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This Avengers: Endgame Theory Could Reveal the True Meaning Behind Doctor Strange’s Cryptic Final Line

2 minute read

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

The final battle in Avengers: Endgame saw Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, wear the Infinity Gauntlet to defeat Thanos once and for all. But the question of whether or not the Avengers would come out on top was apparently up in the air right until that very moment.

As our team of superheroes fought for their lives at the site of the destroyed Avengers compound, Tony turned to Doctor Strange to ask him if what was happening was in line with the one outcome in 14 million in which Strange saw the Avengers defeat Thanos and his army.

“If I tell you what happens, it won’t happen,” Strange responds.

After Endgame hit theaters, there was something of a debate among viewers over what exactly the Doctor was trying to say. But now, one Reddit user has taken it upon themselves to provide a possible explanation as to the true meaning behind Strange’s words.

Basically, the Redditor theorizes that while Strange was exploring all 14,000,605 possible futures in Infinity War, he tested a few out in which he told Tony what needed to happen to see if he could save his life by doing so. Unfortunately, he discovered that there was no scenario in which the Avengers were victorious that didn’t also result in Tony’s death.

Strange keeps searching. He runs through a few thousand more scenarios with one objective in mind, and that’s to save Tony’s life…He gets down to the last straw. ‘What if I just tell him?’ he thinks. Tony was smart enough to invent time travel. Maybe if I tell him, he can figure out some way to keep the Gauntlet from Thanos so that he doesn’t have to give up his future with his little girl. But none of it works. There’s only one way.

That’s when Strange wakes up from his Time Stone trance. And when he wakes up again, five years later, it’s with grim and heartbroken determination that he sets foot on the battlefield. His heart sinks when Tony asks him about the 1 in 14,000,605 chance. ‘If I tell you what happens, it won’t happen,’ he says.

Strange knows. He tried it.

R.I.P. Iron Man. Somehow your death is even sadder now.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com