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Kaecilius

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Full of surprises
"Well, you are just full of surprises."
WARNING! This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Doctor Strange. Keep reading this article at your own risk.
"People think in terms of good and evil, but really, time is the true enemy of us all. Time kills everything."
"What about the people you killed?"
"Tiny momentary specks within an indifferent universe."
―Kaecilius and Doctor Strange[src]

Kaecilius was a sorcerer and a former member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts who became disillusioned with the Ancient One when he felt his mentor was not allowing other dimensions to come to Earth, which he believed could reunite him with his deceased wife and son. He formed the Zealots with the intention of defeating the Ancient One and bringing the inter-dimensional being known as Dormammu to Earth, but was eventually challenged by his former brothers-in-arms as well as a new Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange. He was defeated and became part of the Dark Dimension for all eternity, gaining him the immortality he had desired.

Biography

Early Life

Losing His Wife

"Time is unmerciful... I knew before the doctor even set foot in that room that you were lost to me, just as our son was lost to us, and you were going to be joined together in a place I could not follow. I failed you both..."
―Kaecilius to Adria[src]
DSPZ 01

Kaecilius learns of the passing of his wife.

Kaecilius and his wife Adria lived a happy life in Copenhagen, despite having to deal with the death of their son. One day, while they were ambling near the Nyhavn Canal, Adria was struck with a terrible illness which took ahold of her. Despite Kaecilius' best efforts, he could not save her and lost his wife, a loss which broke his heart and led him to desperately seek out some kind of understanding of why. This eventually led Karl Mordo to introduce him to the Ancient One, who promised to help him find answer when he joined the Masters of the Mystic Arts and trained under her leadership.[1]

Retrieving the Dark Scepter

Masters of the Mystic Arts Prelude

Kaecilius and his allies take the Dark Scepter

"That relic you hold has far too much power to be contained by someone who doesn't fully comprehend the mystic arts."
―Kaecilius to the Witch[src]

Through 20 years of training with the Ancient One, Kaecilius became a trusted member of the Masters. When the Dark Scepter was stolen by a Witch in London, Kaecilius joined Wong, Daniel Drumm and Tina Minoru in tracking it down. Engaging in a brief battle with the witch, Kaecilius and his allies were soon able to defeat her and retook the Scepter from the thief before returning to Kamar-Taj to continue their training in the Mystic Arts again.[2]

Disillusion with the Ancient One

DSPZ 04

Kaecilius arguing with the Ancient One

"Do you feel the Ancient One to be a great teacher? Do you feel that you have found the truths which you had sought out when you came here?"
"I haven't."
"And if there were more that I could teach you...?"
"Then we'd be eager to learn."
―Kaecilius and the Zealots[src]

Despite everything, Kaecilius became more disillusioned and began feeling that the Ancient One had failed in her promise to help him find meaning to his wife and son's tragic deaths or found a way to bring them back together. Becoming angrier by this, Kaecilius formed the Zealots and rebelled against his allies, aiming to find their own meaning within the Mystic Arts that the Ancient One was hiding from them.[1]

Serving Dormammu

Theft of the Book of Cagliostro

Kaecilius-ReadingBook

Kaecilius steals the Book of Cagliostro

"Master Kaecilius, that ritual will only bring you sorrow."
"Hypocrite!"
―The Ancient One and Kaecilius[src]

Kaecilius had heard of the Dark Dimension as a place without time where he and the Zealots would be immortal. He knew that the Ancient One herself drew power from the Dimension and believed her to be a hypocrite as she forbade others from doing the same. One night, Kaecilius and the Zealots went to the Kamar-Taj library with the intent of stealing a spell to bring Dormammu to Earth. The Zealots strung up the librarian and Kaecilius beheaded him with his Scythe Daggers before ripping a spell from the Book of Cagliostro which would allow them to complete their plans to summon the Dark Dimension to Earth.

Zealots Mirror

Kaecilius is attacked by The Ancient One

Before they could leave, the Ancient One herself appeared, warning that whatever plan Kaecilius had would bring him and his followers nothing but pain and sorrow. Instead of fighting, Kaecilius then fled with his followers to London where they ran down the streets hoping to get away from the Ancient One. However the Ancient One soon managed to corner the group in an alley before she dragged them into the Mirror Dimension to fight, ensuring that nobody outside of them were hurt.

Mirror Dimension Battle 4

Kaecilius escapes from the Ancient One

The Ancient One used her vastly superior skills to fight several of his followers using just her spells and Magic Fans on the side of a London building. As many of them were being defeated at the hands of the Sorcerer Supreme despite their best efforts, Kaecilius accepted that he would not win the fight. While many of his allies were being killed in the Mirror Dimension by the Ancient One, Kaecilius instead used his Sling Ring to escape with the remainder of the Zealots.[3]

Empowering the Zealots

Doctor Strange Teaser 31

Kaecilius and the Zealots contact Dormammu

"We will now receive the power to destroy the one who has betrayed us. The one who betrays the world."
―Kaecilius to the Zealots[src]

Eventually, Kaecilius deciphered the spell and used it to empower himself and the Zealots, summoning the power from the Dark Dimension and giving them unparalleled control over the Mirror Dimension. The process turned the skin around their eyes dark purple and outlined silver and cracked. Overflowing with these new abilities, Kaecilius began to use the new power to defeat the Masters of the Mystic Arts and destroy the Sanctums to allow Dormammu to come to Earth.[3]

Attacking the London and the New York Sanctum

DS Spot 17 - 6

Kacilius destroys the London Sanctum

"We don't seek to rule this world. We seek to save it!"
―Kaecilius[src]

Kaecilius and the Zealots attacked the London Sanctum, battling and eventually killing its protector, Sol Rama, before they destroyed the Sanctum which ripped a massive explosion through the Kamar-Taj. They next went to the New York Sanctum where they battled and soon killed Daniel Drumm, the Protector of the Sanctum, before being confronted by Doctor Strange.

Sanctum Battle Clip 2

Kaecilius battles against Doctor Strange

Kaecilius and the Zealots attacked and used their new abilities to prevent Strange from running away. After Strange stranded two of his followers in different locations, Kaecilius attacked Strange himself and exchanged blows, eventually throwing him through several glass cabinets. He was about to kill Strange when the sentient Cloak of Levitation intervened and fought back against Kaecilius, eventually being overpowered.

Doctor Strange 55

Kaecilius trapped by Doctor Strange

While Kaecilius was distracted, the Cloak of Levitation convinced Strange to lock Kaecilius in the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. Thus entangled, Kaecilius was unable to move but explained his beliefs to Strange after he had removed his mouthpiece so he could talk, also explaining how the Ancient One drew power from the Dark Dimension. He noted that the doctor did not have his Sling Ring before Lucian arrived and stabbed Strange. While Strange was fighting Lucian, Kaecilius escaped.[3]

Battle of the Mirror Dimension

DS HD VFX 8

Kaecilius chases after Doctor Strange.

Freed, Kaecilius tried to attack the Sanctum again. This time, Doctor Strange stole his Sling Ring and brought them into the Mirror Dimension where they could not harm the real world. The Dimension enhanced Kaecilius' abilities and he used them to change the gravity and shape of the Dimension, though both of his enemies were able to counter the changing landscape and distorted physics, Strange with the Cloak of Levitation and Mordo with his Vaulting Boots of Valtorr. He almost killed Strange and Mordo in a battle before the Ancient One intervened.

DS Spot 21 - 3

Kaecilius smirking after killing the Ancient One

She said she had been trying to save Kaecilius from himself and that the immortality Dormammu promised was not what he claimed it was. Kaecilius called her a hypocrite before letting his Zealots attack her. When the Zealots failed to kill the Ancient One, Kaecilius stabbed her himself and using his recovered Sling Ring, throwing her into the Earth Plane, where she fell hundreds of stories to the ground below. Kaecilius then used his Sling Ring to escape to the Hong Kong Sanctum with the remaining Zealots.[3]

Battle at the Hong Kong Sanctum

DS HD VFX 10

Kaecilius arrives at the Hong Kong Sanctum

Upon arrival, Kaecilius and his Zealots found themselves challenged by the Masters of the Mystic Arts outside the Hong Kong Sanctum, with the Masters now being led by Wong. It did not take long however for Kaecilius and the Zealots to destroy the Hong Kong Sanctum and succeeded in bringing Dormammu and the Dark Dimension to Earth, killing Wong by trapping him underneath rubble and many other civilians in the battle as the Dark Dimension began consuming the sky.

Kaecilius x Strange

Kaecilius attempts to kill Doctor Strange.

However, Doctor Strange arrived at the scene with Karl Mordo and began to reverse time to stop them, using the Eye of Agamotto. Kaecilius and his followers attacked, with Kaecilius becoming trapped in a tiled wall. However he eventually broke free and stopped Strange from completing the spell, freezing time around them and ensuring that the Dark Dimension would come back despite Strange's best efforts.[3]

Gaining Eternal Life

DS HD VFX 12

Kaecilius learns that Dormammu is defeated

"What is this?"
"Well, it's everything you've ever wanted, eternal life as part of the one. You're not going to like it. You should have really stolen the whole book because the warnings come after the spells."
―Kaecilius and Doctor Strange[src]

During the fight against the Masters of the Mystic Arts on the streets of Hong Kong, when Doctor Strange flew into the Dark Dimension, Kaecilius initially believed that he had joined their side. While still fighting the Masters of the Mystic Arts however, on Strange's return, he discovered that Strange had bargained with Dormammu for Earth's survival, having used the Eye of Agamotto to provoke Dormammu long enough into leaving Earth after killing Strange multiple times in a time loop.

DS HD VFX 13

Kaecilius is fused with the Dark Dimension

Kaecilius and the Zealots were angered of Dormammu's defeat and Strange's victory, but before they could do anything about it, Kaecilius and the remaining Zealots began transforming into particles from where they stood and gravitated inside the Dark Dimension away from the Earth Plane, granting them the eternal life they had desired all along as particles embedded within Dormammu's realm.[3]

Personality

"When he first came to us, he lost everyone he ever loved. He was a broken man searching for answers in the Mystic Arts. A brilliant student, but he was proud, headstrong. Questioned the Ancient One, rejected her teaching. He left Kamar-Taj. His assistants followed him like sheeps seduced by false belief."
Karl Mordo[src]

Kaecilius was a proud and darkly driven man. Eerily similar to Stephen Strange, he displayed arrogance and an inflated sense of self-worth, but like Strange, Kaecilius had successfully mastered the mystical arts and suffered great loss in his life. The death of his child and wife fueled him with anger and hate, but he initially sought to heal himself of grief upon their deaths, seeking the Ancient One and Kamar-Taj to achieve this.

Unfortunately, Kaecillius could not comprehend how death was a natural part of life rather than just a step behind humanity's evolutionary peak. Viewing time and death as the true enemy of everything, he was enraged by how the Ancient One did not permit access to other dimensions, but siphoned energy from the Dark Dimension to power herself anyway. Feeling cheated out of reconciling with his dead family by his hypocritical mentor, Kaecilius eventually went down a malevolent path - cold and nihilistic. However, Kaecillius came to believing that he was doing good as surrendering Earth to Dormammu would grant humanity immorality and rid the world of death, writing his actions to Strange as saving the world. Even so, Kaecilius is ultimately still a delusional psychopath, as he remorselessly commits murder, despite his desire to cleanse the world of death, justifying it to himself by claiming that his ends justified the means. His blinding hatred for life and the Ancient One also gives him a selective magical view on the world. He views his endgame for defying the natural order as more important than the reasons of his former master; considering her oppressive for not allowing him to use Dormammu's power to fuel his own and blinding himself to Dormammu malevolence, revering the demon as a benevolent figure. Kaecillius could not comprehend how the rules of nature occasionally needed to be broken to protect reality rather than just create endless life.

Perhaps due to spending so much time in Kamar-Taj and mastering his mystical abilities, Kaecilius seems to have somewhat lost track with the modern world, as notably, when he confronted Stephen Strange at the New York Sanctum, he refers the latter as "Mister Doctor", due to a confusion beforehand, and also confused his name as Strange for claiming that being called "Mister Doctor" was strange.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Doctor Strange Teaser 27

Kaecilius manipulates the world around him through the power of the Dark Dimension

  • Master Sorcerer: Kaecilius is one of the most powerful Masters of the Mystic Arts, possessing a considerable mastery of the mystic arts and with the help of numerous mystical artifacts and relics, in addition to his astral powers, Kaecilius is able to gain access to a multitude of mystical powers.
    • Eldritch Magic Manipulation: Kaecilius is able to create, shape and manipulate Eldritch Magic.
    • Teleportation: Using a Sling Ring, Kaecilius is able to open a fiery portal to another location, gaining ability to move tremendous distances instantaneously.
    • Inter-Dimensional Travel: Using the same Sling Ring, Kaecilius can travel between different dimensions and universes, crossing over different planes of existence or traveling across various forms of reality.
    • Dark Dimension Magic Manipulation: After performing the ritual to tap into the powers of the Dark Dimension, Kaecilius was able to manipulate space. This allowed him to warp and twist the landscape of the Mirror Dimension, as well as the inside of the New York Sanctum. Also, he could run on walls and ceilings, totally disregarding gravity. He could also use his manipulation of space to conjure Space Shards. In addition, his momentum seemed enhanced to the point where he could easily send someone flying with his attacks, especially while defying gravity.

Abilities

  • Master Martial Artist: Kaecilius is highly skilled in martial arts and in both armed and unarmed combatant. He maintained the upper hand in his duel with Stephen Strange, but was defeated after Strange managed to trap him. Kaecilius also managed to win in his second fight against the Ancient One, ultimately killing her. In the final fight, Kaecilius used his martial arts skill to battle Strange again, and seemingly maintained the upper hand until Strange decided to secure a bargain with Dormammu.

Equipment

This section requires expansion
  • Sling Ring: A mystical object which enables the wearer to open a fiery portal to another location.

Weapons

  • Scythe Daggers: Kaecilius' personal weapon, a pair of curved daggers that he used to attack his enemies.

Relationships

Family

  • Adria † - Wife
  • Son †

Allies

Enemies

Trivia

  • In the comics, Kaecilius is one of Baron Mordo's disciples who support him in his fight against the Ancient One and Doctor Strange.
  • When he and his followers are absorbed into the Dark Dimension, they are transformed into decayed, fossil-like figures with red glowing symbols on their faces, resembling the Mindless Ones from the comics, which are sometimes portrayed as Dormammu's servants.

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Kaecilius.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of quotes related to Kaecilius.

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