When fans are asked what they’d like to change most about Avengers: Endgame, many simply say ” the rat.” Let me explain.
As the Avengers are battling Thanos for the universe’s fate, Dr. Strange uses the time stone to see all the 14 million possibilities of the Avenger’s battle with Thanos.
The conclusion is that the Avengers lose except in only one particular scenario, and even according to the Russo brothers, it might have involved a rat.
Ant-Man escapes the Quantum Realm
Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd, was trapped in the quantum realm when a rat ran across the controls and freed him. The rat freeing Antman allowed him to reunite with the Avengers, explain how the Quantum Realm can be used to time travel, and that is the method used to save the day. In other words, if it weren’t for a rat freeing, Antman Thanos would have won.
So what did Dr. Strange see? And did a rat really defeat Thanos?
Did a rat save the Avengers?
The theory that Dr. Strange saw a rat free Ant-Man comes to us via a Reddit thread. The idea is in two parts. First, Dr. Strange saw that Antman had to be in the Quantum Realm when the snap happened to prevent him from disappearing along with half of the universe. That is why Dr. Strange banters a bit with Thanos before handing over the time stone.
The second part is that Ant-Man would eventually be freed and use his quantum experience to save the universe from Thanos. In this theory, Dr. Strange only parts with the time stone once he knows the rat will free Ant-Man, meaning, yes, a rat was the one chance the Avengers had of beating Thanos.
‘Avengers: Endgame’: Iron Man is the real hero
Quora, however, disagreed with this theory. They argue that Dr. Strange didn’t see the rat or Antman being freed as he can’t see past this own death. According to this theory, what Dr. Strange saw was precisely what happened.
Iron Man captured the infinity gauntlet and sacrificing himself to undo Thanos’s plan. According to this theory, our hero really is Ironman who sacrificed himself to save the universe.
What about Dr. Strange?
This theory comes from Inverse, and according to it, Dr. Strange is our real hero, after all. They agree with Screen Rant that Dr. Strange can’t see past his own death.
Instead, he used some deductive logic (maybe he got it from playing Sherlock). When he saw all the Avengers back together, he realized that the time stone must have been used to get them all there. Since he saw millions of possibilities where he kept the time stone and still lost, he reasoned that the only way to defeat Thanos was to give him the time stone willingly. And in fact, this turns out to be true.
When The Hulk asks for the time stone from the Ancient One, she only gives it to him when he explains that Dr. Strange gave it to Thanos without a fight. Since this was so unusual, she used it as proof that the Avengers needed her time stone. Thus, Dr. Strange, and deductive logic, are our true heroes.
Did Thanos really lose because of a rat? Plenty of people think so, but that’s the lovely thing about movies that you can sit with your friends and theorize all kinds of answers.
Whether the hero was the rat, Ironman, or Dr. Strange, the real hero was Avengers: Endgame for giving us so much action and enjoyment and giving us something fun to discuss.