There’s one fan theory about Avengers: Infinity War we can all get on board with: Doctor Strange knows what he’s doing when he hands the Time Stone over to Thanos in order to spare Tony’s life, presumably because he knows these events have to happen in order for the Avengers to eventually defeat the villain in that one good timeline that he says he foresaw.
It’s generally assumed that Strange knew Tony had to live, even at the cost of his own and half the universe’s life, in order to enact this timeline. However, Reddit user @Picklesguy123 has suggested that this might not be the whole truth. The Marvel fan’s put forward the idea that if Strange’s only goal was to keep Tony alive, he would have given Thanos the Stone long before that moment that he was on the verge of death.
With that in mind, what other reason could Strange have for giving the villain the Time Stone at that exact moment? Well, the theorist suggests the idea that it’s all to do with precise timing.
“The answer is time. It’s fitting, really, considering that the entire fight is for the time stone. The reason Strange let everything play out the way it did (Quill hitting Thanos, Tony getting stabbed, etc) is because he needed the fight to last exactly the right amount of time. This wasn’t Strange simply delaying Thanos as long as possible. Because if that were the case, he would have utilized some final tricks to keep the stone away from the Mad Titan for a few more minutes. And if Strange’s only goal was Tony’s survival, he certainly would have given up the stone before the guy got impaled through the stomach and was seconds away from being obliterated by the force of 4 infinity stones.”
If that is the case, then, what’s so integral to the timeline that Strange has to wait until Tony’s seconds away from being killed by Thanos to give the Mad Titan the Infinity Stone? Well, the Redditor has a couple of suggestions for this, revolving around either Captain Marvel or what occurs to Scott Lang in the post-credits scene for Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“This is why I believe Strange allowed everything to play out the way it did. He needed to delay the snap just long enough for something important to happen right when the snap occurred. But what could this important event be? I think there are 2 likely answers. The first is that it has something to do with Captain Marvel. We haven’t seen the movie yet, so obviously we can’t tell what it might be, but somehow the snap occurs at just the right time for her to be in a position to save the day.
The second answer is Scott Lang. At the end of Ant Man and the Wasp, Scott travels into the quantum realm for mere seconds, and ends up stranded due to all 3 of his companions being snapped. If the snap had happened a few seconds earlier, Hope, Hank, and Janet would have disappeared before Scott entered the quantum tunnel. If the snap had happened a few seconds later, he would have safely been back to normal size by the time he watched his companions dissolve. Scott being trapped in the quantum realm is the only event that we know of which happened in such a specific time frame that the snap being delayed or rushed by a few seconds would have prevented it.
If the Titan fight hadn’t played out exactly how it did, Scott never gets stuck. That’s why Strange had to let the fight happen, but still give Thanos the time stone in the end. Plus, the quantum realm has basically infinite possibilities for new story points that the writers can utilize however they want.”
The Ant-Man part of this theory certainly makes a lot of sense. After all, it’s practically been confirmed by this point that Avengers 4 will feature time travel as a key factor in how the remaining heroes ultimately defeat Thanos. It’s widely thought that Scott’s familiarity with the Quantum Realm will unlock the potential for that, therefore you can see how Strange would need the events of Ant-Man 2‘s post-credits scene to play out.
What do you think of this Avengers: Infinity War fan theory, though? As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments section down below.