The theory that the real Mandarin exists in the MCU was confirmed in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
The small city seen in the Quantum Realm in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” turned out to be where Kang the Conqueror resided in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”
The theory that Captain America was always worthy of lifting Mjolnir was confirmed when he wielded the hammer in “Avengers: Endgame.”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made way for a number of fan theories, of which some ended up being confirmed at some point. The MCU is now the biggest connected universe in the superhero genre, and it all began in 2008 with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, which introduced Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Iron Man set the tone for the rest of the movies in the MCU’s Infinity Saga, and even after the retirement of the original Avengers, the MCU continues expanding on both TV/streaming and the big screen.

As the MCU is a connected universe, it gives plenty of opportunities for viewers to come up with theories on how some movies, characters, and events are connected, how some foreshadow future key events, and possible Easter eggs teasing future adventures. While many of those theories don’t go beyond that, some have actually been confirmed – and here are 10 MCU theories that turned out to be true.

10 The Real Mandarin Exists

One of the most controversial twists in MCU history happened in Iron Man 3. Along with Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), the villain was supposed to be the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), the leader of the Ten Rings, but Iron Man 3 had the twist of the Mandarin actually being an actor named Trevor Slattery. Killian had hired Slattery to pose as the Mandarin and take responsibility for all the accidents caused by Killian’s experiments. The twist was so disappointing and controversial that it made way for theories that claimed the real Mandarin exists in the MCU, and it wasn’t until Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings that Shang-Chi’s father, Xu Wenwu, was confirmed to be the real Mandarin.

9 Quantum City Appeared In Ant-Man and the Wasp

The Quantum Realm made its first appearance in Ant-Man, but it wasn’t until Ant-Man and the Wasp that viewers theorized the Quantum Realm was a lot more than it seemed. When Hank Pym rescued Janet Van Dyne and they were on their way back to the surface, a small city could be seen in the background in the Quantum Realm, which was theorized to be Chronopolis, where Kang the Conqueror lived. This turned out to be mostly true in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which revealed that the city seen in Ant-Man 2 was where Kang resided, but it wasn’t exactly Chronopolis.

8 Red Skull Survived Captain America: The First Avenger

Red Skull was the villain in Captain America: The First Avenger, and his goal was to use the Tesseract as an energy source for world domination. At the end of The First Avenger, Red Skull took the Tesseract in his hands and was sucked through a portal opened by the Space Stone inside the Tesseract. While it was originally thought that Red Skull had simply disintegrated due to the power of the Stone, theories emerged about Red Skull’s survival given the properties of the Space Stone. This was confirmed in Avengers: Infinity War, where Red Skull was revealed to not only have survived handling the Tesseract, but he was now the keeper of the Soul Stone in Vormir.

7 Captain America Was Worthy of Mjolnir

Avengers: Age of Ultron saw the original Avengers team hanging out at Avengers Tower, where the heroes took turns to try to lift Mjolnir. Of course, no one except Thor was able to lift the legendary hammer, but when it was Steve Rogers’ turn, the hammer moved slightly, much to Thor’s surprise, but he couldn’t lift it. This led to theories about Steve Rogers being worthy of lifting Mjolnir, but something was stopping him from fully lifting the hammer. Captain America finally proved he had always been worthy of Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame, where during the Battle of Earth, he took the hammer and saved Thor, and later fought alongside the God of Thunder.

Related: All The Evidence Captain America Was Worthy Of Mjolnir (Before Endgame)

Stan Lee had a cameo in every MCU movie up until Avengers: Endgame, and a theory emerged about his cameos being connected. The theory claimed that Stan Lee played the same character in every one of his MCU cameos, and some versions went as far as to claim he was a Watcher. Part of the theory was confirmed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where Lee appeared with the Watchers and shared his experience on Earth and other parts of the universe with them. Lee was credited as “Watcher Informant”, so he isn’t exactly a Watcher, but he played the same character in every cameo, and he informed the Watchers about the events happening in the MCU.

5 Young Peter Parker Appeared In Iron Man 2

In Iron Man 2, there’s a scene where a kid wearing an Iron Man mask and gloves stands up to one of Justin Hammer’s drones. Iron Man lands behind him and blasts the drone, saying “good job, kid!” before leaving. Following the confirmation of Spider-Man’s arrival in the MCU, viewers theorized that the kid in Iron Man 2 was a young Peter Parker, and the timeline actually added up. Tom Holland confirmed that the kid was Peter Parker, which makes his MCU story even more heartwarming, as he became the mentee of the hero he admired so much when he was little.

4 Wanda’s Visions In Avengers: Age of Ultron Were Fulfilled

Before she joined the Avengers, Wanda Maximoff used her powers to induce visions on the Avengers in order to weaken them. It was widely believed that these weren’t just visions to break their spirits by showing them what they feared the most, but that they were foreshadowing their fates in the MCU. This turned out to be true, as various things from those visions actually happened, such as Captain America’s shield breaking, Natasha Romanoff dying, Hulk’s injured arm, Thor fulfilling the prophecy of Ragnar?k, the destruction of Asgard, and Steve Rogers going back in time to get his promised dance with Peggy Carter.

Avengers: Infinity War had one of the most shocking and heartbreaking endings in the MCU, as Thanos achieved his goal of wiping out half of life in the universe. There seemed to be no way for the surviving heroes to fix what Thanos did, so viewers came up with theories on how the next movie would have to include time travel. In the end, time travel was the solution to undo Thanos’ snap and bring everyone who vanished back, but the rules of time travel and how it was achieved were different from what the theories suggested.

2 Iron Man’s Death At The End Of The Infinity Saga

As the leader of the Avengers (along with Captain America) and the hero who kicked off the MCU, it was theorized for years that Iron Man would have a tragic ending. These theories gained force when the title of Avengers: Endgame was revealed, and Tony’s death surely fitted his journey in the MCU. Avengers: Endgame saw the death of Tony Stark when he took the Infinity Stones from Thanos and snapped his fingers to put an end to Thanos’ invasion, but he couldn’t handle the power of the Stones. Iron Man died in order to save the universe, and as heartbreaking as it was, it was the perfect ending for the character.

1 Peter-Three Redeems Himself By Saving MCU’s MJ

The biggest surprise in Spider-Man: No Way Home was the appearance of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their respective versions of Spider-Man. Although this was kept a secret until the movie’s release, there were many theories about their appearance, which along with one scene from the trailer, made way for another theory that also turned out to be true. The trailers for Spider-Man: No Way Home showed MJ falling and Spider-Man rushing to catch her, which was reminiscent of Gwen Stacy’s death scene in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

This made way for theories about Garfield’s Spider-Man (a.k.a. Peter-Three) being the one who saves MJ from dying, redeeming himself after he couldn’t save Gwen. Luckily, that’s exactly what happened, and Peter-Three was finally able to confront his guilt and grief and put an end to that painful chapter in his life.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

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Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

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