We're less than a week away from Avengers: Endgame, and what's wild is we really don't know anything about the movie.
I am a very big Marvel movie fan. I've marathoned the whole MCU series twice now! Once for Civil War and again for Infinity War. I am also obsessed with fan theories about these movies.
I've become convinced that Doctor Strange was lying to us for the entirety of Infinity War. I think he was Groundhog Day–ing the whole movie and didn't tell anyone.
After spending almost every waking moment obsessing over these movies, here's how I think Doctor Strange could have pulled a fast one on everyone.
Then Strange gives the Time Stone to Thanos and gets dusted. LOL whoops. See ya later.
The first reason why this makes no sense is because the Ancient One makes an extremely huge deal in the Doctor Strange solo film about the limitations of the Time Stone.
But but but but but! Doctor Strange does figure out a way to maneuver around the Time Stone's death limitations: time loops.
Which means if Doctor Strange is really able to see into a future where the Avengers successfully defeat Thanos, then he would probably would have had to start a time loop before Titan.
So 👏🏻 when 👏🏻 did 👏🏻 the 👏🏻 time 👏🏻 loop 👏🏻 start 👏🏻?
I'd argue the loop starts before we meet him in Infinity War. Based on what we learn in Thor: Ragnarok, there's a very good chance Doctor Strange knew Thanos was coming.
In Ragnarok, we find out that Strange has basically set up an interstellar Google alert for dangerous space lunatics.
So you're telling me a dude who is so paranoid that he throws Loki in an endless pit after less than 10 minutes on Earth is going to be caught off guard by Thanos's murder donut? Nope!
I think the Doctor Strange we see in Infinity War has actually lived the events of Infinity War 14,000,604 times already. We're seeing the end of the loop.
Which would explain a lot of weird behavior, like, for instance, when Doctor Strange finds Tony and Pepper in the park, he says, "Congratulations on the wedding, by the way."
Only problem is, of course, Tony and Pepper only got engaged at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
It would also explain why Doctor Strange doesn't do much fighting in Infinity War. He throws some magic circles at Ebony Maw, but then basically gives up and gets himself get kidnapped.
*Wizard screaming intensifies*
Also, Strange doesn't really seem to care much that Star-Lord acts like a complete asshole and screws up the only real plan the Avengers come up with to defeat Thanos.
So, you're probably wondering what Strange is actually trying to accomplish then. If we're dealing with a Strange who has lived the events of Infinity War 14,000,604 times already, what is he actually up to?
Glad you asked! Luckily, everything we need to know about Strange's actual plan could have been revealed by Heimdall in the first 10 minutes of the movie!
Heimdall's a fascinating character. The Asgardian guard (Asguardian?) of the Bifrost has a unique ability: He's both all-seeing and all-hearing.
Which means that in the scene where Loki is killed by Thanos, Heimdall makes a very conscious choice.
He leaves Thor in space to meet the Guardians of the Galaxy and sends Banner to Earth — literally throwing Banner into Strange's Sanctum!
Thor, staying in space, meets Rocket and Groot, and they go off and build their Thanos-killing ax.
And Banner meets Doctor Strange and learns how the Infinity Stones work.
It's almost as if — hear me out here — there was a not random reason why the two dudes who previously used an Infinity Stone to create Vision end up getting a cosmic PowerPoint presentation from Doctor Strange.
What if all of Infinity War — not just the ending — was actually Doctor Strange just trying to buy enough time to make sure the right people were in the right place.
Thor needed to get to the forge on Nidavellir and build Stormbreaker.
Tony Stark needed to be spared by Thanos.
Bruce Banner needed to get Vision to Shuri, who was possibly able to download Vision's consciousness.
Ant-Man needed to get into the Quantum Realm, where he was most likely protected from the Snap.
And Nick Fury needed to call Captain Marvel.
Also, further adding to the idea that all of Infinity War could be inside of a time loop, the Time Stone is glowing when Strange finally gives it to Thanos.
Compare this to how it looks when Thanos uses it during the Snap 🤔🤔🤔
So what do we see Doctor Strange doing on Titan? I think he's actually messing with the timeline in more interesting ways, like possibly sending a message to Wong in the past because...
...I think the Avengers are going to head back in time to get ahold of the Infinity Stones before Thanos does.
Later in the trailer, they're all wearing their spiffy new suits.
But because Marvel fans are desperately starved for any and all details about the actual plot of Endgame, many of them have built Endgame timelines based on Black Widow's hair in various shots from the trailer.
And based on the Black Widow hair timeline, we're talking at least a span of six months or more between these two shots.
So if the Avengers aren't wearing those suits to go into space, where could they be headed? The Quantum Realm, that's where!
And if you were going to travel into the past to steal Infinity Stones, well, at the Battle of New York, three were present: Loki had the Space Stone and the Mind Stone, and the Time Stone was chilling at the Sanctum Sanctorum on Bleecker Street.
OK, so, TL;DR: Doctor Strange possibly peered into the future before Thanos's Black Order came to New York, started a time loop, Groundhog Day'd the events of Infinity War 14 million times without us knowing, and made sure that Bruce Banner and Tony Stark knew how Infinity Stones worked and that Thor had enough time to build a big ax.
Or all of this is wrong and the plot of Endgame will be super straightforward and there's no time travel. The hype for this movie has ruined my brain. Anyways, please yell at me in the comments.
Ryan Broderick is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York City.