In Avengers: Infinity War...

Doctor Strange peers into the future and finds the only one where they win, then gives up the Time Stone.

In Avengers: Endgame...

Bruce tries to get the Time Stone from The Ancient One, but she refuses, until Bruce mentions that Strange gave up the Time Stone willingly after peering into the future.

This confused me because can't The Ancient One peer into the same future for herself?


2 Answers 2


She can

In Doctor Strange The Ancient One comments that she looks into the future.

The Ancient One: I've spent so many years peering through time, looking at this exact moment. But I can't see past it. I've prevented countless terrible futures and after each one there's always another, and they all lead here but never further.

Strange: You think this is where you die.

The Ancient One: You wonder what I see in your future?

Strange: No. Yes.

The Ancient One: I never saw your future, only its possibilities. You have such a capacity for goodness. You've always excelled, but not because you crave success but because of your fear of failure.

Doctor Strange

She was in possession of the Eye of Agamotto when Bruce goes to see her in Avengers: Endgame and is the top sorcerer at that point in time. It seems only logical she would be able to peer into the future.

As for why she didn’t? Well she seemed to be too busy questioning Hulk and not really believing his story to spend time looking into the future. It also looks like when looking into the future you would become quite vulnerable so maybe she didn’t want to do it if Hulk was a Bad Guy.

  • 15
    I think that quote explains it just right. She can't see past the moment of her death, the moment in question (Strange giving up the time stone) is after that.
    – Skooba
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 19:20
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    Uh, the quote you linked answers why she didn't. "But I can’t see past it.". She can't look into the future beyond her own death. Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 20:20
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    @TheLethalCarrot No she doesn't look into his futures the way Strange does in IW. She's literally just saying that she sees that he has a capacity for good. That's what the quote says. Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 20:36
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    @TheLethalCarrot No she literally says she cannot see his future... In the quote that you provided. So the correct answer is "Yes, but not past her own death". Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 21:10
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    @Parrotmaster "Only possibilities" after his death is also all the Strange saw (14,000,000 possible futures, etc.) and yet that was enough to drive him to act. I don't see why the Ancient One should be any different.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 22:27

She can, but only to a point.

In Doctor Strange, she says

I've spent so many years peering through time, looking at this exact moment. But I can't see past it.

The "it" in question is

the moment of her death.

Doctor Strange gave up the Time Stone quite some time after the "it".

The only seeming contradiction is that Doctor Strange apparently can see past

his own death... except in this one possible future, he turns out not to be dead after all.

  • One clarification - the Ancient One is unable to see her future past a certain point... not any future. Otherwise she wouldn't have known that Bruce was '5 years too early' to find Dr Strange at the Sanctum. She can't see past her future beyond a certain point because at that point, she dies, thus having no future beyond said point.
    – TylerH
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 13:40
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    @TylerH: I don't think the "5 years too early" remark implies anything about Dr Strange being at the Sanctum: she's merely saying that Dr Strange is currently still a surgeon, and it'll be 5 years or so before he learns about the mystic arts.
    – Martha
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 14:29

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