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Which Avenger Will Make The Ultimate Sacrifice In Endgame

October 14, 2019


Before Infinity War, real and permanent death
among heroes was rare in the MCU, but now as we stare down Endgame, it seems to be more
of a possibility than ever before, and many of our favorite characters might not escape
it this time. So it’s time to talk odds. If you really wanted to predict possible outcomes
like Doctor Strange meditating over the Time Stone, you could say that Carol Danvers, played
by Brie Larson, can absolutely die in just her second film. You could argue that she’s the best candidate
to go toe to toe with Thanos while the other surviving Avengers are working on their secret
plan to undo the snap. Being in the line of fire would place her
in clear mortal danger. And it could be poetic that Carol, who only
just arrived back on Earth, would sacrifice herself like the space god she is. You could even argue that, since there are
more than two decades separating Endgame and Captain Marvel, Carol wouldn’t really even
be “dead.” Marvel could keep churning out movies set
in the intervening years. You’d be wrong. Carol is the vanguard leading the charge into
a new age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She’ll stick around, and her chance of survival
is very high. Everyone’s favorite raccoon with Bradley Cooper’s
voice is already in a pretty bad spot when Endgame begins. He’s on an unfamiliar planet, far from home. As far as he knows, he’s the only surviving
member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and, most importantly, he watched his best friend
Groot crumble to dust before his eyes. Rocket and Thor had a conversation in Infinity
War about how hard you fight when it seems you’ve got nothing left to lose. “I could lose a lot. Me, personally, I could lose a lot.” For Rocket, that time has arrived. Rocket and Groot have become sort of unofficial
mascots for the comic side of the MCU. With a third Guardians movie on the way, it’s
hard to imagine a world in which they don’t both pull through this, even if Rocket does
end up having to wear one of those prosthetics he finds so hilarious. His chance of survival? Moderately high. Endgame’s marketing materials have been very
clear about what the surviving heroes’ goal is: “Take it all back…” “Whatever it takes.” That’s a pretty clear mission statement that
gives every major character a redemptive arc as they each quest for personal vengeance. Bruce Banner, played by Mark Ruffalo, in particular
has a goal. Endgame will have to address Banner’s sudden
inability to handle the Hulk, who has retreated into his host body and refused to fight on
behalf of Banner and his friends. This left our heroes at an apparent disadvantage
during the Battle of Wakanda. While Banner overcame it, he and the Hulk
still have to have a conversation that will resolve in Endgame. That resolution could ultimately end with
the Hulk choked out by Thanos’ tremendous power, but that seems unlikely. Possible remaining romantic tension with Black
Widow just gives him too much to do in the MCU besides dying. His chance of survival is moderate. Some may argue that Black Widow, played by
Scarlett Johansson, can’t possibly die in Avengers: Endgame because she has a movie
in development. But it’s also true that her film could be
a prequel about her early years as a spy, which would make her current status a moot
point. There’s honestly a strong case for killing
Natasha, and it all goes back to the very first Avengers film. “I got red in my ledger. I’d like to wipe it out.” She’s a character who’s always had tension
bubbling beneath her cool exterior, which suggests she will never be sated unless can
die heroically to wipe away that red. That said, there are other characters whose
deaths would probably be more compelling to the overall story, and it’s very easy to see
Natasha’s being pretty useful in the MCU going forward. There’s a world in which she could become
the new generation’s Nick Fury, an advisor and spymaster who’s seen it all, done it all,
and has a cool head under pressure. Her chance of survival is moderate. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man clearly has a big role
to play in Endgame. In his previous films, two solo adventures
and a supporting role in Captain America: Civil War, he’s primarily played a comedic
role. He sat out Infinity War, but his journey to
the Quantum Realm at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp suggests he might have some scientific
answers for how the team can change history and defeat Thanos. He’s front-and-center this time around, which
means a greater risk of death. The Wasp could very easily be resurrected
and take his place in a future Avengers lineup, and his daughter Cassie, a Marvel Comics superhero
in her own right, could take over. But Scott Lang still seems to have more heroic
potential left in him, so let’s hope he gets to keep having his little, or sometimes giant,
adventures. He has a moderate chance of survival. In the lead-up to Avengers: Infinity War and
Avengers: Endgame, two major character deaths have been discussed more than any other. One we’ll get to later, but the other is Robert
Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Tony Stark is the godfather of the MCU, the
original hero who launched it all. Sometimes he’s saved the world. Sometimes he caused the problems. But he’s always been there, and his journey
has all been building to this confrontation with Thanos. What better way for it to end than for Tony
and the Mad Titan to go down at the same time? It would be a poetic ending, but is it really
what’s in store for Tony Stark? If any of the MCU’s major characters could
have a life beyond superheroics, funding and supporting and cheering on future Avengers
as a benefactor, it’s him, so his chance of survival is questionable. The journey of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor as a
fallen hero with nothing left to lose, pushing for one last shot at victory makes up the
backbone of Infinity War. His story runs from the very first scene all
the way to the seconds before the snap, when he embeds Stormbreaker in Thanos’ chest. Heading into Endgame, all the Avengers bear
a burden of loss and defeat, but Thor bears it more than the others. It’s easy to see how Thor could be marching
to his own death in Endgame, and how his final act of redemption could be one of self-sacrifice. Chris Hemsworth has been in the MCU since
2011, so his retirement could be imminent. But simply sending Thor off to try and rebuild
Asgard, having restored himself as a hero, could be just as satisfying. So his chance of survival is questionable. James “Rhodey” Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine,
is one of the MCU’s original superheroes. He was introduced in its very first film,
played by Terrence Howard, gained a superhero identity in Iron Man 2, in which Don Cheadle
took on the role, and has been a player many major stories since. The running joke has always sort of been that
Rhodey isn’t quite as relevant and powerful as Iron Man, which is noted in Avengers: Age
of Ultron. “Why do I even talk to you guys? Everywhere else that story kills.” “That’s the whole story?” “Yes, the War Machine story.” “It’s very good then.” His primary role in Captain America: Civil
War was as a casualty, and in Infinity War he never rose above supporting character status. War Machine seems primed for an Endgame appearance
that could elevate him by ending his story with a blaze of glory. Watching Rhodey go down fighting could be
a satisfying way to bid farewell to a character who’s been around for more than a decade,
and it could give Tony Stark the drive to keep funding the Avengers in his honor. For those reasons, we’re putting his chance
of survival at moderately low. Hawkeye was conspicuously absent from Infinity
War, but his emotional journey is going to be a major part of Endgame. Avengers: Age of Ultron told us that when
he’s not out saving the world, Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, has a family he loves
dearly. And the second Endgame trailer revealed a
mentor relationship with a young girl who could be a future Hawkeye. By Endgame, Clint has apparently lost all
that. He’s a vigilante, taking on what’s left of
the world through violence before his old friend Natasha comes to retrieve him. That sets up two potential outcomes. Either he does his part as a member of a successful
mission and reunites with his resurrected family, or he dies trying to give them their
lives back. Both are very possible, but watching a broken
Clint Barton make the final sacrifice on behalf of his children seems like an emotional power
play the filmmakers might not be able to resist. His chance of survival is moderately low. In the comic The Infinity Gauntlet, Nebula
is a key character. She actually ends up wielding the Infinity
Gauntlet herself. We’re not predicting anything like that for
Karen Gillan’s film version of Nebula, but she could have an important role in Endgame. Nebula comes into the film as the one remaining
character who knows Thanos intimately, and she’s also well aware of what he did to her
sister Gamora in Infinity War. Since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Nebula
has been on a redemptive arc that led to her fighting alongside the Avengers and the Guardians. Now, with a possible way to defeat Thanos
in sight, she’s not likely to slow down. Endgame presents a very clear opportunity
for Nebula to sacrifice herself. It’s hard to see her walking away alive, so
her chance of survival is low. Steve Rogers has been knocked down yet again
by a bully. He’s sure to stand up with his fists raised
and declare, “I could do this all day.” Captain America, played by Chris Evans, turned
out to have a limited role in Avengers: Infinity War, but the snap has left him as the de facto
leader of the remaining Avengers on Earth. Trailers are placing him in a key position
as the man who will lead the fight to take back the universe. Repeated hints that Evans is done with the
role after eight years suggest that Captain America is going to die. We can’t know for sure, even if it is true
that Evans is walking away from the role after Endgame. Captain America could simply quietly retire
to a cabin somewhere, content to split logs. He could step away from active Avengers duty. But none of that would be very climactic,
so he could very well go down fighting, leaving a grateful universe to mourn him while Tony
Stark continues to protect Earth. It’s impossible to know for sure, but the
death of the First Avenger certainly seems to be approaching. His chance of survival is very low. Even as we talk about all these horrible character
deaths, Avengers: Endgame is a film in which more major characters could end up resurrected
than permanently dead. For example, Black Panther and Spider-Man
have movies approaching so we shouldn’t expect them to stay dead. Nor are Shuri, the Wasp, Bucky, Falcon, Scarlet
Witch, and Vision likely to stay down, since they all seem to have promising futures. In a world in which the Avengers restore many
of their friends, what does death really mean? It’s a comic book world, so deaths are almost
never permanent in the long run. Will that change here? One thing that seems very clear about Endgame
is that it’s bound to rewrite the rules of the MCU. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about The Avengers
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