Last week, before any of us had seen Infinity War, we decided to write down all of our (many) predictions for the record, based on the official trailers and promotional material that Marvel had released, along with our knowledge of the comics and our own hopes and dreams for what might become of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Now that the third installment in the Avengers franchise (and the nineteenth cinematic entry in the MCU) has hit theaters, it’s time to see how our theories stacked up to the film itself. Did we get anything right? Was there anything we missed that we should have seen coming? Was our logic sound, or was it completely off base?
Below, we break down where we got it right, where we came close, and where we were just flat-out wrong.
The Infinity Stones
What we predicted: Going into this movie we were sure that Thanos wouldn’t be able to get his hands on all six of the stones, as that would make him unstoppable. We knew he had the Power and Space stones thanks to the trailer. And we were fairly certain he’d end up with the Mind Stone and Time Stone after defeating Vision and Dr. Strange. There was a 50/50 chance he’d get the Reality Stone, but we were so sure that the Soul Stone was safe. And that it was in Wakanda. We thought that we had that one locked down. But did we?
What actually happened: Even before the opening scene of Infinity War had ended, we realized we’d made a critical error. We were so focused on the mythology — knowing that if Thanos got all six stones, he’d basically become invincible — that we forgot to take into account one of the main rules of good storytelling, which is that conflict is more interesting when the odds seem impossible. In our defense, we had it in our heads that both this film and next year’s untitled Avengers 4 would both be about Thanos trying to complete the gauntlet, and it didn’t occur to us that Infinity War would see him complete his mission. So of course Thanos got all six stones, realizing the Avengers’ worst fears and wiping out half of all life in the universe.
What we should have seen coming: We were super wrong on the Soul Stone, which was on a random planet and guarded by, uh, Red Skull? In our defense, we doubt that anyone saw that particular cameo coming. (Which, honestly, we found a little confusing. Why bring back Red Skull if you can’t get Hugo Weaving?) What we should have predicted, though, was Thanos having to offer up a sacrifice in order to claim the stone. In the comics, Gamora is killed during Thanos’ efforts to get his hands on the Soul Stone, and while the mechanics of it are different in Infinity War, we should’ve realized that she was likely on the chopping block.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
What we predicted: Wanda is powerful, which we’ve always known, but we were sure that Infinity War would establish her as one of the Avengers’ heaviest hitters. And given that her powers in the comics are so much more than simply shooting red energy from her hands during battle sequences, we had an idea that Wanda would play a major part in using the Reality Stone to create an alternate universe or attempting to undo what Thanos does with the gauntlet, and the inevitable body count left in his wake.
What actually happened: While Wanda was one of the main players in Infinity War, taking on the role of Vision’s guardian — and, by extension, becoming the individual most responsible for keeping the Mind Stone out of the hands of the Black Order — she never got her hands on the Reality Stone, and her powers were never expanded beyond red energy. And she definitely won’t be the one taking point on the reality reset (which we’re still 100% convinced has to happen in the next movie, even if we’re not sure how), as she was one of the billions of people turned to dust by Thanos at the end of the film.
Why we got it wrong: We focused too much on Wanda’s powers and existing comic book storylines (namely “House of M”) and didn’t consider that perhaps keeping Wanda in the mix would make reversing things too easy. The MCU never takes the easy way out, so we should have seen that they’d remove the characters with the best chance of fixing the world, in order to make it that much more challenging for the remaining heroes.
What we predicted: It’s no secret that Sarah and Lauren adore Hawkeye, and as a result, they stubbornly held out hope that he’d make an appearance in Infinity War despite not being in any of the promo material or along for the press tour ride. Since he had been confirmed as a member of the cast in a few places, we didn’t expect to see much of the quippy archer in Infinity War, but we were certain that his presence would be felt throughout. We were also more than sure that he’d be losing his family along the way, as that would pull straight from his “Ultimates” storyline.
What actually happened: Nothing. Nothing at all. There was a brief moment when Nat mentioned that Clint and Scott took a deal after the events of Civil War left them on house arrest and with their families, but his face never appeared on screen. We still think there’s a decent possibility that he lost his family — we think they’ll be among the many turned to dust at the end of Infinity War — but the movie didn’t give us even a hint of confirmation of that theory. For now, we’re left with no information whatsoever on the status of the Barton family, but we’re still sure that Clint will show up to help save the day next year… if for no other reason than because there’s barely anyone else left.
Why we got it wrong: We leaned too heavily on the cast listing on IMDB and claims made in various articles saying that Jeremy Renner was a confirmed member of the Infinity War cast. What we should have looked at was the promo material released and the lineup of the press tour to tell us what we wanted so badly to ignore.
What we predicted: Like Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd had been conspicuously absent from all of the Infinity War promotional materials. We were certain he’d have an ant-sized role in this movie and expand on that in Ant-Man and The Wasp when it drops in July. We figured he wouldn’t want to jump right back into the fray and risk losing Cassie for good, but we weren’t expecting much of that story in this movie.
What actually happened: The difference between Hawkeye and Ant-Man is that the latter is headlining his own MCU movie later this summer, so that probably contributed in a large part towards his absence from Infinity War. While his absence was noted along with Clint’s, the movie didn’t spend any time on Scott’s story, given that it will be pretty thoroughly covered in July. And we’re still banking on the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp tying in to the conclusion of Infinity War, with one of the end stingers setting up how Scott and Hope will show up for Part 2.
Why we got it wrong: We used the same reasoning for Ant-Man as we did for Hawkeye, and we leaned too heavily on the cast listing on IMDB and confirmations made in various articles.
Steve Rogers/Captain America
What we predicted: Everyone was so sure that Steve would die in Infinity War, given that Chris Evans’ contract with Marvel is almost up, but we were sure he’d make it out alive. However, most of our predictions for Steve were focused mostly on the resolution of the storyline that we figured would be set up in Infinity War, but that won’t happen until Part 2 appears on the screen next May. So we’ll have to wait and see what ends up coming true in the long run.
What actually happened: We were right: Steve lived.
What we should have seen coming: Nearly everyone else died. Doctor Strange. Peter Parker. Black Panther. Nick Fury. Every single Guardian of the Galaxy except Rocket. The hardest death for Steve, of course, was Bucky, who disintegrated right before his eyes (his last word, appropriately, was “Steve”). Similarly to how we should have predicted that Thanos would gain all six stones during the course of Infinity War, we should have known that he’d ultimately achieve his ambition of indiscriminately destroying half of all life in the universe.
Tony Stark/Iron Man
What we predicted: Tony was another character that everyone was positive we’d be mourning when the credits for Infinity War rolled out, yet Lauren and Sarah were sure he’d make it through alive. And like Steve, most of our predictions for Tony focused on the latter half of the storyline that Infinity War sets up, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
What actually happened: Things looked dire for a minute when Thanos stabbed Tony through the chest, but Doctor Strange — having visited 14 million possible outcomes for the battle against the Mad Titan and seeing only one in which the Avengers were victorious — ultimately traded the Time Stone for Tony’s life, telling Tony that “we’re in the endgame now” before joining the miles-long list of Thanos-related casualties.
What happens now: We’re still pretty sure that Tony will be walking away at the end of Part 2, as Robert Downey Jr’s contract is up and it’s time for him to pass the baton to a new group of heroes. Given Doctor Strange’s ultimate sacrifice, it seems like a pretty safe bet that Tony will be instrumental in fixing or reversing what Thanos did. Once he’s done with that, it’s time for him to retire from superheroing and start that family with Pepper that he keeps talking about.
What We Predicted: After the events of Ragnarok, we were certain that Infinity War would open with Thanos having slaughtered Thor’s ship full of Asgardian refugees, establishing Thanos’ status as the worst villain our heroes had ever faced. We predicted that Heimdall would fall during the battle, but that Valkyrie would live, and that Thor would be cast out into space after his ship was destroyed. Following that, we knew from the trailers that Thor would join up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and we anticipated that his top priority before facing Thanos again would be to forge himself a new weapon to replace Mjolnir, most likely Stormbreaker, a massive axe he wields in the comics.
What actually happened: Literally everything we predicted. The Asgardians were killed (although Thor tells us later that Thanos, in his constant quest for balance, only killed half of them, and we’re expecting that the surviving half is being led by Valkyrie, who didn’t make an appearance in Infinity War). Heimdall died (after heroically using his last bit of strength to send Bruce to Earth to warn the Avengers). Thor joined up with the Guardians and immediately requested a ship so that he could go forge himself a new weapon, which, as we anticipated, was the axe named Stormbreaker.
Also, Thor called Rocket “Rabbit” for the entirety of Infinity War, and it never got old.
What we should have seen coming: Of course Rocket gave Thor the mechanical eye he stole in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. Marvel was sneaky by setting up the eye in Guardians 2 well before Ragnarok released, but we’re still a little disappointed in ourselves that we didn’t see it coming. We should also have predicted that Groot would provide the handle for Stormbreaker, as we knew that Groot would be with Thor, and there aren’t a lot of other trees in space.
What we predicted: While the trailers wanted us to think that Loki would betray his brother – again – to join the Black Order and hand over the Tesseract to Thanos, we didn’t buy it. We were sure that Infinity War would confirm that Loki wasn’t working autonomously when he attacked New York in The Avengers, and that Thanos was the one behind it all. But given that in order to confirm that, Loki would have to stand up to Thanos, we were pretty sure he’d be the first major casualty of Infinity War, but we hoped that he might return in the inevitable reality reset.
What actually happened: As we predicted, Loki only handed over the Tesseract under extreme duress, doing it in exchange for Thor’s life. We also got the confirmation we’d been waiting for that Thanos had been the one behind his attack on New York in The Avengers, although we didn’t get any details on exactly how Thanos was controlling him. And, sadly, we were right about Loki being the first major casualty of Infinity War after standing up to Thanos, as he was tragically strangled to death in front of his brother.
What we should have seen coming: How sad we’d be. Even though we thought we were prepared to watch Loki die early on in the film, it was still devastating to see it unfold before our eyes, especially since a helpless Thor was forced to watch.
Also, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we have to admit that our prediction that he’ll come back in Part 2 was wishful thinking. Unlike the characters who died at the end of Infinity War (many of whom have to come back, as they have sequels in the works), Loki’s death wasn’t tied to an Infinity Stone, and it completed his character arc, which has been in the works since Thor way back in 2011. Much as we dislike it, we’re pretty sure that this time, Loki has exited the MCU for good.
What we predicted: Vision was totally going to die. The Mind Stone was in his forehead and in order for Thanos to get it, Vision had to die. Based on the trailers, we pegged Corvus Glaive to be the one with the honor of carving the stone out and handing it over to Thanos, most likely in full view of a horrified Wanda.
What actually happened: Vision did die. Twice. The first time, he perished at the hands of the person who loved him most in the world, Wanda Maximoff, as she tearfully carried out their last-resort plan to keep the Mind Stone out of Thanos’ hands. Then, in a sucker punch that, honestly, just felt mean, Thanos reversed time and brought Vision back to life — just so he could rip the stone out of his head himself, killing him again. We were wrong about who killed him — both times — but were right that Wanda was forced to watch.
What we should have seen coming: We’d predicted that Vision would die around the midpoint of Infinity War and that the biggest, final battle would be for the Soul Stone, but we should have anticipated that the Mind Stone would’ve been the last one for Thanos to acquire. Tying it directly to the life of an Avenger makes the stakes deeply personal, making that final battle feel much more urgent than it would have if the stone had been buried under a mountain of vibranium like we’d predicted.
What happens now: We’re not sure if Vision will come back after this — although we anticipate some sort of reset, we think the only guaranteed resurrections will be the dusty ones directly tied to the completion of the Infinity Gauntlet — but there is still a glimmer of hope. Shuri collected a lot of data about the Mind Stone before the Black Order infiltrated her lab, and if anyone is capable of repairing a catastrophically damaged Vision without the Infinity Stone that brought him to life in the first place, it’s her.
What we predicted: Doctor Strange is the MCU’s biggest gun and we anticipated Strange playing a huge role in Infinity War, and for Ebony Maw to do everything he could to get inside his head and bend him to Thanos’ will. We didn’t think that Strange would lose his free will, but we were also sure he’d lose his grasp on the Time Stone and it would fall to Thanos. And while he may have lost the Time Stone, we were sure that his mastery of the mystic arts would be used to help reverse the damage Thanos did.
What actually happened: Doctor Strange did indeed play a major role in Infinity War, resolutely refusing to break the spell he’d cast to keep the Time Stone out of enemy hands, even as Ebony Maw tortured him by driving arm-length crystalline spikes into his face (which, yikes, Marvel), but, as we predicted, he never became a puppet for Thanos. Truthfully, the MCU changed Ebony Maw’s abilities, giving him telekinesis and levitation instead of the power of persuasion, so Strange losing his free will was never a risk that was even on the table.
He did wind up ultimately losing the Time Stone, but it was his choice, bargaining it to Thanos in exchange for Tony’s life. We can only assume that this unexpected move was part of the single scenario Strange foresaw in which the Avengers defeated the Mad Titan. This, of course, led to Thanos destroying half of all life with a snap of his fingers, including Strange himself.
What happens now: There has to be a reality reset after this, but we’d assumed that either Strange or Wanda would be the one to bring it about, and now they’re both dust. If Tony’s life was worth giving up the Time Stone, which Strange had previously stated he would prioritize over the lives of every single one of his allies, that must mean that Tony is vital to defeating Thanos, and that Strange, contrary to what we’d believed, is not. We have no clue how this reset is going to come about with no mystics and no Infinity Stones left on the playing field, but if Tony Stark is central to the end game, then it’s probably going to involve a technological solution and Bruce will help.
Coincidentally, we don’t think Shuri was dusted either, and we’re betting that at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank Pym will still be standing, too. Science Sibs to the rescue?
Assorted Other Predictions
What we predicted: No other major Avenger deaths, but maybe some losses among the secondary characters, such as Wong, Nebula, Pepper, Happy, Selvig, Heimdall, Korg, and M’Baku.
What actually happened: Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Just kidding. Everyone died. Even Nick Fury and Maria Hill, who weren’t even in the rest of the movie. They showed up just to die. And most of the secondary characters lived, although we fully expect to find out in Part 2 that Pepper was dusted as well. However, while we think Heimdall and Loki (and probably Vision) are gone for good, we expect everyone else to come back.
What we predicted: Nat and Bruce’s romance will be swept under the rug with minimal ceremony and never addressed again.
What actually happened: Yup. Thankfully.
What we predicted: Wanda will be the one to kill Corvus Glaive.
What actually happened: Vision killed Corvus Glaive, saving Steve from death and getting a bit of revenge for the damage Corvus Glaive did to him.
What we predicted: Peter Quill still has some latent Celestial powers.
What actually happened: Neither confirmed nor denied. If he has them, he sure didn’t use them. Also, he’s dead now. Just like most everyone else.
What we predicted: Peter Parker will be awestruck by Shuri.
What actually happened: They didn’t even meet, as Peter spent most of the movie not even on Earth. So we suppose we will have this to look forward to in the next one, as there’s no possible way Peter is staying dead.
What we predicted: The door will be cracked open for Captain Marvel to join the MCU, likely using an Infinity Stone.
What actually happened: It didn’t have anything to do with an Infinity Stone, but there was a subtle Captain Marvel nod, as her symbol popped up on the fancy pager Nick Fury attempted to use to call for help right before turning to dust in the end-credits stinger.
What we predicted: Groundwork will be laid for Captain America’s successor, who will be either Sam Wilson or Bucky Barnes.
What actually happened: Nope. They’re both dust.
What we predicted: Even if there’s a reality reset, there will be no Quicksilver.
What actually happened: No reality reset (yet), and still no Quicksilver.
Overall, we’re pretty pleased with how we did. Sure, we got a lot wrong, but we also got a lot right, and we’re still holding out hope that some of our biggest predictions may still come true in upcoming MCU movies.
Until then, just try not to think too hard about Peter Parker dying in Tony Stark’s arms, or Steve watching Bucky blow away, or how a major subplot of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 was about Rocket opening up emotionally and allowing himself to love his crew like family, and now he’s the only one left alive.
Just… yeah. Don’t think about any of that.
And definitely, don’t go and listen to “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. It’s a bad idea.