Doctor Strange’s Master Plan Needs Avengers To Lose In Order To Win


The Avengers: Infinity War movie’s final act shows us a moment where Doctor Strange gives the Time Stone to Thanos. But it is safe to say that Doctor Strange has some tricks up his sleeve. Before he is wiped out from existence, we hear Strange say that giving the Time Stone to Thanos was the only way to make sure that the Avengers defeat Thanos, and we may see his plan come to fruition in the Avengers 4 movie.


Doctor Strange had proven in his stand-alone film that he has a lot of talent for scheming, and for tricking powerful beings into thinking that they have won and finally it is revealed that they stepped into his trap. In Doctor Strange, the sorcerer had smuggled a time loop into the Dark Dimension, and Dormammu just could not kill him as he would return with, “Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain.”

It will not be surprising to see that Doctor Strange had pulled the same trick on Thanos. If Doctor Strange’s goal was really to get Thanos to let the guard down, he has succeeded. By the end of this film, we see that Thanos is retiring and believes that he has brought balance to the world.

But we have another problem, the one person who can manipulate time is now gone.

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An obvious solution is for the Avengers to track the Infinity Gauntlet and then use it to turn back time. A few heroes are powerful enough to wield one Infinity Stone. We had seen Captain Marvel being teased in the movie’s post-credits scene and she may be strong enough to use this Gauntlet.

Thanos will return as the villain in the Avengers 4 movie, but considering he is now living a quiet life, there has to be a catalyst for him to return. The Avengers stealing the Infinity Gauntlet is definitely a threat for Thanos.


In The Infinity Gauntlet, Nebula takes the Gauntlet from Thanos while his body is left vulnerable. Using these power, she undoes what Thanos did and restored the lives of those who were wiped from the universe. She then seeks to create a new world order using her powers, and through his connection to Thanos, Adam Warlock explains why Thanos lost the Gauntlet:

“Look back onto your life, Thanos of Titan, and what do you see? A man always seeking ultimate power and losing it as soon as he attains it. Why? Because deep in his soul he knows he is not worthy.”

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Subconsciously, the Mad Titan allows the Gauntlet to be taken from him as he feels that he does not really deserve it. While we should not expect Avengers 4 to follow the plot of this series, it is likely that it may draw upon this part while formulating Thanos’ defeat.

In Infinity War, we saw glimpses of Thanos’ self-doubt and his regret over killing Gamora. After he accomplishes his goal, Thanos is met by a young Gamora in the Soul World, and she asks,

“What was the cost?”

In the final issue of Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock reveals that everything is going according to the plan, and that he knew that Thanos would lose the Gauntlet.

If we now assume that Doctor Strange is replacing the role of Adam Warlock in the MCU, then Doctor Strange willingly gave the Time Stone to Thanos knowing that the action could be undone. It is a safe bet that when Doctor Strange was consulting the outcomes of the battle against Thanos, he must have realized that Thanos would not lower his guard enough to let the Avengers defeat him, unless he actually believed that he had won.

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There is another interpretation of the moment where Doctor Strange handed over the Time Stone.

He said that it was “the only way” and this may mean that it was the only way for stopping Thanos from killing Tony. This means that Tony Stark’s survival is crucial for the Avengers to defeat of Thanos. While he is not the most powerful hero, Iron Man is as important as Captain America, and after a terrible blow, the Avengers might need Tony to regroup.

The elimination of half the universe was random, but it is no coincidence that the founding members of the Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hulk and let us assume, Hawkeye) have survived. If Avengers 4 brings everything to a full circle, then it surely does make sense to have the original group back together to defeat Thanos.