Avengers: Endgame has been out for nearly five months now, but we keep discovering new things about the biggest movie of the year — the fact that Endgame is already available in digital and Blu-ray formats also helped uncover new details about Marvel’s most epic movie to date. But the studio hasn’t exactly explained all of the Endgame mysteries just yet, although it did a great job addressing many of the things that may have puzzled fans. If there’s one question that still deserves some explaining going forward, it’s the whereabouts of one Steve Rogers. We pieced together part of the answer several months ago when we figured out the likely year Steve went back to Peggy Carter, but now a fan has gone the extra mile to provide even more information.
At the time, we looked at all the information that Marvel provided in that dance shot at the end of Endgame and concluded that Steve must have knocked on Peggy’s door at some point in 1946 at the earliest. Once there, he stayed to marry the love of his life and they grew old together, as both would have wanted. As a result, Steve created an alternate timeline where he could live the life he always wanted.
This brings us to Reddit user “thanksredditformemes,” who used a recent video from Wired to calculate the year when Steve returned to the past to have that dance.
In the video above, the special effects team says that Cap was aged 106 years when he returned to 2023 to give Falcon a new shield and make him the new Captain America:
Cap is born in 1920. He goes in the ice in 1945 (25 years old)
He is found in 2011 and lives on till 2023. (12 years)
This makes Cap (before he returned the stones) 37 years old.
This means he spends 69 years with Peggy. (106 – 37)
Assuming he returned to Peggy in 1947, a good 2 years after the war ended, he would live till 2016 in alternate timeline. (2016 – 1947 = 69).
2016 is when Peggy died (in Captain America: Civil War)
This also proves that Cap returned to main timeline shortly before he time traveled for his dramatic entrance.
It’s a simple explanation that makes perfect sense, considering the context that Marvel provided for Steve’s ending.
As I mentioned above, staying with Peggy is a decision that creates a different timeline from the one in Endgame. Marvel confirmed that’s the right interpretation for Steve’s time travel, which is now canon for the MCU. The better version, of course, would be having Steve marry Peggy in this universe, and that’s a theory the Endgame writers embraced. But, as the Russo brothers explained a couple of times, that can’t happen given how time travel works in the MCU.
That said, it’s still unclear why Steve waited all these years to return the shield to his original timeline. Yes, he may have waited for Peggy to pass away before traveling through time, to ensure that he would not lose her again. But how did he know he’d survive this long in the first place?