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After the time travel why doesn't Steve Rogers land in the same place(the time portal), rather he seems to be sitting on a bench near the lake! How's this possible?

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After the time travel why doesn't Steve Rogers land in the same place(the time portal), rather he seems to be sitting on a bench near the lake!

Because he didn't time travel to get there.

Steve travelled back to an undetermined point in the past to be with Peggy Carter and stays there.

He then lives out his life in normal time and then goes to the lake when it's time for him to show up.

Now, granted we don't see him walk to the lake, but that's for dramatic effect. It has nothing to do with travelling through time to reach the present.

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    This contradicts the time travel theory as presented in the movie though. All time travel leads to a new independent parallel universe, such that there can be no changes to the reality you originally come from. Steve lived out his life in an alternate timeline which is also where he acquired the new shield he gifted to Falcon in the end. Therefore he had to use a time machine to return to the original reality at the end of the movie. Of course it also answers the question: he wanted to make an appearance that makes clear he spent a lifetime away and is just paying a visit. – S. Move Nov 13 '19 at 10:21
  • @S.Move: “he had to use a time machine to return to the original reality at the end of the movie” — or he found another way. – Paul D. Waite Nov 13 '19 at 12:47
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    Of course it's possible that he used magic or something else to travel between timelines. Point being, he couldn't get there just by living out his life. – S. Move Nov 15 '19 at 10:19
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    this answer is wrong, how can he travel between universes created by previous time travel. – Amruth A Dec 17 '20 at 14:25
  • If he just had traveled to the past to fulfill his mission and return the stones then came back immediately, the equal timespan would be spent for Hulk, Bucky, and Sam? – aminabzz Feb 8 at 17:15
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We can only speculate. Perhaps he used tech from his timeline to return silently in a slightly different location.

But what we do know is that when he traveled back to see Peggy Carter, he created an alternate timeline, so he cannot have just lived out his days with her and then traveled to this scene without somehow jumping timelines. He must have traveled back to his origin timeline somehow. We know for sure that, in the MCU, time traveling creates new timelines that don't affect the timeline they left, and this is unambiguously established by the rest of the movie.

Script thanks to this wiki:

RHODEY: Wai-Wait a second, let me ask you something. If we can do this, you know, go back in time, why don't we just find baby Thanos, you know, and... [he makes a hand gesture suggesting that they strangle baby Thanos with a rope.]

BRUCE BANNER: [Disgusted] First of all, that's horrible...

RHODEY: [In a tone that says it's what we're all thinking.] It's Thanos.

BRUCE BANNER: ...And secondly, time doesn't work that way. Changing the past doesn't change the future.

(Emphasis mine)

The movie makes it very clear that changing your past doesn't change your present. The whole movie is totally consistent with this apart from the scene in question:

Present day Cap didn't fight an older version of himself back in 2012.

Present day Loki didn't escape with the space stone in 2012.

Present day Nebula didn't help her boss travel from 2014 to the future and die.

We know this because we saw how these happened to our main characters in other movies.

We have no reason to believe anyone in our timeline has ever co-existed with their future selves, and no reason to believe an exception was made for Captain America -- unless old Steve is from a different timeline and travelled back to this one.

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  • "But what we do know is that when he traveled back to see Peggy Carter, he created an alternate timeline" The directors have confirmed this to be the case but the writers confirmed Steve stayed in the same universe/timeline. If those at Marvel can't agree and there are some things in the movie that only make sense with either explanation but not the other, you can't really be 100% confident on this. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 3 at 14:46
  • Further on this Steve is apparently the father of Peggy's children in the main timeline: time travel Steve that is. So he had to have travelled back in time to the same timeline not an alternate one. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 3 at 15:12
  • Where the directors and writers apparently disagree, I'll let the movie explain itself. Excerpt from the script added. – Jibb Smart Feb 8 at 9:06
  • Your problem is (and whilst I generally agree with you, just trying to be as accurate as possible), how did Steve return the Stones or Mjolnir? The Anicent One was happy with Bruce's decision so she must have believed the stone could come back to her timeline. Time travel is inconsistently shown in the film itself. FWIW the writers explain Steve going to the same timeline as "there are time travel loopholes for that" or something like that. So it's possible, just handwaved away. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 8 at 9:10
  • The purpose of this branching rule is to prevent paradoxes -- conflicting experiences between your own past and the past self you're visiting, for example. But on this alternate timeline, as long as Steve comes back after Bruce leaves, there's no conflict and no need for a branch. – Jibb Smart Feb 8 at 9:18

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