Dr. Strange explains to Stark in Infinity War as follows:

Strange: I went forward in time, to view alternate futures. To see all the possible outcomes of the coming conflict."
Stark: How many did you see?
Strange: 14,000,605.
Stark: How many did we win?
Strange: 1.

And as a result of this, Strange cedes the Time Stone to Thanos to nagivate the one path.

Now, it is at least strongly implied that among the integral characteristics of the one winning outcome are who is snapped into non-existence and who is not. It appears that the winning timeline presumably requires that:

All the original Avengers plus Potts, Lang, Rhodes, Nebula, Rocket, and Capt. Marvel etc. survive and that essentially everyone else disappears, including Barton's family, etc.

At the very least, it's obvious that Endgame required the combination of character for various reasons in order to play out the way it did and only minor alteration could have been tolerated.

From a purely statistical perspective, of course, that exact (or very similar) combination of dusting/non-dusting is extremely unlikely. So I imagine we are meant to believe that somehow the only reason it happened that way is because of the choice(s) that Dr. Strange made.

Assuming all of this,

How exactly did the actions taken in Avengers: Infinity War result in the one of 14,000,605 timelines and the configuration needed for Avengers: Endgame? What (if anything) did Dr. Strange need to do to lead to the events of Endgame?

Related: How did Doctor Strange see the winning outcome in Avengers: Infinity War?

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    You're missing the point that had Strange not ceded the Time Stone, Thanos would've proceeded to kill everyone there who was still fighting (which'd have included Stark). At the same time, had he ceded it from the start without a fight it's possible Thanos would've suspected it to be a trap. I don't think there's any implication at all that Strange's actions led to a different dusting distribution. – Cubic May 2 '19 at 14:52
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    You're assuming some things about randomness that we don't actually know in reality, and that may very easily not be true in a universe where the Infinity Stones themselves apparently create the flow of time. – Paul D. Waite May 2 '19 at 14:56
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    The Snappening isn't relevant I would suggest. The only essential person (and the primary one Strange bargains for) is Stark. – Paulie_D May 2 '19 at 15:45
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    @ThePopMachine He needs to do... what he's shown doing, I guess. Give the Time Stone, ensure Tony sacrifices himself, but that's what you said in your question already. Does he have to ensure the position of every living being in the galaxy? Does he have mandatory input? I still don't get it, he's seen 14 million and remembered the one that wins, and will do whatever it takes to make sure that one happens...? – Jenayah May 2 '19 at 16:03
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    What did he need to do? Exactly what he did... I’m not seeing the point of the question... – TheLethalCarrot May 2 '19 at 19:58

Strange's one condition was that Tony Stark must absolutely go on. He's the person who solves time travel. The other piece of the puzzle is Lang, but he's out of Thanos's reach in the Quantum realm as is. Given that both Lang and Tony are eventually present within talking distance of each other, time travel will be put on the table and solved. Everyone else can occur in any combination.


Strange's actions on Titan have a 2 pronged effect. Firstly, surrendering the stone prevents Thanos from directly killing Tony. Secondly, it serves to send a message to The Ancient One that the situation in the future is so dire that the risk she takes in giving Banner the time stone is justified. I don't see any reason to believe any action taken by Strange, or anyone for that matter, could influence who was dusted in the snap. That was decided purely by chance.

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