For the most part, Avengers: Endgame was a tightly plotted, complex blockbuster that kept the audience guessing and constantly defied their expectations. However, one thing that the movie failed to explore (but the rest of the MCU might) is all the alternate timelines that were created while the Avengers were carrying out their “Time Heist” plan.
The plan worked perfectly, with all the Infinity Stones making their way back to base to be placed in the Iron Gauntlet, but a ton of new timelines were created along the way. So, here are 10 Times A Whole New Timeline Was Created During Time Heist.
10 When Thor summoned Mjolnir in Asgard
When Thor went back in time to Asgard circa 2013 with Rocket, he ran into his mother and got some much-needed closure on her death. Then, before he and Rocket left with the Aether, he decided to grab one last thing: his hammer, Mjolnir.
In our timeline, this is how Thor got his groove back and it also set up an incredible moment in which Steve Rogers picked up the hammer and demonstrated his worthiness. But it also created a timeline in which, beyond 2013, Thor didn’t have a hammer. And he didn’t have Stormbreaker either. He had to face the Dark Elves and Ultron and Hela without the use of his hammer.
9 When War Machine knocked out Star-Lord
In one of the funniest moments in Avengers: Endgame, War Machine and Nebula find Star-Lord dancing around the Temple of the Power Stone to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” and knock him out so that they can retrieve the Orb.
But, as funny as it is, this actually created a dark timeline in which Star-Lord will wake up, find no Power Stone to steal, and go on living his life without ever meeting any of the other Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, some fans have even seen this as cosmic punishment for Star-Lord indirectly causing Thanos’ reign of destruction.
8 When Ant-Man gave 2012 Tony Stark a heart attack
2012’s Tony Stark wouldn’t just brush off a heart attack, simply because Thor managed to channel a little bit of lightning to save his life. He’d look into how it happened and see that the arc reactor in his chest had been tampered with and maybe review the security footage to see that a barely disguised version of himself was standing ten feet away from him.
Then, he might catch on to the “Time Heist” and invent time travel himself in 2012. The heart attack immediately following the Battle of New York might have also kickstarted the PTSD that Tony would begin to suffer from in Iron Man 3 a little early.
7 When Tony Stark stole the Space Stone from S.H.I.E.L.D.
In the ‘90s, Dr. Wendy Lawson would come down from space, gain the trust of S.H.I.E.L.D., and eventually do some research with the Space Stone that led to Carol Danvers being imbued with cosmic abilities and becoming Captain Marvel. This also led to her time with Yon-Rogg and the Kree Starforce and her efforts to solve the one-sided Kree-Skrull War.
If S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t have the Space Stone in the 1990s – because Tony Stark went back in time to 1970, snuck into a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, stole it, and took it back to the present – then none of that would happen in a timeline where Captain Marvel didn’t show up to save the day in the Battle of Earth.
6 When Cap stole some Pym Particles in 1970
Hank Pym is extremely protective of his technology. To be fair, when he created Pym Particles, he created the ability to shrink or enlarge yourself, which could be used for pretty dangerous purposes. The government wanted to use it to create an army of shrinking soldiers, but Pym wanted to keep the Pym Particles to himself to control who did or didn’t use them.
People thought he was crazy then, but imagine if some Pym Particles went missing from his lab and he couldn’t find the culprit, because the culprit disappeared into the future. He might eventually be institutionalized. That’s another dark timeline created by the “Time Heist.”
5 When Cap hailed Hydra
When the 2023 Avengers left 2012 behind and headed back to the present, S.H.I.E.L.D. would’ve found an unconscious Captain America who’d been knocked out cold by the Scepter after getting into a fight with himself.
And because the other Cap said, “Hail Hydra,” in the elevator, Brock Rumlow and all those guys would think that Cap knows about Hydra’s evil dominion of S.H.I.E.L.D., two years before he’s due to find out about it and go on the run. 2012 Cap will wake up in this timeline with no idea what they’re talking about and find himself unprepared to take on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nazi overlords.
4 When 2014 Nebula transmitted 2023 Nebula’s memories
In a shocking twist when Nebula was back in 2014, her memory drive synced up with her 2014 self’s memory drive and started playing videos of the future for Thanos and Ebony Maw to see. This created a timeline in which Thanos saw into the future. He watched his own head get chopped off and could see his own future coming.
In the new timeline, he could see this coming, and it would never happen, because he’d head straight into the future to repeat his own evil plan and not get killed this time. This is actually the timeline that we saw play out in Endgame, except Tony Stark prevented him from doing so.
3 When Loki disappeared with the Space Stone
Every part of the “Time Heist” goes perfectly, except for the 2012 part. The Hulk gets the Time Stone and Cap gets the Mind Stone, but Iron Man and Ant-Man fail to get the Space Stone. It’s flung from its briefcase and then the opportunist trickster god Loki sees the chance to escape captivity as he grabs it and disappears through a portal into another dimension.
This created a new version of 2012 in which the guy responsible for the Chitauri invasion of New York avoided capture, but it also created an entirely new timeline where Loki now exists. Wherever he ended up, it’ll probably be explored in his upcoming Disney+ series.
2 When Tony Stark snapped his fingers
The triumphant ending of Avengers: Endgame saw Tony Stark steal the Infinity Stones from Thanos and do some finger-snapping of his own, wiping Thanos and his armies out of existence. But that Thanos wasn’t from the present day. He’d traveled through the Quantum Tunnel from the year 2014 to battle the Avengers in 2023.
So, when Tony made Thanos disappear, he made him disappear from a version of 2014, too. So, there’s now a timeline in which the events of Infinity War and Endgame won’t be necessary, because Thanos wasn’t around to collect the Infinity Stones and snap his fingers in the first place.
1 When Cap went back in time to spend his life with Peggy
The Russo brothers have claimed that when Steve Rogers returned the Infinity Stones to their homes and decided to stick around and marry Peggy Carter, he created a new timeline. But they’ve also claimed that Peggy’s husband mentioned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier was actually Steve.
So, which is it? His older self was around in the main timeline to give Sam Wilson his shield and pass on the “Captain America” mantle to his worthiest successor. The Russos have explained this by saying that every version of Cap’s journey ends with him going back in time to marry Peggy, which is why he’s old in the main timeline.