We know most heroes who turned to ashes right at the end of Infinity War will come back to life soon. We also know some of the ones left standing, whether they’re on Earth, Titan, or in the Quantum Realm, will somehow travel back in time to fix everything. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Doctor Strange, who saw more than 14 million possible outcomes of the Avengers vs. Thanos battle, made sure certain events will unfold in a particular way so that the one version of the future where they defeat Thanos has a chance of coming to fruition. And now we have one more compelling theory that tries to explain one of Strange’s tricks.

Posted on Facebook and discovered by The Express, this fan theory says the Time Stone that Doctor Strange gave to Thanos comes from the future. This explains why Strange never used the stone to change any of the events that could have benefitted from being undone — like Star-Lord’s lapse of judgment, am I right? But it might also explain why the Infinity Gauntlet was torn apart after the snap.

The fan theory says the Time Stone glowed at the end because it was in use, and because it was brought back from the future. Here’s that scene:

Now that the Infinity Gauntlet is destroyed, the Time Stone should present itself to Tony, who will know what to do with it. Let’s look at the full theory before we go further:

Doctor Strange was using the Time Stone all the time in the movie, but not in this time. The Time Stone that was given to Thanos was actually [from] the future, a future in which [the] Avengers won.

And that’s why at the end when Thanos snaps his finger[s] the gauntlet got damage[d]. According to this, Doctor Strange can send [the] Time Stone in[to the] past or future.

That’s why when Thanos was giving his final blow to Tony, [that] only [then did] Doctor Strange bring the Time Stone in front of him, but at that time it was glowing.

Normally an Infinity Stone glows when it is being used, which means at that time only [the] Time Stone was brought back from [the] future.

After the final snap of Thanos the Time Stone will return [to] Titan and will be in the hands of Tony. And Tony is the only one who can guess how the Time Stone had [come] back on Titan.

And he is capable to use it to rescue Scott [Lang] and to time travel. Also with the Hank Pym technology he can reverse the effect of Thanos’ snap.

Doctor Strange has seen all the possible outcomes, and that’s why only he saved Tony and made this step.

Of course, the theory isn’t perfect. Tony has no idea about Ant-Man’s predicament or that he needs Scott’s help, and Stark may be impulsive enough to try to use the Time Stone immediately. On the other hand, we know Tony is going to meet Shuri at some point in the next movie and her help would definitely be needed to make sense of this whole mess, whether or not he is in possession of the Time Stone. You know, from a scientific point of view. Maybe they are going to make a Thanos buster.

With all that in mind, remember that Doctor Strange made sure he did not give Thanos the Time Stone until he knew for certain that Tony survived, and that Ant-Man reached the Quantum Realm. Inside the Realm, Ant-Man will have access to time vortexes, as we learned in the credits scene of the Ant-Man sequel, which he’d normally have to avoid. And let’s also remember that Tom Holland gave us a huge Avengers 4 spoiler when he told the world that Benedict Cumberbatch has plenty of complex Quantum Realm lines in the new Avengers films, hinting yet again that time travel will play a big role in saving the dead heroes. Cumberbatch did not talk about the Quantum Realm in Infinity War, so it’s all coming in Avengers 4.

While the fan theory above can’t necessarily predict what will happen next in Avengers 4, I will point you to this Nerdist piece that tells us there’s a possibility that Tony Stark could become the next Sorcerer Supreme in Avengers 4. You know, he’d keep Strange’s place warm until he gets back. Stark was already spotted in a featurette in the comics sporting Strange’s Cloak of Levitation.

When I first read it a few days ago, I thought it might be too much for Stark, especially since it looks like Ant-Man is near those time vortexes. But I have to say that Tony Stark handling the Time Stone as described in the fan theory above would definitely qualify him as a temporary Sorcerer Supreme. And you just know he’d love to brag about that.

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