Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of 11 years and 22 movies, creating a universe that has been unmatched by any other franchise. As the journey of Marvel’s heroes reaches the end of its latest phase, it reveals that some of the series’ most beloved characters have reached the end of the road. While the deaths caused some emotional scenes for anyone who has followed the films, there are still some questions regarding some characters, with the door open for a possible return for some characters.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Do not read ahead if you have not watched the film yet.
Perhaps the most expected death in the film, the Russo Brothers managed to surprise viewers by staging his death so early. With the help of Captain Marvel, a severely weakened Thanos was discovered in retirement. He revealed to the surviving heroes that he had destroyed the Infinity Stones, before being swiftly being beheaded by Thor, finally going for the head. This sets in motion the overarching plot for the film, sending the Avengers back in time to reclaim the stones before eventually harnessing time travel himself for the film’s true final showdown. By the end of the film, Thanos is vanquished in a matter of poetic justice, with a finger snap.
To finally kill Thanos, one of the most beloved Avengers was forced to sacrifice himself by harnessing the Infinity Gems and execute a snap of his own, turning Thanos and his attacking army into dust. While it was widely thought by many fans that this would be the end for Tony Stark, Endgame saw the hero settle down with Pepper Potts and begin raising a daughter in the original post-Thanos snap timeline and have the only happy ending in that version of events. While securing the Infinity Gems in the past, Stark shares a reunion with his father Howard, creating some closure and making Iron Man’s death even more difficult to take in.
— The Avengers (@Avengers) April 22, 2019
Another hero that was expected to see his demise, Captain America saw his time as a hero reach its conclusion, albeit with Steve Rogers doing it on his own terms. Tasked with returning the Infinity Gems to their rightful places in the past, Captain America takes the opportunity to finally live a normal life, eventually returning to the final scene as an old man. While Rogers is now too old to have any type of participation in the future of the Avengers, Captain America may live on as he passes his shield down to Falcon. The next time we see the iconic red, white, and blue costume, it may be worn by Sam Wilson.
Given the fact that she is expected to headline a film during Marvel’s phase 4, the death of Black Widow is perhaps the biggest surprise for those who watched Endgame was seeing Black Widow sacrifice herself in order to gain the Soul Stone. She was joined by Hawkeye, who made an attempt to sacrifice himself before he was stopped by Widow. While the previously dusted characters all were able to return, there was no sign of Black Widow during the final battle. With her character expected to have no role in the future of the Marvel universe, at least for now, what exactly will happen in the Black Widow-led movie when it hits theaters sometime in 2020 is up in the air.
One character whose death is still unclear is Gamora. Killed in Infinity War so Thanos could gain the Soul Stone, the 2014 version of Gamora traveled to the modern day along with Thanos in order to reclaim the Infinity Gauntlet and once again execute the snap. However, she was convinced by a present-day Nebula to turn on her father and join the Avengers in their fight, even being re-introduced to Star-Lord, who she had no previous knowledge of. After the battle was complete, there was no sign of Gamora, though it was unclear whether she had fallen victim to the final snap or she had disappeared in another manner. This is likely to play a role in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, which will see the Guardians joined by Thor as they search for her.