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In Avengers: Endgame, the team...

...travels back in time to New York, because Black Widow points out that on that day three of the Infinity Stones are in the city at once. Professor Hulk goes to the New York Sanctum to get the Time Stone from the Ancient One.

However, prior to the events of the Doctor Strange movie, the Ancient One is in Kathmandu at Kamar-Taj, not at the New York Sanctum. Is this a continuity error?

  • 8
    Wouldn't she have portalled over to New York to protect that sanctum on that day? Not like she's limited to plane travel. – Dave Johnson May 1 at 16:11
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    Aren't all the sanctums connected to one another anyway? – Allison C May 1 at 16:12
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    Given that the Ancient One can instantaneously travel to any point on the planet (and possibly the universe), no, it's not. She happened/decided to be at the New York Sanctum during the Chitauri attack. – Paul D. Waite May 1 at 16:22
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    @tbrookside What are you talking about? We see her take out a couple of Chitauri. – Azor Ahai May 1 at 16:42
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    @tbrookside She was on the roof, wearing the Time Stone, throwing magic at Chitauri. I don't recall her watering any plants. But yes, but the characters don't know that. – Azor Ahai May 1 at 17:56
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I don't think there's a continuity error, but the characters do make a slight error of generalization: they go from "Dr. Strange was wearing the Time Stone around his neck in 2018" and "Dr. Strange lived in New York City in 2018" to "the Time Stone is in New York in 2012". In other words, they're assuming that Dr. Strange was already the Sorcerer Supreme in 2012, and that the Sorcerer Supreme lives in New York.

Now, it turns out that neither of those things is actually true, but it doesn't really matter that much, because geography is not really an obstacle for The Ancient One. (Also, even if they realized their error, going to the New York Sanctum to look for the Time Stone was a viable plan: they could ask whoever was in charge there where the stone was and how they could borrow it.)

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    OK, this makes a lot of sense. Only Tony has any real interaction with Stephen Strange before the snap, and he meets him in New York, so Tony might assume the New York sanctum is pretty much the whole ball of wax as far as sorcerers go. – tbrookside May 1 at 16:50
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    @tbrookside Banner also popped down in New York, while Strange was there. In Ragnarok, Thor comes to New York to find Odin at the retirement home in New York, where he gets the message to go to Bleaker St, where Doctor Strange is. So it's not just Tony - multiple of them have a reason to associate Bleaker St, New York, with Dr. Stephen Strange. – DariM May 2 at 3:17
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The Time Stone is being worn by the Ancient One when Banner goes to find the Time Stone so we can boil this down to is the Ancient One in the wrong place instead of the Time Stone. The answer is simply probably not.

The sorcerers can travel to anywhere they want through a variety of means, the Sanctum Santorums are connected and they could always just use a Sling Ring to travel to where they want to anyway. So we've established that it's perfectly possible that the sorcerers can travel between sanctums.

That door leads to the Hong Kong Sanctum, that door to the New York Sanctum. That one, to the London Sanctum.

Doctor Strange

However, why would the Ancient One be in New York. Beyond the mundane explanation of she isn't the protector of any of the specific sanctums, under my understanding, so probably travels between them anyway we could assume she was there in case she needed to protect the sanctum during the attack.

The Sanctums protect the world, and we sorcerers protect the Sanctums.

From what?

Other-dimensional beings that threaten our universe.

Doctor Strange

Potentially she didn't know what was attacking New York in 2012 and so was there just in case but when she saw what it was, stopped paying it much mind.

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    There's probably also an element of foreknowledge. She was shown in Dr Strange to have seen the moment of her death many times before and in Endgame, she's also already well aware in 2012 of who Stephen Strange is and what he will become. She's clearly used the Time Stone to look into the future and likely was at least aware that someone would show up to ask for the stone on that day. However, her conversation with Bruce implies that she wasn't completely aware of the circumstances surrounding the request. – aleppke May 1 at 16:48
  • While all the reasoning here is entirely plausible, I think it is a bit of a plot hole for the Avengers to have relied on the Time Stone being there at that time. They certainly got lucky. – MartianInvader May 1 at 17:53
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    @MartianInvader That's not what a plot hole is. – Azor Ahai May 1 at 17:57
  • @AzorAhai Okay, I'll rephrase: I find it hard to believe the Avengers would rely on the Time Stone being there, at that time, when in all likelihood it wouldn't have been. – MartianInvader May 1 at 22:41
  • @MartianInvader Yeah, but like the other answer says, they didn't know that. – Azor Ahai May 1 at 22:52
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Technically, their assumption that Time Stone is in New York is correct, because you can enter the front door of the sanctum on Bleecker street, go up some stairs, open a door to a room and there's the Eye of Agamotto. They don't have to know or care much about the fact that this last room is in Kathmandu. The Sorcerer Supreme would, of course, be there to defend the sanctum and may or may not wield the Eye, but would absolutely know where it is and could definitely summon it or go to it quickly.

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