While we wait for some official details of Avengers 4 to be revealed, fans are hard at work on theories that draw upon clues from previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, for explanation of how Avengers 4 will play out.
One of the latest theories concerns Doctor Strange's role in the conflict between the MCU heroes and Thanos (with his godly Infinity Gauntlet). Specifically, this theories claims that - contrary to what our eyes may have witnessed - Doctor Strange didn't actually die during "The Snap".
"So I’ve been watching all the MCU movies in release order over the past month. I just got to Dr. Strange, and I’ve realized that there’s either a large plot hole in Infinity War, or that Strange in fact did not die in the snap.
In the scene where Strange and The Ancient One converse in astral form, she mentions that no matter how much she peered through time, she could never see past what is taking place at that moment, her death. Strange then backs this up by asking that exact question “you think this is where you die?” This leads me to believe it’s impossible to see a future past your death. Therefore, it would be impossible for Strange to view the 14,000,605 futures unless A) he never died in the snap. Or B) the Russo brothers missed this key detail.
This theory of him not dying, but still turning into dust can support the idea of souls being trapped in the soul stone or quantum realm because if his soul lives he may still be able to see the futures past his “death”
TLDR: The ancient one says you can’t see past your own death, but strange does so in infinity war. Ergo, he didn’t actually die"
This was posted on Reddit, where fans have been digging deep to test its logic.
On the one hand, there is some merit to the idea: fans have been re-examining a lot of what they saw in both Doctor Strange and the Ant-Man films. It's been made clear both films will influence Avengers 4. It's expected that we'll learn the Quantum Realm has much more significance to the MCU than we ever imagined - but this question of seeing the future is also an interesting detail to note.
The theory is far from air-tight, however. As Reddit users note, there are some other explanations for why The Ancient One couldn't see as far ahead as Doctor Strange:
"It's more likely Strange is coming back to life and was able to see past his death because there was a future to see. If the Ancient One comes back in this reality, then it'd be an issue but it's very likely she's permanently dead.If she does come back, it'll probably be in some alternate reality." --darkmasterz8
"I think the Ancient One used the dark dimension’s power to peer through time, where as Strange uses the time stone. I think the time stone has a lot more power over time than the Dark Dimension’s power." -- Ktodd66comments
"This is why the theory is bunked. WHile it is a good one, the time stone would allow him to.... Also, if he comes back in the snap, would he not be able to see that? I would imagine if there was a limit like the Ancient Ones, it would end at your actual, final death, whereas strange is going to comeback post snap." --tbinrbrich
So what do you think: is this small discrepancy something that's going to become a big reveal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp are now available as a digital download as well as on Blu-ray and DVD. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universemovies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.