Avengers: Endgame’s biggest plot-hole explained, and the problems created by it

Avengers: Endgame movie photo via Disney Media
Avengers: Endgame movie photo via Disney Media /
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Avengers: Endgame flipped the script in its final act, setting up a shocking finale. However, the conclusion leaves one major point unresolved and it’s a potential plot-hole.

The events of Avengers: Endgame were massive and the impact will be felt greatly in the next chapter of the universe. But before we get there, it’s necessary for us to recap the events of Avengers: Endgame a bit. That being said, it should go without saying that spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow. Read on at your own discretion.

*Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow*

While the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame gave us all the heartwarming ending that we dreamt of, one plot thread was left unresolved: Thanos. The final bout wrapped up with Tony Stark snapping the Mad Titan out of existence, but that presents a major problem for the timeline.

Since the Nebula from 2014 came back with the Avengers and used their time machine to transport Thanos from his time to the current day, their past is now missing a major player. Thanos was later wiped from the world so his role in setting the events of Infinity War in motion never happened, which begs to question how the same universe is still intact.

Additionally, Thanos being erased means he never collected the Infinity Stones in 2017 and they’re still roaming around the universe. This revelation should also mean that Vision is still alive but a change in the timeline isn’t visible—evidence of this can be found in Cap’s return.

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After everything was said and done, Captain America returned all of the Infinity Stones to their rightful places in history. But rather than returning through the time machine, Cap aged through the years as he should have. His presence means he was successful on his mission to return the Infinity Stones but that doesn’t explain how he lived through the same timeline—one that was deprived of a Thanos after 2014.

Plainly speaking, the timeline should have diverged onto a parallel strand at the point when Thanos began searching for the Infinity Stones. Since Thanos was dusted before he collected them, the Avengers never united to stop him, altering the timeline. At the same time, other characters should still be alive.

With Thanos disappearing after 2014, Xandar should still be intact with the Power Stone in their possession. The Reality Stone should also be in the Collector’s museum since Thanos never sought it out. And the Tesseract could feasibly still be in Loki’s possession. Perhaps, the alternate timeline created by Thanos’ erasure will reveal that things have changed—the Loki series in development being proof.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Disney Plus has a limited series centered around Loki in development. Details on the time and setting haven’t been revealed, but if Avengers: Endgame did rewrite the timeline, Loki could be spared from his fate in Avengers: Infinity War. That, in turn, would set up the God of Mischief’s return in the future.

Come to think of it, the WandaVision series in development at Disney Plus would require that Vision be resurrected in some manner. The series is supposedly set in the 1950s so any setup will utilize some form of time-travel or dimension hopping. Vision’s apparent death also implies that Wanda Maximoff is going to pull him from another point in history—unless he’s alive. The only other possibility is that Wanda persuades another Avenger to revive Vision, but no one really expects that to happen.

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Whatever the case may be, this alternate timeline should hold some lasting repercussions. Kevin Feige spoke to IGN about the movie universe’s direction after Endgame but didn’t elaborate much on what we’ll see. However, considering the possible changes coming, Feige and the Marvel team could decide to go with an alternate timeline. Endgame already sets it up and an alternate timeline would allow the creative team to start over while existing characters can return for new adventures.

What are your thoughts on the Thanos plot-hole? Do you think the Avengers are living in an alternate timeline? Let us know in the comments section below.

Avengers: Endgame is currently in theaters everywhere.