Endgame, the Time Stone and Responsibility

Hello readers, I just returned from watching the re-release of Avengers: Endgame (the short review: I loved the movie, but the deleted scene and ‘extras’ offered at the re-release were very underwhelming), and I was struck by a thought while enjoying the film.

Why doesn’t someone just use the Time Stone to fix, well, everything, after the final fight? As shown in Doctor Strange, the Time Stone can restore damaged things, even living things, so theoretically, the stone could have healed Hulk, resurrected Iron Man, and fixed the Avengers HQ.

(Honestly, this line of thinking was inspired by a clever How It Should Have Ended clip)

My own personal headcanon is simply this: Captain America would have reminded everyone about responsibility.

Cap: “We can’t use the Time Stone to undo all the consequences of our choices.”

War Machine: “What about Morgan, and Pepper? Don’t they deserve to have Tony back?”

Cap: “I think we have to honor Tony’s decision. He knew what he was doing. And once we start using the stones to fix, well, everything… we won’t stop.”

Heads start to nod amongst the Avengers as they all start to realize that the temptation of the stones is too great. Black Panther thinks about his father, Thor thinks about his parents, and so on, until there’s silence on the battlefield.

Cap: “We promised we would return the stones to the instant that they left. If we don’t do that… right now, right this instant… we’re condemning six other realities to benefit our own.”

Cap: “We have to take responsibility for the choices we made here, today. If we start using the stones to make all the consequences of today meaningless… we’re on our way to becoming Thanos, and our victory today will have been for nothing.”

I’m not saying I know for certain how this would have gone down, but I do think I’ve imagined something that makes sense for me. Captain America would have wanted to honor not just the spirit of the bargain with the Ancient One, but the letter–to return the stones once they’d been used to correct Thanos’ snap–and to do so as quickly as possible.

For a man who’d lived through WWII, the Winter Soldier, and Civil War–he likely knows a thing or two about the power and price of temptation.

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