The second law of thermodynamics is often cited as the reason that "free energy" is not possible. That we cannot get more energy out of a system than we put in.
It is my understanding that the universe (and all matter and energy within it) must have, at some point, come from nothing; it cannot have existed forever without an initial cause, and any cause for the existence of the universe would also have needed a cause, and so on. So everything that exists must have resulted from energy/matter popping into existence from a state of no state, or nothingness, at some point.
But all of the energy and matter in the universe being created from literally nothing, is by definition, "free energy". It's energy from literally, nothing. You can't put less energy into a system than no energy.
Does this break the second law of thermodynamics (meaning that it does not always apply, that there can be exceptions), or are the implications of thermodynamics being misconstrued to discredit even the hypothetical possibility of "free energy", forever, regardless of technological and scientific advances?
In advance: This question is not a duplicate. I looked at all of the "questions that may already have your answer" as well as the "similar questions". There is only one question that asks something similar and it has no answers, and only one comment which seems to imply that the universe has always existed with infinitely low entropy, which makes no sense, because a universe at minimum entropy would still have had to come from somewhere (or nowhere) at some point. You can find that question (and it's poorly worded title) here: Does second law of thermodynamics imply the big bang?
Also, if anyone has a better suggestion for the title of my question, I'm all ears.