Infinity War Ending Part Of Doctor Strange’s Victory Plan For Avengers 4
It’s been a little over two weeks since what is arguably the biggest crossover title in the history of cinema hit theaters across the globe, breaking records along the way. Every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been slowly building up to the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and as Earth’s mightiest heroes square off against the Mad Titan Thanos, the future looks set to never be the same again.
Caution: the following contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and plan to do so, click away now.
In the final act of Infinity War, after besting each and every one of the Avengers as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy, and nearly succumbing to the might of Thor’s Stormbreaker, Thanos snaps his Infinity Gauntlet-doning fingers to wipe half of all life in the fictional universe, including half of the MCU’s hero roster, from existence. Judging from the widespread reaction over on social media, this came as a shock to the majority of mainstream audiences, but for those familiar with the comic book arc of the same name, the ending, though not certain, was most definitely expected.
Any being wielding the might of all six Infinity Stones, as Thanos does with the help of his trusty Infinity Gantlet, becomes virtually unstoppable. This point is truly driven home when, halfway through the movie, Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto – the Time Stone – to explore future scenarios that may lead to victory for his merry band of heroes. The Sorcerer Supreme lives through over 14 million alternative futures (14,000,605, to be exact) and finds only one in which the heroes win.
Dr. Strange: I went forward in time, to view alternate futures, to see all the possible outcomes of the coming conflict.
Peter Quill: How many did you see?
Dr. Strange: Fourteen million six hundred and five.
Tony Stark: How many did we win?
Dr. Strange: One.
This little exchange, along with a couple other lines from the Doctor may be more important than they seem at first blush. Earlier in his interaction with Downey’s Iron Man, Stephen Strange makes it clear that it he will always prioritize protecting the Time Stone over the lives of his newfound companions, as relinquishing the artifact could spell doom for the universe. Toward the final moments of their battle against Thanos, however, the Sorcerer goes back on his word, trades the Stone for Stark’s life, and then right at the end, when he himself begins to crumble away into oblivion before the might of the Infinity Gauntlet, Strange says what may suggest that their apparent failure was merely part of the plan.
“Tony. There was no other way.”
Doctor Strange saw the future, found one possibility to score a win for his team, and went for it. Trading the Time Stone for Stark’s life may not have been him abandoning duty for empathy, but a calculated move in line with the only scenario that may pave the way to victory. Of course, nothing is for certain, but it does seem likely, especially considering that Benedict Cumberbatch was apparently the only actor in the Infinity War ensemble to have been handed the entire script, most likely to help him understand his character’s motives through these very scenes.
Whether or not this means we may see some or all deaths in Infinity War be reversed in Avengers 4 remains to be seen. The Gauntlet is known to be powerful enough to manage the same.