Avengers: Endgame has been breaking box office records since it opened in theaters worldwide last week. The film sees the Avengers assemble to battle Thanos once again. The battle this time went differently than it did during Avengers: Infinity War, but that came at a cost. SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame follow.
In Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers hatch a plan to use time travel to collect the Infinity Stones before Thanos does. The plan to use them to undo the damage Thanos wrought with the Infinity Gauntlet. Captain America, Iron Man, and Ant-Man head to New York City during the Battle of New York in 2012 to collect three of the Stones. Thor and Rocket Raccoon return to Asgard during the events of Thor: The Dark World to steal the Reality Stone. War Machine, Nebula, Black Widow, and Hawkeye travel to 2014, with Rhodey and Nebula retrieving the Power Stone while Widow and Hawkeye go to Vormir to claim the Soul Stone.
That's where things get complicated. Anyone who saw Infinity War will remember that collecting the Soul Stone was costly even for Thanos. He had to kill his daughter Gamora, trading her soul for the Soul Stone.
The same price is put to Hawkeye and Black Widow. They fight, even coming to blows over who should be sacrificed to save half the universe. Black Widow wins and falls from the cliff, dying so that Hawkeye can take the Soul Stone.
Tony Stark also makes a sacrifice in the film, giving his own life to use the power of the Infinity Stones to end Thanos's assault. Tony is memorialized at the end of the movie with a funeral attended by the Avengers and their friends. But why didn't Black Widow get the same treatment?
"Tony gets a funeral. Natasha doesn't," Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely tells The New York Times. "That's partly because Tony's this massive public figure and she's been a cipher the whole time. It wasn't necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral."
In an interview with a Chinese website, directors Joe and Anthony Russo say they believe that Natasha Romanoff likely did have a funeral, just not onscreen, though she was for sure remembered by her friends.
"Do you remember the superheroes in the movie gathered to talk about her?" Joe Russo says. "She probably also has a funeral, but it is not presented in the movie. Maybe the future will come out because there are still many stories to tell in the world of Marvel."
One of those stories is a Black Widow movie. The film, a prequel to Scarlett Johansson's debut as the character in Iron Man 2, now carries an added weight since we know where Black Widow's story ends.
What did you think of Black Widow's sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comments.
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