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Not all fan theories are created equal. Some are brilliant breakthroughs that unlock a whole new understanding of a popular show or movie. Others are ... totally off the mark. That's still great, because part of being a fan is interacting with what you love! There are bad fan theories, but no bad fan theorists, in other words.
What's not great is when a legitimate entertainment news source spreads around one of these theories, milking it for your hard-earned click rather than actually engaging with the theory on its merits and contributing to the discourse. When that happens, SYFY WIRE will dig in and suss out the real facts (whenever that's possible, of course).
It won't be too long now until Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame both premiere, and there's no shortage of fan theories to ponder as we enter the home stretch. This week, we've got two theories about the Marvel Cinematic Universe that look to older movies to make mountains out of molehills and a Game of Thrones theory that's based on a somewhat obscure bit of the books that isn't important at all in the show. Let's get crackin'.
01. Nick Fury is a Skrull because of how he eats toast in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Credit where credit is due, this is a pretty fun observation. In Captain Marvel, when trying to prove that he's not secretly a Skrull in disguise, young Nick Fury tells Carol something weirdly personal: he can't eat toast that's been cut diagonally. However, as a Redditor noticed, Fury cuts a sandwich in half diagonally during Age of Ultron and has no problem eating it. Does this mean that Fury was secretly replaced by a Skrull sometime between the two films?
Well, no, as the original Redditor would admit. They note that it does not appear that Fury's bread is toasted in Age of Ultron, and that he broke off a piece before eating it. Also, the original Reddit post is filed under "humor" and self-described as "a possible s***post." It's just a funny little observation, not a serious theory about Marvel's grand plan to reveal that one of the central characters of the franchise was secretly replaced by an alien race. Never mind that the Skrull aren't evil in the MCU, making Fury a Skrull would be such an awkward retcon that there's no way Marvel would do it.
And yet, the Reddit post got aggregated and written about as if it were a serious theory.
02. Iron Man used the Infinity Gauntlet, but back in time, which is why his arm hurts
Iron Man is just a normal guy inside of his fancy suit, which means that he gets hurt quite a bit. However, some fans noticed that Tony Stark's left arm always seems to be getting injured and that in films like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Infinity War he appears to be nursing the limb. Chances are Tony's southpaw suffering is just a coincidence, but one Redditor came up with a pretty dubious theory about the wounds that was then aggregated by another outlet.
What if, the theory posits, Tony Stark's arm hurts because he travels back in time during Avengers: Endgame and uses the Infinity Gauntlet. We already saw how it damaged Thanos' arm when the Mad Titan used all the Stones in Infinity War. Perhaps Tony injured his arm in the past and does not remember the incident in the present, aside from his ongoing nightmares about Thanos.
It's a confusing theory that probably doesn't hold up, because there are plenty of reasons why Tony's arm would hurt — the movies show him injuring it many times. Making a time-traveling, forgotten use of the Infinity Gauntlet responsible for the phantom pain is overly complicated.
"His arm hurts because be keeps getting blasted on it," one critical Redditor responded to the theory. "Also, this makes no sense. Are you saying Tony goes back in time, defeats Thanos with the Gauntlet, then continues living in the same timeline and, later, goes back in time again to repeat the process?"
03. The Night King is going to the Isle of Faces to bring his army to life
I've written about it before, but The Daily Express is truly the worst source of information when it comes to fan theories. All their stories are sensational, uncritical, uninformed, and poorly written. The latest example comes in the form of this fan theory, which was culled from a Reddit post that was written in September of 2017, meaning The Daily Express went back into the archives to slop this bogus theory on your plate.
The theory posits that the Night King is not going south to attack King's Landing, but to visit the Isle of Faces. If you're an avid viewer of Game of Thrones and you have no idea what the Isle of Faces is, don't worry, you haven't missed anything. The location has not been mentioned at all in the series. In the books, it's an island inside of The God's Eye, a lake in the Riverlands that has been fleetingly mentioned in the show. According to the A Song of Ice and Fire Books, it was on the Isle of Faces that the First Men signed a peace treaty with the Children of the Forest, and it's rumored that some might still live on the island in modern times.
What this theory suggests, though, is that the Night King aims to visit the Isle of Faces and use its magical properties to give his undead army life. There has been no suggestion in the books that the Isle of Faces has this life-giving ability, nor that the Night King would want to revive his army of wrights. Also, given that the Isle of Faces has literally not been mentioned in the HBO series, there is no way that it will be introduced in the final season as an extremely important plot device that has never even been hinted at before. It's just not going to happen, no matter what you read on The Daily Express.