Avengers 4: Endgame is the Schrödinger’s Cat of blockbuster cinema. Ever since Thanos clicked his fingers, the question of who died in Avengers: Infinity War has been bigger than Knowhere. After all, half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been trapped in a quantum state (or should that be realm?) of uncertainty, neither alive or dead until Avengers: Endgame reveals the ramifications of Thanos’s Infinity Gauntlet-driven actions.
Keeping track of who lived and who died in Avengers: Infinity War is made doubly difficult by the fact that not everybody who bought the big one did so in the infamous dusting. Thor’s brother Loki and ally Heimdall were killed in the opening act, while Guardian of the Galaxy (and Thanos’s daughter) Gamora was thrown off a cliff in the act of sacrifice that allowed Thanos to take control of the Soul Stone. There’s even one Infinity War death hidden in an Avengers: Endgame trailer that you may not have known about...
That’s a lot of character deaths (or not) to get your head around before you sit down to watch Avengers: Endgame. So we’ve taken ourselves to emotional places you can only dream of to look back at every hero and villain who died in Avengers: Infinity War, to work out if there’s any way back for those who were choked, lobbed off a cliff or dusted. It’s part tribute, part crib sheet… But something tells us we haven’t seen the last of them – not least because Marvel has a lot more movies to make...
Of course, it just had to be a betrayal. After Loki seemingly joined Thanos and handed over the Tesseract, he tried to kill the Mad Titan by putting a knife right between his eyes. Unfortunately for the God of Mischief, Thanos had it scouted well in advance, and choked him to death. Poor Loki.
Yep, at Thanos’ hand again (that becomes quite the theme, as you’ll soon see). Heimdall doesn’t play dead very well after the Black Order’s attack on the Asgardian vessel, instead choosing to use the power of the Bifrost to send Hulk hurtling back to Earth. Thanos, though, doesn’t react kindly to such a power play, stabbing him through the chest. Ouch.
This one really stings. Needing to sacrifice a loved one to claim the Soul Stone on Vormir, Thanos throws his adopted daughter, Gamora, over the edge of a cliff and to her doom. Who saw that coming?
The first of the Black Order to die, Ebony Maw kidnapped Doctor Strange and whisked him away on a spaceship. Unfortunately for him, both Tony Stark and Spider-Man come to the Sorcerer Supreme’s rescue and disposed of Ebony Maw by sucking him out of the ship and into the cold, dark reaches of outer space.
Probably the most brutal death when you stop and think about, Proxima Midnight is thrown into the gears of an oncoming Black Order vehicle by Scarlet Witch after a scrap with Black Widow on the battlefields of Wakanda goes south.
Despite getting the better of Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster, Cull Obsidian was sent to a fiery grave after sticking the Hulkbuster’s decapitated arm on Obsidian’s fist, hitting the eject button, and watching him fly headfirst into the forcefields surrounding Wakanda. Ouch.
While on the verge of choking Captain America to death, Corvus Glaive (Corvy to his friends) crucially turns his back on a downed Vision, who gets back up and stabs him through the chest with his own scythe.
Vision, the poor soul, dies twice in Infinity War. First, he has his lover Scarlet Witch kill him so Thanos can’t get his hands on the Mind Stone. Then the Time Stone comes into play. We’ve already witnessed the power of the Time Stone for the purposes of good in Doctor Strange, but here Thanos uses it to rewind time and pluck the yellow stone from Vision’s head, before tossing him to one side.
Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier
Now we’re getting to the many, many dustings that took place after Thanos’ snap. The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes, was the first to fall, looking as confused as we all were at the dust radiating from his fingertips. He falls to the ground, evaporating in a cloud of dust as his good friend, Captain America, tries to figure out what the hell happened.
The second of the dustees to shuffle off this mortal coil (or should that be soil?), Falcon actually died in supremely quick fashion, evaporating during a montage that rattled off a few other deaths on the Wakandan battlefield. Actor Anthony Mackie has since admitted he thinks Sam could have "died in a better way", especially as everyone else got their own "cool death scene" in comparison.
In his version of Infinity War, Falcon would have sacrificed himself to save Black Widow's life, who then kisses him in his last moments while every Avengers admits that he was always the favourite of Earth's mightiest heroes. Good luck pitching that one to the Russos, mate.
This one’s a little more tragic. While attempting to help Okoye to her feet, T’Challa disappears in a whirlwind of dust thanks to Thanos’ universe-balancing snap. Okoye’s reaction makes it: a mixture of utter fear and confusing, mirroring our own feelings as one of the MCU’s newest stars gets thrown to the wind.
Wanda Romanoff/Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch fell to the same fate as so many of her comrades, also being dusted. Tragically, she is seen cradling Vision’s body then, it hits hard: the dust takes over her entire body, working its way upwards, before whisking her away.
Right. In. The. Feels. This is when we knew it was getting serious. Rocket makes his way over to his good buddy, and fellow Guardians of the Galaxy member, Groot, but it’s too late. The big ol’ plant… thing, is hunched over and dissipated before Rocket can even spit out a few “No, no, no!” cries.
Over to Titan now. Mantis is, inevitably, one of the first to understand what’s going on, but that doesn’t save her. She’s one of the quicker dustings, too, with her entire body just evaporating in an instant.
The Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t get a good deal out of this whole balancing thing, huh? Drax turns to dust, calling out to Quill while his right arm slowly fades, then his left, before his whole body is taken over.
In typical Star-Lord fashion, Peter Quill goes out in the coolest possible fashion. He’s a victim of Thanos’ snap too but, instead of over-egging the moment (I’m looking at you, Peter Parker), he simply utters “Oh, man” before disappearing.
Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange, meanwhile, seems weirdly subdued by his fate. Yes, he’s dusted just like so many of the others, but his last words to Tony Stark – “There was no other way” – hints that all of this deaths aren’t for naught and are, in fact, they key to defeating Thanos.
Peter Parker (or Spider-Man, if we’re using our made-up names) dying in Infinity War was perhaps the biggest gut punch. Of course, he gets swept away in a dust cloud, Tom Holland sells it like a champ, collapsing into Tony Stark’s arms, giving it the old David Tennant “I don’t want to go” and that he “Didn’t feel so good.” A million memes followed, but this original dusting was brilliant in its execution.
Now onto the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene. Maria Hill and Nick Fury are tracking the various cataclysmic events that have taken place in the movie before, yep, that snap happens. Chaos ensues. Cars crash around the pair before the kicker: Maria Hill gets dusted too. But, hey, at least Nick is still around to save the day…
About that. Being the twelfth and final big dusting in this movie, Fury manages to sign off with half a swear word, as well as a message to the stars as a tease for Avengers 4: Captain Marvel is on her way.
Hope van Dyne/the Wasp (plus Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne)
Infinity War was so wide-reaching that it even affected other MCU movies. The Ant-Man and the Wasp post-credits scene sees Scott Lang trapped in the Quantum Realm (not good) after Hope van Dyne/the Wasp and her mum and dad, Janet van Dyne and Hank Pym, are dusted by Thanos’ snap (doubly not good). It serves as one of the creepiest, grimmest endings to a Marvel movie ever, but could be crucial in setting up Endgame.
Read more: Ant-Man and the Wasp ending explained - everything you need to know after watching
Speaking of Endgame, the Avengers 4 trailer also revealed another Infinity War death we didn't know about. While they may not have officially died in Infinity War (at least on-screen), they're still someone who has been listed among those swept away by the Snap. T’Challa’s sister Shuri, who, let’s be honest, we all secretly hoped would have a plan of action to stop Thanos, is seemingly no more, according to the above shot from the trailer. It’s not clear why we didn’t see her death in Infinity War, but we’ll probably find out her ultimate fate during Endgame.
Read more: Avengers: Endgame trailer breakdown - 9 Easter eggs, references, and takeaways you might have missed
In more light-hearted Snappening news (we think), the purpose of balance was hammered home when co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo took part in a Thanos-style Reddit snap, which saw half of the users of the Thanos subreddit /r/ThanosDidNothingWrong banned completely. In the interests of fairness, Anthony Russo was also swept away, as revealed by his brother Joe on Reddit.