What has to be the most common prediction surrounding Avengers 4 is that it’ll be revealed that Doctor Strange deliberately gave Thanos the Time Stone in Avengers: Infinity War. Not to spare the life of Iron Man, as it seemed, but because he’d foreseen that the Mad Titan had to win in the short term for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to eventually become victorious in the long run. This new fan theory, however, suggests an extra wrinkle to Strange’s plan that we hadn’t previously considered.
Reddit user @Mynccx has put forward the idea that perhaps the Sorcerer Supreme also cursed the Time Stone before handing it over to the villain. A big piece of evidence for this is the fact that mystic symbols appear in the air when Thanos uses the Stone. As this doesn’t happen with the other Infinity Stones, it must be a sign that Strange’s magic’s at work here.
Here’s how the Redditor outlines their thoughts:
The moment Strange gives into Thanos and returns to him the time Gem, he does so because of the one path that he see’s to be victorious for the universe, this tell us 3 things for certain.
1. Stark has to live (otherwise Strange would not have given up the gem at the moment Thanos was about to kill Stark)
2. Strange’s Survival was not a priority.
3. Thanos was going to get the time gem, and subsequently all of them.
3a. Strange had to give Thanos the Time gem because it was Thanos’ weakness following that, When he used the gem to rewind time to retrieve the mind gem from vision, runes appeared around his forearm, wrist and palm.
There is no reason that these runes (identical to the runes used by wong and Strange and other ‘wizards’) should appear when thanos is using the gauntlet, there is no specific aethstetic with other uses of the power gems.
The theorist then goes on to argue that the outcome of this curse is the destruction of the Infinity Gauntlet, as the powerful glove looks pretty kaput after Thanos’ big finger snap.
This is because Stephen Strange cursed the gem, sabotaging it for the time when Thanos was inevitably going to use it to ‘Ash’ Half the universe. Seemingly this is a long-shot but once the ‘Finger Snap occurs and we return to Thanos still weilding the Gauntlet, it is greatly damaged. Again this was part of Stranges plan, with 14m+ outcomes in all of them Thanos aquires all six and achieves his goal, but to curse the gem to sabotage the titan’s power, this would lead the survivors on the path to an overall victory. The major proof of this in within the damaged Gauntlet, Highlights of green coming through the damaged parts of the Gauntlet the colour of the time gem.
It’s also worth remembering a conversation Strange has with Ebony Maw earlier in the movie, which warns that a spell can last beyond even the caster’s death, with the good doctor hinting that it becomes more powerful after they’re gone.
3b. “Its a simple Spell but quite unbreakable” Strange speaks these words about the eye of aggamoto after it is attemptivley taken from him.
“You’ll find, removing a dead mans spell Troublesome” When being threatened with death by Ebony Maw. One additional curious thing is that Ebony Maw actually mentions that he wasnt planning on killing Strange, instead it turns out his plan was to torture it out of him, Proving that Stranges threats were quite real and even accepted widley as strong curses. Finally Ebony Maw dies before informing Thanos of the Curse and Thanos doesn’t come into contact with the curse knowingly.
Finally, the fan adds that it’s also possible that Strange’s supposed curse might not have caused the destruction of the Gauntlet but “interfered” with the deaths of half of the universe and siphoned their souls into the Soul Stone’s inner realm – the place that Thanos briefly visits after the deed is done.
I do not know or have proof of what The curse entails but my main ideas are that the curse was set in place to destroy the Gauntlet after its ‘Snap’, Or to interfere with the killing of half the universe, maybe by trapping them in the soul stone rather than them dying. But as we see young Gamora in an orange setting that Thanos Visits after the ‘Snap’ They are the only two attendees of the Soul stone and soon it will be filled with the ‘Ashed’ half of the universe.
So, what do we think of this Avengers: Infinity War theory? Well, it’s an intriguing one for sure, as the detail about the mystical markings during Thanos’ use of the Time Stone is curious. However, the Gauntlet’s damage could just be caused by the strain of wiping out half the universe and, while Strange may be powerful, he’s probably not powerful enough to control billions of souls. Still, you never know, and for now, we’ll just have to see how things play out in Avengers 4.