Marvel on Monday finally released into the wild that scene from the first act of the movie we’ve heard so much about in recent weeks. After showing it during three separate private events, Marvel released a version of it during Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel Live. We’ve already analyzed it thoroughly since Disney’s shareholders meeting in early March, although it’s a lot more fun to watch the actual footage and hear the dialogue than reading about it. And it turns out there’s some controversy surrounding the whole scene as fans think there’s a smart spoiler hidden in the clip. Before we explain, I’ll remind you that all Avengers: Endgame footage contains spoilers for the movie, so if you don’t want to see any of the clips that Disney and Marvel have released, you’d better avoid what’s about to follow.
If you still haven’t seen the film clip, make sure you play it again and turn up the volume to the max around the 0: 48-minute mark:
If you’ve heard a voice whispering I have telepathy just as Thor walks toward Captain Marvel with a somewhat menacing look, then you’re not the only one. I’ve heard it too and I can’t unhear it now. Play it a couple of more times, and you’ll convince yourself that somebody says it. Fans on Reddit and YouTube have noticed it too and are trying to guess what it can mean.
Is it an Easter Egg? Did the Russos plant the sound to hint at a new Captain Marvel power? If not, is someone else saying those words? Maybe Scarlett Witch, or an unknown entity?
It sounds all fascinating, but it’s probably just wishful thinking, and I’ll explain.
First of all, let’s cross Captain Marvel off our telepaths list. I am no expert on Carol Danvers and her many abilities, and the MCU is yet to treat us to everything she can do, but according to this Fandom character profile, telepathy is one of the hero’s weaknesses. Rather than use telepathy to her advantage, she might be damaged by it.
Telepathy isn’t a Kree feature either, which one must also consider given that she has Kree DNA. The Kree Supreme Intelligence, on the other hand, does have telepathic powers.
Secondly, what telepath would introduce themselves to someone by saying something stupid like I have telepathy. Of course, you’d have to tell your target that only he or she can hear you, but you’d probably find a better line than that. They will surely realize that you indeed have telepathy the more they hear you talking in their heads.
But let’s assume someone else says the phrase in the trailer. Would the Russos risk anyone hear it? After all, altering the audio of a scene is even easier than messing with video to hide spoilers, and we already know they’ve been messing with Infinity War and Endgame video to conceal spoilers.
Let’s not forget that Marvel is incredibly careful about every tiny detail in these films. Everything is expertly crafted to work for a particular story, as well as the entire MCU. So it’s unlikely anyone at Marvel would drop such an Easter Egg while showing off a film clip to the world. Because if someone does say I have telepathy, and it’s not Captain Marvel, then it’s likely that more people would hear the voice and act accordingly. All those people who saw the clip, at the shareholders meeting, CinemaCon, or while meeting the press, have detailed more extended versions of the scene. There was no talk among the Avengers present at the meeting about the mysterious voice. Forget Thanos, if someone’s whispering to you that he or she has telepathic abilities, and you hear it from inside the Avengers compound, you’d do something about it. Take Thor, for example. Aside from the fact that he doesn’t aim for the head, or that he’s comfortable eating while the other plan to kill Thanos, he absolutely “likes this one.” He can’t be bothered with telepathic messages of any kind while he’s testing Captain Marvel’s cool.
Thanks to a Redditor who specializes in sound engineering, we now have proof that it’s all a huge coincidence. A bunch of sounds got together to fool our brains into thinking that someone says I have telepathy in the Avengers 4 scene. I’ll post GMsGrimoire’s detailed explanation in full below:
Let’s put this to bed.
I’ve worked a bit in sound engineering and decided to do a bit of work on this “voice.” I listened through this section probably about 100 times while EQing and adjusting the play speed and have concluded that the initial sound (the one that makes up the “I” sound people are hearing) is the beginning of a breath/sigh from Thor. Its frequencies match very closely to the sigh we hear later in the clip after he sets down Stormbreaker.
Because they are so close, I clipped out Thor’s ending sigh from both trailer 2 and this clip. Using an FIR (or Finite Impulse Response) plugin, I can subtract or “pull out” the frequencies of Thor’s sigh from trailer 2 and this clip. I can also pull out the frequencies of the background noise and the music that begin as soon as Thor stands up in the new clip. Which are the same as when folks are hearing this “voice.”
After this, you’re not left with much when it comes to audio, as a majority of the frequencies have been removed. Interestingly enough, there’s still a bit of audio left over from the portion that folks are hearing as “I have telepathy.” It’s two distinct noises that I believe are making up the “T” and “L” sounds that folks are hearing.
In short, I believe the sound we’re hearing that makes up the “I” folks are hearing is Thor’s sigh/breath. If you listen carefully enough, you can hear it continue throughout the entire “voice” section; distinct from the other “letters” and is most likely also the long “E” sound at the end of “telepathy.” The two noises I mentioned above that remained (the “T” and the “L”) are most likely some background noise or something else, but it’s almost certain these noises do not relate to each other, and our human brains are trying to make sense of them (it’s an evolutionary thing).
I also could be dead wrong. Hopefully, we’ll know in about 17 days.
TL;DR: Through some sound manipulation, it’s likely we’re hearing a set of noises that make up this “whisper.” Another Yani/Laurel situation.
Edit/UPDATE: New realization as I continued to dig into this. So far we’ve figured out that the “I” sound is coming from the beginning of Thor’s sigh and the long e “Y” sound is the end of his sigh. If you watch carefully, Thor is rubbing his hands together (gotta get rid of those Hawaiian roll crumbs). I was able to isolate the sounds of his hands, and the third one very perfectly lines up with the “P” sound in “telepathy.” Thus, this is why we’re hearing that “P.”
In addition, after pulling out the upper frequencies with another FIR, there are a set of low frequency noises that I believe are contributing to the “T” and “L” sounds. I’ll have to experiment further, but this is DEFINITELY human pattern recognition.