A New MCU Fan Theory Suggests Dr. Strange Saw More Than One Way The Avengers Beat Thanos


Movie goers and Marvel fans will be hard pressed to find a future installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that raises the stakes quite as high as it was in Avengers: Infinity War.

With all of Earth’s mightiest heroes trying to stop the indominable Thanos from snapping half of life in the universe from existence with his Infinity Gauntlet, audience members collectively wet themselves when they found out our heroes only had a 1 in 14 million chance of succeeding, according to the powerful sorcerer that could see the future with help from the Time Stone — Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Eventually, the stakes of that film were lowered fairly significantly with the follow up, Avengers: Endgame when our heroes happen to discover time travel that sets them on a path of retrieving the stones themselves and reversing the genocide brought forth by Thanos.

However, one MCU fan theory is positing the question: just how do we know for sure Doctor Strange really did only see one successful attempt at thwarting Thanos from a possibility of 14,000,605, as he states in the movie? After all, despite Strange’s own powers of being able to see beyond sight, there were no other character capable of mind-reading to confirm Strange’s assertion. Check out Reddit user FeedbackGood2204’s post below, in which he doubts the figure quoted by Strange:

Perhaps Strange kept to himself some other possible outcomes in which the team bested Thanos, but a far worse fate was in store as an alternative. After all, in the film, Strange said he was searching for the “optimal” outcome, which goes along the same lines pretty well with the above Reddit user’s theory that Strange was focused on a single “viable” outcome and the one most likely to succeed.

For instance, given the recent What If…? episode in which Strange turns to the dark side of magic to try and resurrect his lost love and consumes a number of interdimensional monsters to become more powerful, it seems entirely plausible the sorcerer could’ve used a similar technique to consume the titan Thanos. But perhaps in that reality, his use of magic’s dark side led to him collapsing the fabric of the universe itself, like in the show.

Maybe Strange simply kept to himself about an uglier outcome like that, so as to not muddle the immediate goal in Avengers: Infinity War, but we may never know.

Comments (9)

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  1. Petesays:

    That isn’t a fan theory, that’s a fans opinion.

  2. Monisays:

    Well, if he used the optimal or most viable option and the others had outcomes or alternatives that were unfavorable.. then that means his figure was still correct. Let’s stop nit-picking on Dr. Strange. Furthermore, if there was only one viable option then it stands to reason that Thanos may have been truly destined to do what he did and the humans just couldn’t live with it

    1. BixbyBannersays:

      I like that idea

  3. Yeah this is just a dumb non-theory and even more ridiculous to make an article about it.

    1. Dantrinsays:

      Clearly, an outcome where they defeat Thanos, by reconstructing Ultron who takes the stones for himself and destroys the multiverse is technically a win against Thanos but it goes without saying that he’s not going to consider that a viable win. What if Starlord didn’t get angry and they got the glove off him? Wouldn’t that be a win? Probably not. The implication is, maybe you win now. Maybe you even get the glove and all the stones,but Thanos is obsessed. If he steals back the stones in a day or a year or 40 years, and then makes the snap, that’s still not a win. It’s like a chess game. “If only I had not been so over confident and fallen into the chess grand masters trap 30 moves in, and lost my queen, I would have beat him. Well , no, you wouldnt. After only a few moves, you had already lost. If not that way, then one of another multitude of ways. It just took you that long to realize it.

      That works both ways. While Dr Strange said, there was only one way out of over 16 million that he looked at that they would win, that does not mean that the odds were 1 in sixteen million. It depends on how likely each possibility was. Left to their own devices, maybe it was a long shot. But when Thanos taunted Dr Strange about not using his most powerful weapon, little did he know, he already had. He had no idea that he had already lost the game. Just like the chess master who sets up the board, and let’s his lesser skilled opponent take piece after peice and think he’s winning , Strange had already set the pieces in motion That was the whole point of the title “End Game” It’s a chess term. You’ve set everything up. The traps are in place, everyone’s pieces are where they need to be, and all there is left to do is play it out until your opponent realizes that he’s lost. While there were over 16 million outcomes that Strange looked at, Dr Strange chose the one he wanted. Thanos thought he was ahead the whole time, but in the end, Strange had already beaten him before the fight even started.
      And Thanos, never saw it coming, because Strange was playing the game at a whole different level.

  4. Jazzyboy01says:

    *spoiler warning for Loki*
    I there there was only 1 timeline in which they COULD succeed the “sacred timeline”, because of Kang orchestrating that the right timeline (one in which Iron Man & Thanos are brought down) for his inevitable plans. So no, I don’t THINK there were any other possible ways, perhaps what Strange saw in all of the timelines was their timeline getting erased

  5. Strange looked into the future, starting from the point where he “started looking into the future”. A universe where Starlord doesn’t get mad and punch Thanos is besides the point, since it had already occurred. Also, everything points to Strange not knowing of the multi verse. Even if he did, he’s trying to save their current universe.

  6. RickHsays:

    What if Dr. Strange had simply told Tony “2,but for one of them, you have to knock out Starlord before we get started here.”

  7. Musasays:

    …or…the writers of the movie decided that the gravitas of “one…” heightened the tension of the movie and the fact that it was all or nothing for the Avengers. If Strange had said “well we have a 37% chance to win…” the tension is much, much lower.

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