhold (a book of dark magic) in every single universe, but also the Darkhold Castle on Wundagore mountain to avoid others trying to transcribe its runes.

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Doctor Strange 2

However, it would appear that she also destroyed herself in the process, as she was still in the Darkold Castle when it collapsed into itself. Doctor Strange seemed pretty convinced she was dead, too, as he described her as “gone” — but this is the MCU, so we have a feeling that this isn’t the last we’ll see of her… After all, we could see the red glow of her magic coming from underneath the rubble.

What happens in the Doctor Strange 2 post-credit scenes?

Following the Doctor Strange 2 ending, there’s not one, but two post-credit scenes. As MCU post-credit scenes go, they’re pretty standard: one introduces a new character and sets up a new adventure, while the other concludes a gag set up earlier in the film. The first mid-credit scene shows Strange going about his life in Earth-616 before Charlize Theron appears through a portal and tells Strange he “caused an incursion and we’re going to fix it.”

“Unless you’re afraid,” the stranger teases. Strange says that he, of course, is not afraid and heads through the portal with Theron, revealing his new third eye one last time.

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Although it isn’t stated, it’s pretty clear from the purple outfit that the person Theron is playing is Clea — a powerful sorceress from the comics whose parents are the heir of Dark Dimension and Dormammu’s sister. She’s also Strange’s love interest and eventual wife in the comics, so with Strange finally seeming ready to move on from Christine, it seems like the perfect time to introduce the character.

Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2

The second post-credit scene revisited the disgruntled pizza ball vendor of Earth-838 after Strange put a spell on him to make him repeatedly punch his face for three weeks straight (in what we think is a reference to his possessed hand in Evil Dead 2).

The vendor, played by long-time Sam Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell, was delighted to find his face-punching curse had ceased, screaming to the audience, “It’s over!”

See what he did there?

Doctor Strange 2 is available to view in cinemas now.