Early on in Avengers: Endgame when Ant-Man/Scott Lang is attempting to explain the quantum realm and also how the supply of Pym particles is limited...

...since Hank was dusted during the mid-credit scene in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

He proceeded to state there were enough Pym particles for two trips each AND two tests... where he proceeded to waste one "test", Hawkeye/Ronin volunteered to test the time travel concept.

All this worked, permitting the main mission to go ahead:

All Avengers were given a vial with enough Pym particles to jump to their designated time-space AND return. Captain America and Iron Man had to take an additional jump to the 70's due to the Hulk incident in securing the Space Stone. Since Dr Pym and the Tesseract were in the same place at the same time, they could collect enough Pym particles to make the return jump.

However... halfway through the film

when past-Nebula's memory started to be populated by "present"-Nebula's memory and Past-Thanos/Nebula captured "Present"-Nebula on Morag while they planned to take the Power Stone before past-Star-Lord steals it, the past-Nebula took "Present"-Nebula's quantum GPS and the remaining ONE-JUMP Pym particles. She used this last batch of Pym particles to jump to the new present.

So if all the stock was used up

what Pym particles were used to transport Thanos's ship into the Quantum realm and equally what quantum GPS was used if Past-Nebula needed to use both?

  • This question appears in the HNQ and is in my opinion kind of a spoiler. Is there a way to do something about it?
    – IEatBagels
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 15:17
  • 2
    @IEatBagels is it? it is known at the end of InfinityWars that Hank Pym was "dusted" and it is also known that he alone knows how to manufacture Pym particles, needed by Antman. So it is already known that the present Pym particle stock is limited. What isn't known is how badly and that isn't actually covered in the topic title. If someone reads the spoiler text then they have spoilt it for themselves
    – Naib
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 16:51

7 Answers 7


To add another theory into the mix I think it is quite possible that since 2014 Nebula had stolen the Pym particles from 2023 Nebula that she showed them to Thanos. Once he was in control of them anyone under his command would have been able to access them as he wished and seeing as humans are apparently not that smart, as Rocket says to Tony, then one of his people could have recreated the Pym particle. Once recreated they would have had enough of a supply to be able to bring the ship and everyone on it to 2023.

I think this makes more sense as they would likely need more than one vial to bring all of that into the future, otherwise the team would have traveled to 2014 in the Benatar rather than shrinking it and carrying it in their pockets and then they would have had more than enough vials rather than just the right amount.

  • I assumed they had personal particles each (just in case) and a disk to regrow and a disk to reshrink the Benatar. Note that Clint promises to bring it back so he must have had some way of shrinking it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:55
  • Note also that the plan is to split up into two teams and head to separate planets. If they need to rendezvous, that adds an additional point of unnecessary failure when they can just extract from their currently locations.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:56
  • @Valorum yeah I liked your theory but of course that requires Thanos finding the Benatar.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:56
  • He knows where the Soul Stone is since Future/Nebula saw the diagram. But he doesn't know (at least not for certain) that it's been taken by Clint and Natasha. Why wouldn't he head to Vormir next? Plus they parked it really close to the temple.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:57
  • 2
    Ding, give that man a correct-prediction reward-banana: reddit.com/r/marvelstudios/comments/bj0it4/… Commented May 3, 2019 at 13:13

Answered by Russos themselves from BGR

Q: How did Thanos bring his army to the future?

A: There is a guy called Maw in his army, he was a great wizard. Thanos himself was a brilliant genius as well. Those two easily reverse engineered and mass produced Pym Particles.

  • 3
    Nice my theory was correct
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:09
  • 4
    Disappointing. Seems like a cop-out
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:17
  • 1
    @Valorum agreed but we have to accept with a grain of salt. Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:18
  • 1
    Don't get me wrong. You get an upvote for finding a 'word of god' answer, it's just that the answer itself is a disappointment ;-)
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:19
  • 1
    @Valorum I understood already, don't worry :) Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:20

Probably there was a shrinking disk on the Benatar.

The plan was to re-shrink the Benatar on Vormir and bring it back to Avengers HQ once the Soul Stone had been recovered.

Rocket: You promised to bring that [The Benatar] back in one piece.

Clint: Yeah yeah yeah yeah. Ok, do my best.

Since we don't see the ship again until much later (after the battle), it's possible that Clint, in his distressed state, used his personal particle to jump straight back to present-day Earth and left the Benatar on Vormir for Thanos to find, along with its remaining Pym particle (presumably housed in one of Ant Man's shrinking disks).

Thanos definitely knew the location of the Soul Stone (courtesy of FutureNebula's memories) and would have been in the vicinity of Vormir at some point shortly afterward, found the abandoned Benatar parked near to the temple, realised what the disk contained (again, courtesy of stolen memories) and then used the particle to shrink his own battleship when PastNebula contacted him from the future. Since the Guardian's ship had no other value to him, he probably would have just left it on the planet, as junk, for Captain Marvel to later collect and bring back to Earth.


Past Nebula uses the time machine constructed by Professor Hulk to bring Thanos’ ship into the future.

According to a Chinese Q&A by the directors, she was able to do this because Past Thanos and Past Maw were able to duplicate the Pym particles that Past Nebula gave Past Thanos.

There is a guy called Maw in his army, he was a great wizard. Thanos himself was a brilliant genius as well. Those two easily reverse engineered and mass produced Pym Particles.

Given the time travel/alternate reality aspect, they probably had as long as they needed to do this, although apparently it was easy.

  • Interesting theory but we have not seen ProfessorHulk's quantum tunnel dragging things from the past, only sending something/someone somewhere and dragging them back. If the Tunnel could drag things from the past, why didn't they just use the quantum tunnel to drag all the stones to their time.
    – Naib
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:02
  • @Naib: indeed we haven’t. Maybe Nebula went back to Thanos’s ship, and brought it back? Or Thanos figured out how to duplicate Pym particles? He’s got a sword that can smash vibranium apart, so we know he’s got cool toys. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:05
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    Cap stole four. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 23:55
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    @Valorum: and we see past Nebula back in the future mucking around with the time machine. If Cap did steal four vials of Pym particles, that’s one spare to get Nebula back, and one spare to get Thanos’s ship forward. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 9:05
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    @Shubham he brought that with in from past-Asgard, he didn't call for it from present-Earth
    – Naib
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 9:53

Black Widow('s corpse) had an unused Pym Particle and the temporal GPS unit

The additional Pym-particle and GPS needed for Sanctuary II to enter and navigate the quantum realm could have been acquired from the body of Black Widow.

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We know she was in possession of another Pym particle (to make the return journey to the present) as well as the time-GPS needed to facilitate her return journey. Since the initial plans weren't for either of the Avengers to make a personal sacrifice, her ability to return was absolutely planned for.

Due to some form of memory entanglement in Nebula storage, Thanos was made aware of present-Nebula's presence and would have extracted all memories, as he instructed Ebony Maw to do. The need for more Pym particles and a GPS would have been apparent as well as the knowledge that another Avengers team were close by on Vormir attempting to acquire the Soul stone.

Hawkeye returned to the present without Black Widow's body so it is safe to assume this was left at the bottom of the cliff on Vormir, in the past. Thanos' plan may have been to try to capture Hawkeye/Black Widow on Vormir but the body of Black Widow at the bottom of the cliff would have served Thanos's needs just as easily.

  • Im fine with that, thanks
    – Naib
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 23:59
  • Spoiler, by the way :)
    – SeanR
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 4:09

The Russo’s have answered this question in a Chinese Q+A session

How did Thanos bring his army to the future?

A: There is a guy called Maw in his army, he was a great wizard. Thanos himself was a brilliant genius as well. Those two easily reverse engineered and mass produced Pym Particles.



Captain America brought back extra Pym Particles from 1970

Recall that Captain America and Iron Man used their Pym particles not to return to present-day, but to go back to 1970, where they could acquire both the Tesseract and more Pym particles. When we see Cap swipe the particles from Pym's lab, he takes four vials - two more than they need to return home.

So there were two extra vials in the present-day after everyone returns. The Avengers had no reason to suspect a spy at this point and so presumably left these extras somewhere near the time machine (their attention at the time was on assembling the stones). So the particles were easy pickings for Nebula. My guess is she used the first vial to send the second back in time to Thanos' ship, which could then use it to travel forward to the present day.

I'm not sure about the quantum GPS (that tech is pretty hand-wavy anyway), but it may have been unneeded for the way in which the machine was used - in particular, with someone at the end point of the journey acting as a real-time guide, they may have been able to set up some kind of quantum homing beacon or something. In general, navigating the quantum realm seems to be less of a technical challenge than creating Pym particles (Tony is able develop the quantum GPS in a relatively short time frame, but no one even suggests he try to create more Pym particles).

  • There's no good indication that Nebula used the gate for anything other than bringing the (already-shrunken) Sanctuary II into the future.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 6:50
  • @Valorum There's no indication as to how the Sanctuary II navigated to present-day at all, so clearly something happened with no indication that it did. Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 18:19
  • Isn't Cap's secret extra 1970 Pym particle the one he later uses to go back to 1945 after returning the Infinity Stones to their proper locations? When he hesitates before taking the extra particle in 1970, I thought we were supposed to infer he was already formulating his 1945 plan.
    – tbrookside
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:23
  • @tbrookside Hank Pym is alive again by the time Cap goes back to 1945, so he could have created more Pym particles (that was presumably the plan all along, since Hulk didn't know about any extra particles when he formulated it with the Ancient One). And Cap would have known that was possible as well (even if Hank was reluctant to give him the particles directly, Scott certainly would have been willing to do him a favor). Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:34
  • @MartianInvader That's an excellent point, and Hank Pym is no doubt where Professor Hulk got the Pym particles for Cap's "Time Stone Return" mission. I had just thought we were meant to understand that Cap had one more particle than he actually needed on that mission, so he could get to 1945, without anyone else knowing that he had that particle - because he had "requisitioned" it in 1970.
    – tbrookside
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:38

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