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We never lose our demons, Mordo. We only learn to live above them.
~ The Ancient One

The Ancient One is the secondary tritagonist of the 2016 movie, Doctor Strange, and a minor character in Avengers: Endgame.

She was the Sorcerer Supreme and the leader of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, who mentored Doctor Strange in the use of magic following his accident. She was challenged by a former student, Kaecilius, who had become corrupted by the Dark Dimension and sought to bring Dormammu to Earth.

The Ancient One gathered her army of Masters of Mystic Arts, but it was soon discovered that she had been lying to her students all these years and had been drawing her own power from the Dark Dimension, mortifying Karl Mordo. During one final battle, the Ancient One was fatally wounded and despite the best efforts of Doctor Strange and Christine Palmer, she accepted her fate and died.

During the Avengers' time travel mission, Hulk/Bruce Banner met the Ancient One in 2012. Althought the Ancient One was reluctant to give him the Time Stone, she did so once she learned that it was all part of Strange's plan to undo Thanos' snap.

She is portrayed by Tilda Swinton.

Personality

I know that she is steadfast, but unpredictable; merciless, yet kind.
~ Karl Mordo
According to Karl Mordo, the Ancient One is "steadfast, but unpredictable; merciless, yet kind." This is shown when she was willing to kill multiple Zealots in combat and initially refuse to help Stephen Strange when he first came to Kamar-Taj due to his arrogance, though she did so for the sake of protecting the world from the rogue sorcerers and to ensure that other sorcerers did not become like Kaecilius and his followers.

While she enforced rules on the Masters of the Mystic Arts against breaking the laws of nature or using their power for god-like feats, such as manipulating time or becoming immune of death, she was willing to break her own rules to continue to personally ensure that they were followed and that the world was safe, though she never wanted to do so.

This lead her to draw power from the Dark Dimension to become immortal, an act which she herself forbade. Since Doctor Strange was similar to her in her breaking the laws of nature to save the world, she believed that he and Mordo, the latter of which was completely devoted to following her rules, would need to balance each other out in order for them to protect the world when she died.

Notes and Portrayal Criticism

Unlike her comic book counterpart whom happened to be male Tibetan sorcerer named Yao, Ancient One in the film is female. According to  Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, in MCU franchise, Ancient One is actually a mantle than a specific individual, which means Tilda Swinton's Ancient One is the latest Sorcerer Supreme whom bear the said mantle. This however, not explored further in the film.

The casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One has been the subject of much controversy, with many accusing it of whitewashing. Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill explained that the motivation behind the casting was that the character in the comics is considered a racist caricature originating from Tibet, a country that has suffered much political unrest : "The Ancient One was a racist stereotype who comes from a region of the world that is in a very weird political place. He originates from Tibet. So if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit and risk the Chinese government going, ‘Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.’ If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular and have him be in Tibet… If you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also stated that the character's race and gender were changed to avoid stereotyping: "The casting of The Ancient One was a major topic of conversation in the development and the creative process of the story. We didn’t want to play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books, some of which go back as far as 50 years or more. We felt the idea of gender swapping the role of The Ancient One was exciting. It opened up possibilities, it was a fresh way into this old and very typical storyline. Why not make the wisest bestower of knowledge in the universe to our heroes in the particular film a woman instead of a man?".

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           3A873E09-1637-46A0-AFBC-B3AEAA0799B7 Cinematic Universe Heroes

Movies

Phase One

Iron Man: Iron Man | Happy Hogan | J.A.R.V.I.S. | Pepper Potts | War Machine | S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Nick Fury)
The Incredible Hulk: Hulk | Betty Ross | Thunderbolt Ross | Tony Stark
Iron Man 2: Iron Man | Pepper Potts | Happy Hogan | J.A.R.V.I.S. | War Machine | S.H.I.E.L.D. (Black Widow | Agent Phil Coulson | Nick Fury) | Peter Parker | Winter Soldier
Thor: Odin Borson | Thor Odinson | Loki Laufeyson | Sif | Jane Foster | Darcy Lewis | Heimdall | Erik Selvig | S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Hawkeye| Nick Fury)
Captain America: The First Avenger: Captain America | Peggy Carter | Bucky Barnes | Howard Stark | S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury)
The Avengers: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Agent Phil Coulson | Hawkeye) | The Avengers (Iron Man | Captain America | Thor Odinson | Black Widow | Hulk | Hawkeye)

Phase Two

Iron Man 3: Iron Man | Pepper Potts | War Machine | Happy Hogan | J.A.R.V.I.S. | Bruce Banner
Thor: The Dark World: Thor Odinson | Odin Borson | Loki Odinson | Sif | Jane Foster | Darcy Lewis | Heimdall | Erik Selvig
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Captain America | Falcon | Black Widow | S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Sharon Carter) | Winter Soldier | Peggy Carter
Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord | Groot | Rocket Racoon | Gamora | Drax the Destroyer) | Yondu Udonta | Nebula
Avengers: Age of Ultron: The Avengers (Iron Man | Captain America | Thor Odinson | Hulk | Black Widow | War Machine | Hawkeye | Quicksilver | Scarlet Witch | Vision | Falcon) | J.A.R.V.I.S. | Maria Hill | Peggy Carter | Heimdall | Erik Selvig | Helen Cho | Nick Fury | F.R.I.D.A.Y.
Ant-Man: Ant-Man | Hank Pym | Hope van Dyne | Jim Paxton | Luis | Dave | Falcon | Cassie Lang | Kurt | Peggy Carter | Howard Stark | Janet Van Dyne | Steve Rogers | Bucky Barnes

Phase Three

Captain America: Civil War: The Avengers (Captain America | Iron Man | Black Widow | Falcon | War Machine | Hawkeye | Vision | Scarlet Witch | Ant-Man) | Bucky Barnes | T'Chaka | Black Panther | Sharon Carter | Spider-Man | Thunderbolt Ross | Everett Ross | May Parker | Howard Stark | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Peggy Carter
Doctor Strange: Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | The Ancient One | Wong) | Thor Odinson | Loki Odinson
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2: Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord | Groot | Rocket Racoon | Gamora | Drax the Destroyer | Mantis | Yondu Udonta | Nebula)
Spider-Man: Homecoming: Spider-Man | Iron Man | May Parker | Happy Hogan | Pepper Potts | Michelle Jones | Aaron Davis | Ned Leeds | Liz Toomes | Karen | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Captain America
Thor: Ragnarok: Thor Odinson | Odin Borson | Loki Odinson | Hulk | Valkyrie | Korg | Miek | Heimdall | Skurge | Doctor Strange | Jane Foster
Black Panther: Black Panther | Zuri | Okoye | Ayo | Nakia | Shuri | Ramonda | T'Chaka | M'Baku | Everett Ross | White Wolf
Avengers: Infinity War: The Avengers (Iron Man | Thor Odinson | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | War Machine | Spider-Man | Vision | Scarlet Witch | Falcon | Hawkeye | Ant-Man) | Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | Wong) | Black Panther | Guardians of the Galaxy (Gamora | Nebula | Mantis | Drax the Destroyer | Groot | Rocket Racoon | Star-Lord) | Loki Odinson | Heimdall | White Wolf | Okoye | Eitri | Pepper Potts | Thunderbolt Ross | Shuri | M'Baku | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Ned Leeds | Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Happy Hogan
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Ant-Man | Wasp | Hank Pym | Janet Van Dyne | Jim Paxton | Luis | Bill Foster | Kurt | Dave | Ghost | Cassie Lang
Captain Marvel: Captain Marvel | S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury | Agent Phil Coulson) | Maria Rambeau | Norex | Mar-Vell | Talos | Monica Rambeau | Goose | The Avengers (Steve Rogers | Natasha Romanoff | Bruce Banner | War Machine)
Avengers: Endgame: The Avengers (Iron Man | Thor Odinson | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | Hawkeye | War Machine | Ant-Man | Captain Marvel | Nebula | Okoye | Rocket Racoon | Spider-Man | Scarlet Witch | Falcon) | Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | Wong | The Ancient One) | Black Panther | Wasp | Valkyrie | Bucky Barnes | Guardians of the Galaxy (Mantis | Drax the Destroyer | Groot | Star-Lord | Gamora) | Shuri | Happy Hogan | May Parker | Korg | Ramonda | Hank Pym | Janet Van Dyne | Thunderbolt Ross | Maria Hill | M'Baku | Ned Leeds | Rescue | Nick Fury | Cassie Lang | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Loki Odinson | Howard Stark | Peggy Carter | Jane Foster | Edwin Jarvis | Miek
Spider-Man: Far From Home: Spider-Man | Nick Fury | Michelle Jones | Maria Hill | Happy Hogan | Ned Leeds | May Parker

Television

ABC

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Melinda May | Nick Fury | Maria Hill) | Sif
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Melinda May | Quake | Peggy Carter | Maria Hill) | Sif
Agent Carter: Peggy Carter | Edwin Jarvis | Howard Stark
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Melinda May | Quake)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Melinda May | Quake) | Ghost Rider
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 5 & 6: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Agent Phil Coulson | Melinda May | Quake)
Inhumans: House of Agon (Black Bolt | Medusa | Triton | Karnak | Gorgon | Lockjaw | Crystal)

Netflix

Daredevil Season 1: Daredevil | Foggy Nelson | Karen Page | Claire Temple
Jessica Jones Season 1: Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | Trish Walker | Claire Temple
Daredevil Season 2: Daredevil | Karen Page | Foggy Nelson | Punisher | Elektra | Claire Temple
Luke Cage Season 1: Luke Cage | Claire Temple | Trish Walker
Iron Fist Season 1: Iron Fist | Colleen Wing | Claire Temple
The Punisher: Punisher | Karen Page
The Defenders: The Defenders (Daredevil | Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | Iron Fist) | Foggy Nelson | Colleen Wing | Trish Walker | Karen Page | Elektra | Claire Temple
Jessica Jones Season 2: Jessica Jones | Trish Walker | Foggy Nelson
Luke Cage Season 2: Luke Cage | Colleen Wing | Iron Fist | Claire Temple | Foggy Nelson
Iron Fist Season 2: Iron Fist | Colleen Wing
Daredevil Season 3: Daredevil | Karen Page | Foggy Nelson
Jessica Jones Season 3: Jessica Jones | Trish Walker | Luke Cage

Hulu

Runaways Season 1: Runaways | Brigid O'reilly
(Alex Wilder | Chase Stein | Molly Hernandez | Nico Minoru | Karolina Dean | Gert Yorkes | Old Lace)
Runaways Season 2: Runaways | (Alex Wilder | Chase Stein | Molly Hernandez | Nico Minoru | Karolina Dean | Gert Yorkes | Old Lace) | Xavin

Freeform

Cloak & Dagger: Cloak & Dagger | Brigid O'reilly

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