As far as I understand there is no concept of multiple timelines in Avengers: Endgame. So when Tony and Cap are trying to bring back the Infinity Stones with the quantum tunnel, Tony lost it and Loki opens a portal and disperses. Doesn't that make the past more complicated (altered plot opposed to what was supposed to happen [Thor taking him back to Asgard and so on...])? Even if Cap takes back the Space Stone in the past, at which exact point in the timeline should Cap take the Space Stone to make the mission successful?

  1. after Loki is gone. That would make 2 Space Stones in the past (not possible logically), one with Loki and one with SHEILD agents.

  2. before Tesseract was handed over to SHIELD agents. Cap would have to face 3rd of himself, one from the past, one from the future who is bringing the Tesseract back to the future to destroy the stone.

It makes no sense as to how the Space Stone is returned.

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    Neither, the stone in the "present" timeline came from 1970.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 0:56

4 Answers 4


Cap returned the Tesseract to 1970. The bit with Loki 2012 stealing the stone seemed to be mostly comic relief.

I suspect that Thor 2012 caught up with Loki 2012 and returned the Tesseract to Asgard. This scenario is compatible with the timeline as we know it.


The space stone was returned to 1970 - this is the location in time that the space stone was taken from so this is where it was returned to.

The entire Loki incident in 2014... - you're assuming that the timeline in 2014 is different. We don't know that these events didn't originally happen because they occurred off screen at the end of Avengers Assemble. If these events didn't originally happen that no doubt this is the introduction to the Loki TV series and it will be explained further there.

  • Actually we do know that Loki doesnt get the Tesseract that way since the end of Avengers 1 shows Thor taking back Loki to Asgard with the Tesseract.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 2:38
  • 1
    @bobbyalex after an undetermined period of time. There is nothing at all in MCU lore that states there wasn't a space stone incident immediately after Avengers. All we know factually is that the team left the top of Stark Tower with the stone, and that at some point shortly afterwards Thor and Loki returned to Asgard with the stone. There is nothing stopping an entire Disney TV/streaming series occurring in between these two events.
    – user5603
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 2:43
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    Well, Future-Tony and Future-Steve would have realized that events were repeating. If that "always happened", they would have known Loki would have escaped with the Tesseract ... And there's no indication they knew. Commented May 25, 2019 at 13:18

If you'll recall, Steve and Tony went back to 1970 in order to get A) the Tesseract, and B) more Pym Particles. This happened because Loki took the 201x version. As a result, the Tesseract that went missing in 201x is not the one that Steve will be replacing.

  • 2
    While this is perfectly correct - Captain returned the stone to 1970 - the movie fails to explain the effect of the now altered timeline in 2014 where Loki now has the Tesseract.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 0:52
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    Maybe Disney-Netflix is going to have a show about this? Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 11:27

Everyone keeps forgetting one KEY rule of the marvel time travel: you CAN'T alter the past, because it is your future.

Let me explain how it works.

Your time ALWAYS goes forward, it never goes back, because you travel in time (remember what happen when time travels in you, right?).

So if you "go in the past" you are always going in your future (I know it's complicated).

Let's suppose Cap return for last the space stone in the 70s and then, as the movie portraied, stays there with Peggy. He will NEVER see in 2012 another version of himself that "come back" because he is now in his "new" future and he will not come back again to take no stones. The "future Cap" (the one that now is frozen in ice) will do it in the future Cap future.

Still with me?

Your timeline ALWAYS moves forward, you can jump back and forth but wherever you will go it will ALWAYS be your future, and so nothing that you do will influence your present.

Does this create forks and alternative realyties? Of course, and I think tath the Loki series on Disney + will show us the adventures of the 2012 Loki that run away whit the space stone.

One last thing: it's a MOVIE. Just enjoy it.


  • This ispart if an answer but I strongly suggest to edit it to make it clearer how it answers the "when to return the Stone" situation; and please keep in mind that "chill, it's a movie", while often true and possibly the base of an answer, doesn't come through as very nice right now...
    – Jenayah
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 5:31

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