SPOILERS for Doctor Strange follow!
After the international premiere of Doctor Strange gave fans a closer look at Marvel's magic and mystical world, news of the psychedelic experience that is Doctor Strange has spread quite rampantly — especially the big twist involving the Eye of Agamotto.
In the movie, Doctor Strange learned to gain some control over it by reading pages from the Book of Cagliostro, but he only tapped into a small portion of its power. He also learned that the Eye is in fact an Infinity Stone, quite a powerful one at that.
Strange had no idea what he was holding in his hands until Wong and Baron Mordo began berating him for disrupting the laws of nature. Strange's small exhibitions in using the Eye of Agamotto, or rather the Time Stone, were only a portion of what the relic is capable of.
The Eye Of Agamotto Has A Crucial Part In The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Strange toyed with the artifact when he first took hold of it, manipulating the state of an apple with a bite in it. He tested the abilities of the Time Stone by decaying the apple and then reversing the process. Strange was able to force an apple through several stages of decomposition and reverse the process, by using the Time Stone.
Now, that may seem like a small feat, but considering what that ability means on a larger scale, there could be massive implications to the use of the Time Stone. The Time Stone is one of the six Infinity Stones which Thanos seeks to collect, in order to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet.
It wasn't explicitly said during the film, but Strange's last exhibition of reversing time and reviving Wong was another example of the Time Stone resurrecting a dead individual. Considering that the Time Stone is capable of manipulating time so the living can be aged to death, and the dead can be resurrected, it means death is no longer relevant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Death is no longer permanent.
That's not to say anyone and everyone will be resurrected at some point, but, with the Time Stone granting its user the ability to manipulate time in whichever way they see fit, it's only a matter of time (sorry) before someone uses the Time Stone for their own personal gain. Or maybe a lost hero could be resurrected, such as Quicksilver?
One thing that isn't clear is the extent of the Time Stone's ability — or rather, how much time can the stone manipulate?
The Time Stone Effectively Alters Reality
Beyond who's already dead, the Time Stone now changes how conflicts will progress from this point on. In the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, where Stephen Strange is set to make his return, Strange's Infinity Stone will likely be an object sought after. He'll have the ability to alter all the events that take place during Avengers: Infinity War, unless Thanos is able to wrestle the Infinity Stone from Strange.
In that scenario, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be doomed.
If Thanos obtains the Time Stone at any point, he'll be able to alter the fabric of reality, winning the Infinity War without raising a finger to anyone defiant of his rule. Even without completing the Infinity Gauntlet, the Time Stone on its own would be adequate enough for Thanos to win the Infinity War, thus making the Avengers' fight to stop him irrelevant.
Stephen Strange was able to control the Time Stone by directing its raw power through the Eye of Agamotto. The Eye functions similarly to how Loki's staff worked for the Mind Stone and how the Tesseract functions for the Space Stone. In its raw form, the Time Stone could have unpredictable results; Thanos could plausibly turn out to be the foolish one in thinking he could manipulate time to his satisfaction; it would be humorous to discover that Thanos has no knowledge of how to manipulate the Time Stone, although that could have disastrous results.
Could Someone Other Than Thanos Be After The Time Stone?
For now, we can only guess on when and where the Time Stone will reappear. It currently resides within the Eye of Agomotto, located at the center of Kamar-Taj, but it might not be there for too much longer. We already know Thanos is on the hunt for Infinity Stones, but a third party could also become involved. The Infinity Stones are highly sought-after artifacts. And with the Time Stone now thrown into the mix, anyone who has knowledge of its existence is going to want to possess that power, including Baron Mordo and Dormammu.
Dormammu witnessed the power of the Time Stone as he fell into its grasp when Doctor Strange trapped him in an endless loop. Now that Dormammu has an opportunity to learn from his mistakes, he could see the Time Stone as a useful artifact to utilize, along with his powers from the Dark Dimension. Manipulation of the Infinity Stone could give Dormammu a way to manipulate time as he sees fit, to where he could influence the progression of humanity — or a lack thereof. Mordo might have a personal vendetta in obtaining the Time Stone for himself as well.
When looking at the post-credits sequence of Doctor Strange, and accounting for Baron Mordo taking the magical power of John Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) to add to his own, Mordo might be on a power-hungry streak to which he sees the Eye Of Agamotto as the last mystical artifact he'll ever need. With the ability to manipulate time, Mordo could succeed in whatever nefarious plans he has in mind; he would no longer need to conquer any other type of magic or sorcery with time manipulation at his fingertips.
The Time Stone Will Change Everything
Knowing that the Time Stone is capable of such a dramatic effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is going to become a topic of much discussion. The repercussions of its existence in the Marvel Universe will continue to be felt as the story progresses through Avengers: Infinity War and beyond.
Once the Time Stone is brought back to the center of the quest for the Infinity Stones, all the inhabitants of the Marvel universe are going to know about it and want it for themselves. It may even be the Time Stone that sparks a special ferocity in those seeking out the Infinity Stones, Thanos most of all.
Doctor Strange premieres on November 4, 2016