Warning! MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters and the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same, as there are some crazy moments comic book and movie fans will enjoy, which leads to even more spoilers. The final film in the Infinity Saga may not be the end of the MCU, but Avengers: Endgame includes major events that leave their mark on the shared Marvel universe.
Picking up almost directly after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame explores both the fallout from the Decimation as well as how the remaining Avengers intend to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) once and for all. It’s the longest MCU movie to date, with a three hour and one minute runtime that leaves plenty of room for both epic battles and character-driven moments. Endgame‘s budget is equally massive, reportedly costing somewhere between $350-400 million to make, but of course, that’s a small price tag when compared to the $1 billion (or more) the film is almost guaranteed to gross at the box office.
Endgame is not the end of the MCU, but it is likely to be the last time all six of the original Avengers – Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – will assemble together on screen. As their last hurrah, Endgame is a fittingly epic sendoff. Here are all the biggest spoilers from Avengers: Endgame.
14. Hawkeye’s Family Dies In The Opening Scene
Avengers: Endgame wastes no time reminding audiences of what’s at stake, beginning with a scene set during the final moments of Infinity War in where Clint Barton’s family turns to dust before his eyes. This scene is hinted at in the trailers when Clint is shown training his daughter in archery (the very same that also started those Kate Bishop rumors), but the full scene is a heartbreaking introduction to Endgame. Additionally, Clint experiencing such a traumatic moment is what sends him on his dark path to becoming Ronin, beginning what is arguably Hawkeye’s most important character arc to date.
13. Captain Marvel Saves Tony Stark
Another lingering plot that needs addressing before Avengers: Endgame can really get started is the rescue of Tony Stark. As seen in Avengers: Endgame trailers, Tony begins the film adrift in space with Nebula (Karen Gillen) in the barely functioning Benatar (the Guardian’s spaceship). They’ve managed to leave Titan, but they’ve run out of fuel and the oxygen is next. Just as it looks like Tony is a goner before Endgame even really begins, Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) comes to the rescue. Last seen leaving Earth for some cosmic adventures at the end of Captain Marvel, Carol returns just in the nick of time to save Tony and return him (as well as Nebula) to Earth, carrying the Benatar across the many light-years in record time.
12. The Avengers Kill Thanos At The Start (But He’s Destroyed The Stones)
As the remaining Avengers reconvene at their headquarters, the discussion inevitably turns to what to do next. Their plan involves traveling to the planet where Thanos has retired, killing him, and using the Infinity Stones to bring back everyone he dusted. Unfortunately, the Avengers manage to complete only two thirds of that plan. They ambush Thanos (now disfigured and weakened from the snap) and demand to know where the Infinity Stones are, only for Thanos to reveal he used the stones to destroy the stones. With all hope at resurrecting the dead gone, Thor does what he didn’t do in Infinity War – kills Thanos, going for the head and decapitating him with Stormbreaker.
11. Tony Stark And Pepper Potts Have A Child, Morgan
After killing Thanos, Avengers: Endgame jumps forward in time five years. Quite a lot happens during the time jump – Banner fully merges with Hulk, becoming “Professor” Hulk; Thor really lets himself go, becoming a fat, drunken slob; while Cap leads an emotional support group for those still reeling from the Decimation – but the most pleasant surprise is discovering that Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are married and they have a young daughter, Morgan. The Stark family has also relocated, now residing in a quaint, little cabin on the edge of a lake (though, unsurprisingly, it’s still outfitted with the latest tech).
10. The Avengers’ Plan Is To Steal The Stones From The Past Using Time Travel
Avengers: Endgame also reveals that Ant-Man aka Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) – last seen lost in the Quantum Realm at the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp – has spent these past five years in that strange, subatomic world. For Scott, however, it’s only been five hours, leading him to the conclusion that time travel is possible within the Quantum Realm (just as so many had speculated ahead of Endgame‘s release). Once reunited with the other Avengers, they come up with a new plan: travel back in time and steal the Infinity Stones before Thanos can collect them. It’s a time heist, as Scott coins it, and it leads to the Avengers revisiting events from previous films – The Avengers, Thor 2: The Dark World, and Guardians of the Galaxy – as they try to snatch the stones from their past selves without screwing up the timeline.
9. Black Widow Dies To Get The Soul Stone
The plan to steal the Infinity Stones from the past sends Iron Man, Cap, Ant-Man, and Hulk to the Battle of New York, Thor and Rocket to Asgard circa The Dark World, Nebula and War Machine to Morag where they wait to jump Peter Quill, while Black Widow and Hawkeye are tasked with traveling to Vormir and retrieving the Soul Stone. But retrieving the Soul Stone requires a trade – a soul for a soul. Both Black Widow and Hawkeye first argue over why it should be them who gives up their life, then they fight over it, with one tackling the other as they each try throwing themselves over the edge. In the end, though, Widow gets the better of Hawkeye, grappling and anchoring him to the cliff side and leaving herself to plummet to her death. After Black Widow’s sacrifice, Hawkeye awakens in the pools on Vormir with the Soul Stone in hand.
8. Thanos From 2014 Comes To The Future
While the Avengers take part in their time heist, Endgame sees a complication arise with Nebula. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter if she’s the Nebula from 2023 or the one in 2014, her cybernetic implants still operate on the same network. This allows for communications received by the Nebula of the present to also be seen by the Nebula of the past – the very Nebula who is still loyal to Thanos. Thanks to this connection between the two, Thanos learns of the Avengers’ plan to reverse the Decimation five years before he’s even collected all the Infinity Stones. He then sends his Nebula to kidnap the one from the future, stealing her batch of Pym particles and using them to send himself – as well as his entire army – forward in time to 2023’s Earth. That is where the final battle will take place, but first…
7. Hulk Brings Back The Snap Victims
A few hiccups and time travel hijinks aside, the Avengers are successful in their mission to gather the Infinity Stones from the past. Tony then creates a gauntlet using the same nano-tech armor as his Iron Man suits and it’s decided that Hulk, the strongest and (given the state of Thor) most sensible of the Avengers, will attempt the snap. He puts on the the gauntlet and, at first, it appears too powerful even for him to control, but eventually, Hulk manages to bring together his fingers and snaps, wishing for all those who disappeared five years ago to reappear in the present. It works, and the first sign of their success is Hawkeye receiving a phone call from his wife just moments after Hulk’s snap.
6. Characters Stay Dead
Though Hulk’s snap is successful in Avengers: Endgame, he isn’t able to bring everyone back. (For his part, Hulk receives only some mild scarring on his arm and the right side of his body.) The Infinity Stones are powerful but they are are also specific, and Hulk is only able to bring back those who turned to dust thanks to Thanos’ original snap. He even tells Clint that he really tried using all that power to bring back Natasha, but it just doesn’t work. Along with Black Widow, the other characters who died in Infinity War before the snap – Loki, Heimdall, Gamora, and Vision – all stay dead.
5. Past Actors Return
And yet, while a few key characters remain dead, that doesn’t mean they don’t appear in Avengers: Endgame. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, for example, isn’t resurrected but the actor does reprise the role for a short scene set during the Battle of New York. Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce, Rene Russo’s Frigga, and Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter all have small parts to play, as do Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow and Maximiliano Hernández’s Jasper Sitwell as the hidden H.Y.D.R.A. agents within S.H.I.E.L.D. Endgame also includes Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Taiki Waititi’s Korg (confirming they survived the Decimation), while Zoe Saldana returns to play Gamora – the 2014-version of Gamora, that is, before she meets the Guardians.
4. Captain America Wields Mjolnir
After Hulk successfully snaps half of the universe’s population back into existence, Thanos attacks the Avengers compound. He first levels the building, then sends in his Chitauri army to finish off any survivors, while past-Nebula goes to collect the Infinity Stones. As Thanos waits, he is confronted by Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, and the three core Avengers give him one hell of a fight. By far, though, the most exhilarating moment comes when Mjolnir – a past version, anyway, that Thor took while visiting Thor: The Dark World‘s Asgard – flies not to Thor’s hand, but into Captain America’s. Armed with both Mjolnir and his vibranium shield, Cap comes very close to defeating Thanos, but even when supercharged with the powers of a god, he isn’t strong enough to stop the Mad Titan.
3. Iron Man Dies To Complete Doctor Strange’s Plan
Just when it appears that all hope is lost, with only Cap still on his feet staring down Thanos, the Black Order, and the rest of his army – the cavalry arrives. Every single resurrected hero along with the Sanctum Sorcerers, the armies of both Asgard and Wakanda, and even Pepper Potts in her Rescue armor join the fray, resulting in an epic superhero battle unlike anything ever seen before. Amid that chaos, Tony finds Doctor Strange and asks him if this is the one out of 14 million possible outcomes where they win, but Strange refuses to tell him. Frustrated, Tony returns to the fight, but when Thanos manages to get a hold of the Infinity Stones, he realizes what he must do. Tony attacks Thanos and rips the stones from his hand, attaching them to the glove of his armor and snapping. Thanos, the Black Order, and all of their forces disintegrate and fade to dust. Using the Infinity Stones, however, leaves Iron Man mortally wounded and dies on the battlefield surrounded by Pepper, Peter Parker, and all his friends.
2. Thor Joins The Guardians Of The Galaxy
Following Tony’s funeral, the remaining Avengers begin returning to their normal lives. For Thor, however, he’s come to realize that he just isn’t suited to rule the Asgardians, handing the job over to Valkyrie. Free of his kingly responsibilities but not wishing to (fully) return to his slovenly ways, Thor joins up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Unsurprisingly, there’s already a rivalry brewing between Thor and Star-Lord, with the latter trying his best to assert himself as captain. Still absent, though, is Gamora – the 2014-version of Gamora who, along with 2023’s Nebula, turned against Thanos and helped defeat 2014’s Nebula. Whether she eventually meets up with the Guardians remains to be seen, but it’s very likely this won’t be the last they see her.
1. Steve Rogers Gets His Dance
Finally, after Thanos is dead and Tony buried, someone must return all of the Infinity Stones (and Mjolnir) to the exact points in time from which they were taken. The man for this job is Captain America, again traveling back in time via the Quantum Realm. However, Steve chooses not to return to the present and instead stays in the past, reuniting with Peggy Carter and finally getting to enjoy that dance. Steve only later returns to the moment he left for the past once he’s an old man, having spent the last 70 years just living his life. Steve then passes on the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), handing him the shield as an approving Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) looks on.
Next: Everything We Know About Avengers 5