How the TVA May Have Solved the Biggest Plot Hole in MCU History
Getting to see the cinematic history that was Avengers: Endgame on opening night was one of the best nights of my life. However, as amazing as that portals scene was, the film had one glaring plot hole to it: Thanos. Rather, the version of Thanos that jumped forward from nine years in the past. Throughout the film, several people warned of the dangers of time travel. How it could end up leading to an alternate timeline. For the most part, the Avengers managed to avert this, with two big exceptions: Loki and Thanos. While the first episode of Loki saw the TVA deal with Loki, the question remains: why didn’t they do anything about Thanos?
Allowing Thanos to travel nine years into the future represents a massive paradox, one that the TVA would have to correct. From our perspective, they never did so, and we got the events of Endgame as we know them. However, what if this were only part of the story? After watching the first episode of Marvel’s latest series, I have a theory. What if the TVA didn’t intervene in the events of Endgame… because they already fixed the problem. They retconned it!
Why the TVA Didn’t Stop the Avengers
During the first half of the premiere, Loki brings up an interesting point to the TVA. If they’re responsible for preventing the creation of too many alternate timelines, then why didn’t they stop the Avengers? By their own rules, the Avengers Time Heist should have violated the “Sacred Timeline”. However, the TVA Judge that presided over Loki’s trial explicitly states that the Avengers’ Time Heist was supposed to happen. In other words, they were supposed to go back in time, grab the Infinity Stones, and use them to undo what Thanos had wrought. Here’s why that didn’t see intervention by Marvel’s resident Time Lords.
In fiction, using time travel to mess too much with the past will lead to a few possible outcomes. The first is that it will create divergence at the point, resulting in an alternate timeline, which is what Loki ended up doing. The second outcome: it will result in an altered present that could either be more or less the same, or radically different. Steve Rogers went with this when he chose to stay in the past and get the life he always wanted. The third outcome is that the timeline remains unchanged as said time travel was meant to happen, creating a stable loop. Achieving a stable loop was the objective of the Time Heist.
The reason why the TVA allowed the Avengers to go back and steal the Infinity Stones is because their mission resulted in a stable time loop. The Avengers were smart. They made sure not to mess with the past unless it was absolutely necessary. And in the cases where they did have to interact with the past, they did everything they could to keep it from altering history. And it worked, save for Thanos and Loki.
How the TVA Took Care of Thanos
Even if the TVA knew that the Time Heist and the events of Endgame were supposed to happen, that doesn’t explain the plot hole that is Thanos. Meant to happen or not, allowing Thanos to travel nine years into the future, only for him, past Nebula, and Thanos’ entire army to die, would create an alternate timeline. There’s no way that it wouldn’t do that! So, how did the TVA prevent an alternate timeline without messing with history? The answer is simple: they retconned it.
This is still speculation at the moment, but it’s already been established that the TVA is one of the greatest powers in existence. They’re so powerful, they keep alternate versions of the Infinity Stones as paperweights. PAPERWEIGHTS! With that level of power, it should be within their ability to put Thanos back where he belonged in the timeline. So here’s my theory: when Iron Man snapped his fingers and turned Thanos and his army into dust, the TVA covertly stepped in. Using the innumerable cosmic artifacts they must have or their sci-fi technology, they sent Thanos’ forces back into the past. And to ensure that history proceeded as it was mean to, they wiped their memories. As a result, the events of Infinity War would still end in Thanos’ victory and eventual death. Stable time loop achieved.
When it comes to the alternate Nebula, my guess is that they had a way to revive her and then swap her out with a cadaver. As for the alternate Gamora, they would allow her to remain in the future, but when she eventually dies, would return her to her original point in history.
It’s Crazy, But Still Possible
Unless I missed some important details, I think that this theory represents the most logical way that the TVA could fix the big, purple plot hole of Endgame. It doesn’t alter the events of the film. At least, not from the perspective of those taking part in it. However, it’s a big game changer for the MCU.
History is the biggest playground the universe has to offer, and fiction’s no stranger to playing in it to suit its needs. If the TVA does maintain the sanctity of the timeline like they say they do, then that’s opening a massive Pandora’s Box. Every film in the MCU could potentially have moments where the TVA had to step in and fix things. In other words, plenty of material for future stories.
But I really want to hear your thoughts? Do you think that this theory is plausible? Would you want it to have happened? Leave your thoughts down in the comments and share this with your friends on social media. Let’s get this debate going and see if Loki will acknowledge it!