Considering that Dr. Strange was so adamant about not giving up the time stone early on in Infinity War, it seems odd that he would just give it to Thanos the moment that things got tough.
Also considering that he said:
So it was never about sentimentality. Now I’m not saying that he dislikes Tony, or Peter, or any of his comrades for that matter; but he is willing to take the sacrifice if that is what bodes well for the majority of people he swore to protect. He’s looking for the best scenario possible, and Doctor strange has proven time and time again that he is willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve his goal– which is ultimately protecting the Earth from Extraterrestrial threats. So then he couldn’t have made that decision just because Tony was about to die and he felt guilty. Why then, would he give up the time stone, which is arguably one of the most god-mod infinity stones out of them all?
If he tried to use the time stone against him, they may have ended up in a perpetual, never ending stalemate. Nothing would change, nothing would be fixed.
Ultimately, the idea is that Thanos had to believe that he won. If Thanos was made to already believe that he had the upper-hand, then he would have little reason to further analyze the situation. In that way, something in reality could have been changed to shift the power against him, but he wouldn’t know– because he isn’t looking for it.
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
― Sun tzu, The Art of War
Now I don’t think I have to go into the mind fuck of a situation that the time stone poses. Any small difference in action could create a new reality, so there could be infinite realities depending on which point in time you interfered, what you changed, and how that changes the conditions of that reality.
What really comes to mind for me is this scene:
Now when I first saw this scene I took it at face value: There’s only one, single possibility. But this is where my theory starts to get weird, and it might be far-fetched, but I think this is where the time-travel/ AU realities-mixing theories can get some more credibility so I guess I’ll share it anyway.
I found it really strange that in the 14 MILLION and 605 possibilities (in which there are likely more realities he didn’t see), that they only won ONE TIME. Then I realized that maybe he was trying to be cryptic.
In quantum mechanics there is something called the normalization condition:
Basically what this is saying is that a wave function, given no boundaries (which I will say is the infinite number of realities possible) must be equal to one, because if we measure a set of conditions through an infinite expanse we will find that the particular, combined set of conditions exist SOMEWHERE in space. (Setting up these conditions would automatically become ensured if you had control of the time stone, and had access to those infinite timelines… Which is exactly why I think he had something set in place BEFORE he handed over the stone.)
So perhaps that is what Doctor strange was referring to when he quoted the probability as “one”. That he is confident that there always exists the probability of them winning in some reality, as long as those particular conditions are met. And those conditions now exist in THIS reality.
Which coincides with his line:
The phrase endgame is referring to chess.
Once you reach the endgame, strategy is arguably the most important aspect of the game. This is why giving Thanos an over-inflated sense of confidence was important– he thinks that he has already won, so he doesn’t consider them a threat any longer. Another thing to consider is that the KING has to be protected in the endgame, or else one runs the risk of losing (this may be why Tony was saved, because his survival is imperative to the plan– or perhaps someone that Tony saves in the next film is actually the king).
Also the endgame is when few pieces are left on the board, so that’s a dark little joke there.
Okay strap in because this is a long one. Here’s my theory about who is gonna die and who will survive the next Avengers.
I will refer particularly to the original 6 and even more specifically to the main 3. That is Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. I think that there has been a lot of speculation over their deaths with most people believing firmly that they will all die.
However, I think that all three characters will have some sort of closure that does not include killing all of them off. I think that they will each get one of the following endings:
- Abandonment of this timeline
Starting with the first one: Death.
I think the one who will face this destiny is the one we least expect: THOR. The reason why I believe this is firstly that MARVEL has to kill one of the three in order to avoid being called out for never killing anyone and I think that Thor is the one we least expect. There are 5 things that I believe point to Thor being the one to die:
1) He wasn’t in Civil War so his life wasn’t at stake then and the lighthearted tone of Ragnarok let us now from the start that he was not going to die. However, right at the end of Ragnarok we see the tone change with the appearance of Thanos. 2) Thor is obviously the most powerful avenger and the most capable of causing any damage to Thanos. Also, in terms of power he is the most similar to Captain Marvel who would serve as a valid replacement. 3)Everyone is focused on either Tony or Steve dying for each other which would mean that Thor being the one that sacrifices himself would be a twist. 4)In Ragnarok we saw Thor loose his father and his home and, in turn, find his power. In Infinity War we saw him loose his people and his brother and use his power to avenge them. He himself has said that he has nothing else to loose which means that he might be the most willing to stand up to Thanos.
I think that the destiny of each character will be decided based on how his story would finally come full circle. And how to make their ending less tragic by giving them what they have been looking for. Which brings me to the last point.
5) Thor began his journey through the MCU as an arrogant god who has no feelings for misgardians and through the years we have seen him care for them more and more.
So I believe that a way to close his arc which involved him going from being arrogant and not caring for misgardians to being powefull and caring as well as selfless would be to have him sacrifice himself in order to allow others to live.
The next destiny would be: Abandonment of this timeline.
I think it’s pretty obvious that this ending belongs to Steve Rogers. A man out of his time. I believe that Steve Rogers arc through the movies was mostly related to him becoming a perfect soldier with a belief system who then had to question his beliefs and become a fugitive of the government. There are 3 main reasons that lead me to believe this might happen:
1) The possibility of time travel. We know that time travel exists in the MCU as it was introduced with Dr Strange. We also know that there is a high possibility of it being used in Endgame to defeat Thanos as seen with the BTS photos showing a shooting of the battle of New York of 2012. This would mean that it is possible for Steve to decide as a sacrifice or as a way of retirement to go back in time to the 40′s in order to avoid going into the ice and thus create a new alternate universe where Captain America never became an avenger and never missed his date with Peggy Carter.
I believe reason 2 and 3 are related as one involves Steve’s biggest wish and the other his biggest fear. 2) Steve’s biggest fear. This is something that was first introduced in Avengers:Age of Ultron with both Wanda and Ultron himself. Wanda shows each of the Main 3 what we think is their biggest fear. However it might end up being an interpretation of their destiny when mixed with what scares them:
And, finally, Steve:
During this scene we see Steve watching himself going home but being unable to let go of his PTSD and the war which is also shown by Ultron’s words.
This all goes to show that Steve’s biggest fear is never being able to let go of the war while his destiny could be to go back to his own time. 3) Steve’s biggest wish. If we believe that his biggest fear is never letting go of the war and his biggest problem is that he is literally a man out of his time, then the best way to end his journey giving him and the fans the chance of healing and being at peace with his departure would be to send him back to his own time. Letting him live his remaining days with Peggy and fulfilling a dream that he told Tony in AoU wasn’t for him but for the man he used to be.
And, finally: Retirement.
This is partly wishful thinking and partly supported by evidence. It is known that Iron Man’s journey as we know it is certainly coming to and end as RDJ is not set to be in any more Marvel movies and is choosing to step aside. However I think that there are 5 reasons which are also related and which lead me to think that he might survive.
1) Tony Stark dying in Endgame is probably the most expected outcome. Everybody is going to go into the cinema expecting him to die fighting Thanos, saving Peter or sacrificing himself. However, there are a number of theories that point to him surviving. The main one related to the parallelism between Endgame and the stage of a game of chess by the same name. During which, one is set to make many sacrifices to win. However, in order to win, those sacrifices cannot include killing the king as that means automatic loss and I like to believe that the parallelism between Tony and Thanos is put there in Infinity War because they are each the “king” of each team in the chess game. Therefore, he cannot die as that would mean loosing. 2) It is known and has been hinted at by many sources that there is one scene in the movie that includes most, if not all, the cast of Avengers. This has been said by Sebastian Stan in an interview.
Also, because the actor who played Harley Keener in Iron Man 3 is listed on the cast, many believe that his appearence as well as the scene mentioned by Sebastian are a funeral scene for Tony Stark. However I believe (mainly based on my mental health) that the scene in question is a wedding scene for Tony and Pepper which could be nearing the end of the movie as a way to end it on a positive note, opposite to the Infinity War ending. 3) Through all the MCU movies featuring Tony Stark, he has been shown as the most human character. He constantly makes mistakes, he messes up, he can be arrogant and selfish. This leads many to believe that his last redeeming act would be to sacrifice himself. However, what many fail to notice is that he has sacrificed himself time and time again in order to save the planet. The most clear examples are him taking the nuke outside of the atmosphere to save New York and him not wanting Dr Strange to exchange the Time Stone to save his life. However, there is an exchange between Captain America and Tony during the first Avengers movie that might be foreshadowing Tony’s role in Endgame.
This could mean that while everybody is expecting Tony to, once again, sacrifice himself and “lay down on the wire” his role in the movie will be to find a way to “cut it”, that is to find an alternative way to bring everyone back. 4) It has been foreshadowed through most of the last movies that Tony is set to settle down and have a family. This can be mostly seen in his new-found role as Peter Parkes’ mentor/father-figure which he has taken on voluntarily and is strikingly different to how he treated Harley Keener whom he found before he was ready to settle down.
This could either mean that marvel wants us to suffer even more by showing us a glimpse of what Tony could have or it means that they are building up to him finally retiring as he has been trying to do since the end of Iron Man 3.
5) Finally, there is the matter of the best way of ending such a beloved character as Tony Stark. I believe that having him sacrifice himself is not what the MCU has been building for the past decade as his arc is mainly involved with him finding a family. This is seen in Iron Man 1 when Yinsen who could be interpreted as the only real mentor Tony had, tells him to not waste his life. This might have been interpreted by Tony at first as Yinsen telling him to do something with his knowledge, become a hero. However, Yinsen clearly cares much more about family
Which could mean that Tony’s ultimate ending, what his character has been leading up to, is being able to spend the rest of his life, the life that Yinsen saved, with his family. This would explain the idea that Tony hasn’t had a conventional family making the Avengers his family and surrounding himself with people he called family such as Pepper, Happy, Rhodes and even Peter Parker that he felt he needed to protect but that finally, after saving the universe once again, he can retire and expand said family.
That’s the end of this long theory, please let me know what you think!!
“In order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love. A soul for a soul” - Red Skull
That is the quote spoken to Thanos and Gamora by the Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War. It implies that in order to take the stone, you must kill the person that you love, and Thanos does this without hesitation.
What interested me most was Gamora’s response when she realises that Thanos is about to throw her off the cliff to receive the stone: “No. This isn’t love.”
Throughout the GOTG films Gamora comes to understand what love truly is, and she knows that the way Thanos behaves towards her isn’t love. You don’t constantly pit your children against each other, surgically modify them and torture them if you really love them.
We also see from Wanda and Vision the struggle it takes to sacrifice the person you love from Wanda’s constant hesitation to kill Vision. Yet Thanos does it without hesitation… hmmmm.
But according to the Red Skull the soul stone has a ‘certain wisdom’ that the other stones don’t have. Now, in the film this implies that the stone knows when a sacrifice is truly loved and will then present itself to that person. But what I couldn’t understand is, if the stone has a certain wisdom, why would it present itself to Thanos when it probably knew that, although he was doing what he believed is right, he was a brutal person who had kidnapped and mutiliated the person he claimed to love as his sacrifice. Doesn’t seem like a worthy wielder of the stone to me.
One explanation for this is that the stone is neither good nor evil, but is neutral.
But if that was the case, why does the sacrifice have to be LOVED?? When love is usually considered something good??
If we assume that the stone is GOOD and is wise (and can think, unlike the other stones) why did it go along with Thanos and kill half of the population?
My first theory is that Thanos does not have true control over the soul stone, and that it is not truly loyal to him because Gamora was an imperfect sacrifice. Just because the stone APPEARED to him, doesn’t mean that it won’t betray him later on.
When the snap was completed, the stone showed Thanos a vision of Gamora, who appeared to guilt him about his decision by asking him how much it cost him to do what he had just done. Odd thing for the stone to do. This made me think that maybe Gamora has control over the soul stone, maybe had some control over who was dusted? Most of the Guardians were dusted, but half of the avengers were.
The only two left were ones that could actively help the avengers defeat Thanos in the end. ROCKET who we know is an expert builder, just like Tony. And NEBULA who Gamora knows would want to be involved in murdering Thanos.
My second theory is that the Avengers will have to sacrifice someone to get the stone back off Thanos, which will maybe release Gamora from the stone.
Now people think that in order for this to happen to avengers will have to travel back in time, and maybe they will to get the others stones. But if you look closely on Vormir, there are blood splatters on the ground that DONT belong to Gamora. Now these could be from previous sacrifices that haven’t worked out OR maybe they did…. it isn’t explicitly stated that the stone is ON Vormir, but a sacrifice has to be MADE at Vormir for the stone to appear. If this is the case, then Thanos is powerless from stopping the Avengers from getting the stone in the present, Gamora is gone and she was the only thing he ‘loved’. He’s got nothing left to give the stone.
Now a lot of people assume that it will be Tony who get’s the soul stone, and that he will have to kill either Pepper Potts or I’ve heard people say that they think it will be Steve Rogers, in order to get the stone. I don’t think it will be either.
Tony doesn’t LOVE Steve. They’re friends, they have respect for each other, but I dont think there’s any LOVE there. Tony does love Pepper, but I don’t think he will kill her… why?
Because that doesn’t make him any better than Thanos. Tony is compared to Thanos so often, but I believe that is the one true difference, Tony would never sacrifice someone’s life over his own.
I think in order to truly control the stone the sacrifice must be given willingly. If we look back at what Red Skull said, it was that the stone demands a sacrifice, you must LOSE that which you love NOT that to get the stone you must KILL that which you love. A SOUL for A SOUL.
One definition of sacrifice is to kill something as an offering… the other is to give something up.
So, if Tony was to kill Pepper. Yes he would lose that which he loved, but that doesn’t make him worthy. It doesn’t make him better than Thanos, it would be really ill fitting with his character arc. Now I don’t think Pepper or Steve will kill Tony… i think it will be something much worse.
If Tony kills HIMSELF on Vormir, if he sacrifices himself, he loses that which he loves. Pepper. He’s traded his life for hers. A soul for a soul.
We assumed a soul for a soul meant, kill someone and gain the soul stone. But perhaps it meant giving your soul in place of another.
Thus making him truly worthy of the stone. A perfect sacrifice because it is pure and without gain.
Perhaps Pepper will get the stone; Or perhaps Tony will get the stone, he intended to die for it and lose, and in that the stone knows he is truly worthy because he didn’t expect to get it. He would be the true controller of the soul stone, which is fitting as he is considered the soul of the MCU.
With one week to go before the release of Avengers: Endgame, we’re highlighting four of the best fan theories for the film we’ve come across on Tumblr. While we know your favorite theory by far involves Ant-Man, the four we’re sharing with you today are all a little more serious. One even has some quantum mechanics calculations in it!
We’ll be publishing them right here over the next few hours. We’ll warn you, these theories are quite long, so feel free to filter the #Avengers Endgame Theories tag from your dashboard. Otherwise, stay tuned for four in-depth posts to get your wheels turning over the next few days.