At the end of Captain America: Civil War, Zemo reveals that

he trapped Bucky to make the Avengers fight each others.

But around the middle of the film, he

interrogates Bucky

in order to learn what happened on 16 December 1991.

It doesn't seem to be an essential part of the plan, and everything has already happened when all is revealed. Actually to me it looks more like a matter of luck if he has something he could use it

to make Iron Man fight Cap and Bucky


they all made a truce... Which happened because Tony knows that all is Zemo's fault.

So why does he want so much to know that?

  • Anyone else notice the empty winter soldier pod that wasn't empty when he first arrived?
    – user65915
    May 10, 2016 at 15:04
  • I didn't notice this, but if you're sure that one of the pods was empty, then you should go into some more detail. What do you think happened to that remaining soldier, and how would it fit into Zemo's plan?
    – recognizer
    May 10, 2016 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


Warning! Major spoilers!

The important thing Zemo learned from Bucky is the location of the old HYDRA base. Inside this facility is the footage of Bucky's mission of killing Howard & Maria Stark. This is what Zemo needed to show Tony Stark in order to turn the Avengers against each other.

But, the existence of the other Winter Soldiers just seems to have been a misdirection for the audience.

It's not exactly clear how much Zemo knew in advance (or how).

It seemed to me, Zemo knew (or suspected) what happened in 1991 and that the footage existed, but not where.

  • The question that bothers me is how come Zemo knew there is gonna be a footage. (oh, I just saw the same sentence in your answer) :)
    – UVV
    May 2, 2016 at 12:05
  • @UVV Of course, we can only speculate, because they didn't tell us.
    – Dennis_E
    May 2, 2016 at 12:13
  • 6
    @UVV Earlier in the film, Zemo discusses the Hydra files that were leaked to the public during the events of CA: The Winter Soldier. He notes that most of the files were encrypted, but says that he has experience with that. Presumably, he managed to break Hydra's encryption, and learned enough to suspect that Hydra had hidden proof of the assassination of the Starks.
    – recognizer
    May 9, 2016 at 15:26
  • 5
    I think from the leaked Hydra documents he discovered a mission involving the Winter Soldier took place at the same time as the Stark accident, and he suspected they were the same thing. He just needed proof in order to pit the Avengers against each other. May 9, 2016 at 18:28
  • 3
    Zemo mentioned that anything can be accomplished with patience and skill. I take this to mean that he's followed a lot of dead leads in the past, but just kept trying. We're only seeing the one that panned out.
    – DCShannon
    May 17, 2016 at 17:02

What I think happened is Zemo needed to know where to find the footage of 16 Dec 1991 to show Tony that his parents were killed by Bucky, so that Tony could turn against Bucky.

  • 3
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    May 12, 2016 at 4:10
  • Welcome to SFF.SE! I've edited down this post to the part that attempts to answer the question. As has already been mentioned, you should ask a new question for the part which asks a question. Please take a look at the help center to learn how this site works.
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    May 12, 2016 at 4:29

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