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Your Biggest Questions About DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, Answered

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness visited parallel worlds, introduced new Variants, and murdered a whole lot of people. It also introduced a whole lot of new concepts to the MCU. If you found yourself confused by some of them don’t worry, that just means you were paying attention. Besides, we’re here to help explain everything. Here are answers to your biggest questions from Marvel’s mad journey through the multiverse.

What Is The Book of Vishanti?
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opened with the Variant Defender Strange and America Chavez fleeing a demon. They weren’t just running from the monster, though. They were looking for the Book of Vishanti. That magical book stands as the antithesis of the evil Darkhold. The Darkhold features forbidden, dark magic culled from chaos that corrupts its user. The Book of Vishanti is made up of spells and counterspells that restore order. If the prime Doctor Strange had managed to use it he could have fought back against the all-powerful Scarlet Witch. But she managed to burn at least part of the book before he read its magic of light and good.

Unlike the Darkhold, which had existed in all world until Wanda destroyed every copy in the multiverse, there was only one copy of the Book of Vishanti. Too bad its magic didn’t include a spell to make it fireproof.

Which MCU World Is Designated Earth-616?

The main MCU universe, the one where the overwhelming majority of events in the franchise have taken place, was labeled Earth-616 by the Illuminati. That collection of heroes lived on a parallel world they designated Earth-838.

The main universe of Marvel Comics is also known as Earth-616, and until now it was believed the MCU’s main universe was different. But Doctor Strange 2 has now given the live-action version’s primary universe the same number identification. Whether or not that means they really are both the same, or if Marvel Comics’ Earth-616 exists independent is yet unknown.

Who Is the Villain of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
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The Scarlet Witch is the main villain of the film, but not necessarily Wanda Maximoff. At the end of WandaVision Wanda began studying the Darkhold. The series ended with the book of evil magic taunting her with the screams of her lost children. That helped drive her to madness, as did the very act of reading the book let alone casting its spells. The Darkhold corrupts anyone who reads it, no matter how good they or their intentions are. It turned Wanda into a super villain.

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The film’s secondary villain, the character who most opposed the movie’s primary protagonist of main Doctor Strange, was Earth-818’s Baron Mordo. He wasn’t a pure villain. His deceased friend, the corrupted Supreme Strange, warned Mordo about the dangers posed by all Strange Variant. Mordo was so fearful of any Strange he still wanted Strange dead while Wanda was busy murdering the rest of the Illuminati.

Earth-838 Mordo is the only member of the group who definitely survived the encounter.

What Is a Waypoint and Where Is the Gap Junction?
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The Book of Vishanti was held in a dimension called the Gap Junction. That realm of swirling floors existed at a nexus between worlds. That’s why Defender Strange was able to reach it from his universe, just as main Doctor Strange did via the Illuminati realm of Earth-838.

The Illuminati knew how to reach the Book of Vishanti, which rested under a fractured version of Bernini’s Baldacchino from St. Peter’s Cathedral. Their Supreme Strange (the one without facial we saw die in a flashback) created a secret portal referred to as a Waypoint. That’s where Earth-838 Christine Palmer, Main Strange, and America Chavez crossed over into the Gap Junction.

How Do Dreams Connect to the MCU’s Multiverse?
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Main Doctor Strange thought Defender Strange and America Chavez’s first battle in the Gap Junction was nothing more than a vivid dream. But it actually happened. America explained that in the MCU all dreams are actually visions of your Variants’ lives throughout the multiverse. If you dream you are naked at the top of the Eiffel Tower that means another version of you is actually naked atop the Eiffel tower in a parallel world.

America looked for other versions of herself in the multiverse but never found any Variants of herself. Her lack of dreams confirmed she is a singular being in the multiverse. Going forward in the MCU any character that has a dream (not necessarily a vision, like many Avengers did in Age of Ultron) will be introducing one of their Variants to the franchise.

What Is Dreamwalking in Multiverse of Madness?
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness revealed that in the MCU dreams are direct views into the lives of your Variants in other worlds. You can’t control them or impact them, though, you can only watch them. But Dreamwalking allows someone to inhabit the mind of a Variant in another universe so they can use them as a “meat puppet.”

On Mount Wundagore of her own world, the Scarlet Witch used Dreamwalking to remotely control the body of Wanda Mom on Earth-838. The Scarlet Witch attacked the Illuminati, just not with her own body. Doctor Strange also used Dreamwalking to take over the dead body of Defender Strange. Main Strange had left Defender Strange’s corpse buried in his own universe.

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Dreamwalking is a type of sinister magic contained within the Darkhold. And Doctor Strange’s use of a dead body to Dreamwalk was especially forbidden. Now that Wanda destroyed all copies of the Darkhold it’s unclear if anyone can ever employ Dreamwalking again.

What Is an Incursion in the MCU’s Multiverse?

Reed Richards of the Illuminati said his world’s Doctor Strange used the Darkhold and inadvertently caused an Incursion that destroyed an entire universe, killing trillions. An Incursion is when two parallel worlds collide, causing the destruction of one or both universes.

On Loki, He Who Remains also discussed the existential danger of universes interacting with one another. And Sinister Strange’s use of the Darkhold led to his own universe collapsing in on itself. Whether or not those also count as Incursions is unclear, but what’s indisputable is that entire universes, and the multiverse itself, can fall victim to single beings.

What Is Scarlet Witch’s Connection to Mount Wundagore?
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The Darkhold that Wanda acquired on WandaVision was only a copy, not the original. So how did Wanda get the real Darkhold? Well, the destruction of Wanda’s copy led to Wong, desperate to protect his fellow sorcerers from unimaginable pain, telling the Scarlet Witch the original spells resided on the walls of Mount Wundagore. He didn’t expect her (or, it turned out, himself) to survive a trip there. Wong said no one ever returned from Mount Wundagore, which had been created by the evil god Chthon who also made the Darkhold.

That evil place has its origins in Marvel Comics, where it has long been associated with Wanda. But in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Wanda learned it was a waiting throne for her, the Scarlet Witch. Four massive demons with red chaos magic in their eyes resided there, protecting it for their coming queen. (They are the reason no visitor ever returned from there.) The throne room of Mount Wundagore was not only terrifying because it had Wanda’s likeness carved in stone. It also had statues of her two children, which has horrifying implications for the role Chthon and other evil gods might play in the future.

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How Did Wanda Maximoff Destroy Every Darkhold?

At least Mount Wundagore is no more. Wanda destroyed her throne to stop both herself and anyone from ever again using the evil, corrupting chaos magic of the Darkhold. Every copy of the Darkhold in the multiverse burned away when Mount Wundagore, the source of the Darkholds’ power, fell at Wanda’s hand.

Did Wanda Maximoff Die in Doctor Strange 2?
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Wanda brought Mount Wundagore and its throne crashing down on herself. In doing so she seemingly died in the destruction. But the Scarlet Witch was immensely powerful before she used the magic of the Darkhold. If anyone could survive an entire mountain collapsing on her it’s Wanda. It’s also telling that the film left her fate ambiguous. Most deaths in the movie were clearcut and not debatable.

Considering how important the character has become to the MCU during Phase IV, it seems impossible Disney would end Elizabeth Olsen’s time with the franchise and Wanda’s arc this way. Even if the Scarlet Witch did die in that collapse we’re almost certain to see her again. The same week the movie premiered Moon Knight‘s finale showed death is not always the end of someone’s story. Even if Wanda is not still among the living, her next chapter could take place in Marvel’s Hell dimension.

Who Are the Members of the MCU’s Illuminati?
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The Illuminati of Earth-838 consisted of that world’s Baron Mordo, Captain Carter, Captain Marvel Maria Rambeau, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic Reed Richards, and Professor Charles Xavier. Their own Doctor Strange had been a member, but they had to kill him after the Darkhold corrupted him. We explained why each of them reveal something significant about the MCU’s future.

Who Is Blackager Boltagon, the King of the Inhumans?
ABC

The Illuminati’s quiet member with a deadly voice was Blackagar Boltagon, played by Anson Mount. Also known as Black Bolt, his colleagues introduced him as the King of the Inhumans. This version was a Variant of the character the actor first played on the 2017 ABC series Inhumans.

While technically the TV series is canonically part of the MCU, it has never had any impact on the franchise. But the Inhumans are a powerful force in Marvel Comics. And Black Bolt’s inclusion in Multiverse of Madness firmly establishes that the group of genetically altered human beings, whose powers came from the Kree thousands of years ago, exist in a meaningful way in the MCU.

Where is America Chavez’s Home World?
Marvel Comics

America Chavez’s home world only appeared briefly in a recreation of her memories. It did not get an official name. Nor did anyone assign it a number designation. But there’s no surprise that pastoral world looked beautiful and serene. In Marvel Comics America Chavez hails from the Utopian Parallel

Where Happened to America Chavez’s Moms?
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No one knows exactly where America’s moms are. They are lost in the multiverse. The first time America ever accidentally used her powers to open a portal to other worlds she sent both of them away. She has searched for her mothers since then but has never located them.

She believes them both dead, but it seems likely they are alive. Doctor Strange realized that America’s use of her powers was not arbitrary at all. She always sent her and Strange exactly where they needed to go when they needed to be there. America might someday learn she saved her mothers’ lives when she sent them away into the multiverse.

Who Does Charlize Theron Play in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Marvel Comics/StanleyArtGerm

Stephen Strange ended the film screaming in pain from the emergence of his third eye. But by the time the movie’s mid-credits scene played he was okay with it. He unleashed it as he eagerly followed a total stranger capable, someone capable of cutting through the fabric of space and reality, in a quest to stop an Incursion. That new character, played by Charlize Theron, is Clea, a major figure from Marvel’s Doctor Strange comics.

Clea is the cosmic daughter of Umar and niece of Dormammu, the big baddie from the first Doctor Strange movie. The superpowered sorceress is also Strange’s love interest in Marvel Comics. You can learn more about her and what her introduction means to the MCU with our deep dive.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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