Why Doctor Strange Needs A Ring To Make Portals In The MCU

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Summary

  • Doctor Strange’s ring is an essential tool for opening portals, as explained in 2016’s Doctor Strange. It alleviates the pressure and strain of portal-making.
  • Mordo’s line in Doctor Strange suggests that opening a portal requires more focus and exertion compared to other spells. Rings help sorcerers handle the strain.
  • Doctor Strange’s ring is not the only relic used for magic in the MCU. Other artifacts like the Wand of Watoomb and Eye of Agamotto have their own unique magical properties.


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Doctor Strange uses rings to open portals in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he has good reason to make use of his nifty tool of magic. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme first debuted in the MCU in 2016’s Doctor Strange, and has gone on to become one of the franchise’s most recognizable characters. Steven Strange would also prove to be a key ally and mentor to the young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and would even cross into other planes of the multiverse in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

True to his title of the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is the MCU’s master of magic, able to cast spells, wield ethereal energy, and even open portals to swiftly cross to other parts of the world or other dimensions. The MCU has also shown Doctor Strange’s ring is an essential tool in his ability to open portals, with Peter and his friends able to use to do the same in No Way Home. As for why it is such a key component in Strange’s portal-opening powers, 2016’s Doctor Strange has already explained why that is.

RELATED: What Happened To The MCU’s Mordo After Doctor Strange


Doctor Strange’s Ring Takes The Strain Caused By Portal Making

Doctor Strange and Sling Ring Portal

Doctor Strange’s magical powers – and indeed those of the other sorcerers in the MCU – are vast, with a skilled sorcerer able to cast spells and wield energy with their own hands. While this might make it perplexing that one would need a ring to open portals, a line by Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in Doctor Strange gives it some context, with Mordo telling Strange “Some magic is too powerful to sustain, so we imbue objects with it, allowing them to take the strain we cannot.” This one line makes the nature of both spells and portals used by sorcerers in the MCU easier to understand.

Mordo’s words suggest that, compared to a standard spell or even an energy blast, opening a portal requires a great deal more focus as well as physical and mental exertion on the part of the sorcerer doing so. It also indicates that, while it still technically possible for a sorcerer to open a portal freehand, the rings worn by Doctor Strange and others alleviates the pressure and strain inherent in opening portals. With such a helpful tool at their disposal, the choice of sorcerer’s opening portals while wearing rings suited for the task is easy to understand.

Other Spell-Casting Relics In The MCU

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Spider-Man No Way Home

Doctor Strange’s portal opening ring is hardly the only relic used for wielding magic in the MCU, and the first Doctor Strange introduces a few itself. Mordo himself uses relics like the Wand of Watoomb and Vaulting Boots of Valtorr in Doctor Strange, each of which carries its own magical properties and is applicable for different kinds of spells. Meanwhile, the Eye of Agamotto, wielded by the Sorcerer Surpreme, is in something of a grey area with respect to the MCU’s magical relics.

The Eye of Agamotto grants the user the power to travel into the past, create time loops, and see different alternate realities that represent potential futures. Avengers: Infinity War would reveal the Eye of Agamotto to be one of the six Infinity Stones, specifically the Time Stone, so its alien origin makes it a bit different from tools of magic found on Earth. In any case, spells and other elements of sorcery used by Doctor Strange each come with their own power level and degree of difficulty. It just happens that opening portals requires a level of effort that a ring is advisable whenever a sorcerer opens one.

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