Why can't the Avengers in Endgame go back in time to 2016 and bring Black Widow from 2016?

They can explain her about Infinity War and Endgame. I'm sure she can understand, considering the fact she knows everyone has superpowers and the explanation sounds reasonable.

This is similar to how Star-Lord is trying to find Gamora.

  • I tried to put up a more helpful title than "character X in movie Y" while not as dull as "Why can't this person do this action to prevent this event". Not overly happy with the result, if anyone's got a better idea... (or OP, if you disagree with the edit, you can always rollback)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:34

3 Answers 3


Why can't the Avengers go back in time to 2016 and bring Black Widow from 2016?

I guess they can. What they can't do is, you know, getting her back from the dead because getting the soul stone requires eternal sacrifice. Hulk did try to bring her back from the dead but failed as he states that to Cap.

But the act, if done, would create another timeline.

I think the way it happens in MCU is that you can go back in time and acquire things and come back to the present. This way multiple original Infinity stones could be brought to present time..

Thanos, Gamora came to the future (from 2014) even though Thanos and Gamora are -- or I should say were -- dead in current timeline. So, yes, it is certainly possible.


As mentioned in comments by IronSean:

And that other timeline wouldn't have a Black Widow from that point on. And since she was instrumental in getting the Soul Stone to stop Thanos, it dooms that timeline

  • Hmm, makes sense. Didn't think about another timeline that can be created.
    – StackOne
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 19:06
  • 2
    And that other timeline wouldn't have a Black Widow from that point on. And since she was instrumental in getting the Soul Stone to stop Thanos, it dooms that timeline
    – IronSean
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 20:59
  • Good point @IronSean. Will update the answer. Thanks
    – naive
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 8:56
  • I'd be careful with the assumption about alternate timelines (although that would fit with Marvel's general out-of-MCU take on the multi-verse). As far as the initial explanation (by Stark and the Ancient One) in the movie goes, alternate timelines are only claimed to be created when the stones go missing. Other than that we aren't given a complete time travel theory - let alone a consistent one. Commented May 3, 2019 at 10:14
  • 2
    @MovieMe then again, that was the status at that point in time, there might have been more branches earlier and it's not clear Strange saw all options anyway. And if all others except THE ONE are doomed anyway, why even bring the stones back ;P (alright Thanos doomed may not be dormammu doomed, but we'll have to see whether he cannot be held back without the stones anyway). In all honesty, the time travel stuff is weakly done in the movie and they seem to try to not think about it too much - or have you think about it too much, which is what I will adhere to now wrt. to this answer. Commented May 7, 2019 at 14:46

Well, the avengers can definitely bring back black widow from the past, specifically the moment before her sacrifice.

And to erase the timeline what @naive mentioned above, this can be how the present day prime timeline flows:

  1. bring black widow back from the moment before her sacrifice, after explaining to both Barton herself.
  2. let black widow live a lifetime in the current present day timeline til right before she dies of natural cause or whatever.
  3. time travel her back to Barton and surprise him with this old wrinkled lady. To Barton, it's just been probably 5 seconds have passed.
  4. sacrifice this now old lady black widow (hope the sacrifice still works, cuz she's the same Nat, just lot older, assuming Barton still loves her, lol)
  5. done

I don't think sacrificing with old black widow be considered a time aberration which create another alt timeline, as long as Barton still get the soul stone and Nat still stay dead to that timeline story plot

  • If no other timeline is created the removal of her is totally inconsequential as the time travel in endgame explicitly is supposed to work in such ways that changes in the "past" don't affect the future you come from. That'd be "ridiculous back to the future time travel logic". Commented May 7, 2019 at 14:49
  • I mean, really, all you need is two people such that: one has a terminal illness and wants to die; the second one loves the first one; the second one is willing to let the Avengers have the soul stone Commented May 21, 2019 at 17:41

They could but this would create an alternate timeline in which Black Widow does not exist.

  • 5
    And what are the implications of that, making them not to do it? I suggest you edit your answer to clarify.
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:52

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