The emotional and shocking ending of Avengers: Infinity War may have left the audience speechless but there was one particular scene concerning Doctor Strange that warrants clarification.
Be warned that major spoilers lie ahead and it would be best to turn away right now unless you are coming back from the theater.
In the beginning of the movie, the Sorcerer Supreme made it clear that he will not think twice about sacrificing anyone when it comes to protecting the Time Stone from Thanos. However, when confronting the Mad Titan on his home planet, Doctor Strange willingly traded the Time Stone to save Iron Man from certain death.
There have been several questions raised about this change of heart. Thanos actually went on to obtain all of the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers to immediately turn half of all life in the universe to dust. Hence, why did Doctor Strange hand over the Time Stone so easily when everyone (including him) was ready to face death in order to curb a cosmic genocide?
Before Thanos arrived on his home planet, Doctor Strange used the Time Stone to see into millions of possible future outcomes. There was only one where the good guys came out winning. This permutation, though, was never revealed for the audience.
It was thought at first that Doctor Strange gave up the Time Stone because the one future where Thanos is defeated requires him to have all of the Infinity Stones. The problem with this theory is that the Mad Titan would have obtained the Time Stone regardless. It seems highly unlikely that anyone would have been able to stop him in his tracks. Even the Hulk received a good amount of thrashing at his hands.
Hence, the other theory that would make more sense is that the one future where Thanos is defeated requires Iron Man to stay alive. This must be why Doctor Strange immediately handed over the Time Stone when Thanos was inches away from killing Iron Man.
The good guys lost heavily in Avengers: Infinity War. So how do they make a comeback in the sequel? Before being turned to dust, Doctor Strange told Iron Man that “there was no other way” and mentioned a cryptic “endgame” for the survivors.
Since Doctor Strange and the Time Stone are out of the formula, there is no way for anyone to use ancient magic to turn back time and rewrite history. However, there is the possibility that Iron Man, as genius as he is, has the technology and means to create a time machine. Perhaps this is why his existence is all that matters in the bigger picture.
Avengers: Infinity War is now running in theaters worldwide and will open in China on May 11. The untitled sequel, presently dubbed Avengers 4, is slated to premiere on May 3, 2019.