Avengers: Endgame will soon be upon us and it looks like this April is going to be a pretty morbid month with the latest season of Game of Thrones out as well. Man, that’s a lot of death to deal with. In any case, we’re pretty sure that the concluding chapter to the Avengers saga is going to leave more than a few casualties in its wake.
The title itself conjures images of brutal battles and the trailers so far have shown us nothing short of heroes in despair and desperation over the plague Thanos had wrought upon the universe. There will be retribution. There will be strife. If I may turn a phrase from the Chitauri servant of Thanos, the Other, on its head: for the Avengers to face Thanos would be to court… Death.
Though we are no prophets of Marvel (that would be the writers), we sure as hell have a few good ideas on whose mangled corpse we’ll be seeing in the film. So without further ado, here are five characters we believe will most likely bite the dust in Endgame.
Maybe Dead – Rocket Raccoon
Rocket Raccoon is many things. A capable shot. A deadly demolition expert. A grumpy asshole. A loyal friend. One of those things are going to get him killed one day and I feel like that day is coming real soon. If Infinity War gave us anything to go on, it’s that everyone is on the cosmic chopping board. The film started with a bang with Loki being the first major death in the film. So, with no offence to any Rocket Raccoon fans out there, what more is one relatively minor member to the Guardians of the Galaxy to the plot of the film. It’s also worth taking into account that Rocket is a belligerent fighter who will talk shit and blast till his final breath.
Furthermore, there’s a strong motivation for Rocket to want to face Thanos head-on in a reckless and impulsive manner. Right before Groot had faded into the ether with a poof of dust, his final words were, “Dad”. Now, that’s heartbreaking and we know Rocket can speak Groot so he definitely heard those tragic words from his best friend and son. Thanos killed his baby boy! I can totally see Rocket storming right into Thanos’ place and unloading everything he has on him in fury and futility, only for him to be obliterated by the power of the gauntlet. It’s not exactly set in stone but it would make dramatic sense.
Possibly Dead – Captain America
Not unlike Rocket, the good captain is also a true friend to the very end. A man who wears his heart on his sleeve and someone who has shown himself capable of making necessary sacrifices to defend what’s right. He pretty much got himself killed at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger when he crashed the Red Skull’s ship into the Arctic sea to save the free world from HYDRA. If it wasn’t for that super-soldier serum, he’d be a frozen corpse. Needless to say, the man has a bit of a goody two shoes streak with all the sacrifices he’s made in the past. Coupling that with the loss of his dear friend Bucky Barnes only further solidifies his resolve to fight the good fight, no matter the cause. He’s a good man…probably a dead one too.
So let’s do a quick check on Cap’s chances of survival. Values others and missions above his own self-preservation? Check. Mortal? Check. Capable of withstanding the blast of a cosmic superweapon at the hands of a godlike being? Nope. Yeah, things are not looking good for Cap. Then there’s the dramatic structure of the film. Steve’s story arc does not require any further development in Endgame, he’s peaked since Winter Soldier. Rather it is Tony Stark’s story that must come full circle. The death of what is essentially the living embodiment of good in the MCU would give Tony the push to see his mission through to the end and raise the stakes of the film. Sorry Cap, it’s starting like this will be your final mission.
Probably Dead – Thor
We talked about how Cap and Rocket’s bone to pick with Thanos would surely land them in the grave but what about folks Thanos has beef with? He probably has a list of enemies as long as his muscular arm and there is little doubt that Thor is at the top of said list. After all, he did shove an axehead into Thanos’ chest, which does tend to leave people feeling quite crabby. Thor has yet to avenge the death of his brother and the slaughter of his kin, which he will no doubt attempt to do in Endgame. These two titans are bound to clash, it’s an inevitability. The only question is: Does Thor even stand a chance? No. No, he does not.
If Thor comes swinging at Thanos again with Stormbreaker, Thanos would go all out to take the Norse god down, for good this time. It’ll be a spectacular light show for sure but for Thor, that’s all it’ll be, a blinding flash of light before he meets oblivion. It almost feels necessary for these two to fight. Theirs is a history of hate, that goes all the way back to the beginning of Infinity War. So in the event of that happening, there is a small, small possibility of Thor killing Thanos and a high probability that the latter would lay waste to the former. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on the guy who just obtained omniscience and omnipotence, thank you very much.
Super Dead – Nebula
As much as Thor has a vendetta out for Thanos, his hatred for the Mad Titan doesn’t nearly rival that of Thanos’ scorned daughter, Nebula. As for motivation, let’s just say Thanos hasn’t exactly been Father of the Year to her or Gamora for that matter. Throughout her life, Thanos has cybernetically “enhanced” Nebula for every time she lost against her surrogate sister Gamora. And when I say enhanced, I mean removing parts of her body and replacing them with robotic implants, which was agonizing.
She spent her whole life trying to win the approval of her father but at every turn he rejected her, favouring Gamora. Gamora and Nebula were once close friends until Thanos pitted the two against each other, turning them into bitter rivals before the two finally reconciled. We even see him torturing Nebula to get Gamora to reveal the location of the Soul Stone before sacrificing Gamora to retrieve it. It is no exaggeration when I say that no one despises Thanos more than Nebula.
Thanos certainly has no love for Gamora either, treating her with utter contempt. Upon seeing Thanos, she’d probably flip her lid and charge right at him, blades out. Thanos would toy with her first, feigning weakness before torturing her once more and ending her suffering with one flick of the wrist. Let’s face it, Nebula wasn’t exactly a key and integral character either way and I highly doubt that she’s going to be one to take down Thanos.
That is unless they decide to follow the major plot point from the “Infinity Gauntlet” comics and have her take control of the gauntlet, which is highly unlikely if I may add. She just hasn’t had enough development in comparison to the other major players like Stark, Rogers or even Hawkeye to warrant such a huge part in defeating Thanos. She will try though. The moment Thanos lays eyes on her or her on him, she’s going to get disintegrated. Pure and simple.
Dead as a Doorknob – Thanos
Recently, Marvel has been making some bold decisions in the cinematic universe but I honestly don’t think they’re hardcore enough to leave Thanos the champion by the end of Endgame. You and I know for a fact that somehow, some way Thanos is going to fall. But I certainly don’t think the day will be won by brute strength or crafty ploys but rather an appeal to ethics. Remember that Tony Stark arc I mentioned earlier, it’s going to come into play in Endgame. Picture Thanos wiping out the entire team of heroes, all but Stark remains. They both stare each other down and just as Thanos is about to send Stark to oblivion, Tony ask Thanos one simple question: Was it worth it? It stops Thanos in his tracks.
The two begin to go back and forth regarding the nature of life, the universe and morality. Tony is now humbled from all his previous mistakes and failures. Everything from his arrogance in Iron Man and Age of Ultron to his fear and insecurity in Civil War has prepared him for this moment. Thanos may have all the secrets to the universe but Stark has something Thanos doesn’t understand and that is the cost of sacrifice.
A true hero always puts others first before himself and carries the cost. Thanos is no hero and his “noble” quest is a fallacy. True heroism comes people making the choice to better the world and by robbing half the universe of that choice, it proves that Thanos is nothing more than a tyrant. Tony will point that out, Thanos will fly into a rage and then, a flash of light. Tony is still there but Thanos isn’t.
Everything the marketing has told us so far points to this ending. The first trailer’s “whatever it takes” line echoes the cost of sacrifice. The newest trailer shows how far our heroes have come in their journey and what it means to truly embody nobility. Why not stress on Thanos’ power or the epic battles that are to be fought? Why emphasize on characters, relationships and their convictions? Because it is a crucial part in defeating Thanos. It is pure poetic perfection to have Thanos, the one who decides who lives and who dies, make the decision that the universe would be a better place without him in it.