WARNING: Spoilers for Avengers Endgame ahead. The Marvel all-star blockbuster ends with Thanos being vanquished once and for all. Whereas he was killed by Thor at the start of the film, he was still able to threaten humanity when his 2014 self was able to gatecrash the time travelling and jump to the ‘present day’. He was defeated again when Tony Stark wielded the Infinity Gauntlet and, sacrificing his own life, turned Thanos and his minions to dust.
All well and good and peace-restoring – except for the ramifications this has for the 2014 timeline.
In a theory that has impressed thousands, Reddit user Ljgor realised that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 villain Ego is presumably free to wipe out the universe, per his plans, without the Guardians there to stop him.
They explained: “In Guardians 2, Ego’s plan is to kill everybody living in the universe, leaving only him.
“However, the Guardians stop him from doing this.
“Later, in Endgame, Nebula from 2014 brings Thanos and Gamora from 2014 into 2023.
“This would theoretically create a branch timeline in which the Guardians never exist.”
They added: “The Avengers would probably be busy with Hydra at the time, having no idea about Ego.
“This means the Ego there is [in] a timeline where Ego killed everyone.”
There are infinite possibilities of how alternate timelines were created and affected by the events of Endgame, although Steve Rogers returning the Infinity Stones was supposed to see to most of the biggest issues.
As for the future of the Guardians, Volume 3 is expected in 2021, once director James Gunn is done with DC’s Suicide Squad sequel.
The end of Endgame saw Thor (Chris Hemsworth) teaming up with the loveable ensemble, though it’s unclear if he will be seen in the threequel too.
Avengers: Endgame is out now.