MCU Theory: Avengers End Game was not the 1 future in which Thanos was defeated that Dr. Strange saw
|Image courtesy of Marvel Studios|
First, we need to discuss how the Time Stone works and how it is able to allow one to see into the future. In the comics the Time Stone controls time completely and has infinite power to manipulate time as the wielder sees fit. In the MCU things seem to be a bit different. The Ancient One, in the Dr. Strange movie, says she has been using the Time Stone to see the future for years but could never look past the moment of her death.This is important because Dr. Strange does not survive the "Snap" at the end of Infinity War.
So, this begs the question how could Dr. Strange see past his death and learn the outcome of End Game? I believe he couldn't and in fact didn't. I believe Dr. Strange saw Thor behead Thanos during the final battle in Infinity War and that was what he was working towards. I know that is a big assumption to make, but there is some evidence for it.
First, Dr, Strange hands over the Time Stone to Thanos only after the assembled heroes attack Thanos. This makes little sense if Dr. Strange's plan was to hand over the Time Stone so Thanos could do the "Snap" and have the Avengers win during End Game. It makes more sense that Dr. Strange was stalling for time so Thor could arrive while Thanos was still on Earth and had not assembled the complete set of Infinity Stones. I should note that any heroes who potentially died during this fight would not have been able to return after Hulk"Snaps" in End Game. Dr. Strange allowing this fight was a huge risk in and of itself. That said, Dr. Strange only gave up the Time Stone at the precise moment he knew would lead to Thor being in place to come at Thanos and lop his head off.
The second piece of evidence is Dr. Strange not opening a portal and getting everyone off of Titan. Dr. Strange, if End Game was indeed his plan, was taking a huge risk by doing nothing to help Stark survive the trip back to Earth. Even if you argue that Stark and Nebula needed to spend the time together, Dr. Strange could have whipped up an extra spaceship battery or food behind everyone's back to ensure Stark survived.
Another piece of evidence is Dr. Strange's reaction to seeing people turning to ash. Dr. Strange turns to Stark and tells hims, "Tony, there was no other way." This isn't exactly reassuring that they are still on that 1 path to victory, rather it sounds like Dr. Strange called a hail Mary pass and the receiver dropped the ball. If End Game was the plan and they were still on the correct path then Dr. Strange should have said "Tony, trust me this is the only way." It would have still left things vague but left Stark with a glimmer of hope that somehow things would eventually work out.
The last bit of evidence for this theory being true is the fact that Thor not going for the head was a plot point in End Game. Thor is grief stricken and blames himself for the "Snap" because he didn't go for the head and kill Thanos when he had the chance. While, it is something we in the real world point to as a dumb move by Thor it would be something completely in line with Thor's character. Having it be a plot point shines a light on what Dr. Strange saw as their moment of victory.
What do you think? Was End Game the actual 1 future Dr. Strange saw that the Avengers beat Thanos or do you think my theory makes sense? Leave a comment below.