What happened after Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of all the life in the universe? How are all those Avengers going to come back into the fold before their upcoming sequels? Who or what will finally defeat Thanos and bring peace to the universe?
Next summer, we will finally have those questions answered when the freshly titled Avengers: Endgame comes along to break a new bunch of box office records. But in the meantime, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been so desperate to know what happens in the forthcoming sequel that they’ve been trying to figure it out themselves.
The first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, released just a few days ago, has already broken its predecessor Avengers: Infinity War’s record for the most viewed movie trailer – and it’s thrown a lot of new fuel on the fan theory bonfire. Since it has offered fans a first glimpse at the fourth Avengers movie and teased a lot of unexpected plot points, fans have been readjusting their fan theories to suit some of the lines and scenes in the trailer. They have also formulated some new ones based on the snippets of information offered in those long-awaited two and a half minutes of footage. Some things are still left a mystery by the trailer – there’s still no sign of Captain Marvel, for example – but there are also plenty of juicy details in there to get us excited about the movie.
Here are 20 New Fan Theories Now That The Trailer Has Dropped.
20 Pepper Potts comes to Titan to save Tony
The Avengers: Endgame trailer opens with Tony Stark stranded on Titan, accepting that he might not make it much longer. He leaves a message for Pepper Potts, to whom he has just gotten engaged, seemingly because he thinks he’s about to pass away.
However, one fan theory claims that Pepper will play a huge part in his rescue. A leaked set photo shows Gwyneth Paltrow in her own Iron Man armor (or maybe just a hi-tech space suit), so maybe she dons his Iron Man tech and flies out to save him. That would explain why a lot of the voiceover narration in the trailer is directed at her – she’s one of the movie’s main characters!
19 The Thanos scarecrow is symbolic
An article on IGN has suggested that the Thanos scarecrow could be symbolic of how Thanos has “left his old life behind.” They think he’s had enough of eliminating billions of people and being a fearsome dictator and simply wants to live out a peaceful existence.
However, whether or not Thanos has changed his mind about being an evil tyrant, he has done some awful things and a lot of the Avengers are unhappy with him over it, so they can’t exactly just call it equal and put it all behind them. So, even if the Mad Titan is now the Peaceful Titan, the universe is still full of people who want him gone.
18 Thor will build an army in Alfheim
So far in the MCU, we’ve been to eight of the Nine Realms, so it stands to reason that Thor will finally visit that final realm in Avengers: Endgame. We’ve seen plenty of Asgard and Midgard (which is Earth), obviously, but we’ve also been to all but one of the other Nine Realms.
We saw Jotunheim in Thor, Svartalfheim and Vanaheim in Thor: The Dark World, Niflheim in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Muspelheim in Thor: Ragnarok, and Nidavellir in Avengers: Infinity War. One theory suggests Thor will build an army in Alfheim with the last surviving Asgardians and rally them against Thanos. Whether or not this is the case, Alfheim will still likely be involved in some way.
17 Tony Stark will pass away
The majority of the Avengers: Endgame trailer is dedicated to Tony Stark recording a farewell message with what seems to be his dying breath. We know that the plan with Endgame is to simultaneously end the story of the original Avengers team (Iron Man, Cap, Thor etc.) and begin the story of a new one (Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange etc.).
Ending off Tony Stark would be the clearest way to reboot the MCU and tell viewers that a new chapter of the story is beginning, because he’s been there since the very beginning in 2008’s Iron Man. Bringing the longest-running MCU story arc to an end would be the best way to signify the franchise moving forward.
16 Shuri’s disappearance will play a huge role
The end of Infinity War left Shuri’s fate unclear. She seemed to survive the battle in Wakanda, but was never seen after Thanos’ snap. Months ago, the Russo brothers said they couldn’t reveal anything about Shuri to avoid “spoiling” Avengers: Endgame, so we already know she’s an important part of the story. Letitia Wright, the actress who plays her, has been a big hit with critics and audiences and Disney has already started pushing her as the latest official Disney princess, so it adds up that she’ll take a bigger role.
As Bruce Banner scrolls through the headshots of all the missing heroes – Peter Parker, Scott Lang etc. – he looks contemplatively at Shuri’s image as if it is important. Given how carefully the producers select the clips to use in their trailers, that has to be more than just a coincidence.
15 Hawkeye is a Skrull
Now that the new Captain Marvel trailer has confirmed the Skrulls have invaded Earth and started impersonating humans, some fans believe that Hawkeye is a Skrull, explaining the new dark turn he’s taken when we catch up with him in the Avengers: Endgame trailer. He’s either been a deep-cover Skrull this whole time or he has just been taken over and brought to Japan with a new costume and a new bad attitude.
It would be a cool way to bring in an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-esque angle to the MCU and also to make Hawkeye a more interesting character. Still, it feels more like a storyline from Lost than a Marvel superhero movie.
14 Pepper Potts exacts revenge on Thanos
There has long been a theory that Tony Stark will die in Avengers: Endgame, because Robert Downey, Jr.’s contract is up and he’s already signed on to a new franchise playing Dr. Dolittle as well as committing to continuing his Sherlock Holmes series. So, it seems pretty clear that Avengers O.G. Iron Man won’t be making it to the end of the fourth movie.
Building on this, one theory – based on Tony’s message to Pepper in the trailer and the leaked set photo of Gwyneth Paltrow in Iron Man gear – goes that Tony passes away in Endgame and Pepper avenges him by taking his place as Iron Man and going after Thanos.
13 Thanos will achieve redemption
In the comics, Thanos eventually achieved redemption as he teamed up with Adam Warlock – whose MCU debut has already been teased in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – to form the Infinity Watch with the goal of preventing anyone else from ever wielding the Infinity Gauntlet and creating the same level of destruction he did.
An IGN article sees the Thanos scarecrow – the fact that he has hung up his armor – as a sign that he might go from villain to hero over the course of Endgame. We did see some hesitation during some of his acts in Infinity War, like sending Gamora to her end, suggesting he’s not completely cold-hearted and evil after all.
12 Hawkeye is now Ronin
Based on his new get-up, it seems from the Endgame trailer that Clint Barton is no longer Hawkeye, the laughing stock of the Avengers, but has rather emerged from his Infinity War absence as the way cooler Ronin. That would explain his new costume, location, and ice-cool demeanor.
In the comics, Ronin is a New Avengers character (which makes him a perfect addition for this movie, the passing of the torch from the O.G. Avengers to the MCU’s own new Avengers team). The name has been taken by Maya Lopez, Alexei Shostakov, and Eric Brooks in addition to Barton, so Jeremy Renner will be able to step down from the franchise any time he wants.
11 Scott Lang can use the Quantum Realm at his convenience
The leading theory about the characters who disappeared when Thanos snapped his fingers has been that they’re in the Quantum Realm. Scott Lang is the only character who has the technology to enter the Quantum Realm at will and has willingly gone in there. At the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott is stranded there when all of his friends turn to dust.
However, in the Endgame trailer, he’s knocking on the front door of the Avengers’ headquarters, so he clearly made it out of there. Maybe he finds he’s not actually stuck there, despite the fact he’s lost communication with his buddies, and he is able to jump in and out of the Quantum Realm at his convenience.
10 Thanos is a farmer inside the Soul Stone
The Thanos scarecrow shot in the trailer is a direct reference to a panel in the “Infinity Gauntlet” comic book storyline. In that storyline, he had hung up his armor and begun a life as a farmer. Perhaps that’s what he’ll be doing with his life inside the Soul Stone when we meet him in Endgame.
Farming would not exactly be the most interesting thing to watch someone do in an epic-scale comic book blockbuster extravaganza, so maybe this isn’t the turn the character will take. However, based on the fact that the scarecrow has been taken directly from the comics and the Russo brothers are usually pretty precious about the source material, it could happen.
9 Ant-Man and Doctor Strange will team up to save the Avengers
Since Doctor Strange is the only one who knows how everything’s supposed to pan out after he hand-picked the Avengers’ victory from 14 million scenarios and Ant-Man seems to be the only one who can flit in and out of the Quantum Realm and alternate realities, one fan theory claims they will form an alliance and save the Avengers together.
We’ve seen some interesting pairings in the past few MCU movies as they’ve all crossed over with one another: Thor and the Hulk, Spider-Man and Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther. Perhaps the next one will be the clash of the sarcastic wit of Scott Lang and the sharp cynicism of Stephen Strange.
8 Hawkeye family is gone – and not from the Decimation
The scene in Age of Ultron that revealed Hawkeye’s wife and kids was a little out of the left field, but maybe it was just the setup for a darker turn in the character’s arc in response to criticism that he’s the dullest and most useless Avenger.
Hawkeye’s sudden transformation into Ronin could be because his family is gone. In the comics, he took on the Ronin (which means a lone warrior) alias when his family was gone. One theory goes that that’s what happened here, except they didn’t pass in the Decimation – they passed away long before. That’s why he was absent from the whole of Infinity War and why he’s become so dark and gritty all of a sudden.
7 Ant-Man’s reappearance is a ruse
One of the biggest shockers in the Avengers: Endgame trailer is the ending, where it appears as though Ant-Man has escaped from the Quantum Realm and is ringing the doorbell at the Avengers’ HQ. However, one theory suggests the trailer has been edited to mislead us about this, because the video has an “Archive” label in the corner, suggesting it’s an old recording, despite what Captain America and Black Widow might say in a separate shot about it happening in the present.
Some fans also think they can see “1983” written on the video, suggesting time travel back to the ‘80s, but others say the marking looks closer to a code like “IS83.”
6 Nebula will end Thanos
Nebula is only featured briefly in the Avengers: Endgame trailer, but the sunlight motif continuing from Infinity War seems to suggest she’ll play a large role in defeating Thanos. Plus, it just seems to be the natural conclusion of their dysfunctional family’s story arc.
Thanos raised Gamora and Nebula. Then Gamora turned against Thanos and ran away, while Nebula stuck around to serve the Mad Titan. Then Gamora and Nebula crossed paths again and they were enemies. However, then Nebula realized what a bad dude Thanos was and joined forces with Gamora. Then Thanos had Gamora eliminated to get the Soul Stone. So, the next logical step would be: Nebula ends Thanos.
5 Steve Rogers will pass away
Chris Evans has already confirmed his exit from the MCU and said his farewells to the franchise months ago. The filmmakers will have a hard time getting rid of Steve Rogers from the MCU forever without writing him off in Endgame, so that seems to be the way it’s going. He even teases it in the trailer when he’s debating whether or not a plan will work with Black Widow and he says, “I don’t what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.”
The Russo brothers have said that there will be plenty more Steve Rogers in the MCU to throw people off the assumption that he’ll go, but then these are the same guys who told everyone flat-out that Avengers 4 would not be called Endgame, so...
4 The title refers to Doctor Strange’s plan
This seems to be the first time that there is a deeper, hidden meaning in the title of an MCU movie. When Doctor Strange ran through 14 million outcomes of the Infinity War and said the Avengers only won in one single reality, he told Tony Stark they were in the “endgame.” Tony had already used the term “endgame” to refer to the threat of being wiped out by an alien force.
Now that Avengers: Endgame has been revealed as the film’s title by the trailer, it’s clear that Doctor Strange giving up the Time Stone to Thanos and the Decimation and everything else that seemed to go wrong was actually all a part of Strange’s plan.
3 Ant-Man will take the Avengers into the Quantum Realm
One thing some fans missed about Scott Lang’s reappearance at the Avengers’ HQ is that he’s standing next to Luis’ van – the van with the tunnel into the Quantum Realm where he was stranded at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Since the Quantum Realm is outside tangible reality, it seems to be exempt from the effects of the Decimation. So, one theory suggests he’s driven the van to the Avengers’ HQ so he can take the surviving Avengers into the Quantum Realm with him to save everybody else.
2 Thanos is already gone
What if Thanos was never supposed to go inside the Soul Stone and is actually trapped there because he ended himself with his own destructive finger snap? One fan theory suggests that while fans are expecting Endgame to be about the Avengers’ struggle to defeat the Mad Titan, maybe he’s already gone.
It would be sort of Shakespearean for this power-crazed tyrant to have become too powerful for his own good and flew too close to the Sun on wings of power. However, it would give the Avengers no one to fight in this movie – unless Thanos is revealed to be gone in the first five minutes. Then suddenly Adam Warlock shows up and the incomplete Avengers don’t have enough people to fight him without saving everyone who disappeared.
1 Thanos actually split reality into two parts
This is currently the leading theory based on Ant-Man and the Wasp’s post-credits links to Infinity War and the shock ending of the Endgame trailer. One Redditor suggests that maybe Thanos didn’t end anyone at all. Rather, he split reality into two alternative parts and split the population down the middle. So, everyone who “passed away” in Infinity War actually just went to this new half of reality.
Since Scott Lang was in the Quantum Realm when Thanos snapped his fingers, he isn’t tethered to either reality and is able to jump from one side to another and bring everyone back together.
Do you have a fan theory about Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comments!