Lots of people :raises hand: were positive Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, or both were going to die in Infinity War, which goes down as an all-time bad prediction since both survived a movie where half of all life in the universe was killed. But hold that football steady, Lucy, because they are DEFINITELY going to be dead by the end of Avengers: Endgame. Almost definitely. Maybe definitely? Possibly definitely? Okay obviously we shouldn't be making such bold predictions anymore, even if the movie is called Endgame. While it certainly seems Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans will say goodbye to their characters after this film, it's possible they can do so without us having to mourn Iron Man and Captain America. They might live on.
What would that look like though? How could the actors depart the MCU if the characters don't? Here are the four possible scenarios for either one or both living or dying in the film, from most likely to least, and how they could survive.
Iron Man Lives and Captain America Dies
Even if I think both will (and should die) in a blaze of glory undoing the Snap, this split outcome is still the most likely one.Chris Evans seems finished with the franchise, and there are any number of heroic/devastating ways Steve Rogers could die (including one that recreates an iconic moment from the comics) that would be worthy of his character. Also,Â since we know the MCU will continue on after this movie, that means there will be more enemies to fight. It's nearly impossible to imagine a world where Captain America is alive but not involved in the battle to protect the innocent. (More on that later.)What we can envision are scenarios where Tony lives, but walks away from the Avengers forever. Maybe he sees Cap's death and decides he can't put himself or Pepper through this anymore. Tony has always wanted to protect Pepper, but he might finally realize he can't be Iron Man and keep his loved ones safe and happy (trying to find that balance was the real reason he signed the Sokovia Accords). This could be when he finally has to choose, forcing him to retire, especially if he has a child.It's a decision he can make without guilt, too. Unlike the super soldier Captain America, Tony can step down without leaving the Earth vulnerable. His power comes from his suit. He can give it to someone else and they can be a new superhero, as Tony Stark comes full circle and announces he is no longer Iron Man.
"This day exacts a heavy toll."Thanos paid dearly to collect the Infinity Stones. During his quest, each of his children died/was thrown off a cliff by him, the price of wielding the completed Gauntlet. The Avengers also lost people they loved in an ultimately losing effort, so what will the cost be in a winning effort that reverses the Mad Titan's Great Dusting? How many of them will have to make the ultimate sacrifice to bring back all who were lost?Tony and Steve have been the heart and soul of the team and the franchise. In the past, each of them was willing to give up his life to save countless others. What price would be too much to save half the universe? They might not be willing to sacrifice someone they love, but they will give up their own lives.
We know how Tony could live yet still leave the Avengers behind, but Steve Rogers's survival would be a very different story. Captain America can't walk away from a fight, nor does he want to. "If I see a situation pointed south, I can't ignore it," Cap said to Tony in Civil War, "Sometimes I wish I could.""No you don't," said Tony."No, I don't," answered Cap.There's almost no plausible scenario where Captain America lives but doesn't stay with the Avengers. At least not on Earth.Steve wouldn't be able to stay retired even if he tried, so him survivingÂ Endgame would have to involve him leaving Earth behind, or being "alive" on a technicality. One scenario could see Cap going back into the ice like he did for almost 60 years. With Nick Fury calling Captain Marvel back to Earth, there is no longer a "break-glass-in-case-of-emergency" hero. Captain America, confident the world is safe, could agree to be on call when he is needed, whenever that day might come. He'd be alive, but frozen, and we'd get to speculate for the rest of the MCU if and when he might show up.Captain America could also live, but in a different dimension outside of our world. The Quantum Realm is a parallel dimension that is posed to play a big part in Endgame and the future of the franchise. Steve's next heroic adventure could bring him there, off on new, unseen adventures.Unless he gets stuck in a time vortex in the Quantum Realm. That would be very bad if he was lost in time. It would be very good if it creates a new timeline, one where he finally gets to be with Peggy Carter.He has waited a long time for that dance.No matter the specifics, any scenario where Captain America lives will likely involve him going away, either to another world or dimension, a block of ice, or an alternate reality.
Captain America Lives and Iron Man Dies
Could the two greatest heroes of the MCU both survive a movie called Endgame. Would Marvel really let both of them live, despite this being the biggest fight with the highest stakes requiring the greatest sacrifice? Absolutely not.Which is exactly what we said before Infinity War.