Spoilers for Endgame [as well as a few other MCU movies] below!

In Avengers: Endgame, we see the Avengers and their allies

Use Time Travel via the Quantum Realm to go back to the past and collect the Infinity Stones to undo the snap in the present.

In the movie, it is explained that

The rules of Time Travel in the MCU work in such a way that traveling to the past and altering something while in the past does not change the future, but rather, doing anything in the past creates an alternate timeline in which said events happen, leaving the 'main timeline' unaffected.

By that logic, would it be possible that the Avengers [or anyone else with the tech required] could

Time travel to the 'past' and bring a character from that past into the future? For example, could Thor time travel to right before Thanos attacked the Statesman and bring the still-alive Loki back to the present? Could they bring Tony Stark back? Maybe Black Widow? Vision, Heimdall, Yondu, maybe even characters like Ronan, Ultron or Thanos if the person with the access to the tech had more malicious intent.

One counter to this question could be that

The Avengers would not do this as bringing, say, Vision back in their timeline would remove him from another timeline, meaning everything happens the same- one timeline has Vision, another doesn't. Additionally, if they brought, for example, Tony from another timeline into their timeline, he would no longer be there to kill Thanos or do anything he does or, depending on when they take him from the other timeline, not be there to do any of the things he does in the time he spends as Iron Man in these movies.

But that doesn't excuse the fact that it's still possible, and I'm sure someone less heroic than the Avengers would have no trouble

Stealing something/someone from one timeline to get it in their own one [Case in point: Spider-Verse's Kingpin]

So is there a reasonable explanation given how the MCU works as to why the Avengers wouldn't do this? There's definitely a chance there was a reason this wouldn't work outright stated in the movie and I completely forgot it, but I don't remember one.

  • possibly related - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/212125/…
    – Dave
    May 20 '19 at 11:43
  • Because Time travel always has its consequences. Although the Avengers planned everything perfectly, still two anomalies occurred: Loki's escape in 2012, and, Thanos (2014) coming in 2023. these events did create a branching in time which might have led to what is shown in FFH trailer. the Avengers were trying to save the universe, so they were trying to be careful not to mess up during Time Travel
    – Shreedhar
    May 21 '19 at 6:54

Thanos, Gamora, and Nebula were brought to 2023 from 2014 in Endgame. This means that it doesn't matter if the person is dead or alive in the timeline they are being brought to (as 2023 Nebula was alive and the others were dead), nor does it matter how they died (Soul Stone sacrifices cannot be brought back by a snap of the gauntlet, as we see when Hulk snaps, but Gamora of 2014 was perfectly able to be brought into 2023).

It's basically possible to bring anyone back. Most likely what's stopping them is, as you said, that it would remove the person from their original timeline (and in the case of Vision specifically, also the one Stone). I would also imagine that not everyone would want to leave their original timeline.

We'll be seeing more of other timelines explored in other movies, so I expect that we'll have a better picture of this in the future. After all, Nick Fury in the Far From Home trailer says:

Beck [Mysterio] is from Earth, just not ours. The snap tore a hole in our dimension.

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