A fan theory, which was most recently shared by Instagram user dc.marvel.jpg, suggests that Thanos (Josh Brolin) wasn't completely able to attack the MCU's established heroes, because Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Ego (Kurt Russell), and The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) would have stopped him in one way or another.
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Admittedly, there are some holes in this theory, but it does have a pretty interesting notion behind it. While the offscreen events that brought Thanos to the stones — forcing Eitri to create the Infinity Gauntlet, destroying Xandar, etc — would have probably drawn the attention of these three characters, there's the question of whether or not they would have been able to do anything about it.
In Ego's case, it can be argued that he maybe wouldn't have wanted to meddle in Thanos' actions, only doing so if it would have interfered with his own "Expansion" across the universe. And while The Ancient One and those at the various Sanctums would have been alerted to the threat, it's unclear what kind of difference her presence would have made in the fight against Thanos.
In regard to Odin, the chain of events surrounding his death in Thor: Ragnarok might have still led to Thanos' rise to power, seeing as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) had been impersonating his father since Thor: The Dark World.
"[When] we left Loki, he kind of achieved his goals, he became the king of Asgard, and he is ruling that place." MCU producer Brad Winderbaum explained before Ragnarok was released. "And what we come to learn, what Thor comes to learn early on, is that there's a lot of terrible things in the cosmos that just shouldn't be that way. And we learn that Odin was doing far more than it seemed on the surface to keep the universe safe."
"There were all these threats that he had quelled or was keeping at bay, using his strength and power to do so, that Loki was completely unprepared for," Winderbaum continued. "So he becomes the King of Asgard, everything is great, it's a good party. But he failed to realize the threats that were just over the horizon."
Either way, the MCU is where it is today, with the forthcoming Avengers 4 only set to shake things up even more.
"[Avengers 4] doesn't do what you think it does," Infinity War and Avengers 4 co-writer Christopher Markus said earlier this year. "It is a different movie than you think it is...Also…[the deaths are] real. I just want to tell you it's real, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to move on to the next stage of grief."
"Put it this way," co-writer Stephen McFeely echoed. "I think [Infinity War] is a fairly mature movie for a blockbuster. It's got a lot of fun in it, obviously, but boy, it gets very mature. The second one is also mature. We're going to own these choices, and hopefully surprise and delight you and get you invested. It's by the same studio, the same filmmaking team. They were written at the same time, shot at the same time. They're clearly connected, but they are definitely two different movies, one of which is dependent on what happened previous."
What do you think of this Infinity War fan theory? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital platforms, DVD, and Blu-ray. Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters now. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019; the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019; and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.