Dr. Strange Should Not Bow

(Or: Who is the Sorcerer Supreme)

Warning: Minor spoilers for Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

Let’s get the spoilers out of the way first: when Strange first meets Wong in the movie, he does not bow. Wong remarks that it is “tradition” to bow to the Sorcerer Supreme.

Later on, others do bow to Wong. He rolls his eyes at Strange, and remarks that they have properly observed the “tradition”.

Did Dr. Strange violate tradition? Is he so bitter about losing the position of the Sorcerer Supreme that he will not acknowledge Wong’s?

Maybe not.

Who is the Sorcerer Supreme? By tradition, the Sorcer Supreme is the one who controls the Eye of Agammoto, or the Time Stone.

The stone is no longer. Though it exists in some technical sense, it has been scattered.

Wong is not, properly speaking, the Sorcerer Supreme. At best, he is a sort of “Acting Sorcerer Supreme”.

Wong is responsible for the non-Time-stone specific duties that, traditionally, the Sorcerer Supreme used to be responsible for. This is appropriate, since he would have been next in line to get the stone, had it not been destroyed.

Nonetheless, that does not make him the Sorcerer Supreme, and does not, necessarily, afford him the dignities of the title.