Time travel is a slippery concept in Avengers: Endgame and fans are still asking questions about what havoc the movie created on different timelines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One hysterical meme on Reddit captures how fans are processing the fact that Hulk taking the Time Stone to the future left the past unguarded. The Ancient One is doing her best back at the Battle of New York, but viewers know there is greater looming evil to come in that timeline.
Dormammu was trapped in the Dark Dimension by Doctor Strange in the final battle of his movie long before the events of Avengers: Endgame. After Hulk talks with The Ancient One during the quest to undo Thanos' snap, he high-tails hit back to the present with the Time Stone and leaves the past completely unguarded until Captain America can come back and place the stone back where it belongs. Got all of that? This movie is a bit of a pretzel. Some Redditors with a sharp sense of humor clued in on this small detail and decided to deploy the perfect meme for the occasion.
An image of rapper Baby rubbing his hands together in anticipation while looking outside a window is the pristine encapsulation of how Dormammu must have felt. He realized that he could basically waltz back to Earth with little opposition this time. Doctor Strange and the sanctums he helps protect were the only things in the way, and now that they're gone it would be open season.
Avengers: Endgame is stuffed with weighty scenes, most fans will probably point to the deaths of Black Widow or Iron Man as their choice for the most impactful. Both fine options, but there's no arguing that conversation between Hulk and The Ancient One actually sets more in motion than you realize. An exchange on that rooftop lays the groundwork for most of the events in the second half of Endgame, and on the movie's feature commentary track, the writers and directors explain what makes that sequence so important.
Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors Joe and Anthony Russo break down every scene from Endgame on the feature commentary, including this exchange between Hulk and Ancient One. The scene served the purpose of clarifying time travel for the audience, according to Markus, but it was necessary to make the rest of the film fall into place.
"Another scene that took a lot of rejiggering and jiggering," said Markus. "To make things complicated things clear and clear enough so that people could track why certain decisions are made later."
The scene shifts when Banner tells Ancient One that Doctor Strange gave up the Time Stone to Thanos willingly and she realizes that he had to have had a reason to do so, changing her mind. It's this part of the scene that the creators argue makes the rest of it fall into place. Joe Russo referred to it as "the turning point of the scene."
"It sends you back to the previous movie reminding you about where we're headed," said McFeely. "The 14 million futures that Doctor Strange looked at."1comments
"And that if this is how, why she is, that if Strange were to give that stone away willingly, that there would be purpose behind that action, and that perhaps the purpose of that action was for her in this moment," added Joe Russo. "This scene paints the stakes for motivating Cap to return at the end of the movie."
"To do something other than what she thinks she should do. She, if you remember in Doctor Strange, could never see past her own death, so she has to take his word for it," McFeely said.