How Thanos knew Iron Man (Tony Stark)

How Thanos knew Iron Man

How Thanos knew Iron Man

When the intergalactic megalomaniac Thanos came face-to-face with the quick-witted, nanotech-fitted Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War, their conversation didn't quite play out how fans may have expected it to. Rather than watching as the hulking purple villain questioned who the armored Avenger was, viewers saw Thanos instantly recognize Tony Stark by name as the man inside the red-and-gold get-up. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have already come up with more explanations as to how Thanos seems to have known Tony prior to Infinity War than we can count - and another intriguing idea has just been added to the mix. Building off of what the film's co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo previously said about the characters' relationship, one Reddit user has theorized that Thanos and Tony actually met before the events of Infinity War. But before anyone rattles off a list of reasons as to why that's impossible, wait until you hear the other half of the theory. The idea goes that Thanos and Tony will meet again and fight in Avengers 4, duking it out in an encounter that technically happens in the past. 

So far, most people have accepted that Thanos recognizes Tony from the final fight in Avengers 1, remembering him as one of the heroes who stopped his original plan for gathering the Infinity Stones - even though he wasn't on the ground to witness it. It's a perception that would seem to be bolstered by comments from the Russo Brothers on the Infinity War commentary track, where they said Thanos recognized Tony "from the original Battle of New York as the person who undid the plan." But if the fourth Avengers movie really does delve into time travel, then perhaps Thanos is remembering a Battle of New York - or some other fight - that we don't know about yet. The theory posits that the Avengers will defeat Thanos by travelling through time to before his Infinity War victory, doing battle with him in the past before the events of the third Avengers even happen. Interpreted that way, Thanos in Infinity War is meeting the Avengers again, while from their point of view, they're meeting him for the first time. This theory is attention-grabbing for sure, but when you take a step back and look at the Avengers 4 rumor mill as a whole, you'll realize that the idea sounds pretty familiar. Back in June, not long after Infinity War opened in theaters for its record-setting run, Screen Rant's Thomas Bacon posed his own theory about Thanos, Tony, and time-travel. Bacon hypothesized, "There's strong evidence that Avengers 4 explores the idea of time-travel, with the surviving Avengers traveling back to the past. As such, it's entirely possible that Thanos could have met a future Tony Stark […] Going one step further, this may well explain why Thanos snarls, 'I hope they remember you.' Perhaps he already knows when Stark will finally die - because he's seen it happen?" While the theory has mutated a little bit since the home release of Avengers: Infinity War, there's still enough to it to warrant some consideration. With set photos from Avengers 4 clearly showing battlefields from previous movies, it's totally possible that the end game will see Tony duking it out with Thanos in an alternate timeline's past. Marvel is one of the most secretive studios out there, so despite how spoiler-happy Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo have been in the past, fans shouldn't expect anyone involved with the fourth Avengers movie to start spitting truths about this particular time-travel theory - or any other Avengers 4 theory for that matter. For the time being, the Marvel-loving masses can either immerse themselves in the weird and wonderful world of fan theories, believing a new possible storyline for Avengers 4 every week - or they can take the Russo Brothers' words at face value, and patiently wait for the answers just like everybody else. Either way, all shall be revealed when Avengers 4 opens in theaters on May 3rd, 2019.

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