To say that Avengers: Infinity War is a film with many moving parts would be to deal in wild understatement. But for most MCU scholars, there are only six that matter.
We are, of course, referring to the Infinity Stones, those ancient ingots that predate human civilization – or any lifeform, for that matter – by millennia. Only a being of immense power is capable of wielding such responsibility, which is where Thanos comes into the equation.
It’s no secret that Infinity War‘s plot is largely built around his quest to acquire all six gems, eventually leading to that unforgettable moment when he snaps his fingers and, poof, just like that, half of all life in the known universe has been eviscerated.
Which brings us to the million-dollar question: how will Earth Mightiest Heroes overcome the odds and defeat Thanos? Reddit user ‘LoL-Guru’ has compiled an Infinity War theory concerning the Mad Titan, Doctor Strange and that enigmatic Time Stone, and it certainly offers a whole new perspective on one of the film’s biggest scenes.
This particular Redditor is asserting that the Time Stone given to Thanos is actually one plucked from the future, thereby explaining why the Infinity Gauntlet ruptured – it was using a Time Stone from a reality in which the Avengers actually won.
Adding to this theory is the trailer misdirects, with one, in particular, clearly showing the Hulk charging into Wakanda – perhaps they weren’t misdirects at all, but completed VFX shots from Avengers 4? It’s a stretch, but here’s what Reddit has to say:
I would postulate that the time stone can be sent through time all by itself, going forward or backward. How would you play keep away with the time stone? Easy. Send it forward in time to where Thanos can’t get it! The problem is (as comic fans already know) Thanos is immortal, so he can wait it out. Let’s swing back to the exchange.
Dr. Strange conjuring forth the stone the same way as Loki did the tesseract is a gigantic misdirect! Loki is able to conceal the tesseract with his godlike powers of illusion and while Dr. Strange could certainly be capable of mimicing this easy trick, I don’t think that’s what’s happening. The stone is glowing brilliantly because it’s actually travelling back in time from the future!
When Dr. Strange hid the time stone it wasn’t through some trick of light or illusion like Loki but by sending it forward in time to be used later. Only to be sent back when the Avengers had finished using it.
Continuing on, the theory reads:
The time Stone can travel forward or backward in time, but not space. It will appear on Titan soon after the snap presenting itself to Tony.
This is also why Tony needs to survive. If the snap is inevitable then he is the only one smart enough to a) figure out what is going on when the time stone presents itself on Titan and b) study the stone in order to unlock the quantum realm (the same way the mind stone in the sceptre allowed him to create Ultron).
This is why the Gauntlet breaks from the snap! It’s using a time stone from a reality where the Avengers have already won and sent it back in time. The paradox of using a stone from a mutually exclusive reality breaks the gauntlet and helps advance Dr. Strange’s plan even further because it cripples Thanos’ ability to fight back when the Avengers start mounting their counter offensive.
Avengers: Infinity War is scheduled for a Blu-ray release on August 14th, at which point budding fans will be able to pore over the MCU epic in great detail. Until then, file this one in the ‘fan theory’ department for now.