Warning major Avengers: Endgame ending spoilers, and general plot spoilers follow from now on, so if you haven't watched the film, why are you even here?
Avengers: Endgame feels like the end of an era for every single moment that you're watching it. Heart-breaking moments, glorious action, all the crew coming together and more, it's clear that it's closing out a mere 21 movies spanning 11 years, and signals the end of Marvel Phase 3 - aside from Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is coming later this year. This is quite literally the Endgame. And what that means is that the questions that float to the top of your mind after the Avengers: Endgame post-credits scene - or lack of them - are quite heavy, especially when it comes to questions of what could come in MCU Phase 4, and even the upcoming Disney+ streaming service Marvel TV shows. Just as a heads-up: we’re going to be calling Hawkeye by his new name Ronin throughout the entirety of this article.
So here are the biggest questions we have after getting to the Avengers: Endgame ending, but this is your last warning that there are major spoilers below. But, you can also listen to our ending podcast above, where we chat about all the biggest questions.
1. What happened to Gamora?
After she kicked Peter Quill in the nuts, Gamora was evidently unable to believe that her (dead) future self had been in love with the intergalactic rogue. She seemed to disappear from that point on (after annihilating a bunch of Thanos’ goons, of course), with Quill trying to figure out where she’s got to once he was back in the Milano with Thor, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and Mantis. Where the hell did she go? We know that Gamora wasn’t at Tony Stark’s funeral - unsurprising considering that she didn’t know him, really - so she must have fled after the battle was won. It could be that she’s gone off to find herself after finally being able to see the Mad Titan bite the dust, or that she’s got some serious issues with the fact that future Nebula killed past Nebula to save her life. Either way, there’s a good chance the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie will be all about trying to hunt the green goddess down.
2. How come killing Nebula’s past self didn’t kill her future self?
Right near the beginning of Endgame when time travel was floated as a possibility, Bruce Banner very clearly said that time travel does not work like we think it does. Unlike in Back to the Future and, ahem, Hot Tub Time Machine, killing your past self doesn’t mean you cease existing, as to simplify matters once you travel into the past your future becomes your past and the past is your present. So when Nebula kills her past self, she doesn’t really kill herself, just a version of the person she could have been. Everything still happened to her in the past as she remembers it, as the Nebula she killed diverged from the original timeline, separating the two characters entirely. Or that’s how Banner seems to think time travel works. Either way, the redeemed Nebula is still walking around post-Endgame, and let’s hope it stays that way.
3. What's happening with Guardians of the Galaxy?
Chonky Thor, as he shall henceforth be known, is leaving New Asgard to settle with what's left of the Guardians of the Galaxy. As you can imagine, Starlord is less than pleased about sharing his leadership role, and spaceship, with the Lord of Thunder - even in his hairier, chubbier, beer-guzzling state - and the tension on the Benatar is definitely thick with testosterone, and threats of knife fights. Seriously. Does this mean that Thor is a Guardian now? It would certainly make sense after all the antics between Thor and the Guardians during Avengers: Infinity War, and the more jovial tone of the latest Asgardian adventure, Thor: Ragnarok, for Thor to be more aligned with the Guardians than the Avengers going forward. Plus, now we know that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is definitely happening, and with James Gunn back at the helm too, it could be that Thor helps the Guardians search for the lost 2014 version of Gamora. After all, Quinn isn't going to let her go, even if it's not the version of Gamora that's in love with him - yet. However, you might have to wait a while for answers on this one, as Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is rumoured to have a release date that lies somewhere in 2022. Yikes.
4. What's Valkyrie going to change in New Asgard?
Thor has fully shrugged off the burdens and responsibilities that come with leadership - possibly because he’s still be wrestling with guilt over not killing Thanos the first time around - and has joined the ragtag rogues of Guardians of the Galaxy. Leaving Valkyrie as queen of New Asgard, the warrior has told him that she’s going to be making a lot of changes. What could those changes be? Considering her combat background and the fact that she’s the last Valkyrie, she might join up with S.H.I.E.L.D. to train her Asgardians to become a fighting warrior force that defends Earth from external threats, as we can’t carry on relying on the Avengers alone.
5. Where did Valkyrie's Pegasus come from?
Now, after watching Thor: Ragnarok, I was under the impression that all the Pegasuses (pegasi?) perished in the Massacre of the Valkyrie. But then, in the final standoff against Thanos in Endgame, Valkyrie rides in on one of the winged beasts in all its white, feathery glory. Where on earth did it come from? Has it just been held in storage somewhere? A secret stable somewhere really, really hidden? Beautiful, but bizarre.
6. What happened to Thor's Hammer?
That air-punch moment in the final battle against Thanos finally confirmed a long-held suspicion of fans everywhere: Captain America is worthy of wielding Mjolnir. But after the fight, as Thor didn’t reclaim it, where did the legendary hammer go? If you think back to Captain America being sent back in time, he had Mjolnir with him so it’s like that he found a way to return it to Asgard. Thor did take it from there during the events of The Dark World, leaving past Thor without his beloved weapon, and that just wouldn’t do.
7. Where did Loki go with the Tesseract?
As Captain America has returned the Tesseract (i.e. the Space stone) to its rightful place in time, this probably doesn’t matter. But we’re going to ask it anyway. Loki grabbed the Tesseract sharpish and teleported himself elsewhere in the past, but where on earth did he go? After failing Thanos it’s likely he took himself somewhere very, very far away from anyone to try and figure out a way to come out back on top. There’s a chance the Loki Marvel TV show could answer what happened to Loki when he teleported himself away too, and it’s almost definite that no matter where he goes he’ll be getting up to some mischief.
8. If the Soul stone requires a soul to take, what happens when you give it back?
Hulk couldn’t bring Black Widow back, and past Gamora is still the only Gamora around, so it looks like the sacrifices made for the Soul stone are irreversible. Even once Captain America gives back the Soul stone to its keeper, Red Skull, after Black Widow dies, it doesn’t resurrect her. Think about it: neither Black Widow nor Gamora pop up at the end of the movie after Captain America returned the Soul stone to its rightful place in time, so exchanging one life for the Soul stone is almost definitely a no-way-back scenario.
9. Why couldn't Hulk bring Black Widow back?
No, I’m still not over Black Widow’s sacrifice. She was running the Avengers all by herself, then she had to be all damned noble and exchange her soul for the Soul stone so Ronin could be with his family if they succeeded in thwarting Thanos again. When Hulk wielded the Infinity Gauntlet, why couldn’t he just snap his fingers and bring her back? Hulk doesn’t go into detail about explaining why, and considering the Infinity Stones have power over life, death, reality, and everything in between, it seems strange that they couldn’t manage a measly resurrection. However, it’s probably because Black Widow’s sacrifice to get the Soul stone is irreversible. You could probably only get Black Widow back by exchanging the Soul stone for her life, something that might not have occurred to any of the Avengers. Aaaand now I’m sad.
10. Why was Iron Man able to wield the Infinity Stones when before just touching one would kill you?
In previous movies it’s been stated that ordinary mortals can’t hold any of the Infinity stones for very long before they’re disintegrated into a pile of screaming ash, yet Iron Man was able to use the new gauntlet to turn Thanos and his allies into dust. How? This was probably because he wasn’t directly touching the stones themselves, as there was an Ironman suit between his skin and the gems, plus knowing Tony the gauntlet he built likely factored in the cataclysmic power of the stones. Don’t forget that using the Infinity stones did end up killing him too. He only lasted a few minutes before he succumbed to the wounds they caused. Yeah, I cried at that bit too.
11. Who's the next Iron Man?
Now this is quite the big one. After the emotional and dramatic death of our beloved Tony Stark, who bravely sacrificed himself to save the entire world and guarantee a future free from Thanos, there is already speculation as to who will take up the mantle of Iron Man. The most obvious choice would be James Rhodes - aka War Machine - who already has his own version of Iron Man's armour, so it would be quite easy for him to slip into that role. Of course, Pepper Potts also has her own armour now, which we saw in that fantastic big fight scene at the end of Avengers: Endgame. In the comics she's seen wearing similar armour under the superhero name of Rescue, so she could be doing her own thing rather than becoming Iron [wo]Man. In the comics, Iron Man is replaced by Riri Williams, a teenage genius, and African-American engineering student who reverse engineers her own suit. She's mentored by Tony himself, but eventually becomes the superhero Ironheart.
It's also possible that Black Panther's sister Shuri could step into Iron Man's metal shoes. She's already been named as his intellectual equal, and probably his superior too, because she's probably created most of the awesome tech in Wakanda too. So far in the MCU movies, she's already kitted out T'Challa with a tonne of high-tech gear, and casually fixed the Winter Soldier too.
A bit of a wild card, but there's also the young girl from Captain Marvel, Monica aka Lieutenant Trouble, who jokes about building a spaceship of her own to go and meet Danvers in space. She's obviously highly intelligent, and a total badass, so she could be a key character going forward. However, it's worth noting that Monica Rambeau actually goes on to be Captain Marvel in the comics. The plot thickens.
12. Who was the boy at the funeral?
There's no doubt that Avengers: Endgame is full of lovely little Easter eggs, nods and other little references, but one of the most interesting is the boy at the back of Tony Stark's funeral, which is literally full of cast members from the entire MCU. Slightly shaggy-haired, the camera lingers on the boy for a few seconds, making all of us in the movie theatre question his identity. Well, it turns out he's Harley Keener, played by Ty Simpkins, who you may know from Iron Man 3. He and Stark met when Iron Man broke into Keener's garage to fix his armor (see image above). It turns out the two have obviously kept in touch, because Keener (played by the same actor from Iron Man 3 adorably) then turns up at Stark's funeral. A lovely little touch.
13. What's next for Falcon / Captain America?
Captain America finally got to grow old with the one true love of his life, Peggy Carter, so while seeing him as an old man was sad in part, it's hard not to be really happy that he got the thing he's always wanted. He's been through a lot, right? Well, you can't really have a elderly gentleman wielding the almighty shield, so it's quite the moment when Cap passes his shield to Falcon, letting him know that he's now the new Captain America in his stead. What does this mean for Falcon? Does a career of being America's butt lie in his future? Will he take an active role of the new Avengers line-up?
We already know that there's a Winter Soldier and Falcon TV series on the way from Marvel via the Disney+ streaming service, simply called Falcon and Winter Soldier, so perhaps some of these questions will be answered in the limited TV series. However, all we know about it so far is that will follow the two Avengers pals more deeply than the MCU movies have.
14. If Steve lived out his life with Peggy did he get to watch all the MCU events play out as a spectator?
Steve is a play-by-the-rules kind of guy (more or less), so it does seem strange to imagine him just watching the events of Avengers Assemble and Infinity War just play out. But after he stayed in the past to have a life with Peggy Carter, it looks like that’s just what the hero did. Plus he would have been getting on a bit during all the significant Avengers events, and I doubt he would have wanted to risk his life when he’s finally got the happy ending he deserved.
15. What did the snapped people actually feel over those five years?
When Peter Parker returned to the land of the living, one of the first things he said to Tony Stark was something along the lines of ‘the last thing I remember is fighting on the planet’. Unless Parker is lying (which he would never do because he’s a sweet baby angel), it sounds like the people who ‘vanished’ were simply dead for those five years. No afterlife, no Soul stone realm to speak of - unless they’ve collectively forgotten it - just death. How morbid.
16. Is Ronin actually in big trouble after killing all those cartels and mobs?
Ronin went all avenging angel and massacred a Mexican cartel and Japanese mob in the intervening five years between Thanos’ snap and the events of Endgame. But now that the other half of those mean old groups have been brought back, doesn’t that mean that they’re all probably trying to hunt down the man who killed half their guys? Ronin had better watch his back, because I doubt they’ll let this one go…
17. What's going on with those noises at the end of the movie?
Surprisingly this time around there wasn’t an Avengers: Endgame post credits scene, presumably so Marvel can keep phase 4 super quiet. However, even though you couldn’t see anything you could hear something. The sound of metal clashing on metal comes right at the end, which sounds very similar to someone hammering something on an anvil. Yeah, I know that’s vague as heck, but there’s a number of things that sound could be. The most likely scenario is that it’s the next Ironman (more on that above) creating their very own suit, or it could be the dwarf Eitri (who created Thor’s axe Stormbreaker) smithing a new kind of weapon. Or it could just be a random sound that discreetly introduces a brand new Marvel character we haven’t met yet. Only time will tell.
18. What happened to the rat and why didn't he get a knighthood?
Of all the 14 million plus potential futures seen by Doctor Strange, did he see that this successful Thanos-free future is actually engineered by a rat with well-placed feet. We can't forget that the entire film hinges on the fact that Sir Ratticus (as he shall henceforth be known because he absolutely deserves a knighthood) manages to press the exact sequence of buttons in Ant-Man's mini-van to release Scott Lang from his five-year imprisonment in the Quantum Realm. Without that rat, Ant-Man wouldn't reveal his time travel plan to the Avengers, and the whole film basically wouldn't have happened. Where is Sir Ratticus now? Does Ant-Man know how instrumental the rat was in the entire plot? Why aren't they immediately replacing the iconic Avengers A logo with a little rat? Long live Sir Ratticus.