Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Ending Explained: Examining Scarlet Witch's Decision And That Strange Twist

Bendict Cumberbatch looks worried in bright light in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

SPOILERS are ahead for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. We can’t perform another time heist once you’ve read ahead. Experience the movie first, now playing in theaters. 

Since the Doctor Strange sequel was first teased in 2019, it was being described as the first  MCU horror movie and here it is! Sam Raimi’s return to the comic book world following helming the original Spider-Man trilogy is packed with scary sequences and gothic horror, alongside a winding multiverse storyline. Now that we’ve seen how the new Marvel movie plays out, let’s break it down. 

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness follows Stephen Strange after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. After meeting a multiverse traveler by the name of America Chavez who is being pursued for powers she cannot control and has met him before in another universe, he reaches out to Scarlet Witch to assist him and Wong on a mission. However, Strange soon finds out that Wanda has been the one seeking out America. After the events of WandaVision, the Scarlet Witch becomes a particularly powerful villain who will stop at nothing to gain multiverse powers and be in a world where she can be happy with her children. Here’s how it all goes down: 

Rachel McAdams, Benedict cumberbatch and Xochitl Gomez in Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

What Happens At The End Of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness 

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) spends the bulk of In The Multiverse Of Madness pursuing The Book of Vishanti, which gives sorcerers whatever it is they need to complete a spell or vanquish an evil. He hopes that the Book will help him defeat Scarlet Witch, who is using the Darkhold to capture America Chavez and drain her of her powers. After Doctor Strange is brought to the Illuminati in another universe, Scarlet Witch “dreamwalks” into the body of herself from the corresponding universe and kills every one of the variant heroes. Assisted by Earth-838's Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), Doctor Strange is about to reach the Book of Vishanti. However, Wanda destroys it, captures America and sends Strange and  Christine into another world. 

The world Doctor Strange and Christine end up in has suffered a devastaing Incursion Event, which is the result of multiverses colliding into one another. Our Doctor Strange has a confrontation with this universe’s Strange, Sinister Strange (who has a third eye), and asks him to let him use his copy of the Darkhold as a last ditch effort to save America. Sinister Strange refuses, and the two engage in some sort of music-themed battle, which our Strange wins. 

He then opens the Sinister Strange's copy of the Darkhold and uses it to dreamwalk into the universe Scarlet Witch and America are in. But to do so, he must resurrect a dead version of himself from the beginning of the movie (Defender Strange), which he buried on a roof. Zombie Doctor Strange’s power becomes elevated by using the Souls of the Damned, who prey on sorcerers who use the Darkhold, to defeat Wanda. When he reaches them, the souls are used to briefly distract Scarlet Witch as Doctor Strange gives America a pep talk to finally gain control of her powers. America does this and uses them to propel Wanda into the Earth-838 universe she wanted to live in, where Wanda is a mother to Billy and Tommy. 

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Why Did The Scarlet Witch Decide To Destroy The Darkhold?

America Chavez reveals to Wanda how terrified her children are of her as the villain she has become in her desperation for a life with them. Scarlet Witch realizes that she is currently a monster in her children’s eyes and has a change of heart regarding her bloody mission thus far. Wanda not only destroys the Darkhold she was using since the beginning of the film, but the copies of the Darkhold from every universe. She also destroys the setting of Mount Wundagore, which is the birthplace of chaos magic, and seemingly kills herself in the process. Hopefully that's not Wanda's final fate after her long history in the MCU, starting with 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron

xochitl gomez as America Chavez running in Doctor strange in the multiverse of madness

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

How America Chavez Saved The Multiverse, And How Doctor Strange Leaves Her 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness serves as a great introduction of America Chavez, who saves the multiverse from Wanda’s chaos. As we learn early in the film, she has never been able to control her powers, and when she first used them, it inadvertently sent her moms into another world. She believes them to be dead, but Doctor Strange has hope that they are still alive, somewhere. 

Following America saving the fate of the multiverse and learning to control her powers, she starts training at Kamar-Taj, the place where Strange once honed his own magical powers. There’s certainly room here for more America Chavez following her Doctor Strange introduction. 

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Doctor Strange 2’s Message About The Search For Happiness

In between all the multiverse madness, Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange movie seeks to deliver a message about the search for happiness in a complicated world. It all starts when Stephen goes to the wedding of his former girlfriend Christine, then bumps into her at the reception. She asks him if he’s happy, and while he says yes, we’re not sure he believes it. Later on in the film, when he speaks to Sinister Strange, we learn more about what’s eating at him as he talks to a variant of himself. Other versions of himself have made many of the same mistakes, especially regarding Christine, who seems to be the one who got away as he helped the Avengers in saving the world. 

Doctor Strange then admits to Earth-838 Christine that he loves her in every universe, Although she declines his invitation to come with him, we come to understand that Strange has been struggling with facing his own fears. At the end of the film, he asks Wong if he’s happy and talks about not feeling as such after saving the world. Wong grounds Strange as the new Sorcerer Supreme by speaking about coming back to gratefulness in where they are following experienced numerous versions of their lives. In other words, we cannot control every decision in our lives, failure or loss, we can only go forward and take stock of what is left that is good and continue to move forward and grow. Read that, Wanda! 

Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

And… What’s Up With Doctor Strange’s Third Eye? 

Now there’s one last thing left to talk about. At the end of the movie, in a surprise moment, our Doctor Strange is revealed to have the third eye that Sinister Strange had as well. Why? Well, it seems like the hero has unlocked some new abilities that are a byproduct of the Eye of Agamotto, which is a gold talisman that the character often wears around his neck. The Eye is used to show “truth” and from now on, it seems a third eye on Strange will appear when its powers are being illuminated. Strange may be able to better see through illusions, disguises, see the past, track beings through psychic or magical emissions and weaken evil mystical beings. In other words, Doctor Strange just leveled up. 

There's also the possibility that this new eye has negative side effects, as Strange did collapse when he first felt its arrival. If that's the case, it could be because he embraced the magic from Sinister Strange's Darkhold, which we are told does take a toll on the user. We will have to wait and see which outcome is correct.

After Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, we can look forward to Ms. Marvel in June on Disney+ and Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters this July. Keep up to date with all the upcoming Marvel movies. We'll keep you updated on all things Marvel here on CinemaBlend. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.