'Avengers: Endgame': Why Iron Man and Captain America Are Going to Die Together

It would be excellent, gutsy, and the perfect way to send off the characters.

Inverse String Theory

When Avengers: Endgame opens on April 26, the surviving MCU heroes will band together to undo the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and they just might do that with a whirlwind tour through time.

If the MCU heroes relive the Battle of New York from The Avengers, the 2012 movie, then, essentially, the massive space portal that allowed for the Chitauri invasion could be the key to defeating Thanos once and for all.

This is just one Inverse String Theory, but it could be true. So consider yourself warned about potential Avengers: Endgame spoilers.

Because the Battle of New York has been featured in numerous Endgame set photos already, we can safely assume that through some kind of time travel science or magic or combination thereof, several heroes will revisit those events, with the most noteworthy being Ant-Man, who wasn’t in the original battle.

Update: Watch the new ‘Avengers’ Trailer Released on March 14

The latest Endgame plot synopsis also makes it seem like Captain Marvel and Ant-Man, two heroes absent during Infinity War, might be the key to victory:

“The answer may be in overwhelming power, thanks to Captain Marvel, or in the tiniest spaces between atoms accessible to Ant-Man. Avengers: Endgame will rewrite the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. When it’s all over, nothing will be the same.”

Maybe it’s both?

Avengers Battle of New York
The Battle of New York should play a role in 'Avengers: Endgame'.

Scott Lang’s obvious experience with the Quantum Realm could make him invaluable in exploring alternate realities or accessing time travel in some fashion.

As for Carol Danvers, she’s the most powerful hero in the universe and has an important connection to the Tesseract, which means she could feasibly be able to open portals just like Thanos when he wields the Space Stone — but it also means that like Scarlet Witch, she might have the power to destroy Infinity Stones. Maybe part of the plan is getting to a point in time when Captain Marvel can destroy two Infinity Stones at once?

That’s where the Battle of New York comes in. Other than during Infinity War, that’s the only time and place when two Infinity Stones were in the same place: the Mind Stone and Space Stone were in Manhattan.

The Battle of New York Was Our Best Chance!

As far as we know, the Battle of New York was also the best chance the heroes have at confronting Thanos before he powers up with the Infinity Stones. Thanos might be injured after using the full Gauntlet to destroy half of all living creatures in Infinity War, but he can still use the Infinity Stones.

Especially if the good guys have Captain Marvel on their side, their best chance at preventing Thanos’ crusade is to time travel to the Battle of New York, fly directly through the massive wormhole to Sanctuary — an asteroid belt in Chitauri space — and defeat Thanos there.

Based on various scenes from early Marvel movies, we know that Thanos sat on a throne on that asteroid belt for years, so he was probably just on the other side of that portal.

The Avengers Battle of New York Portal
The massive portal above the Battle of New York could be the key to defeating Thanos.

That’s right. Tony Stark just barely missed hitting Thanos with a nuke in The Avengers. If everyone goes back to that battle, then Captain Marvel could easily fly right through and fight Thanos one-on-one and maybe even bring Thor with him for backup. Heck, just about everyone these days is capable of space travel.

There’s further evidence sprinkled throughout previous movies to highlight the importance of the Battle of New York and that portal.

We know that “Endgame” as a title for the fourth Avengers movie was seeded in Avengers: Infinity War from Doctor Strange’s dying words, but it was also hinted back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Tony Stark specifically talks about the portal from the Battle of New York, saying, “A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. … That up there? That’s the endgame.”

What if that particular Age of Ultron scene, in addition to hinting at Endgame’s title, also foreshadows what’s about to happen? What if the literal “endgame” is that “hole in space”?

"That's the endgame."

If this is true, then the Ultron scene might also spoil Endgame’s big finale, specifically how Tony and Steve could be the only two heroes to die.

Tony: “How are you guys planning on beating that?”

Steve: “Together.”

Tony: “We’ll lose.”

Steve: “Then we’ll do that together, too.”

Does this exchange between Tony and Steve imply they’ll die together in a final fight against Thanos? Will they “lose” together, sacrificing themselves to defeat Thanos?

Redditor u/dafsjgf sure thinks a heroic sacrifice is coming, and so do we. It would make for a poignant conclusion after Civil War drove Iron Man and Captain America apart.

A fan theory from redditor u/redstar6486 explains that while potentially using the portal to transfer heroes over into a new universe, maybe “some of the heroes must stay behind and fight the villain until everyone is safe.” Therefore, the “endgame” is a situation where “these heroes sacrifice themselves to save the new universe.”

Do the Avengers retrofit the portal technology to transport everyone into an alternate reality? Or do they travel back in time to the Battle of New York to defeat Thanos, ultimately rewriting history to prevent anything that ever happened after that point?

Iron Man and Captain America Are Going to Die Together

Either one seems possible, but it’s starting to feel likely that Iron Man and Captain America are going to die together during one final, epic battle against Thanos — and that the massive portal at the Battle of New York could be very important.

In the final lead-up to Avengers: Endgame’s release, Inverse is unleashing a few fan theories of our own. Read all of them here and check back for weekly theories from some journalists who spend way too much time thinking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, 2019.


Have any strong thoughts about this theory or want to pitch your own? Email the author at corey@inverse.com.