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Nearly a month after the film's release, fans are still shaken by the tragic ending of Avengers: Infinity War.
Should we really have been so surprised, though?
There have been hints along the way that things might not turn out the way we hoped once the Infinity Stones became involved.
One of those hints comes from the early interactions of two of the newer Avengers: Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a the Scarlet Witch, and the mysterious android known as The Vision.
Visions of the future...But what future?
Wanda and Vision were not always as loved up as we saw during the early scenes of Avengers: Infinity War.
In fact, when The Vision is first brought to life in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Wanda, like the rest of the Avengers, is extremely wary of the android.
The reason for this lies in a scene earlier in the film, when the Maximoff twins had not yet defected to the side of the Avengers, and Vision was simply destined to be a new, stronger body for Ultron.
As Ultron begins uploading his consciousness into Vision, a fascinated Scarlet Witch senses him dreaming. She cannot resist diving into the android's mind, only to be horrified at the horrors she finds within.
When meeting the newly awakened Vision, a suspicious Wanda tells him that she saw 'annihilation' when she read his mind.
The Vision soon proves them wrong, becoming a vital ally in the battle against Ultron, and of course, saving Wanda's life.
By the time of Civil War, Vision had struck up a close friendship with the Scarlet Witch, and by Infinity War, they have fallen in love.
Thoughts of the Vision causing 'annihilation' were forgotten.
What was Wanda really reading?
At the time, fans chalked up Wanda's vision of destruction to the fact that Vision was connected to Ultron at the time.
It is true that Ultron was planning the destruction of humanity, and yes, it is a good thing that Wanda and Pietro caught on to this and switched sides.
But was it really Ultron's intentions that Wanda saw?
Or was it a peek further into the future, courtesy of the Mind Stone?
When Wanda mind reads the still lifeless Vision, what she sees does not include Ultron at all.
She sees a flash of light, possibly an explosion, engulfing Earth.
Within the context of Age Of Ultron, we are probably supposed to assume this represents the fall of Sokovia.
However, the flash also looks very similar to what we see when Thanos first snaps his fingers in Infinity War.
It is through experiments with the Mind Stone that the Scarlet Witch received her powers.
While trying to read the still lifeless Vision, Wanda may have inadvertently connected with the stone and seen the damage it, not The Vision himself, would one day cause, and possibly even foreshadowing her own role in what was to come.
Not the Only One
If this is, in fact, the case, Wanda's was not the only red herring/misinterpreted vision in Age of Ultron.
Thor, prompted by Scarlet Witch, also has a vision from which he draws an ultimately false conclusion.
Thor believes that he can keep Earth from disaster by keeping the Mind Stone on the side of the Avengers. He also believes he can stop the destruction of Asgard.
He seems to accomplish both initially: The Vision destroys Ultron, and Thor vanquishes Surtur at the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok.
Unfortunately, things were not that simple. Asgard was still eventually destroyed, and Thor could protect neither Earth nor the survivors of Asgard from Thanos' insane plans.
Interestingly, the destructive flash from Wanda's vision was also part of Thor's.
Whatever the truth is revealed to be, Marvel has played a very clever game, establishing that not everything we see in the films is exactly as it seems.
That will make Avengers 4 very interesting indeed.