As I know, in the MCU, the Ancient One who instructed Doctor Strange was extremely powerful, an immortal, and she can see the future; she was the guardian of the Earth... so why did she not stop Thanos from coming? With some planning, she could've stopped him, either with help, or by herself. So is there any reason? Or it was forced by the author?


I believe there are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the Sorcerers protect the Earth, and world, from more mystical threats. Whilst one could argue that Thanos with the full Infinity Gauntlet is mystical, I don’t think they mean mystical like that. At the very heart of it Thanos’ threat is still very physical in nature... for the Avengers to deal with. The Sorcerers seem to protect more again other dimension level threats.

Stephen Strange: When do you start telling me what we are?

Wong: While heroes like the Avengers protect the world from physical dangers, we sorcerers safeguard it against more mystical threats.

Doctor Strange

Secondly, she knows that Doctor Strange ”was meant to be the best of us”. She’s looked into his possible futures and knows this, likely in part due to his dealings against Thanos. It seems she may leave some things to play out as they are meant to than get involved before needing to.

The Ancient One: I never saw your future, only its possibilities. You have such a capacity for goodness. You've always excelled, but not because you crave success but because of your fear of failure.

Doctor Strange

And of course she can’t exactly protect the Earth from mystical threats if she’s off world trying to take down Thanos. And that’s even before you start thinking about whether or not she could get to him in another galaxy... can the sling ring even go that far or would she even be able to use it to go somewhere unknown?


The Ancient One: I’ve spent so many years peering through time looking at this exact moment, but I can’t see past it. I’ve prevented countless, terrible futures, and after each one, there’s always another, and they all lead here, but never further.

Dr. Stephen Strange: You think this is where you die.

Doctor Strange, 2016

The Ancient One doesn't do anything about Thanos because she doesn't know about him. He only turns up after she's died, and she can't see the future past that point.

  • She can’t see her future past that point. Strange’s actions in IW and her comments later on in the conversation make it clear viewing futures passed your own death is possible. – TheLethalCarrot Mar 5 at 23:53
  • @TheLethalCarrot not necessarily. a) Strange is more powerful than The Ancient One (she says this herself) or b) the snap doesn't count as a death, and he can see through to when he gets blipped back, or c) you can only do it with the Time Stone, which she refuses to use – OrangeDog Mar 6 at 15:00
  • @TheLethalCarrot and from your one of your own quotes, she can't see Strange's future either. Not one where he battles Thanos anyway (since in Endgame she doesn't know about it). – OrangeDog Mar 6 at 15:02
  • She sees his possible futures, at least some of them. Presumably if she doesn’t know of Thanos then it’s just not a future she’d yet seen if she sees it at all. – TheLethalCarrot Mar 6 at 15:15

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