“Neither Heroes nor Villains”
Even though many people are glad to learn that, Mr. Snowden remains very much on his own in the Moscow airport — stateless, isolated and frozen in place for the time being. In some respects, Mr. Snowden and Private Manning were performing a quintessentially American act: lone individuals taking on larger forces.
The Atlantic Crossword
In the case of both Mr. Snowden and Private Manning, each became an army of one, reasoning that there was a moral imperative to rendering secrets visible, acting on behalf of a public that he believed deserved to know more. He could have been speaking of Mr. Snowden as well. It's triumphant. It's heroic.
Isn't that the real heroism? The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself. Wilson, Dandelion Fire. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward. I try to be cold-blooded and money-oriented, but I keep screwing it up. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.
Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman. Even - perhaps even especially - those who are the worst of us. Some of the cruelest tyrants in history were motivated by noble ideals, or made choices that they would call 'hard but necessary steps' for the good of their nation. We're all the hero of our own story. Now, perhaps, I understand it a little better. A grower of turnips or a shaper of clay, a Commot farmer or a king--every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone.
Hero's journey - Wikipedia
Once you told me that the seeking counts more than the finding. When Cap was being sent back in time to drop off the various stones and Thor's hammer, they no doubt gave him enough Pym Particles for his Quantum device to let him travel to all of the various timelines to do the job.
- Murder in Mind.
- Essay on the Trial By Jury.
- Fifty Years of Social Issues: Playing "Hide and Seek" with Villains and Heroes;
But Cap already had his own secret alternate plans, and those plans required him to be able to make TWO EXTRA time jumps -- one to the s, and the other to the bench on the hill the day the Hulk, Falcon, and Bucky were waiting for him to return. So Cap got to spend his life with his long-lost love, Peggy Carter, without messing up any of the original timeline. And even in that alternate timeline, there was a different Cap who fought in World War II and then fell into the ice and vanished, who would also eventually be revived in the s, go on to join the Avengers, and help save the world from Thanos.
The filmmakers established all of those things clearly enough, and it all lines up to explain what happened. Once you see it, though, it's obvious and isn't really complicated.
In fact, now that I understand it, when I watch the film it stands out like a big neon sign hinting at what Cap is going to do and how the film will probably end. That is all a solid explanation that fits perfectly within the context of any argument asserting Captain America shouldn't have been on that bench in the main timeline because any life he lived in the past had to be in a divergent timeline.
Anyone who says Cap was in a different timeline in the past, therefore, should see how this explanation proves there isn't a plot-hole since a consistent, relatively simple explanation exists which seems directly implied by several elements in the film. Now, that said, there is a second interpretation of the film to consider.
Some viewers could say the film's time travel rules do NOT establish the existence of divergent timelines based solely on changes to the past, since there is some potential vague implication that perhaps alternate timelines only come into existence if one or more Infinity Stones remain missing from a particular point time -- the sudden absence of a stone causing a new divergent timeline to branch off from the original timeline, because the stones work together to control the flow of space-time.
In this interpretation, then, alternate timelines only exist if one or more stones that the Avengers took were to never be returned to their original moment in time. But since Cap did return all of the stones back to the moment they were taken, no divergent timelines could remain in existence, and they'd simply fold back into the original timeline again. If that's how someone interprets the rules of time in the film, though, it still means no plot-hole exists for Captain America living in the past. If Cap puts all of the stones back and ensures no alternate timelines exist anymore, then that means when he goes to the s and lives with Peggy Carter, he'd simply be in the original timeline and would remain there as long as he doesn't remove any Infinity Stones again.
While it might be tricky for Cap and Peggy to pull this off, remember it was the s, no electronic record-keeping really existed, and even most drivers licenses didn't even include photographs.
Cap was famous, so he'd have to change his appearance enough to avoid easy detection, but as long as he kept a low profile it should be easy enough to imagine someone of his intelligence and training could do it. Peggy being a spy means she'd also be more than capable of making it work. That said, I don't agree with this interpretation, since the film clearly states you cannot change the past and thus affect the future -- and if Peggy originally married someone else and had two children as the official MCU canon says she did , then Cap marrying her instead would definitely change the past and totally alter the future.
Those were huge alterations to historic events, which would undeniably have major repercussions on the future and completely change everything that transpired. So those alternate timelines must exist, unless when Cap put the stones back in place, all of those alternate realities simply vanished, killing everyone in them -- which surely isn't what Cap did, and isn't what the Ancient One meant or intended when she explained how the stones work and that she didn't want her own reality to be destroyed if the Hulk failed to live up to his promise to return the stone.
It's true that at the end of the film, the Hulk tells Cap to be sure to put all of the stones back at the exact moments they were taken, otherwise it could create alternate realities where things could go badly. It's a question of whether things are basically back to normal in those timelines, or things go badly due to lack of the stones. Once again, the original interpretation of time rules can fit with everything.