What Happens to Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame?

Avengers: Endgame is officially in theaters as of this weekend, providing an epic conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. And for the franchise's first title character, that means a pretty epic journey.

As you would expect, there are spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below! Only look if you want to know!

The film opens several weeks after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, as Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are stuck in the Milano in deep space without fuel or oxygen. As Tony accepts the fact that he's about to die, the ship is saved by Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who transports them back to Earth. When he arrives, Tony is clearly traumatized by his interaction with Thanos (Josh Brolin), and doesn't want to even attempt to face the mad titan again.

Five years later, Tony is married to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and they live a quiet life with their young daughter Morgan (Alexandra Rachel Rabe) in a secluded cabin. While Tony is afraid to lose the second chance he created for himself, he ultimately agrees to help the Avengers on their "time heist" to find the Infinity Stones throughout history, after he figures out the science of how it could work.

The time heist commences, and Tony and several other Avengers travel to the Battle of New York in 2012. After the Tesseract is accidentally lost in the ensuing scuffle, Tony and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) decide to travel to another point in time where it would be -- in a SHIELD facility in the 1970s. They go undercover and Tony retrieves the Tesseract, but runs into a younger version of Howard Stark (John Slattery) in the process. Tony goes by the fake name of Howard Potts, and the pair proceed to have a conversation about life and fatherhood, as Howard Stark reveals that his wife is expecting a baby (which will eventually be Tony). The pair have a heartfelt exchange, which clearly has an emotional impact on Tony.

Tony and Steve return to the present day, where the Avengers use the stones to reverse the effects of Thanos' snap and bring everyone back into life. Just then, the 2014 version of Thanos arrives, and decides that he should completely destroy the universe and rebuild a better one. An epic battle ensues, as an ever-growing number of Avengers do what they can to keep the new Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. After Thanos proclaims that he is "inevitable", Tony ends up being the one to get the gauntlet, and responds "I am Iron Man" before snapping away Thanos and his army.

Unfortunately, that act ends up taking a toll on Tony, and he dies soon after with Pepper, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and more by his side. A funeral is held for Tony, where they find a video message he recorded shortly after his death, proclaiming that he hoped the universe would be celebrating their victory, even if he was sacrificed as part of it.

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It's an arc that's surprisingly bittersweet and moving, providing a nice full-circle moment for the MCU thus far (right down to the "I am Iron Man" callback). And while there's no telling what Downey's future in the MCU is beyond Endgame, whether in flashbacks or otherwise, the film plays out in a way that feels like a pretty fitting sendoff.

Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame are both in theaters now. Spider-Man: Far From Home will land in theaters on July 2nd.