When Ultron notices the Watcher, the Watcher says

basking in the boundless silence of his universe ...

By that point in time, the universe has almost been destroyed, with only a few living beings left.

Dr. Strange also interacts with the Watcher only after his reality has crashed and he is the only living being left.

Does the "silence" of their respective universes help them in any way to recognise the Watcher, or was it just a coincidence?

  • 10
    Didn’t Strange feel the presence before he was alone? It’s probably just because Strange was an incredibly strong mystic being at that point and Ultron had the Stones.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 31, 2021 at 15:40
  • 3
    @TheLethalCarrot True. Strange did felt something while he was training. But his universes reality already started disintegrating as soon as the ancient one split Strange into two right? Because it happened before he saved Cristine. I thought this could be a reason. Not fully sure.
    – Kolappan N
    Oct 31, 2021 at 15:46
  • Well maybe the universe was disintegrating but surely not silent, even more we could say that there was two timelines so there should be twice the noise ! (ahah) I feel like it is a power issue, as Dr Strange grows stronger he starts to feel the Watcher's presence (and the other timeline's). As for ultron he has the power from the begining to perceive it, it's just that his goal doesn't even have the Watcher in the equation, when he doesn't have a goal anymore it searches for a new one. Nov 2, 2021 at 11:18

2 Answers 2


The narrative pacing of the final What If…? S1 Episode seems to imply the Watcher’s watching (his traditional observing and narrating) was sufficiently non passive to alert Infinity Ultron.

In the MCU, the quantumverse and fundamental theories of quantum mechanics have played an increasing role since Ant-Man and the Wasp, and they certainly are present within the concepts of the What If…? series.

This idea that the Watcher’s watching itself is a form of interference is associated to a fundamental theory of quantum physics, particularly the field of quantum cryptology, where the state of something may be altered by the mere act of observing its state. This paradox was first identified with experiments with light known as the “wave-particle duality.”

Wave-Particle Duality

Quantum mechanics, which physicists developed at the beginning of the 20th century, describes how light and matter behave at the miniscule atomic scale. They developed quantum mechanics to explain several observations that classical physics could not, such as the nature of light. One of the more common examples is consideration of the nature of light as wave or particle:

After Einstein realized that light waves also move as individual photons, Louis de Broglie suggested that electrons, and all matter, actually, must also move like waves somehow. A few years later, Schrödinger developed a wave equation that described the “quantum state” of a particle or group of particles. This equation was known immediately to be correct mathematically. But puzzlingly, it also described strange realities. For example, it states a particle could be in two places at the same time. When you measure it, though, it would only be found in one place. No one could explain what this meant in the everyday world.

In fact, to this day, no one completely agrees. Some physicists, like Hugh Everett, have suggested that the multiple possibilities dictated by Schrödinger’s equation actually predict multiple actualities—that is, many worlds, or the “multiverse” if you’re in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The particle really is in both places, just in different universes, and they interfere with each other, but you can only directly measure one of them in your own reality.

From https://www.lsu.edu/research/news/2019/1023-quantumrealm.php

In this regard, the episode is offering the viewer meta-commentary on the nature of the Watcher’s passive act of watching (observing or narrating) as being acts in and of themselves insofar that it may simply be impossible for the Watcher to have ever kept his vow of non-interference, because “watching” may be interference to begin with.

  • 5
    It seems to be his narration that is the issue, rather than just the watching. The topic of Wave-Particle Duality doesn't add much either. It's not directly related to a quantum "wave function".
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 1, 2021 at 13:49
  • @OrangeDog Agreed. I parked down the reference to just get to its main point, and their embellishment of connecting it to MCU. Nov 1, 2021 at 14:07
  • "Watcher’s watching itself is a form of interference" Could be. But Why only Ultron & Strange felt it? Does it have anything to do with the a destroyed universe? That was my question.
    – Kolappan N
    Nov 2, 2021 at 4:01

Personally, I think it was their ability to see and hear beyond the physical world. They both had gained immense power, beyond that of a god. Which in turn gave them the ability to see and hear beyond space and time.

The Watcher probably masks himself in some regard, as to not be seen by anybody, including gods. In the show, it also looked like he was some how standing in-between worlds/timelines/universes, and looking in from the outside.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.