Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been consistent over the time with the MCU, so that both storylines belong to the same universe and reality. There are numerous occasions when characters and storylines of the MCU are mentioned in the series (Ultron and the Sokovia Accords, Captain America destroying the Triskelion, Thanos, etc.) However, why does time travel behave different when they both are inside the same reality?

According to the MCU Universe, the rules are clear: "Going back in time does not change the past"

BRUCE BANNER: ...And secondly, time doesn't work that way. Changing the past doesn't change the future.

and later on

BRUCE BANNER: I don't know why everyone believes that, but that isn't true. Think about it: If you travel to the past, that past becomes your future. And your former present becomes the past. Which can't now be changed by your new future...

NEBULA: Exactly.

SCOTT LANG: So... Back To The Future's a bunch of bullshit?

However, in season 5 of Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, changing the past was indeed possible. They travelled to the future to see a dystopian reality where Earth was destroyed by Quake, the Destroyer of Worlds. They came back to change that future, so actually when they are going in back in time, they are changing the past to a reality where that dystopian future is no longer real, so basically contradicting the arguments exposed in Endgame.

Even worse, the whole of season 7 is based on the premise that changing the past is possible by time travel.

Am I wrong or is there a better explanation to this?

  • I've not seen AoS so I won't answer but from your explanation and my understanding there is no contradiction because they are changing the future not the past. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 15 at 14:27
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    @In season 7 they change the future by changing the past. I see there a contradiction – Roberto Hernandez Oct 15 at 14:52
  • Without knowing details that could still be consistent with the Endgame theory. Although note that the directors and writers of Endgame disagree on how time travel works in the MCU so it's best not to overthink it too much. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 15 at 15:00
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    Season 7 explicitly stated that new, alternate timelines were created and remained intact: Deke was left behind and became the new de facto head of SHIELD after the rest of the team pulled the Chronicons back to the timeline they'd originally left. – Keith Morrison Oct 15 at 15:44
  • If I were Banner I would say that past becomes your present. – aminabzz Nov 13 at 14:20

In Infinity War, they discuss that changing the past will create a new branch of the timeline, but it will not change your present. That's why they had to return the Infinity Stones to exactly when they were taken, so that the branches would be closed off. I don't have the exact quote but it was the major point of Banner's discussion with The Ancient One when talking about the Time Stone.

Travelling to the future on the other hand, only shows one of the possible futures your present/reality could go to, so when you return to your present you can make changes and make a new branch of the timeline where everything isn't as awful as the Agents of Shield saw. So the two shows actually do match, the difference is if people care about creating new branches of the timeline or preserving the existing branch of the timeline.

Remember, they didn't want to make the snap never happen, Tony Stark was adamant about that. They just wanted to undo the effects of the snap going forward in their current timeline.

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  • How would they make Loki series if the stones were returned to exactly when they were taken in order to close off the new branches? – aminabzz Nov 13 at 14:19

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