Starting from 'Spider-Man: No Way Home', Doctor Strange has been messing with the multiverse, but there was always someone else to blame for everything that backfired, except himself. As said by a certain Scarlet Witch, that doesn't seem fair.
Warning: the following article contains major spoilers for 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' and 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'.
Doctor Strange is a good guy… right?
After a wave of accusations of being a villain that Scarlet Witch faced after the 'Multiverse of Madness' premiere, everyone automatically designated Stephen Strange as an undisputed protagonist and a hero, even though sometimes he clearly could have done better. Let's take a look at several moments when Strange definitely did not do his best as an experienced wizard, the Sorcerer Supreme and the Earth's protector.
Peter Parker's Spell
In 'Spider-Man: No Way Home', Peter Parker gets his identity exposed in a pretty brutal way, with Mysterio's "revelation" clearly ruining his entire life. Understandably overwhelmed, Peter heads to someone he views as a wise, experienced, and overall trustworthy wizard: Doctor Strange.
There have been a lot of disputes about the spell that Strange cast to make everyone in the MCU forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. And one of the most popular fan theories says that it was Peter's fault that the spell backfired: after all, he was the one to constantly add tweaks to it, distracting Strange.
But the Sorcerer Supreme could have definitely talked the spell through with Peter before casting it. The kid is traumatized by being outed as Spider-Man, but he also wants to save the little things in his life that are dear to him; but instead of taking a break and discussing the details with Peter, Strange just continues to cast the spell, trying to cram the tweaks in on the go. When the spell inevitably goes wrong, it's Peter who bears all the blame, even though it was clearly Strange's responsibility to make sure magic goes the right way.
Talking To Wanda
In 'Multiverse of Madness', Strange reaches out to Wanda so that she can help him find out more about the multiverse and protect America Chavez – the girl who is capable to travel between different universes.
However, as soon as Strange learns about Wanda's ill intentions toward America, he immediately switches to his mentor tone and does not even pretend to care about what she tells him about her kids. Strange never tries to offer some other way for her or do his best to prevent Wanda from attacking Kamar-Taj to get what she wants; instead, Strange opts for straightforward threats both times he tries to negotiate.
Using the Darkhold
Upon finding out that Wanda got her hands on the Darkhold and thus let the dark magic corrupt her, Strange immediately lectures her about how wrong that is – even though Wanda seems to perfectly understand the road she chose for herself.
However, at the end of the movie, Strange eventually uses the book of sins himself, because guess what – he, once again, "had no other choice". When Wanda sees Strange's zombie controlled by the wizard through the power of the Darkhold, she accuses him of hypocrisy, and honestly, she is kind of right.
Notably, both Peter and Wanda eventually take full responsibility for their mistakes: Spider-Man makes a tough decision to let his friends and loved ones forget him for the sake of the universe's well-being, and Wanda buries herself under the debris of the Wundagore castle after realizing the extent of evil she committed. Doctor Strange? Well, after using the Darkhold he happily fixes the watch that Christine Palmer gave him and goes for a walk. Still, a promenade appears not to be entirely helpful in escaping the consequences of his actions, as he ends up getting the third eye, leaving us all thrilled for the story to be continued.