Avengers: Endgame did many things with its new rules of Time Travel. They brought us something that was totally unique and never seen before. Time Travel in all of the previous films involved time being one linear loop, but Endgame brought in the branch theory. Here you cannot go back to the past to change your present because if you do travel back in time, your current present becomes your past which again cannot be changed. Anything changed in the past would have created an alternate branched timeline.
These rules are mostly rigid, but we could actually find some way to make them flexible. For instance, sometimes if you do travel back to the past and become the cause of what happens in your present, then you don’t necessarily create an alternate timeline. According to a new theory, one of these instances could have already happened in the MCU!
Avengers: Endgame did two really beautiful things with its plot. It made Cap meet his former flame and it allowed Tony to make amends with his father. But what’s interesting is that Tony Stark may have actually prevented an alternate timeline by meeting with his father. This theory that is brought forward by The Cosmic Wonder says that by the end of the conversation between Howard Stark and Howard Potts, Stark realizes that he actually spoke to his son from the future.
Right after they come out of the bunker, daddy Stark says something along the lines of “that baby isn’t even here yet, and I’d still do anything for him.” The emphasis on him is important. Now it is possible that Howard would have checked whether it was going to be a boy or a girl, but it is also possible that HS probably noticed something odd about Tony’s MIT badge. As Tony went on and on and got more nervous, Howard could have realized that it was his son Tony that he was talking to.
To follow that, Tony said something that his dad used to say, i.e. no amount of money can buy time. Now this could be something that Howard would have said throughout his life. So, all of this could have led him to realize that Tony Stark has time traveled somehow. Considering that Howard himself is a genius and works in close proximity with Hank Pym, the discoverer of the Quantum Realm, he could have realized all of this.
Moreover, it would actually not be surprising if HS actually saw Tony’s real name on the MIT badge, i.e. Anthony Stark. When Tony asks Howard what he thinks of naming the baby, he doesn’t mention Tony. TS then subtly places the idea to change the name. But Howard having realized that it is his son from the future & seeing the MIT badge could have got the idea of naming his son Anthony. So, ultimately it was Tony who actually got himself named Tony without creating an alternate timeline.
All this is too far of a stretch, but looking back at the conversation, it wouldn’t be surprising if Marvel confirms that Howard actually knew about talking to his son Tony. But still, we should treat this as a theory because we won’t actually be getting a confirmation from anyone. Avengers: Endgame is done & dusted now.
Directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Vin Diesel as Groot, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, William Hurt as General Ross, Tilda Swinton as Ancient One and Josh Brolin as Thanos.