A Huge 'Captain Marvel' Spoiler Could Reveal How the Avengers Beat Thanos 

Maybe they don't need the Infinity Stones at all...

Inverse String Theory

Have you seen Captain Marvel yet? Great, get in here, because we’ve got a new theory about Avengers: Endgame that only makes sense if you know what happens in the latest Marvel movie. Still haven’t seen Captain Marvel? Well then, this is your last warning: spoilers ahead.

This is just one Inverse String Theory, but it could be true. So consider yourself warned about potential Avengers: Endgame spoilers.

As we learn at the end of Captain Marvel, the true source of Carol Danvers’ powers comes from the Tesseract (aka, the Space Stone). This information gets delivered in a flashback where we see a young, human Danvers testing out new aerospace technology being developed by her boss, who’s secretly an alien named Mar-Vell (get it?).

When a group of aliens attack and try to steal the new lightspeed engine Mar-Vell was working on, Carol decides to blow it up instead. The resulting blast infuses her with power and turns her into a superhero. And as it turns out, that engine was actually powered by the Tesseract as it orbited the Earth from a distance in an invisible alien ship.

That seems like a huge deal! The Infinity Stones have basically been the connecting thread for the last 11 years of Marvel movies, and now we’re finding out that the most powerful hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe got her powers from one of those stones? There’s no way that won’t come back in a big way in Avengers: Endgame.

Danver’s connection with the Space Stone suggests she may be able to wield its full power, similar to the way Thanos used it in Infinity War but without actually holding the stone itself. For most of Captain Marvel, she’s handicapped by that computer chip implanted in the back of her neck, and it’s only when she removes it that we see the full extent of her powers. But even that may just be the tip of the iceberg.

avengers endgame spoilers captain marvel
Captain Marvel at "full strength"

So if Captain Marvel’s powers can match the Space Stone, then maybe the Avengers don’t need that Infinity Stone itself to undo Thanos’ Snap in Endgame. On that same note, maybe they don’t need any of the actual stones, just six characters who’ve been imbued with their powers.

Who else would that include? The answers are more obvious than you might think. Here’s a quick breakdown of the five Avengers (and friends of the Avengers) who could band together to form an Infinity Gauntlet of their own without picking up a single stone.

Scarlet Witch Is the Mind Stone

This one is probably the most obvious. Just like Danvers’ powers come from the Space Stone, Wanda Maximoff’s powers are a direct result of tests conducted on the Mind Stone. The same goes for her brother, Pietro (aka Quicksilver).

Of course, both of these characters are dead — Thanos got Wanda and Ultron got Pietro — but that’s nothing a little time travel can’t fix. In fact, I’ll just say now that this theory largely hinges on the assumption that we’ll be traveling back in time to assemble most of this team because a lot of them are dead in the present day MCU.

Speaking of which…

Star-Lord Is the Power Stone

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill held the Power Stone in his bare hand and managed to live. So it’s definitely possible that he could have been imbued with some of its Infinity Stone power just like Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch.

Jane Foster Is the Reality Stone

Here’s a throwback. Remember in Thor: The Dark World when Jane Foster found the reality stone and it took control of her? Well, what if she ended up holding onto some of that power?

The biggest obstacle here probably isn’t tracking down Doctor Foster, but in getting Natalie Portman to return to the MCU. The actor has made it pretty clear she’s done playing Thor’s love interest, but we wouldn’t rule it out entirely, either.

Doctor Strange Is the Time Stone

Stephen Strange has spent a lot of time with the Time Stone. He even used it to watch millions of different possible outcomes in the fight against Thanos, which some fans think means he actually lived out each of those timelines. So at this point, he’s basically one with the Time Stone.

There’s also the popular theory that his decision to hand over the stone to Thanos wasn’t as clear cut as it seemed. Does the fact that it’s glowing the entire time mean he’s creating some sort of time distortion? Did he send the stone into the future or the past first? We have no idea, but it’s possible that Strange still has the Time Stone (wherever he is post-Snap).

Gamora Is the Soul Stone

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos traded his adopted daughter for the Soul Stone by throwing her off a cliff. It’s possible she simply died, but it seems just as likely that Gamora is being contained inside the stone.

The fact that she returned to set for Endgame reshoots last year only adds fuel to that theory. And assuming Gamora is now linked to the Soul Stone, maybe she can also use its powers.

What’s Next?

If the Avengers can round up all six of these MCU characters, maybe they won’t need the actual Infinity Stones. Maybe if they can just get Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Star-Lord, Jane Foster, Doctor Strange, and Gamora to stand in a circle and holds hands, that would be enough to undo the Snap.

In the final lead-up to Avengers: Endgame’s release, Inverse is unleashing a few fan theories of our own. Read all of them here and check back for weekly theories from some journalists who spend way too much time thinking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, 2019.


Got your own Avengers: Endgame theory? Send it to me at jake@inverse.com.

Media via Marvel, Inverse (1, 2)