The ending of Avengers: Endgame is the most emotional and human moment in perhaps the entire franchise. It also might be the most confusing. Are you a little unsure about what happened there? Here’s what it all means.
WARNING: THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE HAS MAJOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME SPOILERS SO DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT
As you walk out of Avengers: Endgame, you will likely find yourself dwelling on a few lingering questions about the three-hour epic blockbuster. Did the time travel actually make any sense? Who was that kid at Tony’s funeral? And did Thor officially make the dadbod cool? But the biggest question you will likely be wondering about is why is Steve Rogers suddenly an old man at the end? Fortunately, there is maybe, an explanation.
After Stark’s funeral, Rogers is once again sent back in time to put all of the Infinity Stones back in their proper place in order to not disrupt the time continuum or something pseudo-sciencey. He is supposed to be brought back almost immediately but when Hulk-ified Bruce Banner re-activates the time machine, Rogers isn’t there and so Bucky and Falcon start to panic before they spot an old man who is sitting calmly at a bench nearby.
The twist? The old man turns out to be none other than Captain America himself! What the hell does that mean? The exact details aren’t entirely clear but basically, Rogers decided that he was done with the hero gig and instead decided to stay in the past so that he could live his entire life as a normal, happy man. It’s even heavily implied that he reunited with Peggy Carter, as he is shown to be wearing a wedding ring and a flashback reveals he finally got that dance with his beloved.
Does this fully make sense? Actually, it does. Old Steve went back in time and lived out a regular life while staying out the way of young Steve, who you know, will eventually go back in time and become old Steve. This, of course, requires Captain America was really chill about all the terrible things happening in the world around him as he lived out his quiet life with Peggy. But then again, it’s easy to be secure about the future of the world, when you know you’ve got your best guy on the job — yourself!
Avengers: Endgame is out in wide release now.