Now here’s a fan theory for you, presented in prime conspiratorial mint condition…but one that, in the grand tradition of fan theories, gets too over-plotted for its own good.

You know that mid-credits scene at the end of Captain Marvel? Well, Hollywood Reporter writer Rosie Night suspects that we may not have seen what we thought we saw. (SPOILERS AHEAD)

If you’ve seen that Captain Marvel, then you’ve seen how Brie Larson‘s Carol Danvers (a.k.a. Captain Marvel) is introduced to the Avengers. Or did you? Here’s the alternative theory thrown out there by Knight:

That’s not Captain Marvel. It’s a shape-shifting Skrull.

According to Knight’s hunch, here’s what happened in the 24 years between the end of Captain Marvel and that mid-credits meet-up with themodern day Avengers:

  • “After helping the Skrulls find a new base, Carol would be well known within the leadership of the aliens. She may even volunteer to help reunite the refugees with their fellow Skrulls who have been displaced by the war with the Kree. At some point during that 24-year period, she would come across a more Machiavellian and malicious segment, possibly with an agenda to take over Earth, who impersonate her in preparation for the invasion of the planet.”

So, basically, Skrull-Carol would help the Avengers defeat Thanos to get him out of the way and, in effect, allow Marvel to introduce the new baddies meant to replace Thanos for the next phase of the MCU.

But even if that’s true, don’t expect it to be revealed in Endgame. Knight adds:

  • “If this is the route that the MCU chooses, it would probably not be revealed until a later movie, especially as there’s comic book canon which showcases that Skrulls can live for a long time in their simmed bodies, as well as sometimes even growing fond of the planets and people they inhabit. “

You can read Knight’s full theory here.

Here’s where this becomes too clever for its own good.

If all of that ends up playing out as Knight posits, then the real Carol Danvers will not have been a part of anything that we end up seeing in Avengers: Endgame. She will not have gone through, experienced, and fought alongside her fellow Avengers during this seminal moment in the entire history of the MCU. She’d have been elsewhere in the galaxy, oblvious.

I highly doubt that Marvel would want those experiences, and that event, missing from Carol’s own character development. The relationships forged during the defeat of Thanos will be too important to sidestep, as would how those events define Danvers as a leader of the new Avengers moving forward.

Honestly, I would be absolutely stunned if this ends up being true. To do it would actually undercut virtually the entire MCU, not just narratively but, more importantly, relationally and emotionally.

All for a clever gotcha fake out? I don’t think so.

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