The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken superhero movies to the next level, with a well-crafted web of storylines. The way all of these movies are linked to each other, and at the same time also stand on their own, is truly revolutionary in the world of superhero cinema.
Marvel has taken each one of the Avengers and told us their own backstory individually, while building it in a way in which everything eventually leads up to the main story in the Avengers movies – like separate pieces of the same puzzle. Movies like Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy – have all led to this final showdown between the Avengers and the all-powerful Thanos.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos attempts to obtain all six infinity stones – space, reality, power, mind, time, and soul. If he’s able to get his hands on all of the stones, he’ll be able to achieve complete control over the universe and wipe out half of the people in it – which is his ultimate goal. Since every planet’s resources are finite, he believes it’s the only right thing to do.
The movie has no doubt raised many questions with the viewers, and we’re here to answer some of them – including that unexpected ending. Here’s everything you might need to know before watching Avengers: Endgame, and some of the biggest fan-theories out there about how everything will be resolved.
Spoiler alert: This article contains major spoilers for Infinity War, so proceed with caution.
Are the dead Avengers coming back?
Everyone Marvel fan who’s seen Avengers: Infinity War can’t help but wonder about that ending. To recap, Thanos managed to get his hands on all six infinity stones, and wiped out half of the universe’s population with a simple snap of his fingers.
That also meant some of our favorite Avengers didn’t survive and crumbled into dust, in one of the most shocking endings in the history of film. But will they somehow come back? Well, the short version is yes. We know we’re closing in on the end of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three, although we don’t really know what it means. But it’s unlikely that Marvel will kill off everyone, and there are theories on how they’d come back.
Cap versus Thanos
After Thanos basically defeats the strongest Avengers without even breaking a sweat, there’s that incredibly moving scene, where Captain America takes him on – which is also an iconic scene in the comics.
Knowing he has no chance of stopping him, The First Avenger still stands up to the powerful villain, once again establishing himself as the selfless, morally unbending defender of the innocent. Poor Cap doesn’t stand a chance against Thanos with his infinity gauntlet, but his attempt made some viewers tear up.
What about the scheduled movies?
Avengers 4 (which has yet to be named) comes out on May 3rd, 2019, and Marvel has already announced the release dates of both Spider-Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
Since Spider-Man and the majority of the Guardians were some of the characters who supposedly died, we think it’s safe to assume that at least some of the Avengers will be coming back. After all, it would make for a pretty boring Spider-Man sequel if Spider-Man was to remain dust. While his death was a particularly tear-jerking one, as he held onto Tony and said he doesn’t want to go, we expect him to make a full recovery by 2019.
The 17A protocol
You might have missed Tony Stark ordering the 17A protocol, which is what gave Peter Parker the advanced Iron Spider outfit in the film.
But besides being a crowd pleasing moment, some comic fans realized it was referring to Spider-Man #17, where Peter Parker actually gets killed while attempting to save a mother and daughter. In his afterlife, he meets Thanos and Lady Death, who takes pity on him and brings him back to life. We’ll take that as a hint to Spidey’s survival.
Is Vision really gone?
This is a touchy subject, because we love Vision. He may not be human, but he’s the ultimate good-guy who’s even able to wield Thor’s hammer.
Trying to prevent Thanos from getting to the mind stone on Vision’s forehead, Wanda destroys it along with Vision. But then Thanos, who already has the time stone, rewinds time and takes the stone anyway. Beforehand, Shuri tried to enable Vision to exist without the mind stone, and we don’t know if she succeeded. But if she did, he may just come back.
A colorless Vision
You may have not noticed this little detail – while the mind stone was being painfully pulled out of Vision, his body loses color.
In the comics, after having supposedly died, Vision comes back as a new, colorless version of himself. Unfortunately for Scarlet Witch, the new version of Vision is much less emotional, which means that even if he does come back, it might be the end of the relationship between the two lovebirds. Come on Avengers, can’t we see one happy couple last?
Those other deaths
Other than the disintegrated Avengers, we lost some other characters, too. Gamora was killed by Thanos as sacrifice to get the soul stone, and Loki and Heimdall lost their lives early on in the movie.
Will they be back? This is much less likely, since their deaths were unrelated to Thanos using the infinity stones. Gamora might have a chance (more on that later), but Loki – who’s been known to survive worse than this – is mostly likely dead for good. As Thanos himself says, “No resurrections this time.”
We have a hulk
As Thanos faces Loki on the Asgardian ship, Loki surprises him by telling him “we have a hulk”. Did it ring any bells?
That’s because this little line is actually a call back to the first Avengers movie, where Tony Stark faces Loki himself. If you recall, Loki tells Tony he has an army, and Tony responds with, “We have a hulk” (and a mic drop). This exchange was actually so beloved by fans, they turned it into a meme!
A strange choice
Doctor Strange handing the time stone to Thanos basically makes them lose the fight, so one might ask – why on earth would he do that?
Especially when earlier he tells Tony that he would sooner let him and Spider-Man die, before handing over the stone? Well, since Strange saw every possible future outcome for their battle with Thanos, and knew the only option that would have them winning, we’re pretty sure he had good reason to do it. Before he disintegrates, he tells Tony, “It was the only way.”
What’s going on with The Hulk?
You may have noticed Bruce Banner had a little trouble making his transition into The Hulk in the movie. It was pretty annoying, since he’s pretty much useless (and a bit of a coward) in his human form, but it also made us wonder what was going on.
You may recall The Hulk was already acting out in Thor: Ragnarok. And apparently, both of these movies, along with Avengers 4, are supposed to be part of a big story arc for The Hulk, instead of making a Hulk standalone movie.
The White Wolf
If you’ve been listening carefully, you may have picked up on this Easter Egg. Cap’s old friend Bucky was referred to as The White Wolf twice now – both in Black Panther, and in Avengers: Infinity War.
In the comics, The White Wolf is a spy who works in favor of the people of Wakanda, which means Bucky might have a place in Wakanda after the war against Thanos is over… assuming he survives it, of course.
The Ant-Man movie
A lot of people are wondering about the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp movie, and if it will have anything to do with the Avengers.
In the movie, they explained why Ant-Man had skipped out on the fighting by saying he was in house arrest (which, as we all know, wouldn’t be much to stop Ant-Man). And it’s apparent that the Ant-Man movie won’t have anything to do with the Avengers, since it takes place before the plot of Infinity War.
The return of Red Skull
Red Skull is a villain last seen in the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, as he disappeared into the glow of the Tesseract (the vessel for the space stone).
His fate was unknown, so many were surprised to see him making a return in Infinity War as the keeper of the soul stone on the planet of Vormir. But not many have realized the character was actually recast. Instead of Hugo Weaving, the original Red Skull, this time The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand (Aaron) took over the role.
The strange thing about Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange was a pretty great movie, but when we last saw the good doctor, he was only a trainee, who wasn’t nearly ready enough to take on a titan like Thanos.
This made us wonder how is it possible that Doctor Strange is as powerful as he is in Infinity War. Our question has been answered by co-writer C. Robert Cargill. In the movie, Strange was bargaining with Dormammu repeatedly thanks to the time stone, and apparently he was there long enough to master the potential of his powers.
How did Thanos get that gauntlet?
In Thor, we can actually see the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin’s trophy room, so how did it get to the hands of Thanos? Well, the explanation is simple enough.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor’s evil sister Hela alludes to the fact that the gauntlet in the trophy room is actually a fake, and not the real one. Thanos has the weapon-making dwarf Eitri make him a gauntlet that can harness the power of the stones, to give him complete power over the universe.
The soul stone theory
Thanos kills Gamora in order to get the soul stone, and then later wakes up in a strange place with orange all around (which is the color of the stone), where he talks to a young Gamora.
Infinity War co-director Joe Russo has already confirmed that this place was an ethereal plane inside the stone, which means Gamora could possibly be trapped there, and may be able to come back. This can also possibly be where the rest of the disintegrated Avengers might be, as they’re probably not really dead.
Thanos’ last words
In the end, Thanos faces a child Gamora who asks him how much it cost him to complete his mission, to which he replies “everything.”
This, of course, refers to having sacrificed his beloved daughter Gamora to get the soul stone, but it also raises a different question – if everyone got sucked into the soul stone, could Thanos have gotten trapped inside there as well? If you think about it, it makes sense that wiping out half the population leaves you with a 50-50 chance of being wiped out yourself.
What happens in the comics?
In the comics, Thanos becomes consumed with the power of the stones, and Nebula (Thanos’ least favorite child) manages to get her hands on the infinity gauntlet and undo everything Thanos did.
Because the time stone is in the gauntlet, this is technically possible, and since Nebula is alive – she can be the key to the Avengers’ rescue. But after Thanos uses the power of the infinity stones at the end of the movie, we see the gauntlet pretty much destroyed, so what happens remains to be seen.
What’s with the post-credits scene?
We only got the one post-credits scene this time, but it was a significant one. In the scene, we see Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill driving through the city, working on contacting Tony Stark, who’s gone missing somewhere in space.
Then a car comes crashing into theirs, and as they realize the driver is gone, they begin to disintegrate too – but not before Fury manages to send out a distress signal via beeper (what?). Then the camera focuses on it, and we can clearly see the Captain Marvel insignia.
What we know about Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel has been a long anticipated character, who was supposed to appear in Infinity War before the producers changed their minds.
But Brie Larson will appear as Captain Marvel in her own standalone movie next year, before Avengers 4 comes out. We don’t know what her movie powers will be yet, but producers have said we can expect her to be the most powerful Avenger yet – so she may just be the key to everyone’s rescue.
How long did the writers know about that ending?
When asked how long have they known what the ending of Infinity War would look like, writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus (pictured below) explained their process.
They said that while they knew it was going to happen for a long time now, it was unclear exactly when the events would take place. Eventually, they had decided on Thanos wiping out half of the population by the end of Infinity War as a cliffhanger that would only be resolved in Avengers 4.
Why was that ending so shocking, really?
Anyone who watched Infinity War was shocked when the film ended without bringing back our favorite heroes. The writers have said that viewers have grown accustomed to each movie resolving itself by the end.
Eventually one of the Avengers always saves the day. But this time – and this was reportedly intentional on their part – they left everything hanging, which surprised the viewers, who were expecting the situation to reach a resolve, like it always does.
The ending scene
That ending scene, where Thanos is sitting and looking at a new horizon, pleased with his work, was apparently crucial to the writers.
While it had crossed their minds to put it in as a tag scene, they felt that is was part of the story itself. It’s also a famous scene in the comic book, and it is so rare to have a scene where someone is just peaceful in comic books, they knew the iconic scene was the one they wanted to wrap the movie with.
When asked about how would they go about promoting the new Spider-Man movie, which is set to be released next year, the writers joked that two hours of Aunt May crying could be great.
On a more serious note, Markus and McFeely said that they are aware the situation poses a problem, as the filming will start soon and fans could be given spoilers as to Spider-Man’s fate. Their suggestion to the fans who wanted to avoid spoilers was to “stay off the internet for a year.”
Where is Sharon Carter?
Sharon Carter is the great niece of S.H.I.E.L.D. founder Peggy Carter. In Captain America films The Winter Soldier and Civil War, her character was presented as a S.H.I.E.L.D agent sent to go undercover as Cap’s neighbor, and sparks began to fly between the two.
So why wasn’t she in the Avengers movie? Well, writers have said that while she was scripted to be in it, they had to take out any scene unrelated to the A-plot, and didn’t have any time to give exposition on her whereabouts since Civil War.
Why didn’t Cap and Natasha get as much screen time?
One thing the fans are wondering about, is why Captain America and Natasha (Black Widow) were given less significant roles than say, Doctor Strange or Iron Man.
The answer is related to the plot, of course. Since Infinity War wiped out half of the Avengers, the ones who are left standing are the ones who will have the more substantial parts in Avengers 4 – as someone will obviously have to save the situation and bring back the rest of our beloved Avengers.
Alternate reality theory
One of the theories regarding Avengers 4, is that the movie will take place in an alternate reality. Using devices (pictured below) possible given to them by Ant-Man’s Hank Pym, the original Avengers will travel to an alternate reality, where they will try to get the infinity stones and a new gauntlet that will allow them to defeat Thanos.
Which shouldn’t be much of a problem, as Thor and Nebula know exactly where to find them.
An iron child
In the beginning of the film, Tony tells his lady love Pepper Potts that he had a dream she was pregnant, which she brushes off without confirming nor denying.
However, Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Potts, has revealed a major spoiler in an interview. “Pepper and Tony have had a real long journey together. She obviously starts as his dutiful assistant, and then the relationship evolves, and now this decade later they’re married, and they have a child,” she said. Sounds to us like there’s an iron baby on the way.
An asgardian distress call
When Thanos attacks the Asgardian ship in the beginning of Infinity War, they send out a distress call into space. This is also the same distress call that the Guardians of the Galaxy later respond to later in the movie.
And if that voice on the distress call sounded familiar to you, it was for good reason – because that was a voice cameo from actor and director Kenneth Branagh, which actually directed the fist Thor movie.
The new Avengers?
At the end of Infinity War, the original Avengers survived, and this might not be by accident. Another theory for Avengers 4 says that the original Avengers will actually sacrifice themselves to save the new Avengers, and thus make way for them to continue the franchise.
This isn’t a stretch considering their contracts are coming to a close, and we still don’t know whether or not they’ll be renewed. We’re hoping this isn’t the case, since they’re way too awesome to go, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Hawkeye and Ronin
In the comics, Hawkeye has an alter-ego named Ronin, which he assumes after his family is murdered. Since Jeremy Renner was spotted in the Ronin getup, there are major speculations that he’ll be appearing as Ronin in Avengers 4, and perhaps even sooner.
Some say he might even appear in the upcoming Ant-Man 2, since in the comics Ronin helps Hank Pym find his missing wife Janet – a character we know will appear in Ant-Man 2 (played by no other than Michelle Pfeiffer).
Was that Cap and Bucky’s reunion?
In the movie, Captain America go to Wakanda – where he meets his long-time friend “Winter Soldier” Bucky Barnes.
At the end of Black Panther, Bucky arrived at Wakanda, and T’Challa and his sister Shuri helped rid his mind from the mental programming HYDRA performed on him to weaponize him. Fans were wondering whether that was Cap and Bucky’s first time meeting since Bucky was cured, but writers said it probably wasn’t, since Cap would’ve visited Wakanda at some point before Infinity War, hiding from the authorities.
Hulk’s appearance on the Asgardian ship
At the opening of the movie, Thanos and his children have taken over the Asgardian ship and destroyed it, while Thor and Loki were left powerless against them.
The Hulk shows up at some point, but fans were asking themselves why he didn’t appear sooner and possibly prevent some of the devastation? Well, the reason for that is solely filmmaking related. The writers wanted to create a dramatic effect for the viewers, and “announce Thanos as the biggest villain in the MCU,” by having him defeat the Hulk relatively easily.
Ross Marquand, who plays Red Skull in the movie, said everything about his role in the movie was extremely secretive.
Not only did he have to sign a non-disclosure agreement not to tell anyone about his involvement in the movie (not even to his The Walking Dead co-star Danai Gurira who also appears in the film), but he also reportedly said the set was so secretive, he never even shared a set with Zoe Saldana or Josh Brolin – with whom he has a scene together.
How Ant-Man can help
In Ant-Man, we were introduced to the Quantum Realm, an alternate dimension that can only be accessed through magical energy or subatomic shrinking – which is what Ant-Man does in the movie.
Time and space are deemed irrelevant in this dimension, which could by the key to how the Avengers will resolve the infinity stone situation. Ant-Man can actually take the infinity stones and move them to the Quantum Realm, thus making sure no one could ever find them again.
Hulk in the trailer
You might remember seeing The Hulk in the trailer for Infinity War, running along with the other Avengers (as pictured below).
But if you recall, The Hulk actually refused to make an appearance at the point of the movie, so he wasn’t actually in this particular scene. Was it all just a big mistake? Of course it wasn’t! The editors purposely put that footage of The Hulk in the trailer, in order to confuse the viewers.
Loki posing as Hulk theory
There’s another theory that says Loki is actually alive and posing as Bruce Banner in the movie. It sounds ridiculous, we know, but it can actually explain several things – like how Bruce perfectly remembered what happened on the Asgardian ship even though he usually doesn’t remember much after taking on his Hulk-form.
It can also explain how he landed in Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum when arriving at earth. If this is true, then Hulk could’ve escaped with Valkyrie before Thanos attacked, which means they could make a surprise appearance.
Why did some characters take longer to dust?
While watching that horrible, awful scene where so many Avengers disintegrated into dust, some fans couldn’t help but wonder why some characters dusted away faster than others.
The snap of Thanos’ fingers was supposed to make them all disappear in a heartbeat (like in the comic book), but their dusting was gradual instead. So why go one at a time? Again, this was all for the dramatic effect. What worked well for the comics wouldn’t be quite as emotional in the movie, which is why it had to be changed.
How powerful is Thor’s Stormbreaker?
Since Thor’s hammer was destroyed, he turned to Eitri – Dwarf King of Nidavellir – to create a new powerful weapon for him.
Eitri created the Stormbreaker for him, and in a climactic battle between him and Thanos, the new weapon managed to slice through the blast of the Infinity Gauntlet. So does that mean Stormbreaker is more powerful than the gauntlet? According to the writers, it only sliced through the power of the gauntlet (and not the gauntlet itself), and that’s probably because they were both made by Eitri’s “dwarf magic”.
The Gauntlet confusion
Eitri tells Thor that Thanos made him create the gauntlet, but then killed everyone on Nidavellir anyway. He says they waited for help from Asgard, which never arrived – and Thor tells him Asgard was destroyed (referring to Thor: Ragnarok).
But that doesn’t make sense, as Thanos was seen to have had the gauntlet before Ragnarok. The writers said the gauntlet was made sometime when Loki was posing as Odin, which can explain why Asgard didn’t come to Nidavellir’s aid (and was probably something that Thor was unaware of).