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In Avengers: Age of Ultron,

Tony Stark walked into the barn at Barton's farm and was unexpectedly approached by Nick Fury. Stark's first words were "Let me guess.... Maria Hill told you" (that we were here.) "Has she ever NOT worked for you?" How did Stark know that Maria Hill was the one who had divulged the Avengers' location to Fury?

  • I assumed it was because she used to be extremely high-up in Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D.. If it was going to be anyone... – Jason Baker Jun 8 '15 at 22:04
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    It's right there in the quote: he guessed. He probably had doubts about her cutting all ties to Fury ever since he hired her. – Nerrolken Jun 8 '15 at 22:11
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    @CodeMed Maria Hill? When did Stark learn she was a SHIELD leader? It was, like, the entire first Avengers movie. (Remember that "when did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics" line?) Plus, he probably knew her even before that, when he was first approached about the Avengers Initiative. And during the Senate hearings at the end of Cap2, which we know she was a part of because of Agents of SHIELD. And it would have come up during her job interview, as past work experience. It wasn't a secret that she worked for SHIELD... – Nerrolken Jun 8 '15 at 22:33
  • Maria Hill has been the second in command of shield in the comics for a long time, and even replaced fury as leader at some points. Earth's Mightiest Heroes had Maria as the leader the whole time. – user16696 Jun 9 '15 at 1:28
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I think you answered your own question. It's right there in the quote:

He didn't know, he guessed.

Maria Hill was an incredibly high-ranking SHIELD agent for most of the time Tony has known her. (In the source comics, she gets promoted to Director at one point). She is, essentially, Nick Fury's right-hand man. She only came to work for Stark because Fury was "dead" and SHIELD was disbanded.

Tony's not an idiot -- he's actually one of the smartest people on the planet. When Fury suddenly reappears in Tony's life, of course he's going to immediately assume Fury's former second in command knew he was alive and kept in contact with him.

The fact that he guessed right merely proves how smart he is.

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Because he paid attention in the previous movies.

  1. He probably met her when he was approached with the Avengers initiative (between Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2). When he meets her later in the movies, there's not a single point where he goes "and who are you".

  2. He met her in the first Avengers movie, aboard the Helicarrier, where he saw her commanding the bridge. Obviously a high-ranking officer.

  3. He placed a virus in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s computer during his visit on the Helicarrier in the first Avengers movie, it snooped around, took every bit of information it could.

  4. He knew she was being questioned after Winter Solider - it was on the news (the trials). Tony likes to keep up with the news (towards the end of the movie).

  5. She probably told him during the job interview (towards the end of Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1)

And it helps that there was literally noone else that could've told Fury.

Like Daft has said, this isn't concrete proof. However, Stark didn't have any either. His line was mostly sarcastic and stemmed from the most likely scenario, pointed at by points I've listed above.

tl;dr he guessed

  • How does any of this explain How did Stark know that Maria Hill was the one who had divulged the Avengers' location to Fury? – Daft Jun 9 '15 at 10:20
  • Who else? There was literaly noone else that could have. – Petersaber Jun 9 '15 at 10:22
  • Just because it was very likely to be her, doesn't mean it was. All you have here are circumstantial assumptions. – Daft Jun 9 '15 at 10:23
  • And it helps that there was literally noone else that could've told Fury. I think. I really have to rewatch that movie. It sounds like you don't trust your own opinion. Not a great foundation on which to build an answer. – Daft Jun 9 '15 at 10:25
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    @Daft also, you're saying all I have are circumnstantial assumptions... Good point. Exactly the same thing could be said about Tony. He didn't have concrete proof. Just what we all knew. Heck, he might as well have been nothing but sarcastic. – Petersaber Jun 9 '15 at 10:35

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