It has been nearly two years since Iron Man sacrificed his life to save the universe. The enormity of the scene juxtaposed with the minute nuances of Robert Downey Jr.’s acting chops made Tony Stark’s death one of the saddest moments in the history of movies, and deservedly so. As the paragon of a pop-culture phenomenon, Avengers: Endgame closed the chapter of a few heroes who founded the Avengers while paving the path for exciting new characters in the future. But nonetheless, even after almost two years, fans still haven’t got a concrete response to Tony Stark’s ultimate sacrifice, from the story’s point of view.
It was definitely not the first time that Tony Stark put his life at risk to save the world. From Iron Man (2008) to The Avengers (2012), Stark was not hesitant to sacrifice his life for the greater good. But sadly in the Endgame, his maneuver saved the entire universe at the cost of his life. But one theory has suggested that Stark’s death was necessary to defeat Thanos in that one possibility out of 14,000,605 realities. As Doctor Strange had predicted, in only one reality the Avengers were able to beat Thanos and save everyone.
As devastating it was, the death of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame was not just necessary to beat Thanos, but to protect the world also in the near future. The reason being Tony Stark himself. The genius, billionaire, playboy was undoubtedly Earth’s greatest defender, but sadly, his own creations were also a risk to world security. From his own Iron Man technology to Ultron, his inventions put himself as well as everyone else at risk.
Ahead of their battle with Thanos at Titan, Doctor Strange had made it clear that the safety of the Time Stone took precedence over both Tony Stark and Peter Parker’s life. But shockingly, Strange handed the Time Stone to Thanos to protect Stark. Obviously, it was not out of empathy or goodwill. As the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange did not just foresee a future where Thanos was defeated, but the universe was safe for a considerable amount of time. And that required Tony Stark’s sacrifice. However, Tony Stark was also the key to defeating the Mad Titan, courtesy of his genius intellect. From solving the equation to successfully commit a time-heist to creating a glove that could adjust to any size and wield the powers of all the Infinity Stones, Stark was the hero of the Infinity Saga.
Now, by no means that the theory suggests that Tony Stark was incapable of preventing future risks. But unfortunately, Stark was a man ahead of his time and his existence put everyone at mortal peril. Though this theory definitely doesn’t make accepting Iron Man’s death any easier, it puts Doctor Strange in a new light, instead of a morally gray region where only the end triumph over means.