When a continuity spans over a decade and more than 20 films, there are bound to be new discoveries and loose ends that don’t hold up under scrutiny. Fans are always keeping their eyes open for the next plot hole that they can open up to public discussion and this time the scene in question is part of the trippy time-heist sequence from Avengers: Endgame, where the Avengers split up to steal the Infinity Stones from different moments in time.
In this portion of the film, the Hulk visits the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton, to grab the Time Stone. She subdues Mark Ruffalo’s giant green alter ego and he then pleads his case as Bruce Banner. She explains that she cannot relinquish the stone as this would split the timelines and doom the one that she’s in, stating that: “It’s the duty of the Sorcerer Supreme to protect the Time Stone.”
Now, this next part is where the so-called error takes place. Bruce Banner counters her argument by telling her that in his timeline Doctor Strange willingly gave Thanos the Time Stone. This is what convinces her to hand it over, because the Sorcerer Supreme surely had a plan in doing so. And while that neatly wraps up the scene in Avengers: Endgame, it creates a ripple in the storyline of Doctor Strange.
Chronologically, this moment took place in 2012, while in 2016, the Ancient One refuses to teach Stephen Strange the mystical arts when he first visits her in Kamar-Taj, his mentor’s homeland. Here’s where the discrepancy spotted by Digital Spy comes into question. You see, if she already knew of Stephen Strange and his role as the next Sorcerer Supreme, why would she turn him away?
That being said, it could also be taken in another context. Yes, the Ancient One knew that Strange is destined to become the most powerful sorcerer in their order, but when he comes to her he is arrogant and disillusioned. Maybe she just wanted to set him on the right track by casting him out first. Or rather, that would have been the case if she hadn’t explicitly explained her reasoning in a different scene where Strange is out of earshot. If you’ll recall, she tells Mordo, a member of the order, that she’s concerned about how Strange’s personality might cause him to turn to the darkness.
“Stubbornness, arrogance, ambition. I’ve seen it all before,” the Ancient One says to Mordo, before voicing her concern. “I cannot lead another gifted student to power, only to lose him to the darkness.”
So, it’s not possible to explain her turning him away as a ruse to humble Strange and put him on the right track, because in that moment she genuinely wanted him gone. As such, these two sequences certainly contradict each other, creating the plot hole.
It’s unlikely that this will be addressed in any manner, with Marvel going full steam ahead on building the future of the MCU, but tell us, can you find any way around this plot hole created by Avengers: Endgame? Let us know down below.