In the movie Doctor Strange when the time stone was being used to fight Dormamu, every time Strange set the time back his position got reverted back to the original place he appeared. However in the movie Avengers: Infinity War the only thing which resets when Thanos uses the time stone is Vision getting his life back. All the other Avengers' positions as well as Thanos' position do not revert back to the original setting. I do not understand how that could be explained even if Thanos did use the power of reality stone as well at the same time (which is not shown in the movie).

  • I completely concur with iandotkelly's answer. Both are really sound explanations. However, I too prefer the first explanation. The Time stone seems to manipulate time in more than one ways. In Thanos' case, he just wanted to go back to a specific time (a living Vision), not drop to the time when he acquired the stone.
    – Sayan
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


As seen in the Doctor Strange movie, the whole universe doesn't have to be affected by the time stone. One of the first things he does with the Eye of Agamotto is age and reverse age an apple.

This shows that the time stone is able to alter objects in localized spaces and allows Thanos to revert Vision to his former self without reversing all of the universe.

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    There's also the scene where the Eye is used to reverse the destruction of the Hong Kong Sanctum, and it seems that Dr. Strange has the ability to choose individuals to not be reversed (Wong, himself). So it's safe to say the stone holder has pretty fine control over what gets time shifted. The Dark Dimension scene is more of an outlier, where he "pre-programmed" a time loop so it would continue even in the event of his death(s).
    – poompt
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 16:33
  • ....He's not just aging it. It's... getting bitten, too...
    – jpmc26
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 22:57
  • 1
    @jpmc26 They're called the Infinity Stones for a reason.
    – JAB
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 3:17
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    @jpmc26 One might infer from that behavior that accelerating time on an object sends it down one of the nearly infinite number of possible outcomes for the object.
    – Logarr
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 12:39
  • The getting bitten part was weird to me. I could live with it rotting because in theory the time acceleration wouldn’t have involved anybody biting from it and setting it down over and over again.
    – enorl76
    Commented Aug 15, 2018 at 5:16

There are several possible reasons for this:

  1. We don't know the full capabilities of the Time stone / Amulet of Agamotto. When fighting Dormamu he needs to reset time in an entire dimension, in another he just needs to reset time in one locality or for one being. We see him doing the same thing with the apple in the Doctor Strange movie. In Infinity War we also see him using the stone to send his consciousness to review possible futures. The stone appears to have many time-related capabilities, not just one.

  2. He's fighting Dormamu in a dimension unlike ours, which does not have time. Perhaps the stone operates differently there. There he is able to reset the situation between himself and Dormamu but both remember what happened before. He is able to use this to "bully" Dormamu into abandoning his plans.

Personally I favor the first explanation.

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    The first explanation came to me pretty obviously but the 2nd one is pure gold too!
    – Sayan
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 13:47
  • I don't think Strange remembers all of his deaths at the hands of Dormamu. Notice that he says "Dormamu! I've come to bargain!" the exact same way every time he isn't immediately obliterated. I also don't believe Dormamu is getting "reset" and simply remembering the previous iteration, but I don't know if there's evidence one way or the other on that. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 5:05
  • @KyleStrand ... you may be correct, the main purpose of the point is that Dormamu does remember what happened, and that the Dark Dimension does not normally experience time.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 5:15
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    @KyleStrand Strange is definitely not above a bit of grandstanding and (play) acting. He takes a certain joy in casually messing with people (Thor in Ragnarok, say). My impression in his Dormamu-loop was that he did seem to be remembering: he would die quickly to an attack the first time, but then would manage to shield himself or something against the exact same attack in a subsequent loop. Of course we have no idea how many times that loop actually happened. Maybe we saw them all, maybe we saw a handful of millions. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 7:30
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    The movie does make it pretty explicit that Strange is exploiting the nature of Dormamu's dimension. He is told that messing with time in our dimension is problematic and dangerous: "you weren't bending spacetime, you were breaking it". But he gets told that Dormamu's dimension does not have time, and that's when he comes up with his plan. This means he can bend and manipulate time freely there because the only "time" that exists is what he creates with the stone. So he creates a time loop, which would have been radically more dangerous or outright impossible in Earth's normal reality. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 7:36

After Dr. Strange goes to Dormamu's realm, but before he speaks with Dormamu, he uses the time stone to create a time loop, which visually looks like a green circle going around his wrist (essentially being a magical bracelet).

When Thanos had use of the stone, the user didn't choose to start by making a time loop in the beginning. Since the stone's power was used in different ways, the "end effect" was different.

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