During Avengers Infinity War, Doctor Strange used the Time Stone to see every possible future of their battle with Thanos. The Sorcerer Supreme admitted there was only one where the Avengers were victorious. And as we saw throughout the rest of the film and its sequel Avengers Endgame, this involved Thanos initially being successful in obtaining all six Infinity Stones, but then five years later it would see Iron Man defeat the Mad Titan through a sacrificial snap that killed him in the process too.
Doctor Strange knew this was the only way, but now a fan theorist argues there was a way for the Avengers to have beaten Thanos and for Iron Man to have survived.
Reddit user theneatdude, whose theory has over 2000 up-votes, started way back in Doctor Strange’s solo movie.
They wrote: “Right before she dies, the Ancient One talks to Doctor Strange in her astral form and she mentions that she can’t see past the point of her death.
“[She says:] ‘I’ve spent so many years peering through time, looking at this exact moment. But I can’t see past it. I’ve prevented countless terrible futures and after each one there’s always another, and they all lead here but never further.’”
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The theorist argued: “So even with the Time Stone in her possession, the Ancient One could not see past her own death.
“In the MCU continuity, there is no evidence to suggest that Doctor Strange has surpassed her skills as a wizard or as a user of the Time Stone.
“This clearly establishes the fact that when Strange was seeing all those possible future outcomes on Titan [in Avengers Infinity War], he counted every possibility where he dies (not snapped, but literally dies) as a failure.
“Which basically means that out of all the possible outcomes, Doctor Strange survived in 14,000,605, and out of those, there was only one in which the Avengers won.”
They added: “This implies that there may have been hundreds of outcomes for the final battle, in which our heroes emerge victorious without Stark’s sacrifice, but Strange couldn’t envision those outcomes because he had been a casualty along the way.
“So, instead of Strange being a diabolical evil mastermind, maybe he wasn’t able to find a possibility where the Avengers won while he was dead.
“This possibility was the only one where he was alive after the end of Endgame.
“Maybe there was a reality where he died, but Tony survived?”
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If true, this would certainly be a bit tough for Iron Man fans to hear.
Nevertheless, Infinity War and Endgame’s screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have previously talked about why it makes sense for Tony Stark to die at the end of Avengers Endgame.
As the franchise lead, his character arc began in 2008’s Iron Man where we met a selfish, womanising billionaire.
But by Avengers Endgame, he’s developed into a selfless, sacrificial father figure.
If anything, Tony Stark’s arc is the opposite of Captain America’s.
Steve Rogers is the archetypal good guy who sees his character development end with some well-earned rest and indulgence in what he wants.
And that turns out to be going back in time to have the life with Peggy Carter that was denied him.
But, hey, it’s a comic book movie. No doubt both will cameo again in a future Avengers movie somehow.
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