The following contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. If you have not yet seen the film, then please do so before reading the rest of this piece.

One of the great many questions left after Avengers: Endgame centered around the ultimate fate of the Infinity Stones. Early in the film Thanos says he “used the stones to destroy the stones,” having seen his work as now being done and the Stones as far too much of a temptation. However, the Ancient One says to Bruce Banner that the multiverse needs Infinity Stones to maintain its integrity. This is why she wouldn’t just let him take the Time Stone. So if Thanos destroyed the Stones in 2018, why didn’t reality collapse?

Now, we have an answer. Well, sort of. Recently, the Russo Brothers did a Q&A after a showing of the film at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Although no filming was allowed, one lucky fan got to attend and described the event on Reddit. He noted that another fan asked the pair about the Infinity Stones conundrum, to which they said that Thanos “only reduced the stones to the atomic level. The stones are still present in the universe.”

Maybe a better explanation would be, Thanos didn’t destroy their energy, just that which houses them. Does this mean someone down the line can recreate the Infinity Stones? While we don’t think Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios will go back to that well anytime soon, the possibility still exists. In comic book storytelling nothing is really dead unless there’s a body, and even then it’s not 100%. This logic apparently extends to the Infinity Stones as well.

The Russos answered several other questions, including a few about the time-travel mechanics of the plot. Which is definitely something that has fans asking many questions. They did admit that Cap reuniting with Peggy in the past opened up a lot of story possibilities, which we sincerely hope get explored in the Disney+ What If? animated series at some point.

Images: Marvel Studios