With Avengers: Endgame on the horizon, fans have been tirelessly calculating what could potentially happen in the final movie in the Infinity Saga. There's so much to parse about what's next for the world's mightiest heroes, how Phase 4 will shape up, and who (if anyone) will end up being revived after being snapped into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. It's a good thing we're only a couple of days away from seeing it all come to fruition.
Until then, there are some pretty intriguing theories floating around on the Internet of ways Thanos could be defeated — and how the culmination of 10 years of fictional heroics and game-changing filmmaking will go down.
Thanos may still demand your silence when it comes to spoilers, but here are some of the craziest — and most plausible — Avengers: Endgame fan theories out there.
Warning: Avengers: Infinity War spoilers ahead!
Hawkeye is handing down his role to a newcomerGiphy
There's a brief moment in the full-length Avengers: Endgame trailer in which Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) appears to be teaching a young woman how to fire a bow. It could be Clint's daughter Lila, who was first introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron, though her rapid age progression doesn't quite fit the timeline. Some fans are confident that it could indeed be Kate Bishop, who ends up taking on the role of Hawkeye in the comics. This could be setting the stage for Bishop to take over in any future Avengers movies — and with a Hawkeye-centric series coming to Disney+ as a potential origin story for Bishop, this theory gains even more plausibility. Plus, Kate Bishop is rad as hell.
There's another Infinity Stone somewhereGiphy
This theory is grounded in truth, as there is a seventh Infinity Stone seen in the Avengers comic books. While it was used only once in a crossover comic, it's still technically canon, even though we haven't heard a peep out of Marvel about it. But that's part of what makes this theory crazy enough to work. It's called the Ego Gem, and it contains the essence of an omnipotent being named Nemesis. When Nemesis grew tired of existing, she decided she'd essentially "sprinkle" herself throughout two universes, with a piece of herself imbued in the shattered remains. Fans believe that the Avengers could come into the possession of some serious power in the form of the Ego Gem — with Captain Marvel wielding it. Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe, so it makes sense that she'd be able to use it not just to defeat Thanos, but to undo the immense havoc the Infinity Gauntlet wreaked in Avengers: Infinity War.
Loki didn't actually dieGiphy
Fans thought they had to mourn when Loki was stabbed by Thanos, but that may not have been the case. Some theories indicate that since Loki attempted to stab Thanos with his left hand instead of his right — he's consistently been presented as right-handed throughout the films — we may have been looking at some sort of projection or mirrored version of him, meaning the real Loki could still be alive and well.
It's certainly plausible, given Loki's "trickster" personality and prowess when it comes to subterfuge. Not to mention, he also has a Disney+ series in the works – though that doesn't have to run in a concurrent timeline.
There's an alternate universeGiphy
We've all been laboring under the delusion that those dusted by Thanos in Infinity War were dead, when it's possible they could simply have been sent to another universe. One Redditor suggested that those seemingly lost in the battle with Thanos were simply sent to an alternate universe — potentially one located within an Infinity Stone (that's another theory entirely) — where their memories were wiped. So there's actually a chance that they've been stumbling around blissfully unaware of what happened to them all this time.
The theory goes that the Marvel franchise as a whole could continue from here with the heroes in the other universe. If that were to end up being true, it would make for some interesting new ideas for future filmmakers.
The Soul Stone contains all of the supposed deadGiphy
The Soul Stone is a bit of a mystery. It wasn't revealed until Thanos ended up sacrificing Gamora, who we know now as one of the only things his cold heart ever loved (in his own unique way). Though Thanos wakes up with the Infinity Stone in-hand, we're not quite sure how he obtained the Soul Stone to complete it. Seeing that the movie conveniently skipped over this part, some theorize that Gamora didn't die, but instead became the Soul Stone. In fact, half of the universe that Thanos "killed" could be trapped inside the stone. Because like its name implies, the Soul Stone harbors souls.
The Soul Stone is said to be sentient, and can trap lost souls inside in a world that feels, looks, and seems for all intents and purposes real. This is the Soul World, a plane where a character named Adam Warlock, who has yet to make his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dwelt for a long time in the comics. He eventually even brought Gamora there — so it would make perfect sense that not only is Gamora in the Soul World, but so are the rest of the people that faded into dust.
Nick Fury has been planning Thanos's demise all alongGiphy
Nick Fury always appears to be one step ahead of the Avengers themselves, like Morpheus to their Neo. We know he was snapped at the end of Avengers: Infinity War along with half of the universe's population, but fans think he might still have some sort of plan cooking. That's what he does, after all. He solves problems and puts things in motion. It's possible that the Captain Marvel film was used as a catalyst to set up young Nick Fury as one important cornerstone of the entire Thanos conflict — meaning he's always known Thanos would be coming and has been planning for his arrival ever since.
The theory goes that Nick Fury somehow saw the future or some of the future's events after Thanos's arrival on Earth — perhaps tipped off by a time-traveling Doctor Strange — which gave him a reason to begin the Avengers initiative in the first place. That would certainly explain why he always appears to have the answers, even when Earth's mightiest heroes do not. He's oddly prescient about things, almost to an eerie degree — so it could mean that he's been assembling the Avengers to defeat Thanos since the ’90s. We just have to trust him and watch it all come together.
Avengers: Endgame is headed to theaters on April 26.