Avengers: Endgame will turn cinemas across the globe to dust on 26 April (25 April for pre-screenings) and we simply can’t wait for the film that will finish off the MCU phase 3 and clocks in at just over 3 hours. The Avengers will very likely defeat Thanos in the end, or at the very least reverse the effects of the snap that destroyed half of all life in the universe. Thanos is the most powerful foe shown in the MCU so far and with the Infinity Gauntlet (and all the Infinity Stones), he is a god-like being that could match the power of the Living Tribunal.
So how could Earth’s mightiest heroes ever even hope to defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, especially with their diminished ranks? That’s what I will discuss with you today. Keep in mind that this is all fan-theory and shouldn’t be taken as gospel at all. Further, this is the MCU we are talking about and not the comic book canon specifically, as Marvel could very well change things up quite a lot.
Spoiler Warning: There are some spoilers for Captain Marvel as well as Infinity War in this article, so turn back now if you haven’t had a chance to watch either of the films yet.
There could also be a combination of these ways to defeat Thanos so these aren’t mutually exclusive. Some of the theories are also more unlikely to happen than others, so I’ve given an indication in each regarding how likely I think these ways to defeat Thanos are to appear in some form or another in Avengers: Endgame.
The Stark Gauntlet
Likelihood – Great
Did you know that in the Comics, Tony Stark was the first human to wield the Infinity Gauntlet? Tony’s return to earth has also been confirmed thanks to the new trailers and he will surely play a massive role in Endgame, either sacrificing himself (more on that later) or maybe even building his own version of the Infinity Gauntlet, or both.
The Avengers will need to have all the stones and use them in some way in order to reverse the snap. However, the Infinity Gauntlet is one of a kind (unless you go into the multiverse theory where there is one in Universe 616 and even then, it wouldn’t work in the MCU universe, because rules). So a great theory is that Tony will create the Stark Gauntlet. Combined with time travel, the Avengers could gather all the stones and use them in the Stark Gauntlet to defeat Thanos and get all their friends back.
However, there is a problem. The Infinity Gauntlet was crafted by the dwarfs of Nidavellir and made of a metal called Uru, something Tony will likely not have access to. Even so, maybe the Stark Gauntlet could be made of Vibranium, possibly strong enough for one-time use. In the official Avengers: Endgame trailer, we also saw Hawkeye in a facility with an explosion and looking closely, some of Thanos’ minions were in that explosion. The theory here is that Hawkeye and the rest of the Avengers will try to hold off Thanos’ minions until Tony completes his work on the Stark Gauntlet.
Lastly, throughout the MCU films, we’ve seen Tony having a bit of pain in his shoulder. Could this all be in some kind of time loop where he uses the Stark Gauntlet, injures his arm, but because time travel is so damn complicated, he might not know why his shoulder is injured. Sure, it is deep and complicated, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from the final film for the MCU phase 3.
Likelihood – All But Confirmed
One of the most prominent theories out there is that time travel will be used in order to defeat Thanos and undo the effects of his snap. When Dr Strange handed over the Time Stone to Thanos on Titan, he sealed the fate of the Avengers after searching through time and space and finding there is only one instance where they defeat the Mad Titan.
We don’t know what Dr Strange saw, but it is basically a certainty that time travel will be used in some way or another. Maybe, the Avengers get their hands on the Time Stone, but a more likely theory is that Ant-Man and the Quantum Realm will play an extremely important role. We saw Ant-Man arrive at the Avengers headquarters so he did manage to make his way out of the Quantum Realm in some way after the events of Ant-Man and Wasp.
If Scott Lang can use his ability to travel through the Quantum Realm to send the Avengers back in time before Thanos collects all the Infinity Stones, that would make things a whole lot easier than a straight up fight. In a wide-cut of one of the Endgame trailers, we also saw Mobile Laboratory created by Hank Pym in Ant-Man’s hand, which means it will very likely come into play as a way for the Avengers to travel back in time.
Straight up Fisticuffs
Likelihood – Unlikely
It all depends on what Marvel wants to do with Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. Let’s face it, Captain Marvel is technically just an “Inhuman” and sure, she is extremely strong as depicted in the latest Marvel film, but can she defeat Thanos? In the latest trailer, Carol confidently said: “because before, you didn’t have me” when asked how their upcoming battle against Thanos would be any different from that in Infinity War, where they lost, badly.
The thing is, Captain Marvel stands absolutely zero chance against Thanos in a straight up fight while he is in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet and all six Infinity Stones. He could literally turn her into a small rock with the Reality Stone, teleport the rock to the Stone Age under a T-Rex’ foot with the Time and Space Stones without breaking a sweat.
So how would a straight up fight go down? Well, it won’t, not in favour of the Avengers. However, in combination with time-travel, some of the most powerful Avengers could possibly wield an Infinity Stone, such as the Power Stone on Hulk (or Professor Hulk *winks*) to boost their abilities to new heights. A combined strike after retrieving a few of the Infinity Stones might just give them a fighting chance against the Mad Titan and if this occurs, I predict that Nebula will be the one to take the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos’ hand.
Likelihood – Great
Someone will have to die in Avengers: Endgame, making the ultimate sacrifice and the reason for that is simple. If the Avengers do plan on using all the Infinity Stones to bring back their friends, they will need to control the Soul Stone as well. As we learned in Infinity War when Thanos sacrificed the one thing he loved (Gamora) to gain control of the Soul Stone, that is the requirement for using it.
It is as simple as that and there is no way around it. Therefore, there will very likely be a sacrifice in Endgame. Who will make the ultimate sacrifice is still very much up for debate, but in my mind, it will be Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. It makes a lot of sense as the Endgame marks the end of Chris Evans’ time in the MCU according to multiple reports. Further, Bucky Barnes is primed to take over the role of Captain America as well.
Playing on the theory of the Stark Gauntlet, it very likely wouldn’t be Iron Man to make the sacrifice, but I am sure he will offer himself. Things are a little misty concerning actor contracts as Marvel likes to keep information like that close to the vest. However, Robert Downey also seems to be at the end of his contract with no information about an extension. There could definitely be multiple deaths of fan-favourite characters during Endgame but one thing is nearly certain; Someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to defeat Thanos. The stakes in Endgame are extremely high and as Robert Downey Jr says in the video below, no one will be able to guess what happens…
Likelihood – Almost Zero
Captain Marvel’s cat, Goose (first named Chewie in the comics) is a frighteningly powerful alien being with tentacles and the ability to travel through space and time thanks to pocket dimensions in its mouth, not to mention it has tentacles. So, bare with me here, what if Goose is the key to defeating Thanos. Sounds crazy right? Yes, yes it does, but in Captian Marvel, we did see that Goose could hold the Tesseract in its pocket dimension and later in the post-credit scene, Goose spit it out like it was a furball. The Tesseract, for those who don’t know, contained the Space Stone and if any human (or even some Avengers) touched it, they would be obliterated, or get thrown into space like “poor” old Redskull was in the first Captain America film.
It is, therefore, well established that Goose can handle an Infinity Stone and is one of the very few characters in the MCU that can without devastating negative consequences. For those who don’t know, Flerkens come from Earth-58163 in the Marvel comic book universe and they are extremely powerful. In the comics, Chewie laid 117 eggs and 117 Flerken kittens hatched from them. More than two decades have also passed between the Captain Marvel film and Infinity War, which means Goose could have over a hundred, full-grown children by now. That’s a whole lot of pocket dimensions and tentacles.
These little bundles of “joy” could very well be used to hide the Infinity Stones while Tony works on the Stark Gauntlet as mentioned in the first theory of this article. I would be awesome to see Goose play an important role and I, for one, can’t wait to see the expression on Rocket’s face when he finally meets Goose in the MCU.
With the likelihood of this last way to defeat Thanos being so low, one might wonder why I even bothered adding this theory. Well, because cats (sorry, Flerkens) are awesome and I would completely nerd out if that was to happen in Avengers: Endgame.
How do you think the Avengers will be able to defeat Thanos? Share your theories with us in the comment section below.