Despite the fact that we knew some Avengers: Endgame deaths were coming - no-one could totally escape all that drama, could they? - we didn't realise they would hit so hard. Sure, it wasn't half the entire Marvel cast being wiped out like Avengers: Infinity War (opens in new tab), but it doesn't stop this roll-call of deaths in Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab) leaving a lump wedged in your throat.
Whether you want to get ahead of the (End)game, or just fancy re-living (poor choice of phrase, sorry), some of the most brutal goodbyes in MCU history, here’s the full list detailing every Avengers: Endgame death. It goes without saying: MASSIVE spoilers follow. You have been warned.
Seriously, from now on it's spoiler town, so scoot if you haven't seen the film.
Now this one was a shocker. The first Avengers: Endgame death was one nobody could have predicted. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes track The Mad Titan down to The Garden, the farm planet where Thanos put his feet up after snapping away half of the universe’s population. Their goal? To retrieve the Infinity Stones. Easy-peasy, right?
Surprisingly… yes. The Avengers proceed to lay the smackdown on Thanos, with Hulk, Captain Marvel, and Iron Man getting in a few blows for good measure. Once he’s defeated and brought to his knees, Thanos then explains how he destroyed the Infinity Stones, which leads to an enraged Thor aiming for, you guessed it, the head. Thor swings Stormbreaker, Thanos loses his head, and that was that. For now. Cue five-year time skip…
Acting as a mirror to Gamora’s death in Infinity War, Ronin and Black Widow’s attempt to retrieve the Soul Stone comes at a grave cost. One of the pair, according to the Red Skull, would have to lay down their lives to claim the orange-hued rock. Ronin and Black Widow both, incredibly, attempt to sacrifice themselves with the other trying to stop them, but Black Widow ‘wins’ and falls to her death. A less than satisfying ending for one of Marvel’s original Avengers, that’s for sure.
This is where it gets confusing. Nebula dies in Endgame, but not our Nebula. No, the Nebula of Endgame’s present – who turns to the side of light after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy – is very much a big part of helping with the Time Heist.
But, thanks to the timey-wimey nature of the movie, her attempt to go back to the planet of Morag in 2014 leads to that timeline’s version of Nebula to pursue her and eventually take her place. Evil Nebula helps Thanos destroy Avengers HQ back in the present day but is eventually stopped in her tracks and shot dead by the Good Nebula we know and love after she grabs the Infinity Gauntlet. Yay!
The Black Order
The Black Order – Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian, and Corvus Glaive – return during the final battle at Avengers HQ. Unfortunately for them, things don’t go too well. The overall fight is probably one of the best in MCU history, but the quartet of Thanos’ henchmen take their fair share of licks and bruises, with Ebony Maw being stabbed by Danai Gurira’s Okoye towards the climax of the scrap over the Infinity Gauntlet.
But that’s not how The Black Order dies. No, in a fantastic twist of fate, they quite literally perish at Iron Man’s hand. Tony Stark wears the Infinity Gauntlet, snaps his fingers, and they all turn to dust.
The last of the dusted to fall. Thanos from the Guardians of the Galaxy (opens in new tab) era manages to travel across timelines to Avengers HQ, five years after the events of Infinity War.
With the knowledge of Good Nebula’s memory banks (as well as being shown his own death from Endgame’s first act) firmly at the forefront of his mind, he intends to put a stop to the Avengers once and for all.
In a long-winded, epic final showdown, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America duke it out with Thanos, with the likes of Captain Marvel getting her hits in on the Mad Titan too. But he just doesn’t stay down.
Instead, it’s left to Iron Man, now wielding his own version of the Infinity Gauntlet, complete with all six Infinity Stones from the Time Heist, to put an end to things for good. He snaps his fingers, Thanos’ forces turn to dust before the big man himself finally crumbles and is scattered to the wind. Talk about poetic justice. But, of course, it comes at a cost…
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Iron Man was found keeled over and barely breathing in the moments following his own version of the snap. It’s clear that man, even Iron Man, wasn’t meant to wield such power, and so it proved. Using the Infinity Gauntlet effectively kills him.
Tony Stark got to say goodbye to Pepper Potts, as well as Doctor Strange, and an understandably teary Peter Parker. But this wasn’t his final moment on-screen. Sure, his Arc Reactor gives out and he dies slumped over in the battleground outside Avengers HQ, but he has one more scene. He records one final goodbye for his daughter Morgana, which is played at his funeral.
It’s at once touching, moving, and funny but, crucially, a pitch-perfect goodbye to the man who kickstarted the Marvel boom. He goes out on his own terms – and saves the universe in the process. Not bad for a man who was stuck in a cave with nothing but a pair of welding tools all those years ago.
Want more Avengers: Endgame gossip? Why not listen to our discussion on all the biggest questions that remain after the Avengers: Endgame ending (opens in new tab) below: