One of the major theories about Avengers: Endgame is that the heroes will somehow attempt to collect the Infinity Stones, thanks to time travel, in order to prevent Thanos from ever snapping in the first place. But what if it's not stones the heroes are attempting to collect, but something far more powerful?
That's the theory that Reddit user webdevnoobs suggests, offering that instead of Infinity Stones, Tony Stark/Iron Man and Steve Rogers/Captain America are specifically attempting to collect the energy signatures of the stones in order to nullify their power, preventing Thanos form using them.
It's an incredibly simple, but very interesting theory, which you can read it in full here, that ties together elements from other Avengers-related stories -- specifically the Avengers Assemble cartoon -- as well as provides an explanation for both the theory that Steve dies in Endgame as well as how Thanos knew who Tony was in Infinity War.
You see, the theory suggests that while capturing the energy signature of the Power Stone on Xandar, the Avengers encounter Thanos. Steve dies in the encounter, but Tony survives. That confrontation explains why Thanos appears to stall a bit in Wakanda -- he's already killed Steve in "the past," so it's a shock to see him again -- and, since he also encountered Tony in "the past," he already knows him on Titan.
The bit about Tony would also explain the "cursed with knowledge" line from Infinity War. By having already encountered the hero in the past, he knows things in that moment that the Tony on Titan doesn't. Sure, he may not have specifics, but it's pretty safe to say that if the Avengers were hopping around time to nerf the Infinity Stones, Thanos would somehow get wind of these intruders from the future and know that's where they came from.
This theory about the energy signatures also works to carve a place for Captain Marvel in Endgame. It's possible that Captain Marvel absorbs the energy of the stones, putting her in an excellent position to take down the Mad Titan. After all, Captain Marvel may be the best equipped in terms of power to harness their energy.
Whatever the actual course of action the heroes take in Avengers: Endgame, fans will find out for sure when the film opens in theaters April 26.
So, what do you think about this theory? Let us know if you think this is how things will play out in Endgame or if you have a better idea in the comments below.