Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers.
Marvel fans have spent an entire year trying to predict what might happen in Avengers: Endgame. Between the endless rumors, on-set photos, merchandise leaks, and everything else the MCU-obsessed internet dug up during the film’s production, many central theories for the epic finale started to emerge. Not all of them came to fruition (no, Ant-Man did not kill Thanos by becoming small and shooting up his ass). But, many of the prominent theories that Mind Stone-wielding fans came up with actually came true in Endgame. In fact, some of the most surprising, risky predictions paid off in a big way.
Here are all the fan theories that actually came true in Endgame. Warning, massive spoilers ahead!!
Hell yeah. Say what you will about the MCU, but after films like Guardians and Thor: Ragnarok, Kevin Feige and Co. have not been afraid to go full weird. And in a beige, cookie-cutter blockbuster movie culture, that is really something to respect. One of Endgame‘s biggest weirdo elements is the new physical state of Bruce Banner. As many fans predicted, The Russo Brothers ended up adopting the “Professor Hulk” storyline for the big Infinity War sequel, wherein Bruce Banner and the Hulk finally put their differences aside and become one. The result? Mark Ruffalo is fucking huge. And green. And weirdly hot? He’s got the body of the Hulk with the mind of Bruce Banner. This lasts for pretty much the entire film, making some parts of this moviegoing experience feel almost like a fever dream.
Ever since some very revealing set photos leaked early-on in the production of Endgame, fans have been theorizing that time travel is pretty much a given for the new movie. I mean, how else are they going to reverse all the horrible things that Thanos committed? This theory has been the most prominent prediction. And, lo and behold, the fans were right. Endgame is a full-on Time Heist. Wreaking havoc on the past 22 films from the storied MCU, our Avengers are hopping through time and really screwing everything up. The plot holes are pretty tough to navigate, but on the surface, Endgame‘s quantum mechanics are fun as hell. We even got to see Tilda Swinton!
Captain America wielding Thor’s hammer
This one is less a prediction and more just something the fans have been begging for ever since the Avengers all met up back in 2012. We’ve seen Steve Rogers try to pick up the hammer. He nudged it a bit in Age of Ultron. But Endgame finally gives us the real deal. Cap is whooping ass with Mjolnir, bashing Thanos’ huge face with it, and even spinning it around to take flight. As Inverse reported back in 2018, fans even asked Joss Whedon about the scene in Ultron when Cap attempted to lift the hammer. Whedon responded, “Did he fail? Or did he stop?” Turns out, the answer may have been the latter.
Thanos gets defeated in the first act
As predicted on the r/FanTheories Subreddit, the Big Purple Man does indeed get killed very early on in Endgame. Eagle-eyed watchers of the film’s trailers noticed, mostly from the different lengths (and colors) of Black Widow’s hair, that there may be some time-jumping afoot in the big finale. They figured that Grimace might get killed within the opening 20 minutes of the film, but that killing him does not reverse the events of Infinity War, thus leaving the universe in pretty bad shape. They were right. Thanos gets his huge head chopped right off within the first act of the film, which only leaves the Avengers with more questions, and less hope. It’s a mistake that makes Thor exile himself to drinking beer and playing Fortnite, ultimately resulting in the whole squad giving up on fixing the consequences of the Snap. That is, until our buddy Ant-Man comes along.
Tony Stark dies
Ever since the MCU kicked off way back in 2008, fans have been waiting to see how Tony Stark’s narrative arc will come to a close. Over the course of the 22 films since, the topic has come to the surface a few times. He nearly died in the first Avengers, and with Robert Downey Jr.’s contract coming to a close, it seemed inevitable that Iron Man would die in Endgame. And it was. Stark sacrificed himself to gain control of the Infinity Stones and snap his fingers to reverse the course of history, but sealed his fate in the process. Everybody has been saying, it’s either going to be Tony or Steve (or both) dying in the war against Thanos, and it turns out, Tony is the one to go. It’s only natural that this would be RDJ’s last outing as the character, since it’s the end of the story he started so many years ago.
Falcon becomes the new Captain America
In the comics, there is a huge precedent for other heroes picking up the mantle of Captain America. Many have held the shield over the years. In the MCU, it seemed that the two biggest possibilities for a new Cap would be Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, or Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. Fans have theorized ever since Stan held the shield back in the first Captain America movie that the so-called Winter Soldier would become the Star Spangled Man. But there was always the chance that we would have a Falcon Cap, and in the Endgame, it was Sam Wilson who gained control of the red, white, and blue shield.
Pepper Potts suits up
This theory has been floating around for a while, ever since a leaked selfie surfaced showing Gweneth Paltrow wearing an Iron Man suit. Pepper has suited up as “Rescue” in the comics before, and she briefly wore a suit in Iron Man 3 as well. In Endgame, we get Pepper fully armored, going haywire in the big splash-page battle of the film’s finale. So the leaked image was real after all.
Doctor Strange knew there was only one way to win against Thanos
At the end of Infinity War, Doctor Strange looked at all the possible outcomes of Thanos’ attack on The Avengers. He saw millions of possibilities, and said there was only one of them where they came out victorious. Well, fans have been banking on Endgame being the film where Dr. Strange’s one winning outcome actually comes to fruition. And it did (of course). When Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange finally arrives back on the scene from his untimely dusting, he raises one finger to Stark, seeming to indicate that this is the only possible way for Earth (and half the universe) to prevail. But, of course, this would cost Tony Stark everything, as he snaps his fingers and ends his own life in the process. Destiny arrives.
Steve Rogers goes on to live his dream life with Peggy
This is the most exciting of the bunch, because it’s one of the most out-there theories that actually came true. Once time travel became heavily hinted for the new film, fans believed that Captain America may choose to stay in the past, and finally have that fabled dance with his old flame, Peggy Carter. It actually came true! In the finale of the film, Steve says he is going to shoot back in time to return all the Infinity Stones, but he never comes back–kind of. The gang turns to find Captain America, as an old man, sitting on a bench, wistfully. He’s lived his life the way he always wanted, by staying back in the ’40s and reuniting with Peggy. How quaint. No word on what happened to the frozen version of himself in that timeline…