Throughout its runtime, Avengers: Infinity War took many turns that moved the plot in directions we never expected, but one moment in particular had people fairly confused.
If you’ll recall, after besting the rest of the group of heroes gathered on Titan in combat, Thanos turns his attention to Iron Man. Fascinatingly, the villain appeared to have a great deal of respect for Tony Stark – perhaps he sees something of himself in this other great intellect who considers himself the protector of his world. What’s particularly interesting here, though, is that the Mad Titan indicates that he knows who Tony is, but doesn’t say how.
And while we imagine Avengers 4 will shed more light on that, a new theory put forth by the folks at Screen Rant may have just solved the mystery, and it all has to do with time travel. As we know, it’s all but certain that in the next film, the heroes who survived the Mad Titan’s devastating snap will be going back to the past in an attempt to collect all the Infinity Stones before Thanos can get his hands on them. Perhaps at some point during their journey, then, the big bad encounters a future version of Tony.
As Screen Rant points out, and here’s where it gets even more interesting, this would explain why Josh Brolin’s character doesn’t recognize Stark when he has his Iron Man armor on. It’s only when he’s without his suit that it registers with Thanos, which would fit in with those Avengers 4 set pics we’ve seen, as they all show RDJ in his regular clothes. True, it could just be that no snaps of him in armor have leaked out, but we’re certainly intrigued by what SR’s presented here.
Their theory dives a bit further into things, too, and touches on a lot of points that have already been discussed elsewhere. For instance, many believe that Thanos knows Stark from the Battle of New York, given that it was Iron Man who destroyed the Chitauri mothership. That’s certainly possible, too, and is another interesting theory to ponder.
Wherever the answer lies, we’ll surely find out in next May’s Avengers 4. But until then, feel free to head on down to the comments section and let us know how you think Thanos recognizes Tony when he comes face to face with him in Infinity War.