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15 Fan Theories About Bucky Barnes That Are Wild Enough To Be True

Updated February 5, 2021 5.6k votes 981 voters 73.1k views16 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting Winter Soldier fan theories.

The MCU is one of the biggest superhero franchises in history, and there's no question as to why. With so much source material to pull from and countless interesting characters, it's the saga that keeps on giving. One of fandoms' favorite things to do is come up with fan theories, and when it comes to the MCU, there are certainly a lot of them. From unanswered questions to character quirks, we managed to round up some of the most interesting fan theories surrounding the Winter Soldier himself - Bucky Barnes.  Which fan theory do you think is most believable? Vote up your favorites.

  • 1. Bucky's Transformation Into The Winter Soldier Began Before His Fall

    Photo: Captain America: The First Avenger / Paramount Pictures

    From a Redditor :

    Bucky's transformation into the Winter Soldier began before his fall from the train. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we see that Cap's childhood friend Bucky Barnes has been turned into a Hydra supersoldier, despite seeing him fall off a train into a 400-foot deep gorge in the mountains in The First Avenger. We know that Hydra went down there, fished him out, and did stuff to him. But in TFA, we see that it's before this event that this experimentation on him takes place. During the scene where Cap is staging his one-man rescue op, he finds Bucky strapped to a table in a lab, delirious and mumbling. This is actually when Hydra started their work on him; it was just a lucky coincidence for them that it happened to be the same guy who would fall off the train and they could pick up where they left off.

    Interesting theory?
  • 2. Bucky Never Gets Shot Because He Knows Where They'll Aim

    Photo: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    From Redditor u/CaptainFunktastic:

    Everyone gave Bucky crap for this in Civil War, so I figured I might explain it. A lot of people pointed out that during Bucky's escape, the German SWAT open fire and ever only seem to hit his hand, which is made of metal, thus saving his life and creating something of a minor plot hole.

    But .. it's not because he's magic, or his arm is magnetic (hello lawsuit), it's simply because damn near every military and paramilitary operation is taught to fire center-of-mass. Which is to say, straight at the heart. It's drilled into the skull of every fresh recruit until it becomes instinct. The motion of raising your weapon and firing directly at your enemy's heart is forced into muscle memory.

    Bucky knew this. He was a soldier, is a soldier, so he knew they would aim there and raised his big metal arm to block the attacks.

    Interesting theory?
  • 3. Bucky's Activation Phrases Are Linked To His Past

    Photo: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    From Redditor u/CaptainFunktastic:

    1, 9, and 17 combined make Bucky's birth year.

    Freight car is obviously a reference to his "death," in TFA.

    Homecoming, is probably about him being sent to America to go on missions or a "return to Russia" order in disguise. So, go "there," do "that," and come "back."

    Longing, is probably used to trigger his desire to return to the world he and Cap left behind.

    Daybreak, references the fact that he goes back under after he completes his mission, and "awoken" when he's needed again.

    Benign means harmless, or non-threatening.

    Rusted is simply oxidation of metal. What color is it? Red.

    Now hear me out... Benign and rusted together gives you a harmless piece of withered metal. Longing and daybreak could be someone shrouded or hidden in the dark waiting to come out. Freight car is a very large container designed to hold a tons of weight. Homecoming... Throw all that together, and you get... The idea that something very large, red, and with the power to carry immense weight , that is assumed harmless, with an insatiable desire will come from the shadows and return home. It could be a cryptic description of Bucky as a character. It could be about Russia or Hydra returning to power.

    Interesting theory?
  • 4. The Winter Soldier Helped Train The Red Room Qualifiers

    Photo: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    From Redditor u/Skatebass:

    Simple really, in Age of Ultron when Black Widow has her vision, it shows someone choking her out before she taps out. I think that out is Bucky Barnes, or more specifically, the Winter Soldier. That's why in Civil War when he is choking her out, she says "don't you recognize me?" because the Winter Soldier used to help train the Red Room qualifiers.

    Interesting theory?