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How the Spider-Man: No Way Home spell could have stopped Infinity War before it started

Published Dec 25th, 2021 12:05PM EST
Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer
Image: Sony and Marvel

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Spider-Man: No Way Home has already made $800 million globally in less than a week. This accomplishment makes the Sony-Marvel movie the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic. At this rate, it’s likely the new Spider-Man will top $1 billion at the box office, a target that it would have probably reached even sooner before the pandemic. Despite the health risks, fans are dying to see No Way Home and find out whether the big spoilers were accurate. The film also has a significant impact on what’s coming next in the MCU thanks to its big reveals. The spell that Doctor Strange casts in No Way Home is one of those reveals. It prompted someone to come up with a hilarious theory that unearths an apparent Infinity War plot hole.

Before we explain what this plot hole is and why it’s not actually a problem for the Infinity War plot, we’ll warn you that big spoilers will follow below.

The Avengers in No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home gives us three Avengers that are more or less central to the plot. One is Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, the film’s protagonist. The second is Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who helps Peter out by casting that dangerous spell that unleashes the multiverse. Then, there’s Wong (Benedict Wong), who only shows up for one short scene.

But Wong is actually the boss when it comes to sorcerers. He is the planet’s Sorcerer Supreme, No Way Home reveals. In his brief cameo in the movie, we learn why Wong is the top sorcerer, with Strange being relegated to being an assistant. Wong more or less allows Strange to perform the spell that Peter wants. But Wong says he doesn’t have to play any part in it.

We learn another exciting thing from this Wong-Strange-Parker discussion. The spell Strange wants to use is not necessarily new. They’ve used it before. That’s why Wong can’t remember it. Someone cast the spell to make some people forget about a Kamar-Taj party. Was it Strange who did it? We have no idea, but Strange does remember it.

However, that’s all you need to know before we look at the hilarious fan-theory-turned-plot-hole below.

How Strange could have beaten Thanos at the end of Infinity War

Redditor FictionFantom posted the following “alternate Infinity War ending” image on the social network that shows Strange casting the No Way Home spell. But it’d supposedly happen in Infinity War.

No Way Home spell theory about Infinity WarImage source: Reddit

“Thanos is about to forget his conquest to kill half of all life in the universe…” the fan-made quote above reads. It implies that Strange could have performed the No Way Home spell on Titan in Infinity War.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) would have forgotten his life’s goal, and the movie would have ended right there. We wouldn’t even have an Endgame, as Thanos wouldn’t have wiped up half of all living beings from the universe.

It’s a hilarious take on the No Way Home spell reveal until you realize the Redditor is right, with some caveat. We have no idea when Strange started using the forgetting spell. Also, we have no idea if he could have used it on Titan. Or whether he can cast the spell anywhere he’d want to. Kamar-Taj and the Sanctum in New York are magical territories, after all.

On the other hand, Strange spent plenty of time looking at alternate ways to beat Thanos, so he could have very well discovered that the forgetting spell might or might not work.

Doctor Strange and Spider-Man in No Way Home fight sceneImage source: Sony

Why the No Way Home spell isn’t a plot hole

If you thought that the No Way Home spell just created a massive plot hole for Infinity War, you need not fret. There’s a quick and easy fix that comes in the form of the best plot armor that Marvel could have imagined for the Infinity-WarEndgame stories.

Strange tells the Avengers and Guardians on Titan they only win in one of the more than 14 million versions of possible futures that he saw. There’s just one way to beat Thanos, and that involves letting him win initially. The Avengers will then win five years later.

That “only way” plot armor will explain away any inconsistency you might think you’ve found in Infinity War. That can include Peter Quill waking Thanos up, the Avengers not disabling Vision earlier, or Thor not going for the heart.

The question remains whether Strange will use the same spell we saw in No Way Home for other purposes. Will he even remember that he might have used it for something recently without being able to pinpoint what it was? After all, at the end of No Way Home, Strange is at the top of the Statue of Liberty. He might know he saved the multiverse by helping three Spider-Man variants beat four dangerous villains from other timelines. But does he know he used the forgetting spell to do it? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next, starting with Multiverse of Madness.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.