Perhaps the only thing more creative than the minds behind Marvel’s ever-expanding superhero universe are the legions of fans eagerly dreaming up theories for what will happen in Avengers 4. Reddit is brimming with often outlandish speculation on the upcoming movie, and on the off chance that some of them might actually turn out to be actual spoilers, it’s worth taking a closer look.
As one Avengers 4 theorist puts it, at the very least these ideas might give you “something to think of during your shower.”
On that note, here are four of the best Avengers 4 theories from the week of November 26, 2018, ranked and rated both by the likelihood that they’ll come true and pure entertainment value. (Read last week’s Avengers 4 theory roundup here.)
1. Erik Selvig Is the Key to Defeating Thanos in Avengers 4
Redditor u/mushbert went full Pepe Silvia with this theory, which suggests that Erik Selvig (the astrophysicist from the Thor and Avengers movies) could be holding the secret to beating Thanos in Avengers 4.
Remember back in the first Avengers movie when Loki used the Mind Stone to control Selvig? This theory suggests that the experience overloaded his brain with knowledge, which he then scribbled all over the chalkboard we briefly see in Thor: The Dark World.
“The Mind Stone gave him an immense amount of information,” u/mushbert writes. “Loki allowed it to when he had him under his control in order for him to build the portal device during the Battle of New York, all that information was too much for his mind to handle and this drove him mad. Hence why nobody pays him much attention anymore. However it is clear he will play an important role in defeating Thanos.”
As u/mushbert many of the concepts written on that chalkboard played important roles in subsequent Marvel movies. One note, “Theory of Relativity,” still hasn’t, but considering that Einstein’s theory also allows for time travel, it could be very important in Avengers 4. Selvig may even be the one who gives the Avengers the power to travel through time and undo Thanos’s Snap.
2. Iron Man Sacrifices Himself to Stop Thanos
This theory from redditor u/Iwannakissolisykes combines two other popular theories to come up with something pretty interesting. The first is that Avengers 4 will focus on our heroes collecting the Infinity Stones for themselves, which means making a sacrifice like Thanos did in Infinity War to get the Mind Stone. The second is the theory that Iron Man didn’t actually survive the events of the original Avengers movie and was actually replaced by a time-traveling older version of himself, creating a perfect time loop.
“I think that in order to gain control of the soul stone,” writes u/Iwannakissolisykes. “Tony Stark will be waiting for himself in the portal he entered in the battle of New York and actually kill the younger version of himself.”
This theory is pretty shaky simply because anytime you introduce time travel shenanigans things quickly get overly complicated. Still, u/Iwannakissolisykes does a decent job of tying together several threads into a plausible, if unlikely, climactic ending for Avengers 4.
3. The Mind Stone Is a Actually Celestial
At this point we’re moving from plausible Avengers 4 theories to pure entertainment, starting with this idea from redditor u/xmr10. Again, they pull two recurring theories together to create something new and totally ridiculous.
It’s been suggested before that the Mind Stone could be the true villain of the entire MCU, manipulating various characters, including Thanos, to achieve some mysterious goal. At the same time, various leaks have claimed that Avengers 4 will feature an even greater threat than Thanos, possibly hinting at the introduction of the Celestials (god-like ancient creatures in the Marvel universe) into this cinematic universe.
“Why would a mind stone be a greater threat than Thanos?” asks u/xmr10. “Because mind stone IS a Celestial. THE Celestial who has been long dead and whose head has been renamed to Knowhere.”
The comments on this Reddit post pretty much tear the theory to shreds. Even u/xmr10 that its flimsy as hell, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to think about.
“Well, this isn’t a good theory,” they write, “but I hope I give you guys something to think of during your shower!”
4. Loki = Thanos?
This theory is pretty much total nonsense, but, on the plus side, it does explain how Loki could be getting a new show on Disney+ after dying in Avengers: Infinity War.
“We know Loki is a warrior who can take a beating from the Hulk and still stand absolutely unaffected except being a little dazed,” writes redditor u/TharakMarak. “We have only seen a taste of his magic, but do not know what he is truly capable of. We know he can control minds. So the possibility exists that Loki is controlling Thanos and at times he has projected himself as Thanos.”
Not only does this make almost zero sense, but it would also be super anti-climactic to find out that Thanos was never really the bad guy at all. Then again, it would be pretty cool to watch the Mad Titan and the Avengers team up to fight Loki in Avengers 4.
Avengers 4 hits theaters May 3, 2019.
Related video: Why Did Doctor Strange Just Give Thanos the Time Stone in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?