In Avengers: Infinity War, when Thanos snapped away half of all life in the universe, he saw a vision. Thanos went to Soul World, the world within the Soul Stone, and saw young Gamora. The vision was brief, but it raises a question about Avengers: Endgame. Both Hulk and Iron Man use the power of the Infinity Stones on separate occasions in Endgame. Where were their visions?
One Reddit user, u/comrade_batman, has a theory. Thanos saw a vision of Gamora because he went to Vormir and sacrificed Gamora himself to get the Soul Stone. Hulk and Iron Man didn’t make that pilgrimage and don’t understand the nature of the Infinity Stones the way Thanos does. Hence, no trip to Soul World.
The Reddit post goes into more details. It reads:
“I think the reason why Thanos was the only one who was transported to Soulworld when he Snapped, was because he was the only one to actually sacrifice that which he loved.
He went to Vormir and sacrificed Gamora for the Stone, which he why he had a vision for her in the Soulworld, because he understood the Stone’s need, in having to lose his daughter.
Smart Hulk and Tony however did not truly understand the Stone. While the did use the combined powers of the Infinity Stones, just as Thanos did, they didn’t have to personally sacrifice anyone for the Soul Stone. It was Clint who had to lose Natasha to obtain the Soul Stone.
Red Skull’s words to Thanos were ‘Soul holds a special place among the Infinity Stones. You might say, it is a certain wisdom...To ensure that whoever possesses it understands its power, the stone demands a sacrifice...in order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love. A soul for a soul.’ Clint was the one who went through that in Endgame, not Smart Hulk or Tony, Clint was the one to make the sacrifice, to understand the Stone’s power, just like Thanos, and collect it.
If Clint had been the one to Snap then I think he’d have a similar vision with Natasha, seeing her one last time, like with Thanos and Gamora.”
It is possible that Hulk and Iron Man did visit Soul World but that those scenes did not appear in the film. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said that they planned a Soul World scene for Tony, where he’d see his daughter, Morgan, as an adult. They cut the scene, so whether it counts as canon is questionable.
There's also an argument that this theory gets the idea of sacrifice wrong. Yes, Hawkeye was the only other person present for Black Widow’s death, but the other Avengers felt that loss. Hulk makes it clear that he tried to resurrect Widow when he used the Stones. And Tony sacrificed himself in using the Stones.
What do you think of this Avengers: Endgame theory? Let us know in the comments.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters with added footage. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2nd.