Many Marvel fans have assumed that Captain America’s days are numbered, that he will die at some point during Avengers: Endgame. There’s a good amount of evidence for this theory, but a new video from CBR makes a solid argument, based on both practical and story-related reasons, that another major character might be the one to make the ultimate sacrifice.
First, let’s review why people think Steve’s days are numbered. It’s widely believed that Chris Evans signed a six-picture deal after 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Endgame will be his sixth MCU film since then. There’s also a tweet that Evans sent after shooting on Endgame wrapped.
Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 4, 2018
Many assumed that Evans, who has expressed interest in directing, was saying goodbye to playing Rogers, but it’s possible that he was emotional because an entire phase of the Marvel MCU was ending or that he’d wrapped on a movie.
For his part, Evans said that he would’ve tweeted the same sentiment no matter how Endgame ended, suggesting that reaction to his tweet may have been overblown. That’s not the only reason to believe that Captain America will survive Endgame, and there’s also plenty to suggest that Iron Man will not.
Let’s start with Robert Downey, Jr. He’s played Tony Stark even longer than Evans has played Steve Rogers, and it safe to assume he’s making a ton of money from Marvel Studios every time he does a new film. Money that Marvel might prefer not to spend as the MCU continues.
Storywise, after being credibly accused of selfishness in Civil War by the sacrifice-valuing Steve Rogers, Stark risked his life when he grabbed onto a nuclear missile and steered it through a wormhole in Infinity War, a movie where sacrifice is a major theme.
Indeed, Thanos is able to secure the Soul Stone because he sacrifices Gamora on the cliffs of Vormir. If the Avengers are to secure the Soul Stone in Endgame they’ll logically need to make a sacrifice of their own.
“We don’t trade lives,” Captain America says in Infnity War, highlighting what separates the Avengers from Thanos. One of them killing another person to gain the Soul Sone seems farfetched in light of this quote. What’s more likely is that one of the Avengers sacrifices him or herself. Indeed, part of the ethos of the Avengers is the value of sacrifice.
The CBR video continues with a rundown of why Tony Stark is the one most likely the make that sacrifice. First, there’s his appearance in the Endgame trailer with Nebula, who knows that a sacrifice must be made. They’re both on Earth and spending time together. Isn’t it possible that Stark learns the truth from her and makes his way to Vormir to sacrifice himself?
Second, sacrificing himself on Vormir would be a tragic but fitting end for Stark, mirroring Thanos’s choice at the end of Infinity War. Stark would be demonstrating how he and the rest of the Avengers are different, how he’s grown to be more like the sacrifice-valuing Rogers despite their past conflicts. It would also be so damn sad we’re tearing up just thinking about it.
The Russo brothers have hinted that Steve Rogers has a serious character arc during Endgame. The death of Tony Stark and the end of the complex relationship between the two men would definitely have a huge effect on Rogers and serve as a fitting end for the third phase of the MCU.
We won’t know for sure until April 26, when the three-hour-plus Avengers: Endgame finally hits theaters. In the meantime, check out the CBR video below.