We’re now less than two weeks away from the superhero movie we’ve all been waiting to see, but that doesn’t mean fans have stopped coming up with Avengers: Endgame theories. Some people are still trying to guess what happens in Endgame, especially given the new morsels of information that Marvel has been feeding us for the better part of the month.. Such is the case with the following fan theory, which attempts to explain why Steve Rogers was able to resist Thanos in that final face-off in Wakanda, and its implications on what will happen next in Endgame.
Beware, however, that some Endgame spoilers may follow below.
Remember back when Cap was able to prevent Thanos from using the Infinity Gauntlet for a few seconds? Many of us may have thought that it was Steve’s superhuman strength that allowed him to stop the Mad Titan briefly, but Redditor XanPerkyCheck has a different idea. Here’s that moment again, starting at around 0:33:
Thanos moves his glove hand towards Rogers, and Rogers stops it with both hands. Thanos strains a bit more but is unable to move his hand forward or close his grip, so he just knocks Rogers out with his non-glove hand instead.
If you look at his facial expression, he looks shocked at 0:34 upon the initial block, then at 0:38 onwards he looks really perplexed with his eyes squinting and all, like he’s thinking “how is this guy able to do this”? But what is ‘this’ that Rogers is doing?
Some fan theories interpreted the scene as Thanos being genuinely shocked to see Steve, having killed Captain America at some point in the past. The general belief for Endgame is that several Avengers will go back in time to retrieve Infinity Stones so they can undo the snap, at which point they’ll fight a past version of Thanos.
The new theory, meanwhile, says that Thanos is surprised for an entirely different reason. Steve is really blocking the Infinity Stones, as he’s also controlling them at the moment when he’s in physical contact with the glove:
I don’t believe it’s physically blocking Thanos’ hand. Thanos beat up Hulk, and Rogers is definitely not stronger than Hulk, not to mention Thanos knocks out Rogers seconds later, while Rogers’ uppercut punch at 0:30 did nothing to Thanos.
The glove works by responding to the will of the user, and in that moment, both of them were in physical contact with the glove. So Rogers was kind of “out-willing” Thanos, and while none of the infinity stones were actively being used, they were implicitly responding to both Thanos’ and Rogers’ wills respectively, with Rogers’ influence being greater. And that’s how he was able to resist Thanos.
This is a compelling theory for the simple fact that it would make sense to see Captain America worthy of wielding an Infinity Gauntlet — we do know that Stark is making one too. Some of the Avengers have also touched the Gauntlet back on Titan, attempting to remove it from Thanos’s wrist, but they weren’t trying to use it.
The fan theory above doesn’t explain it, but the Infinity Gauntlet can only be made of Uru metal, the kind of metal that Eitri uses to make weapons. The Mjolnir hammer that Hela destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok is also made of Uru, as is its replacement, the Stormbreaker.
We know from Avengers: Age of Ultron that Captain America is close to worthy to lift Mjolnir, surprising Thor during the challenge. It’s not officially confirmed yet, and Rogers might not have been completely worthy, but fan theories say Cap could have lifted the hammer. Here’s that scene again (watch around the 1:15 mark):
Now, early in Infinity War, Thor explains to the “morons” that they can’t wield weapons from Nidavellir because their bodies and minds couldn’t take it. That seems to be foreshadowing for Endgame, suggesting that using an Infinity Gauntlet would kill most members of the Avengers team (watch around the 3:50 mark):
Meanwhile, purported Endgame plot leaks claim that at one point or another, Cap will use the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, and/or a remade Mjolnir, while fighting Thanos. This could save the world, defeat Thanos, but also kill Steve or displace him to some sort alternate dimension or universe.
With all that in mind, this fresh fan theory makes even more sense. Marvel may have been arranging all of these tiny elements in place in preparation of an epic, but heartbreaking, finale for Steve Rogers that will have Captain America becoming worthy enough to wield these legendary weapons, but dying in the process.