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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    open/close all folders 

    Pre-release Theories 
The Winter Soldier will be revealed to have caused some major past events in the MCU
Possibly, he killed Howard and Maria Stark, making it look like an accident. Alternately...
  • He took Nick Fury's eye, possibly under torture, or as the result of failed assassination.
    • Partially confirmed. He is behind the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark.
    • Not exactly, HYDRA is behind their deaths. It is never stated exactly who killed them.

The Red Skull is behind the Winter Soldier.
He plopped down in some field in the middle of Russia. The Soviet Government snapped him up and put him to work in the Red Room doing Mad Scientist things, planning to kill him when he was no longer of use. The Skull eventually out maneuvered his Soviet captors possibly engineering the collapse of the USSR, all the while making evil science things. The crown jewel of his collection the Winter Soldier, James "Bucky" Barnes, the best friend of his most hated enemy twisted into his loyal servant.
  • Or the Russians won't be involved at all; the Winter Soldier will be part of The Reveal that HYDRA is still around in the present day.
    • Hydra are still around. Red Skull wasn't seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Russians were responsible for the Winter Soldier.

Cap will be getting a new outfit for the film.
From a marketing standpoint, the urge to update Cap's costume to sell new action figures and the like is something that Marvel & Disney surely can't be passing up on. On the story side of things, Cap's outfit from The Avengers got roughed up something fierce during the final battle in New York, so I'd imagine he'd modify it in some way or form.
  • Confirmed. He's getting at least one new outfit based on the Commander Rogers uniform from the comics.

The Winter Soldier will have some relation to Black Widow.
If they choose to keep the Soviet angle for Winter Soldier, the idea that he may have crossed paths with Black Widow at some point before she joined SHIELD could present some interesting story developments.
  • Comic canon has the Winter Soldier being Black Widow's instructor/Lover before he was put back on ice. I have nothing for the movie.
  • Jossed; Black Widow's only encounter with him before the movie was that he successfully assassinated someone she was guarding.
  • Not quite. It's the only one she mentions, and she's not exactly famous for telling people everything. Also, she seems tad too familiar with his modus operandi and equipment for a single encounter.

Steve will appear on The Colbert Report
It will be the most American thing ever.
  • Seems to be mostly a joke but....Jossed.

Steve will be killed either in the end of this movie, or in the beginning of the third one, and the third one will be about Bucky becoming Cap.
  • It would make a good Bittersweet Ending to have Steve free Bucky from the mind-control, only to be killed shortly after that. Steve getting killed in the beginning of the third movie is more likely (it would allow him to be in Avengers 2), but killing him at the end of this one would be better. If he dies in this one, Avengers 2 would feature SHIELD agent John Walker, who would put on Cap's costume for the final battle, but in the beginning of the third Cap movie, he would realize he doesn't deserve to be Cap.
    • Chris Evans is confirmed to play Cap in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I like the idea of Bucky becoming the new Cap in that movie (even if it means Steve dies).

Steve turns Winter Soldier good, who ends up surviving at the end.
  • It would be nice to give Cap a happy ending for once, and what could be a more happier ending than restoring your brainwashed friend back to normal and said friend living to tell the story?
    • Confirmed. The Winter Soldier's fight with Steve lets the former begin to remember his past life, which lead to this.

The Stinger will reveal that the Red Skull is Alive!
  • And that he is a member of the world security council under the name "Dell Rusk"
    • And nuclear strike on Manhattan from The Avengers was his idea.
      • Jossed. Red Skull isn't in TWS at all.

Cap will first encounter Sharon Carter when he fights Batroc the Leaper
  • This is how it played out in Sharon's first appearance in Tales of Suspense #75, so having Cap first meet her in a similar manner would be a pretty good Mythology Gag to use.
    • Jossed. She's his next door neighbor in the apartment building he lives in.

Robert Redford's character will be the Big Bad
  • Pierce. Alexander Pierce. Alias for Aleksander Lukin.
    • Unlikely. Alexander Goodwin Pierce is an established Marvel character.
      • As seen with Iron Man 3, the MCU isn't afraid to make drastic changes to certain characters if need be, so merging Agent Pierce and Lukin into one character isn't probably out of the question just yet.
  • Confirmed.

Sharon Carter will be Demoted to Extra
  • She'll cameo as Peggy's niece, but won't have any profound connection to Cap.
    • Alternatively, her significance will only be foreshadowed and be kept in the background for the most part in the movie, with said element becoming a major plot point in Captain America 3 instead.
  • Jossed, she's an active SHIELD agent posing as Cap's neighbor and keeping tabs on him. She also shows up in the final battle. Still an extra, but a very important one.

Sharon's identity will be concealed for most of the film
  • In other words, she'll simply go by Agent 13 for most of the film. This means that at the end (or near the end) of the movie, Cap (and subsequently, the audience) will find out her true identity as Sharon Carter.
    • Unlikely, as SHIELD agents don't go by their codenames in the MCU. Hawkeyes and Black Widow are for the most part known as Agent Barton and Agent Romanoff.
      • Maybe she will be required to keep her identity secret because no one knows how Steve would react to meet someone related to Peggy. Then, during an action scene near the end, she will be in danger and someone (Fury, Pierce, Maria Hill, Natasha,...) will yell "Carter!".
    • Apparently, her identity will be concealed, but in a different way: she will use an alias (Kate).
      • Jossed, but we never hear her last name so neither Steve or people unfamiliar with the character actually know she's Peggy's niece (she does mention having a "crazy aunt" at one point).

Emily VanCamp isn't playing Sharon Carter
  • She's only been referred to in release notes as Agent 13, not Sharon Carter. So, unless they're trying to keep her being Peggy's relative a secret to be revealed during the film, something's fishy.
    • She could be playing Sin (who was a major villain in the comics in Brubaker's run on Captain America)
    • It's possible she could be playing Bobbi Morse AKA Mockingbird, previously Agent 19 of SHIELD.
      • At the San Diego Comic-Con, it was confirmed that EVC is indeed playing Agent 13, so it's safe to say that this theory's jossed.

Nick Fury was fired after the events of Iron Man 3
  • His refusal to comply with the the World Security Council's decisions had put him on very thin ice. SHIELD's inaction in regards to the Extremis attacks provide an excuse to fire him. He gets replaced by Alexander Pierce.
    • The trailers show him still very much in charge of SHIELD, not to mention his cameo in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
      • Of course, that doesn't prevent Fury from being supplanted by Pierce (or whomever else) within the movie itself.
      • Jossed. He's still in SHIELD until the events of TWS.

Alexander Pierce has some unfinished business with the Winter Soldier
  • Perhaps, he may have encountered Winter Soldier some time ago and may have lost some good men and women to the brainwashed assassin. This would give him enough of an onus to help Cap out with taking down Winter Soldier. It may also make it an It's Personal situation for Pierce, too.
  • Jossed.

There is no Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier was created by AIM.
  • Though The Mandarin was killed during Iron Man 3, AIM is probably still around in some form or another - they are described as a think-tank, and probably have other divisions besides the ones producing Extremis. One of these divisions will be responsible for the Winter Soldier, and if/once he makes a face turn, him and Cap will team up to take them out.
    • Except Bucky fell off the train 50 years before AIM was ever founded.
      • Jossed. HYDRA and Zola made him.

Winter Soldier will be the antagonist for about 2/3 of the movie.
  • Sometime around 2/3 into the movie, Winter Soldier will remember who he is. He will be plagued by guilt for a part of the movie, but will join Steve for the final battle against Crossbones.
    • Jossed. He's a villain for the whole film basically.

Winter Soldier will assassinate the President.
  • The film is set primarily in Washington DC, and the Winter Soldier is an infamous assassin, so... he could end up assassinating President Ellis, who was previously featured in Iron Man 3. It would interesting to see Captain fail to save someone that important.
  • Jossed, but not for lack of trying.
    • However, The President was apparently one of the targets that the Hydra-influenced SHIELD was planning on going after.

Winter Soldier will kill Peggy Carter
What's an even worse way for the villains behind the Winter Soldier to further twist the knife in Cap's back? By having his brainwashed friend murder his now-elderly World War II love and ally, of course. There have been also scenes filmed around a cemetery, so it's not out of the question that Steve's visiting Peggy's grave after she's died.
  • She's already really old, that kinda just seems like a waste of time...
    • Jossed. Peggy survives the film.

The Stinger will lead to Ultron's creation
Going with the theory that Nick Fury was fired for not acting against the Mandarin, World Council created Ultron to be their foot soldier to compete with the Avengers, what happens next should be self explanatory.
  • Jossed. There is a lead-in which is related to The Avengers: AoU but it doesn't involve Ultron.

Natasha will be The Mole
A big theme of the movie is Steve not knowing who to trust and having trouble telling his friends from his enemies, and Avengers: Age of Ultron is said to be going all about the team getting torn apart. Much talk has also been made about Natasha and Steve's close friendships, and what better demonstration of those themes than Steve's closest friend being disloyal? It won't be a Face-Heel Turn, as she will be back as an Avenger, but their bond will be tested and torn.
  • Jossed. Black Widow's good the whole movie (although Steve does doubt her at the begining, so there is some trust issues).

The Stinger will be Steve and maybe Bucky
and Natasha joining up with the Science Bros in Stark Tower
  • It's been said that Steve has issues about working for SHIELD, so I can see him quitting at the end of the film to rejoin the less morally ambiguous Avengers fulltime, setting up for Age of Ultron. It could even have some banter about who's in charge, Tony or Cap.
    • And who has better support: "I have a Hulk." "Yeah? I have a bioengineered super-assassin." And Natasha just rolling her eyes.
      • Jossed. The stingers don't involve Cap or Widow. One does involve Bucky but not in this context.

This story will be about the formation of HAMMER
  • The man in the trailer that Steve talks to will be an Expy of Norman Osborn.
    • The latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. shows a sign with "HAMMER" on it, which can be assumed that the organization already exists as part of SHIELD. That being said, it could very well become the name for the group that Alexander Pierce decides to take control of in the film.
    • Maybe Justin Hammer wasn't locked up for good after the events of Iron Man 2 ...
      • The Marvel One-Shot attached to the Thor 2 Blu-Ray shows that Hammer is indeed still in prison.
      • Jossed. Going from TWS' ending we won't be seeing any organizations for a few films.

SHIELD is building an arsenal in response to the Chitauri invasion and Malekith's attack on London
  • The events of both films will be mentioned as part of their explanation.
    • Confirmed, although only the New York invasion is mentioned.

Steve will learn that Coulson is alive
  • Since a major theme in this movie will be Cap mistrusting SHIELD, finding out that they hid Coulson's survival away from him and the other Avengers could be the last straw for him. Bonus points if he also finds out that Coulson Came Back Wrong.

Carol Danvers and Frank Castle will make cameos as SHIELD agents
  • And Castle will be in past tense due to something 'horrible' happening and him 'going off the deep end'
    • Jossed. Neither appear or get mentioned.

The second half of the film will be Cap (and Black Widow and the Falcon) vs. SHIELD
  • While the Winter Soldier and his crew will also be villains, Cap will get so fed up with how SHIELD and the US Government operates that he'll go rogue and Nick Fury will be forced to come after him. This would continue the idea in The Avengers that the team need to become their own unit rather than SHIELD's lapdogs, because SHIELD can't be trusted to help people.
  • Alternatively, given the brief shot in the trailer of Nick Fury in surgery, in seemingly-critical condition, a less-positive element takes over SHIELD and decides Cap is more of a liability than an asset.
    • I recall a scene where Winter Soldier blew up Fury's car, so it seems likely.
  • Confirmed, kind of. More like Cap, Black Widow, the Falcon, Fury, and Hill (and later all the non-HYDRA SHIELD members) against SHIELD infiltrators.

Pierce is talking to the Winter Soldier about "shaping the century."
  • He's hiring him to assassinate Fury, and maybe other SHIELD defectors.
    • Confirmed.

The Film has been described as 'a 70s Spy Thriller set in the world of Super heroes' or some such and features Robert Redford as a Govt. Official...
  • Regardless of what RR's character is named he will be A if not THE Bad guy if for no other reason than an Actor Allusion to all the times RR played the hero of such films
    • I concur. They wouldn't bother casting such a big-name actor and feature him in all the advertising if this wasn't going to be an important part.
      • Confirmed.

Natasha and Steve...
  • On the topic of Natasha and Steve I wonder why it is mentioned as love interest on the main page when it was already denied by Scarlett, Evans and several filmmakers and Emily Vancamp confirmed that Kate/Sharon is Steve's love interest.
    • Because shippers. Actually, Steve never properly hooks up with anyone during the movie.

Steve and Natasha have sex, or sleep together
  • In the new UK and Ireland trailer we see Steve in jeans and a white muscle shirt appearing to be coming out of the bathroom and facing Natasha, who is on a bed in a black camisole. This troper believes they do something
    • Jossed. This is after they survive an explosion that nearly kills them, necessitating the fanservice (they clean up at The Falcon's house).
      • They do kiss, if that somehow pleases the OP.

The Stinger will be a goofy/heartwarming Bucky
/Natasha Ship Tease
  • The Stingers for Phase 2 seem to be much less serious and plot-oriented than those for Phase 1, and the two of them were an Official Couple in the comics.
    • If by "the stingers for Phase 2" you mean "the stinger for Iron Man 3," I agree with you. Thor: The Dark World had a killer stinger revealing the Tesseract and the Aether to be Infinity Gems.
    • Jossed, neither of the post-credits scenes show Natasha and both are serious. However, the second stinger for The Dark World was a goofy scene with the Jotunheim creature chasing birds on Earth.

The Winter Soldier will kill The Falcon
  • There is a shot in the second trailer of a teary-eyed Natasha and Steve standing over a corpse with a blanket on it. Maria Hill is standing behind them. It can't be Nick Fury, considering that Samuel L. Jackson has signed up for more movies, and the buddy cop -attitude they are building for Steve and Sam is very likely to end in tragedy.
    • Black Dude Dies First?
    • It seems that Anthony Mackie has been lobbying hard for a part in Age of Ultron, which makes this unlikely (though of course, not impossible).
    • They better not kill him off, we need all the minority superheroes we can get. The corpse could be of a young SHIELD agent or a civilian who got caught in the cross-fire or Peggy or someone else Steve knew back in the day.
      • Jossed. Falcon survives the film, and even opts to join in with Steve on the mission to search for the Winter Soldier at the end.

The ending will involve Steve getting fed up with SHIELD and quitting.
  • He'll go join the Science Bros in Avengers Tower, possibly bringing Natasha and memory restored!Bucky with him.
    • Jossed. SHIELD in general is disbanded.

The ending will reveal that Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was behind Winter Soldier's creation
  • Apparently, Hugo Weaving will not return as Red Skull, and Strucker would make a good replacement for him, especially considering that movie!Skull was already a Composite Character with him. Also, this movie is supposed to lead directly into Age of Ultron, and Strucker appears in that one.
    • Jossed. It was Zola. But Strucker DOES appear in The Stinger, albeit without being explicitly named.

Steve will find out Coulson is alive when Coulson rushes into a meeting to say the The Winter Soldier is Bucky
... five seconds after Steve figures it out.

The Winter Soldier will run off at the end
  • Much like the comic, Bucky will neither die nor join up with Cap at the end of the movie. Instead he'll run off after getting his memories back, only to turn up as Deus ex Machina for Steve sometime later.
  • Confirmed.

The Stinger will be...
  • ...an The Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser. The first Cap movie came out about a year before The Avengers and had a trailer for that movie after the credits. And this movie comes out about a year before Age of Ultron...
    • Seems likely. It has been said that this movie leads directly into Ao U.
      • Confirmed. The mid-credits stinger is directly related to Ao U.

Nick Fury will fake his death
  • The trailer shows that the Winter Soldier is gunning for Fury, and doesn't care how gets killed for being in his way. Fury fakes his death to minimise the SHIELD casualties and to let him investigate who hired WS to kill him. This also explains why Maria Hill is in the film, as she'll take over as head of SHIELD while Fury is "dead"
    • This would explain Cap mentioning "Fury's last words" in one of the TV spots.
      • And also why in the latest Agents of Shield episode Coulson is told that Fury has gone off the grid.
  • Confirmed.

"Redwing" will be the name of Sam's flight suit/A.I./mission control/flying spy cam.
Because I'm assuming he won't have an actual animal sidekick like he does in the comics.
  • Alternatively, he will have an actual pet falcon named Redwing that he talks to, it just won't fight crime or have a psychic connection with him.
    • Jossed. Falcon's suit is called "Falcon.".

The dead person under the sheet in the second trailer
  • Probably won't be anyone from Steve's past. In the clip Steve, Maria, and Natasha are in the room with the corpse. Steve looks solemn, Maria looks distracted, and Natasha is the only one who looks genuinely upset. We saw what a wreck Steve was after Bucky fell off the train in the first movie, so it's unlikely he'd be that stoic after the death of someone he was close to. Also probably not Nick Fury, both because Maria doesn't seem very upset and because Samuel L. Jackson is signed up for like four more movies. So it could be:
    • Coulson, with the scene being a flashback to just after The Avengers
    • Hawkeye (unlikely, because Jeremy Renner isn't in this movie and is confirmed for The Avengers: Age of Ultron)
    • Sharon Carter (though it'd be a shame to introduce her just to kill her off.)
    • The Falcon (see above WMG)
    • Someone from Natasha's past (another Red Room alumnus?)
    • The Winter Soldier, actually having been killed at the end of the film (again, unlikely because of Steve's stoic expression).
    • The Winter Soldier, not actually dead and pulling a variation of the Trojan Prisoner gambit.
    • Someone (possibly either Nick Fury or Bucky) Faking the Dead in order to disappear for a while (Steve and Maria's detached expressions could be because they're in on it.)
      • Confirmed. It's Fury faking his death. The only other main character in on it was Maria.

Winter Soldier will die
  • In the comics, his programming was broken through the use of the Cosmic Cube. In the movie, Cap doesn't have access to it, and therefore, Winter Soldier will have to be dealt with in a different way.
    • Sebastian Stan has a nine-movie deal with Marvel.
      • Jossed. The Winter Soldier survives the whole film.

The Winter Soldier won't be Bucky
  • Since Iron Man 3 showed that the movies are willing to depart from established Marvel canon in a big way, this would be a perfect second stage of that.
    • The Iron Man thing was retconned in "All Hail The King" because the fans hated that departure and The Winter Soldier sure looks like Sebastian Stan, who played Bucky.
      • Jossed. It's Bucky.

Black Widow already knows Winter Soldier's identity, but she will keep it secret from Cap
  • In the comics, she has backstory with the Winter Soldier, so that might be carried over to the movie. When Cap figures out Winter Soldier's identity, he will find out that she knew it already. This will make Cap question SHIELD even more.
    • Jossed. Black Widow didn't know who he was.

The team from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will make an appearance of some sort, if even just a cameo.
  • Jossed. Not even a mention.

Steve will find out that Coulson is alive in this movie.
  • Jossed. He isn't mentioned or makes an appearance.

    Post-release theories 
The shadowy nemesis of Coulson's team the Clairvoyant is Arnim Zola.
  • Agent Sitwell while being interrogated reveals that Arnim Zola ,who uploaded his mind in a computer, can predict the future through pattern recognition using various databases.
    • That does seem to make sense given the "job description", but unless Zola survived the explosion (unlikely, seeing as Price noted that they lost him) it would be weird if AoS would write him off as killed outside of the show.
      • Being an AI Zola has opportunity to do Hydra's motto of "Cut off one head, two would take it's place". Also it would make sense if the Insight algorithm is also an AI copy of himself.
    • Jossed. The Clairvoyant is John Garret.

In the aftermath of the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D, Steve will be called to head a new intelligence agency in Fury's place, postponing his search for Bucky.
  • Jossed. Agent Phil Coulson is made the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Nick, after the events of the Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in charge of re-establishing the agency starting with his team.

Arnim Zola is not dead
  • It's not as if he did not have time to learn how to upload his mind to the Internet or backup it someplace else. Sitwell may not have been made aware of it to prevent leaks.
    • And if he needed help, Zola likely had a protege who is a specialist in robotics and transferring consciousnesses into such extremely sophisticated machines, and another member of Cap's Rogues Gallery: Samuel Saxon aka The Machinesmith.
    • Alternatively, he uploads his brain into an android with a head for a body designed only for killing and/or chaos.
    • Um... I think M.O.D.O.K. was already in the game version of Iron Man 3, was he not? I believe that at the climax of the game, he is revealed to be Aldritch Killian, who has done exactly the same thing as you're suggesting in this WMG. Then again, the game might not be canon. I honestly don't know how the Marvel execs would handle that.
      • I doubt video game adaptations are canon.
  • He probably put himself on that flash drive Black Widow put in.
    • In the original script, he was supposed to get up and walk away in his robot body before the missile hit, but this was deemed a bit much so it was cut. Still could indicate there are future plans for Zola.

Crossbones will be the main villain of the third film.
  • Seeing as how Rumlow is alive and Frank Grillo was originally reported to play Crossbones, not to mention that Grillo has mentioned that the character will be back somehow.
    • Frank Grill is Crossbones. Brock Rumlow is his name.

Arnim Zola's algorithm also targets bad guys.
  • The algorithm is explicitly stated to target anyone that might be a threat to HYDRA. This not only includes good guys but also bad guys that have their own agenda. If Aldrich Killian, Obadiah Stane, Justin Hammer, Thunderbolt Ross, and Loki were still doing their own thing on Earth, they would be targeted.
    • Assuming it's up-to-date Stane and Killian wouldn't be on that list, on account of them being dead already.

Senator Stern defected to Hydra because of Tony
  • Instead of having Stern after the Iron Man suit for some nefarious purpose, maybe he was genuine about using it for national defense at the time. Then some rich idiot screws with him, gives him the run around, and ultimately humiliates him. This would be the perfect catalyst for a HYDRA agent to recruit him with their "we're doing what's best for the world" rhetoric. Something akin to:
    HYDRA Agent: Senator, the American people are backing this complete moron! We can ensure a world where screwballs like that don't exist!
    Stern: I'm in!

SHIELD will eventually reform.
Confirmed. Agent Coulson is the new Director.
  • They are doing their own version of what HYDRA did: integrating into other agencies or private businesses while waiting for a chance to re-emerge.
Jossed. Agent Coulson is forming the new agency around his own team. The rest of the loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are mostly going to work in the private sector.
  • On that note, Steve will be asked to lead the new SHIELD, making for a nice nod to the time that he was the head of SHIELD in the comic Marvel Universe.
Jossed. Agent Coulson was asked instead.
  • SHIELD may reform with freedom of information philosophy after seeing what happened with ultimate secrecy. Unlikely, but it would be very cool to see the covert ops guys giving information over to the public, only being secretive about future or current operations to secure the lives of operatives.
Mostly Jossed. The team that forms the new S.H.I.E.L.D. did have a reputation for giving out information and includes a hacker that used to belong to a 'free-information' wiki-leaks style organisation, but Coulson's response to the Hydra takeover was to have the hacker erase all trace of their previous identities and go into hiding in S.H.I.E.L.D. bases so secret that Fury never even entered them into his own records.

Captain America 3 will begin with Peggy's death
  • It might ape CA vol 7 #1, and have Steve meeting Sharon and learning she's related to Peggy, with Bucky watching from afar.

Zola's technology led to the creation of GLaDOS.
  • There's a pretty big timeline gap, but it could have leaked slowly or eventually.

The scepter in Strucker's possession is the source of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's powers.
So they can get around the "mutants/X-men" thing.
  • Alternately, the scepter just activated and/or enhanced their powers - or this will be the explanation given if they can get the X-Men rights back and make them mutants.

Brock Rumlow will be given the Super Soldier Serum by HYDRA
  • When last seen, Rumlow was barely alive and covered with third degree burns. He's not going to be fighting anybody ever again as is. . . but he's fiercely loyal to HYDRA, and should have a personal grudge against Cap. He's the perfect candidate for the SSS, if you don't care about the likelihood of the subject turning out evil. After all, what's the worst that happens, he dies?

Fury recovered fully from his wounds thanks to none other than GH.325.
  • Who's to say Fury, or whoever was there in his name, didn't manage to pocket a vial of the stuff for later use? That use came after the assassination attempt on Fury's life, which they had to pretend was successful. But while he did survive, look at the condition he was in at the point of The Reveal and then look at how well he was off after he returned to headquarters.

Winter Soldier was behind the JFK assassination.
This film takes place October 2013 and it is stated that Winter Soldier has been involved in assassinations for 50 years.
  • It's possible that Lee Harvey Oswald voluntarily acted as a cover for the Winter Soldier in the name of HYDRA...

Winter Soldier/Bucky will come out of nowhere to help out in Avengers 2.
Or at least have a cameo, setting up for him being a major character in Captain America 3.

Fury and Natasha have sort of a weird father/daughter relationship.
At least that's the impression I got by the way they reacted to each other's injuries/(faked) death.

Fury will keep in touch with/tabs on Maria, Coulson, Natasha, and his other favorite agents.
SHIELD will very likely be reformed at some point, and in the meantime it's possible that a proto-SHIELD information network would still exist among the major players.
  • Fury is headed to Europe. Where was The Bus being diverted to, again?
    • Canada

Ultron will come about as a result of SHIELD disbanding.
With their major security/peacekeeping force falling apart in an instant, the US Government will be scrambling to find something to fill in the gaps and that something is gonna be Ultron. A robot wouldn't have the same weaknesses and potential for corruption as a large group of humans after all, right?

Marvel's setting up for a Doctor Strange movie.
Them name-dropping Strange in this movie pretty much confirms it. Although it's kind of odd that a Doctor would be considered a threat, as I'm assuming he won't be the Sorcerer Supreme yet and they probably wouldn't believe him if he said he was.
  • Confirmed, a Doctor Strange movie is being made for Phase 3.

Since he didn't find out in this movie, Steve will find out Coulson's alive in the next Avengers.
Unless they have him on the TV show, but I doubt it.

The Marvel One-Shot that will be on the DVD will be related to Falcon's recovery of his flight wings from Ft. Meade, with an assist from Hawkeye.

The ending scene in Avengers takes place during CA2
  • Specifically the scene where Tony and Pepper are in the new York, and making plans for the tower. It's why Tony isn't having PTSD issues (though he could have had a delayed reaction, and it would tie into Hydra aiming on them in New York.

The fact that Bucky (maybe) killed Iron Man's father
is going to cause some serious tension between Cap and Tony
  • Possibly, they're even setting up for a Civil War adaptation, and this could be one of the things that turn the two heroes into enemies.

Howard Stark became aware that SHIELD had been infiltrated by HYDRA
  • HYDRA killing such a scientific genius that technically was working for them by proxy, could be explained by Tony's dad uncovering at least part of the conspiracy on his own. It would explain why he had turned so paranoid and suspicious of everthing (much like Cap does), that he had to hide his newly discovered element in such a contrived way (the whole diorama thingamabob) that only a mad genius on his same level could figure out.
    • (As mentioned in Fridge Horror) If Howard knew HYDRA was after him that might be why he sent Tony to boarding schools, let him be raised by nannies, and generally kept his distance; Howard was trying to protect him from an enemy who clearly doesn't care about collateral damage.

One of the various things that SHIELD has collected that HYDRA diverted to their own labs is the Hydramobile.
  • First, because it was Red Skull's. Second, because it's a Cool Car.

Arnim Zola is the smartest character in the MCU so far.
  • Marvel loves the Mad Scientist trope, both when applied to good and evil characters... Howard, Tony, Killian, Selvig, Banner, Pym, etc... Zola had nailed Disintegrator guns, figured out the Tesseract, and perfected Brain Uploading decades before anyone else. He's almost Doctor Doom level at this point.

The SHIELD Technician played by Danny Pudi was really an agent of HYDRA
  • And his first name is Bob.

Nick Fury is actually Jules Winnfield
  • Putting Jules's Ezekiel quote on his fake headstone was a reference to Nick Fury's time in the 90s as a hitman, before going straight. He left the military and SHIELD for a time, becoming a criminal. The mysterious glowing item in the briefcase was HYDRA tech or something else made from the Tesseract, and he managed to recover it and turn it in to SHIELD, at which point they re-hired him.
    • Pulp Fiction took place in the same universe as Inglourious Basterds where the European theatre of WW2 ended almost one year earlier than reality. But in Cap. America:TFA, the Allies were still fighting the Nazis in 1945. Therefore, Nick Fury is not the same guy as Jules in Pulp Fiction. But he may be a different version of Jules in a reality where the Basterds failed in their mission to destroy the German High Command.
    • Another option is that Nick Fury was never really a hitman, but Jules Winnfield was actually an alias while he was on an undercover operation to recover the tech in the suitcase. Vincent Vega was either another agent or a random criminal that "Jules" was hooked up with for the job.

HYDRA has agents in Stark Industries
  • Both to have access to the advanced weaponry developed and to keep an eye on Tony in case he becomes a potential threat to HYDRA like his parents were.
  • Probably the way repulsor technology was arranged for the helicarrier engines.

Other Possible people targeted by HYDRA

Mockingbird exists in the MCU
  • The camotech Natasha uses was Bobbi Morse's favorite toy in Secret Avengers and she used it in a very similar way — pull out a last second whammy in order to throw someone off or win when it looked like you were down and out.
    • Further backed up by Man-Thing being confirmed to exist in the MCU. Bobbi Morse worked on the project that turned Ted Sallis into Man-Thing.
      • Confirmed at SDCC, and it looks like she will be joining Agentsof SHIELD.

Sharon will get a larger role, but not large
  • The chemistry between Steve and Natasha has proven to be quite popular. Jury's out if they'll get a relationship upgrade, but the third film will likely continue to focus on Natasha, Bucky, and then Sam.

The machine used to brainwash the Winter Soldier and the one used to forcibly unbrainwash Coulson used the same fundamental mechanics.
  • Considering the one is owned by HYDRA and the other by Centipede——a subsidiary of HYDRA, and it has been stated the latter machine has been used to brainwash Raina. Not to mention the process for both are clearly painful for their respective subjects.

That Galaga guy from The Avengers is a HYDRA agent
  • Secretly undermining SHIELD operations by playing video games on the clock.

Fegelein is actually Von Strucker

Fury will look different in his upcoming appearances.
  • Since Fury is currently faking his death, he will attempt to look different than he usually does, which may include growing hair, shaving his face and using a fake eye.
    • Confirmed for his appearance on Agents of Shield. He's sporting sunglasses and a hat, and a different outfit than his usual one. Still hasn't shaved though.

Among those targeted by Project Insight was Doctor Donald Blake.
  • We know that he exists in the MCU and that Thor briefly used his identity in front of SHIELD agents, some of whom could have been working for HYDRA (We know Sitwell was there). Some of them might still believe the two to be the same person.
    • The targets were all selected by Zola's algorithm not by people. If the real Donald Blake was a target, it would be because the algorithm determined he would be a potential threat, not because somebody thought he might be Thor in disguise.
      • Yes, but Zola's algorithm works with existing data, and Thor's SHIELD file probably mentions that he once used the alias 'Donald Blake'. Even if it knew that the two aren't the same person, the algorithm would still see a possible connection between Thor and Blake, which would be enough to make Blake a potential threat.

Nick Fury's alluded-to wife might be Valentina Allegra de Fontaine... or probably a future Canon Foreigner designed to stand in for her.
  • Considering how the major plot twist of Captain America: The Winter Soldier was pretty much taken from Secret Warriors, what are the odds that she doesn't exist? After all, she and Fury did have a (admittedly-tense, but still) relationship in that storyline. Maybe in fact the reason "[his] wife kicked him out" was precisely because she IS among HYDRA's moles in S.H.I.E.L.D. What better way to play the tables against the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. more than becoming that deep for a deep penetration agent. Of course, let's acknowledge the Unfortunate Implications of that too.
    • It could also be Monica Chang.
    • Or could be an original character played by La Tanya Richardson (Sam's Wife in real life)
    • I just figured he was married to his job. Getting kicked out by his 'wife' is an excellent way to describe what just happened to him.

Fury's fake headstone is a secret communications device that can be used to get in touch with him.
He says "If anybody needs me, they can find me right here."
  • After his trick with Coulson's badge, I'd be surprised if this wasn't true.

The Marvel One Shot on the Blu-ray

There will be a Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. movie
Because that would be totally awesome.

Sharon will get a different pedigree
  • Word of God is that she's Sharon Carter, but God has the right to change his mind, and nothing in the movie itself, even the credits, indicates she's a Carter. She'll be Sharon Smith, or perhaps Sharon Dugan, or Sharon anyone but Carter, to avoid the potential squick.
    • She does say something about her "crazy aunt" though, and it would be weird if they threw in something like that and then made her not Peggy's niece.
      • "Insomniac aunt", actually. Lots of people have insomniac aunts. Its hardly a detail that would stick out if future movies decide to remove the link with Peggy.

Winter Soldier did NOT murder Howard and Maria Stark personally
  • Winter Soldier is a shoot ya, stab ya, blow ya up kind of guy. Those he kills turn up having clearly been terminated with extreme prejudice, or they don't turn up at all. Cutting the break lines on Howard's car just isn't his style.

Obadiah Stane was an agent of HYDRA
As shown by Senator Stern and Centipede, HYDRA includes more than agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. When Stane paralyzed Tony in Iron Man, he monologued about great weapons, including Howard Stark's atomic bomb, and about bringing those weapons into "our hands ... the right hands." He didn't just want the Arc Reactor and Iron Man tech to make a lot of money off of, he wanted them for HYDRA's use, as Stern did! He could even have been responsible for Tony's parents' deaths himself, so as to bring Stark Industries under his control.
  • This might also explain how his bodyguards were able to subdue Raza's without making any noise to alert Raza inside the tent - I imagine HYDRA agents would find that easy.
  • In general, selling Stark's weapons to terrorists supports HYDRA's goal of increasing world chaos.

Steve will go on his first date since 1945 when Natasha and Bucky team up to make it happen.
In Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the first things we see Bucky do is drag Steve along on a double date and persistently try to make the date work, despite Steve's lack of enthusiasm and the girls' lack of interest in Steve. Then Natasha spends much of Captain America: The Winter Soldier suggesting various women who Steve should ask out. Clearly, these two need to team up.

Pierce's niece is/will become Madame Hydra/Viper.
Just throwing it out there.

The Winter Soldier was still a Soviet product.
The movie does not make reference to what produced him, simply presenting him as a HYDRA black ops agent of unspecified origin that is defrosted whenever a mission calls. However because Zola and HYDRA seem to have guided events such as the Cold War into being and the existence of HYDRA extends beyond the United States, it's reasonable (even likely) that the Winter Soldier still started out by serving Soviet interests as a HYDRA agent working for the Red Star (hence the icon on his bionic arm, same as his comic book counterpart, despite lacking the explicit reference to Soviet origin). When the Soviet Union fell at the end of the 80s, HYDRA reclaimed him before the government dissolved (and thus removed their main sleeper agents within that regime) and moved him to the United States, where HYDRA still had a strong presence and had him carry out his missions on behalf of the US arm of HYDRA.
  • He gave orders in Russian during the bridge scene, and it was explicitly a Russian soldier that retrieved him after his "death" in WW2, so this seems pretty likely.

A.I.M. was a branch of HYDRA.
Aldrich Killian designed the Extremis virus, which is used by HYDRA to create Project Centipede in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Additionally, he boasted about creating a War for Fun and Profit, which, as of The Winter Soldier, is revealed to have been one of HYDRA's goals all along.
  • If this is true, as of All Hail the King, the real Mandarin pulling Trevor Slattery out of jail could mean that the Mandarin is working with or for HYDRA.

Winter Soldier and Black Widow still have a history together
  • Like the comic, the Winter Soldier and Natasha met when they were both training to be Soviet operatives (going with the WMG above about him still having Soviet origins). Like in the comics, they have an affair, and when their handlers found out about it both of them had their memories wiped. This is why they don't recognize each other in the modern day.

Zola's algorithm is Ultron
  • Zola's algorithm was designed to seek out anyone who was a threat to Hydra. Hydra (in its own delusional and twisted way) was devoted to world peace through absolute order. Ultron has the same principles, but comes to the conclusion that litterally EVERY HUMAN BEING can be a potential threat to that goal.
    • The current speculation is Tony Stark will somehow contribute to Ultron's creation but there are good odds that the USB drive that contained the algorithm is a Chekhov's Gun (hence the camera focus placed on removing it from the port as Steve and Natasha made their escape but otherwise not revisiting it for the rest of the movie). So the possibility definitely seems high. Whether or not you want to buy into the Stark side of the theory and how to bridge that to the USB drive is on you.

H.A.M.M.E.R. will fill the void left by S.H.I.E.L.D.

This movie was the MCU's way of adapting Civil War.
When Iron Man 2 came out, during interviews they said they wouldn't do the Demon in a Bottle storyline, but used Tony's self destructive behavior culminating in a drunken joyride in his armor as their way of adapting it. Winter Soldier gives us all the same beats; Captain America deciding the government had gone too far, rebelling, gathering a team of heroes to work in secret to fight against what he views as Tyranny. It even has the bit where officials bring him in, demand he get in line, and when he refuses they attack him, leading to a similar leaping onto a plane during his escape.

Sam will set Steve up with someone early in the next movie, or try to
  • Early scenes in both Cap movies have Steve's BFF try to set him up with someone. Sam will continue the pattern, likely with as much success.

Nick Fury's story about his granddad is actually about himself.
  • Because he's semi-immortal like the comics version.
    • Why would Nick Fury be a lift operator?

The MCU version of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are Andrea and Andreas von Strucker
  • The Baron calls them "the twins", and they aren't going to be mutants. And their origins (genetic manipulation) resemble those of the von Strucker twins from the comics.

Natasha wasn't actually born in the 80's as stated in the movie.
She's Older Than She Looks. When the Russians trained her to be the Black Widow, she received a Super Soldier Serum derivative that slowed her aging, much like in the comics. When she joined SHIELD, she received the fake birth date to conceal the serum's existence.

Arnim Zola got his plan from the James Bond novel Moonraker.

Natasha wanted to get Steve a girlfriend so as to get another SHIELD spy close to him.
It's revealed that the "nurse who lives across the hallway" was an undercover SHIELD agent meaning that every woman she tried to set him up with was a SHIELD employee.

Hydra didn't kill Howard and Maria Stark at all
They're just egotistical and opportunistic enough to take the death of America's foremost engineer (and his wife) and claim that was them. That, and taking advantage of people's grief, feeding the idea that a genius like Howark Stark couldn't really be killed by such a mundane thing as a car crash, that it had to be deliberate. And it gives Zola a chance to be a dick to Steve, making him believe he lost another friend to HYDRA.

Captain America: The First AvengerWMG/Multi-Media FranchisesGuardians of the Galaxy
Captain America: The First AvengerWMG/FilmGuardians of the Galaxy

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