I'm not convinced that Steve can stop all of these divergences...without it creating further alternate realities...he cannot replace the Stones before they were taken (that would leave 2 Stones in each location - which clearly would ring alarm bells and consequently a divergence) so has to replace them after they've been taken, but he can't return after they have been taken (as that's in an alternate future to that divergence) but has to travel back before the original divergences to allow them to occur as happened in Endgame before he can rectify. Now looking at each of those scenarios in turn...tokenBG1009 wrote: ↑30 Apr 2019, 00:24The Ancient One and Bruce describe exactly what is happening when she gives him the Time Stone. There are currently three timelines in the MCU.
1. The main one
2. The "Loki gets the Space Stone" one
3. The "Thanos and his army are destroyed before the events of GotG" one
There would be additional timelines for the following events:
1. Bruce takes the Time Stone (Pre-Doctor Strange)
2. Steve takes the Mind Stone (Avengers 1)
3. The Power and Soul stones are taken (Pre-GotG and Whenever)
4. The Space Stone is taken (Post Agent Carter)
5. The Reality Stone and Mjolnir are taken (Thor 2)
Steve goes back and replaces the stones taken from those timelines. Those are no longer divergement because the stones were replaced before they were taken. This is why they don't stop Thanos from fulfilling his plan. They just undo it in the present. They can't go back and undo what Thanos has done in the past because it would create an additional timeline.
1. Possibly... the Ancient One has through the conversations with Banner an understanding of what's happening and may very well accept the returned Time Stone without consequences. Free pass on this one.
2. For me this alternate reality is the same reality as Loki getting the Space Stone as they were changed in the same returning actions. In this reality Cap has just fought himself and proclaimed to existing Hydra members that he too is Hydra. Now young Cap did initially believe this to be Loki but the reveal of the locket caused a serious issue. None of these things happened first time around (obviously) so whilst the Stones may be returned it doesn't annul the changes that happened as the Stones were stolen so there's still a divergence. The other issue is even if the Space Stone is returned to SHIELD post Battle of NYC, Loki is still around with another copy of the Space Stone. In this instance the Space Stone wasn't removed from the timeline, just removed from it's prior physical location, and Steve would have no idea where Loki even took the Space Stone to try to account for this loose end, but in either case he's no longer in custody to be returned to Asgard with Thor as per the timeline we have actually seen (MCU Prime). I do see that the Mind Stone could be replaced much more easily though.
3. Could the Power Stone be returned? Possibly but to when? Quill has to steal it otherwise there's a divergence from MCU Prime. But Quill has just been knocked out by Nebula and War Machine, and Nebula has interacted through her cybernetics with past Nebula. So Steve doesn't just have to return the Power Stone so that Quill can grab it, but he has to prune those branches, but he can't as we know that's happened too (as we saw in the events of Endgame and that cannot be changed even if it did happen in a temporarily alternate reality). I've no idea how this could be resolved.
4. See no issue with Steve creeping back to returning the Space Stone some time after 1970 but before Mar-Vell starts Project Pegasus. Free pass on this one. Can't work out what's going on with the Soul Stone, as it doesn't seem to be stored in a conventional way, but give you a free pass here.
5. Mjolnir can be replaced easily enough in without too many consequences. Not sure how the Reality Stone can be re-implanted into Jane sometime after Rocket does his business and before the rest of Dark World happened as we saw it.
It's the consequential effects of what happened when the Power Stone was stolen and the chaos leading up to Loki stealing the Space Stone that makes me think Steve couldn't have always gone back and rectified the timeline. Some of those divergences HAD to happen precisely because this DID happen. We saw them happen. However we also saw they didn't happen (MCU Prime).