'Avengers: Endgame' Screenwriters Explain Why One Death Hurts the Most

Avengers: Endgame gives almost all of its main characters satisfying endings. The only exception? Black Widow. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Marvel Studio scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explain why they gave Scarlett Johansson the sendoff she received. Instead, they only prove that the character deserved better.

Warning: Hulk-sized spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead.

Natasha Romanoff (aka, Black Widow) dies in Avengers: Endgame after sacrificing her own life to retrieve the Soul Stone (echoing Gamora’s death in Infinity War). The only difference is that this time it’s a personal choice, the reason being that her character has nothing to live for, at least compared to Hawkeye and his loving family.

Once again, Black Widow is reduced to a lesser-than character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because she can’t have children after being sterilized by the Russian government during her spy training. In Age of Ultron this fact earned her the label “monster,” and in Endgame it’s the cause of her death.

So how do Markus and McFeely explain the decision? Not every well.

“Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back,” McFeely said. “She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that’s a thing she would trade for.”

Ok, I guess. If the Avengers were really the only family Black Widow had, then maybe sacrificing herself to save the rest of them checks out. But what comes next is where things get really dicey.

“We lost a big character, a female character,” ,” McFeely continued, “How do we honor it? We have this male lens and it’s a lot of guys being sad that a woman died.”

As soon as those words left his mouth, the Endgame screenwriter must have realized his mistake. Thankfully for us, they’ve been preserved forever so we can always remember how badly this movie messed up the death of its only female main character.

But hey, at least there’s that Black Widow prequel movie still coming to set the record straight.

Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.