We’ve had two whole weekends, which I believe is enough time for a just about everyone to have seen the movie. Now, it’s time to talk about some major plot points, to speculate about characters in the film, and more to this point, to talk about who died.
In the last film Avengers: Infinity War, we saw death on a universal scale. Half of all living creatures were wiped from existence. Avengers: Endgame on the other hand, has fewer deaths in comparison. But I would argue their deaths are more impactful because of the mark they’ve left on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I had to see the movie twice to make sure I figured out everyone and could detail the events surrounding their deaths.
I’ll preface this by stating that if you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame yet, there are major spoilers ahead. These deaths are essentially finalities to some character arcs in the series. We’ll try to go in chronological order.
At the beginning of the film, a team of sorts is gathered with Captain Marvel, War Machine, Black Widow, Captain America, Thor, and Rocket. They are tracking a large output of energy and find another pulse likened to the snap-happening on a remote planet just a few days ago. When they go to the planet, the only living being there is Thanos. The team restrains the Mad Titan and Thor cuts his gauntlet arm off with the axe. Then they discover the stones are missing, seeing only an empty gauntlet. Thanos then explains to them that he destroyed the stones, almost dying in the process. As the Mad Titan is speaking, mid-sentence his head gets chopped off. Cut to Thor, stating that he went for the head this time. This seems to be a bittersweet call back to Infinity War, and this is only the first 10-20 minutes of the film.
Ant-Man comes back from the Quantum Realm, and speaks to the remaining Avengers about the possibility of time travel. The members come up with a plan to get the Infinity Stones in certain time periods. A certain part of their mission sees Black Widow and Hawkeye head to Vormir in order to obtain the Soul Stone. At this moment, I knew what was happening. Part of me was thinking it would be Hawkeye because Black Widow has a film on the slate for Phase 4. Another part of me read some reviews that praised Hawkeye’s performance as he had a lot of action in the film as kind of an answer to his absence in Infinity War. Needless to say, I was torn with who would get sacrificed for the Soul Stone.
They get to the planet and Red Skull appears providing them similar advice to what he gave Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Instead of some dramatic scene likened to Thanos throwing his adoptive-daughter off the cliff, it cuts to Black Widow and Hawkeye sitting it out and discussing it. Then the two realize what has to be done, and it’s essentially a race against each other for who gets to suicide jump first. It’s neck and neck for a bit, with both of them going back and forth tripping each other and incapacitating one another to get closer to the edge of the cliff.
They both go over the cliff, and Black Widow grapple hooks the cliff and attaches the other end to Hawkeye. Clint manages to catch Natasha, only just barely. She encourages him to let go, and in her last effort she kicks the cliff to launch herself from his grasp, to her demise. And much like the scene from Infinity War, Black Widow is splatted on the ground below. A grieving Hawkeye wakes up in a still pool some distance away from the mountain, with the Soul Stone in hand.
Nebula (Pre-Guardians of the Galaxy)
In more time-bending madness, there is some quantum entanglement between the machine parts of Nebula from the present and the Nebula in the past. This is the pre-Guardians of the Galaxy Nebula, still preoccupied with trying to please her father, Thanos. The present-day Nebula has found connections with other people, enjoyed a real relationship with her adopted sister Gamora, and most importantly resented her father for all the years of mental and physical abuse. And both of them are in the same place, looking for the Power Stone. The present-day Gamora and War Machine happen upon a young Peter Quill, stomping his way through the wastes of Morag.
Because of that quantum entanglement between the two Nebulas, the machinery screwed up and allowed Thanos to view the memories of the present Nebula through the Nebula of the past. And this allowed him to understand his future and try to change it.
So it ends up being a race for the heroes and Thanos to change their fate.
Fast forward, present day Nebula is unable to return to the present because of the problems with her quantum-entangled machine parts. Incapacitated, she eventually gets captured. Thanos then hatches a plan to have the past-version of Nebula infiltrate the Avengers. Cut to another part of the Avengers compound, and Tony is putting the Infinity Stones into an Iron Man-type gauntlet. Hulk then uses this new Infinity Gauntlet to revive the half of the population that had been snapped out of existence five years prior.
While all this is happening, past-Nebula hacks into the time-machine platform the team had put together in the Avengers compound. With it, she brings Thanos’ ship along with a number of his forces to the present day and the Avengers compound. As soon as Thanos’ ship appears, he blasts the Avengers’ compound into oblivion.
Following an intense battle scene, Captain America is alone versus the entirety of Thanos’ forces. However, half of the population that had been erased from existence is back. So all the heroes who had faded to dust in the previous film are showing up at the charred remains of the Avengers compound via Doctor Strange’s portals. They’ve come to assist Captain America in the battle against Thanos’ forces.
Meanwhile, Gamora is questioning the present-day Nebula about what happens to her and where they stand in their relationship. Gamora learns everything and decides to help present-day Nebula. Meanwhile past-Nebula is trying to search for the Infinity Gauntlet to give to her father Thanos. Gamora comes in to stop her, and in tow is the present-day Nebula. After trying to reason with her past-self, she just shoots her dead.
And apparently this doesn’t mean anything because what has happened has already been writ in stone. So, she continues to exist despite killing her past-self.
The Black Order
And speaking of the big battle, it’s big. There’s a lot of action on screen. So much, I’ll probably need another viewing to get everything.
But in a segue to the next part, everyone is scrambling to keep the new Infinity Gauntlet away from Thanos. Albeit, he eventually gets the glove, and the task changes to now stopping the Mad Titan from snapping. Ultimately, Doctor Strange motions to Iron Man that this is the one opportunity to stop Thanos. Tony Stark takes the hint and starts wrestling with Thanos, but gets pushed away. Thanos has a short spiel about being inevitable, and snaps. And nothing.
Then the camera cuts to Tony, with all the infinity stones crawling up his arm, and he retorts with “I am Iron Man,” and does his own snap. There’s a brilliant flash, and then we see all of Thanos’ troops turning into dust including The Black Order.
As Thanos watches his entire army fade away, he slowly walks to a nearby rock. And almost in a contemplative pose, he sits and stares out as if accepting his fate. He then fades into dust after his army disappears.
This somewhat answers the heroes who could not accept their loss. He in turn accepts his destiny, not once, but twice.covering he First in disgets beheaded in the future, and later at his defeat by the hands of a man. Iron Man.
After Tony snaps, half of his body is fried beyond belief. He’s almost in a catatonic state, but barely hanging on to life. He collapses on a nearby heap and Rhodey recognizes Tony is non-responsive. Peter Parker tries to get Tony’s attention, trying to tell him that they’ve won, but still no response. Then Pepper steps in and asks Friday about Tony’s life system, and that it was still functioning, indicating that it was essentially only Friday keeping Tony alive at this point.
At that point, as a sort of mirror to an earlier scene in the movie, Pepper tells him it’s okay. They’re okay. And that he can rest.
And he goes.
That’s all I’ll say about it.
Other Deaths That Seem More Permanent
Of course, there are some deaths that happened in the previous film that stuck. We aren’t going to count the Nova Corps as their deaths happened off screen during Infinity War. And I don’t believe their presence was felt as much as some of the other major players during the previous Avengers installment. We also shouldn’t count unknown deaths at this point, like the Collector, because we aren’t really sure if he died in the last film. But here’s a few that for sure are gone for good.
Gamora at Vormir
As Gamora from 2014 joins the fray against Thanos, the character who had all the internal development and history with the Guardians of the Galaxy is still dead. The Guardians don’t have the Gamora they knew and built a relationship with. There is essentially no relationship with this version of the character. The only one who has any connection with her is Nebula, and even that isn’t the same character as this version of Gamora knows. Maybe she wants to, but it’s four years of her personal arc down the drain.
Our favorite AI robot isn’t at the final fight scene. We see Jarvis, the personal assistant to Howard Stark from the Agent Carter television series, during one of Tony’s trips to the past. But we don’t see Paul Bettany. That’s kind of wonky given that Scarlet Witch and Vision are slated to have their own show for the Disney + streaming service. We know Shuri was working on reforming his circuitry/synapses where he could operate independent of the Soul Stone. Maybe she’ll go back to work before the show starts.
Loki a la Ragnarok
There’s a version of Loki who escapes the captivity of Thor at the end of the first Avengers film. During the heist of the Tesseract, Ant-Man pulls one of the plugs on a past-version of Tony Stark. He drops the case containing the Tesseract as he collapses, and the cube drops for present-day Tony in disguise to pick up. However, as he’s trying to escape the lobby of Stark Tower, Hulk comes down the stairs and knocks Tony Stark over, and he drops the Tesseract. Loki, amidst the fumbling, picks up the Space Stone and uses its power to escape. Where he went will probably be a plot point for his solo series on the Disney + series.
However, the Loki we saw during Thor: Ragnarok, and Thor: The Dark World is effectively dead. No more resurrections.
They explain during the film that the Avengers cannot undo deaths outside of the snap. This is why present-day Gamora and Black Widow can’t come back for the final fight. Half of the Asgardian population is dead already. Thanos murders them all during his attack to find the Tesseract.
During Infinity War, Thor talks about this, meaning half had somehow escaped, along with Korg, Meik, and Valkyrie. However, it’s quite possible that even more Asgardians were dusted when Thanos snapped his fingers. It’s possible New Asgard essentially consists of only ¼ of those who escaped Ragnarok. Well, after Tony snapped, Thor only got the other ¼ back. However, we don’t see Heimdall show up. We don’t see Loki show up.
But what do you think of our list? Did we miss anyone? Were there any details we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comments below or let’s talk about it on social media!