There are so many "Why didn't Dr. Strange" questions related to the Thanos fight.

But I wondered, when they fought Thanos and tried to pull off the gauntlet, why didn't Strange just create and close a portal around Thanos' arm? Like in the city fight where that dude's arm was cut?

I guess it all has a reason because Strange saw many different outcomes but still, I really wonder.

PS: i am not asking why Strange didnt use the ring to port back to Earth. I mean specifically why he didnt cut Thanos' arm off.

  • Kind of a dup: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/88435/…
    – Charles
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 12:14
  • @Charles not really. the linked question is about running away, which is why i created another question :)
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:46
  • The essence of this OP is stated the exact same near the end of the other post. This is why I said kind of a dup, because one of the provided responses actually addresses that aspect of the OP (again, almost if not the exact same as this OP.) -- "There is even a scene earlier in the movie wherein Black Dwarf has his arm cut off below the elbow by strategic use of a sling-ring portal. Considering their entire end game is to get Thanos' gauntlet off his arm, this would have been a good repeat strategy!"
    – Charles
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:48
  • @Charles i still disagree :) the other question was "why didnt he use the ring to escape" with the answer "that was anti plan" while my question is "why didnt he use portals to cut off the hand" - or am i missing something?
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:51
  • Please reread my comment. :)
    – Charles
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


There is one instance of sling ring portal dismemberment in Infinity War...

Wong (not Strange) sends one of Thanos lackeys to a snow covered land.

He loses his arm when he is trying to come back through the portal. It was not a situation of deliberately using the portal to harm him, it was just a case of bad timing (or good timing, from the perspective of the other side of the fight).

In order to actively use a portal to cut Thanos' hand off, they would have had to get Thanos to put his arm through the portal first. Considering all that was going on in that scene, including the fact that Thanos already had a number of stones, such a fortuitous series of events is pretty unlikely.

  • 7
    thanos was kind of paralyzed anyways, how hard could it've been to do this? they were trying for quite some time without thanos moving at all. if quill hadnt screwed up, it might actually be easily possible
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:47
  • 8
    @T.J.L. we do see an instance of a portal moving. In Thor: Ragnarok when Thor and Loki meet with Strange to find Odin, Loki attempts to attack Strange and he moves the portal towards both of them and pushes them through.
    – Virusbomb
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:57
  • if i remember correctly they were trying to keep him still, but just remove the gauntlet. so if everyone would have pushed him in one direction i believe it would have been possible. i mean, he does get pushed around during the fight quite a bit, doesnt he?
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:57
  • 1
    @T.J.L. youtu.be/M9fFPLrO3RU occurs at about 4:40 in this clip.
    – Virusbomb
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:59

There's a quite likely reason why he couldn't use a portal to cut Thanos's hand off. He had 5 infinity stones, including the space stone which can manipulate portals with far more elacrity than Dr Strange can. My guess is, unless you caught him totally off guard, he'd just use the space stone to stop the portal from closing.

Of course the movie has built in answers for many questions. Dr Strange said he'd looked at millions of outcomes. He was asked how many they won. He said "only one" It was presented under the pretenses that it was a gloomy outlook. But in fact, it is clear (or if you didn't pick up on it, becomes clear) that Strange was being cryptic. "Only one" wasn't a expression of gloom , but a statement that he'd figured out how to win. In the end, he even says as much when he said "it was the only way" Now, the gauntlet is severely damaged so presumably Thanos can't use it to it's full potential.

Heres rougly how I think it will play out. Thanos actually stepped into Stranges trap. All the other millions upon millions of paths lead to defeat. But Strange said there was one that didnt. We should rember the Anceint One talking about how she had seen the moment of her death long ago, but could see no way past. Presumably she used the Eye of Agemoto the same way. Similary, Strange saw how it all played out. In fact that's one of the most powerful abilities of the time stone. So he chose THAT path. Rember, any path that leaves Thanos alive and the stones in play could lead to Thanos eventually getting them all. In fact, as we see, even if ONLY the time stone remains, and Thanos gets it, he can use that to get the others, even if they are destroyed. And it may not even be in the short term. Any future where Thanos survives and the time stone survives could allow Thanos to complete his plan. Even if it's in hundreds or thousands of years. And Strange could see how all these play out, and probably did well before all of this. (If the Anceint One is any indication, Sorcerers Supreme check their futures to be prepared. Think about it this way, Marvel hero's are usually either lucky or dead. But not the Sorcerer Supreme. It's not luck that the bad guy bets it all on what looks like a sure thing ,but the hero draws an inside straight. Its because any halfway competent Sorcerer, in possession of the Time Stone, cheats. Strange stacked stacked the deck. What he was probably doing on Titan was not seeing what was going to happen, but making sure he had not missed anything. Ironicly, Thanos stepped into the trap and badly underestimated Strange. He chides Strange for not using his most powerful weapon, the Time Stone. It's intended to make you think it was because Strange was keeping it hidden that he didn't use it. But really ,he already HAD used it and was STILL using it , passivly. He followed the path he had determined would lead to victory. As he said, it's in the end game now. And he meant it exactly like a chess game. He'd looked many moves ahead,, setup the board, and now any every move marches toward the inevitable outcome. If you ever watch a pair of Chess Players, more often or not, victory is not when one player captures the others king, it's when one player realizes that ,10 or 20 moves down further, he's going to loose his king, and there's simply no permutation of moves that can stop the inevitable loss. This isn't the first chess analogy from Strange, in the Dr Strange movie, in the end, he wins not by actually defeating his opponnent, but instead by trapping him in a sequence of moves of which there is no way to either escape or claim victory.

The hero's will now regroup. They will likely call on Ant Man and perhaps Hawkeye. They didn't show T'Chalas sister die, so she's still around. Vision appears dead, but he's not. We know this because from a storytelling perspective, it makes no sense whatsoever to kill BOTH Vision and Scarlet Witch. One has to remain to mourn the other. SW is clearly dead, but Vision is an android. Shuri had partially disconnected the his infinity stone and collected a lot of data on him and will probably repair him. Then there's Capt. Marvel, who is reputed to be one of Earth's most powerfully hero's. Her movie comes out just about the time of the next infinity war. They may well intro her just before avengers, and then bring her in as a surprise addition in Infinity War pt 2. Then there's Banner. Banner will probably get his Hulk thing straightened out. He may turn to a scientific solution. It's possible we may see Grey Hulk. Black Panther will return, because he's whoever the new king is. MBaku is a likely candidate. There may be more heart shaped herb growing somewhere, or maybe he'll just get a really advanced suit made with vibranium based tech to offset not having it. Iron Man will return with with Nebula and the Avengers will user her ship to find Thanos. With the gauntlet damaged, they will be able to defeat him and take the stones. Thor is strong enough to weild the stones using the second glove we saw earlier in Nidavellir, using the time stone to undo what Thanos did.

  • "My guess is, unless you caught him totally off guard, he'd just use the space stone to stop the portal from closing." when Mantis "paralyzed" him, wouldnt that be a good moment? :D
    – Alex
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 7:48
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    Welcome to Movies.SE! Your first two paragraphs sort of answer the question, but the rest is just off-topic speculation. Also, Thanos only had four Infinity Stones during that battle. He didn't get the fifth until after he'd beaten Doctor Strange.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 7:54
  • that was a mold for the gauntlet not a different one
    – Antheloth
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 14:27
  • presumably they will take the gauntlet and use it to restore everyone which wuld detroy the gauntlet and probably scatter the stones wrapping up all of the loose ends
    – Antheloth
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 14:29

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