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Why Did The Infinity Stones Kill Iron Man

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Reading: Why Did The Infinity Stones Kill Iron Man

Iron Man died to save the universe in Avengers: Endgame, and it might have been necessary to save the galaxy from Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr.'s genius billionaire playboy philanthropist was the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade. Iron Man launched the MCU back in 2008 and played a pivotal role in what is now known as the Infinity Saga. He proved to be one of the MCU franchise's greatest heroes and put his life on the line multiple times before paying the ultimate price in Avengers: Endgame.

The twenty-second MCU film was touted as the culmination of the universe to that point, and fans went into the movie expecting to say goodbye to some characters as the Avengers tried to defeat Thanos and reverse The Snap. Black Widow sacrificed her life to obtain the Soul Stone, and Captain America retired after the finale, but it was Iron Man who gave up his life to stop Thanos once and for all. The final battle consisted of the 2014 version of the Mad Titan and his massive army taking on the Avengers and friends for the universe's fate. It all came down to a scrum for the Infinity Stones between Thanos and Iron Man. Although Thanos thought he had the upper hand, Iron Man secretly took the Infinity Stones to perform a snap of his own, one which wiped the Mad Titan and his army from Earth but also ended his own life.

Related: No Way Home’s Ending Brilliantly Flips Iron Man’s Endgame Sacrifice

As devastating as Iron Man's death in Avengers: Endgame was, it had to be done. Doctor Strange signaled to Tony that this was the one future they won out of 14,000,605 possibilities the Sorcerer Supreme saw in Avengers: Infinity War. That aided Avengers: Endgame's plot as every question, convenience, or plot hole could be wiped away as being tied to the Avengers winning. However, the extent of this "win" is less clear. Strange could've been referring to simply stopping Thanos, but there's also a chance Strange's view of the future extended beyond. And to keep the universe safe for the longest time possible, would that require Tony Stark to no longer be around?

Doctor Strange Saved Iron Man In Infinity War

why did the infinity stones kill iron man

Throughout the course of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark's life was spared on a few occasions. This happened when he survived Thanos' snap, but Doctor Strange also ensured that he would live to experience that moment. This is important to remember as Strange is the only one who lived through the 14,000,604 futures where the Avengers lost. He alone knows the different possibilities and what went wrong. Although this allowed him to figure out the lone future where the Avengers won, he also witnessed the millions of ways they lost. As a result, he would know who is most important to the plan.

Ahead of the first encounter with Thanos on Titan, Strange made his priorities very clear: protect the Time Stone at all costs. He even specifically said that if it came down to letting Iron Man die or keeping the Time Stone out of Thanos' hands, he would not hesitate to let Tony die. That's why it was so shocking to see Strange willingly give the stone to Thanos in exchange for his life. Thanos was moments away from killing Iron Man but left Titan without finishing the job once the Time Stone was in hand. Strange's decision, though, came after he saw the future, and he explained that it was the only way.

Iron Man Was Needed To Stop Thanos

why did the infinity stones kill iron man

It wasn't long after Avengers: Infinity War ended that fans began to realize that Strange's decision meant Tony was the key to stopping Thanos. Although it took longer than expected and some convincing by the Avengers to have him risk his life again to save everyone who was lost in The Snap, Avengers: Endgame ultimately showed just how important Tony was to defeating Thanos.

Related: No Way Home Makes Iron Man's Endgame Fate & Legacy Darker

Tony Stark was initially hesitant to try and take on Thanos again after the events of Infinity War, as he didn't want to lose the family he barely made it back alive to. However, some random inspiration from a photo of him and Peter Parker helped change that. Tony successfully solved the equation for time travel through the Quantum Realm and created the hand devices and nano-tech suits to make such a journey possible. Not only would the Avengers not be able to time travel without Tony, but he also proved to be essential to the missions themselves. After Loki stole the Space Stone, Tony was the only one who knew where it and more Pym Particles could be found so the mission could be finished.

Furthermore, Tony ultimately made Hulk's snap possible by creating an Iron Gauntlet capable of changing its size to fit any hand. His contributions didn't end there, of course, as the same technology made Tony the only one in Endgame who could steal the Infinity Stones away from Thanos without him knowing. It was only through the nano-tech design of the latest version of Iron Man's armor that Tony could interact with the Iron Gauntlet and take the stones back. Thus Iron Man died in Avengers: Endgame, sacrificing himself to protect everyone he cared about.

Theory: The Universe Is Safer Without Tony Stark

why did the infinity stones kill iron man

Tony's sacrifice is undoubtedly a heroic moment and one he made out of selflessness, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Doctor Strange couldn't have had an ulterior motive. It is blatantly clear that no matter how big of a hero Tony Stark became, he and others were usually fighting villains Iron Man created. Beyond Stark Industries' involvement in creating weapons of war and how that factored into Tony's origin, the tech he designed was used by Obadiah Stane and Ivan Vanko to become villains. Tony's decision to spurn Aldrich Killian even motivated him to become a villain. In contrast, Quentin Beck became Mysterio after Stark rebranded the BARF technology, and Adrian Toomes became Vulture after Stark founded Damage Control and eliminated his business. It's also impossible to overlook how he created Ultron, a decision that resulted in a major catastrophe and helped fuel the Sokovia Accords, which he backed.

This isn't to say that Iron Man didn't do a lot of good, because he did, but it is apparent that his genius and futurist thinking also created problems in the MCU. That could be why Doctor Strange influenced Infinity War and Endgame to play out as it did. The idea that there was no other way for the Avengers to beat Thanos is somewhat preposterous, as they were mere seconds away from taking the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos on Titan moments before Strange gave up the Time Stone. Instead, it is possible that Strange found multiple realities where Thanos was defeated, but more threats emerged that they couldn't stop. It isn't too difficult to imagine that Tony Stark would create even more powerful, but dangerous, tech if he survived Thanos' attack. But that wouldn't be an issue if he was not around anymore. This could mean that Strange found the sequence of events that led to the safest universe, one where Tony Stark's death in Avengers: Endgame also eliminated future threats.

Related: RDJ's Iron Man Should Only Return To The MCU For One Character's Story

Although this is just a theory, for now, it would certainly paint Doctor Strange and both Infinity War and Endgame in new lights if it was ever confirmed. Strange would suddenly become more of a morally ambiguous character, if not an outright villain in the eyes of some. But, since he and Stark developed some level of understanding during their time together, it also makes him holding up his index finger in Avengers: Endgame's final battle more crushing. Strange knows that not only is Tony Stark about to die but that he chose this future. With Kang the Conqueror and other villains set to be introduced in Phase 4 and beyond, only time will tell whether or not Doctor Strange made the right call.

How Marvel Brought Back Iron Man After Endgame

why did the infinity stones kill iron man

Marvel's What If…? season 1 presented a glimpse into several different timelines, and it's notable how many universes Tony Stark died in. One variant of Iron Man was easily killed by an insane Hank Pym, another Tony Stark became Killmonger's pawn, and another became a mindless zombie wearing Stark tech. In narrative terms, it's easy to see why Marvel chose not to emphasize Tony Stark, given how prominent the character was in the MCU, but the perhaps accidental implication is that no variant of Stark lives to enjoy his old age – supporting the theory every universe is safer without Tony Stark. What If…?'s final Stark insult was a surprising one, with the Watcher finally visiting a timeline in which a Stark had not (yet) died, but he wasn't interested in Iron Man – instead, choosing to join his Guardians of the Multiverse in Stark's place. It's quite possible the Watcher feared what Iron Man would do with experience of the multiverse, and couldn't take the risk, for all a glimpse of a Stark would have thrown Ultron and given the Guardians of the Multiverse a chance.

Marvel's focus may well change as the MCU continues to explore the multiverse. There have been rumors of another Iron Man in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Marvel has already renewed What If…? for a second season – one that will include the episode in which Gamora teamed up with Iron Man and killed Thanos. Thus Iron Man's role in the wider Marvel multiverse may yet change, perhaps granting him as great a significance to the fabric of reality as he had in the main MCU timeline.

MORE: Every Magical Spell & Ability Doctor Strange Has Used In The MCU


Key Release Dates
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023

Doctor Strange 2 Wasted The Potential To Beat No Way Home’s Box Office


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