WARNING SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS ENDGAME. “We’re in the Endgame now.” These are the words of Doctor Strange in Avengers Infinity War, ones that would be the central theme of the Marvel epic’s sequel which is currently decimating box office records. In fact, the Sorcerer Supreme was the only character in Avengers Infinity War to watch the events of Avengers Endgame unfurl. Here’s his master plan for the Endgame explained.
During Avengers Infinity War, Ebony Maw kidnaps Doctor Strange with the Time Stone and sets off into space to rendezvous with Thanos on Titan. However, Iron Man and Spider-Man managed to get aboard the ship and kill Maw, freeing Doctor Strange.
The Sorcerer Supreme is reluctant that they continue to Titan to surprise Thanos, and makes it very clear that he would not hesitate to protect the Time Stone over Tony Stark and Peter Parker’s lives.
After all, if Thanos obtained the green gem, he could complete his Infinity Gauntlet and murder half the universe.
Once they arrive on Titan and team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange uses the Time Stone to view 14,000,605 possible futures in the coming conflict with Thanos. He reveals to Iron Man that there’s only one where the Avengers win i.e. the Endgame. So technically Doctor Strange watched Avengers Endgame in that moment.
After a big fight with Thanos, Iron Man takes on the Mad Titan one-on-one, before getting stabbed in the abdomen.
But before Thanos could finish off Tony, an injured Doctor Strange pipes up and says he will give up the Time Stone in exchange for Iron Man’s life.
Thanos agrees and departs for Wakanda for the final stone, while Tony, in disbelief, asks why on Earth Doctor Strange would do that.
The Sorcerer Supreme simply replies: “We’re in the Endgame now.”
You see, Doctor Strange knew that Iron Man had to live now to die in five years time. Thanos had to win the battle, so the Avengers could win the war.
After the Snap, as the Guardians of the Galaxy turned to dust, Doctor Strange looks at Tony and says, “It was the only way”, before disappearing himself.
He knew full well that the Avengers would win in five years time, in a triumph that would come at the cost of Iron Man’s death.
Spring forward to the final battle of Avengers Endgame and a newly resurrected Doctor Strange wakes up on Titan with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Peter Parker, before forming a portal to the Avengers HQ for the big fight.
During the battle, Iron Man asks Doctor Strange if they were in the one possible future he saw where the Avengers defeated Thanos.
The Sorcerer Supreme says, “If I tell you, it won’t happen”, knowing full well that other futures where they don’t win (even at this stage) could still manifest.
Then as Captain Marvel is defeated by Thanos, Doctor Strange looks at Iron Man and raise one finger indicating that this is his only chance to ensure that one possible future.
Tony launches himself at Thanos and quickly transfers the Infinity Stones from the Gauntlet (which is Stark tech anyway) to his Iron Man suit.
Iron Man then snaps his fingers, dusting Thanos and his armies and saving the universe from destruction.
But, of course, this all came at the cost of his life – something Doctor Strange said he would not hesitate to let happen for the greater good of saving trillions.
That was Doctor Strange’s Endgame master plan. Although, let’s not forget the real hero was the mouse who accidentally let Ant-Man out of the Quantum Realm.
Avengers Endgame is out now.