Avengers: Infinity War had shaken up the MCU’s superheroes, but Tony Stark knows this timeline is the one which leads to victory over the Mad Titan, as promised by the character, Doctor Strange. But the fans now have a theory that Doctor Strange’s prophecy is not really what the Marvel fans or Iron Man think.
We have all weighed the evidence in not only The Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War trailers, but also, Doctor Strange’s solo film. It is there that the rules and law of the Time Stone had been explained, along with one of its traits that might define Strange’s sacrifice. All the fans can spin their theories of Avengers: Endgame and time travel, and even hope that Captain Marvel will defeat Thanos.
1. DOCTOR STRANGE COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING PAST HIS DEATH
Earlier in the film, Tony, Peter and Stephen, had been on board the ring-ship headed for Thanos and had agreed to see the journey through. While Strange was willing to go along with this plan, he had made it clear to Tony that his duty is to protect the Time Stone if it means letting anyone die. This is not the ‘enlightened, selfless’ Strange that had emerged by the end of his origin movie. This was not the man who coughed up Time Stone later on to spare Tony Stark. But this is only because the viewers had missed the middle step that links these two moments.
A new theory proposes that Doctor Strange had spent an unknown amount of time playing out all the 14,000,605 different ways that he could actually fight and defeat Thanos and even live through the snap. He had failed every time until he had recalled The Ancient One’s lesson. Noting how distressed and startled Strange had been after seeing it, there seems to be just one thing to have this effect: where Strange uses his own life to bargain for Tony’s.
2. STRANGE ALLOWS TONY TO LIVE INSTEAD
This theory supports the two major takeaways from Doctor Strange’s scenes in Infinity War. First, that the character had chosen to play out different sequences of events before he had arrived at ONE that he would not even consider until he had no other choice. Then, his apology to Tony suggesting that he was not honest while had stated their odds against the Mad Titan. Factually speaking, Strange could not actually have seen beyond his own death in the timeline that he had helped create. Which would mean that his last words – “Tony… there was no other way.” – clarifies the earlier meaning.
Fourteen million destinies had all led to the ruin, and this is more than a certainty. This means that the only hope of victory is in the future that Strange was not able to see.
But before any Marvel fan misconstrues Strange’s deception as erasing a sense of fate, or destiny, the narrative parallels with his solo film. The Ancient One had seen a moment she had been destined to die and had still given her life to rescue Stephen. By accepting his death than he had been destined to, and using this sacrifice to guarantee that Tony would live, Strange had placed the fate of the entire universe on the one man who was determined to make it all end well.
He had known that “there was no other way” and even a chance of success had been was better than a certain failure. Marvel had granted Doctor Strange the humility of The Ancient One and had confirmed that for all that Captain America might be the first, but Iron Man is the true Avenger.