Regardless of your thoughts on the film’s reliance on poorly-explained time travel mechanics, it’s hard to find fault with Avengers: Endgame. The Russo brothers’ magnum opus manages to, somehow, wrap up storylines that were put into place more than a decade ago, bringing together dozens of key characters for one final showdown, and providing some satisfying conclusions for a few key Avengers.
Of course, even for all the good it does, there are plenty of fans who still have lingering questions, while others are frustrated with the direction of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay. One thing that some viewers are hung up on has to do with Iron Man’s fate, and the ultimate sacrifice he made towards the end of the film.
Those who have already seen Endgame will remember that during the Battle of Earth, Tony Stark fights with Thanos head-on. While he wasn’t able to wrestle away the Infinity Gauntlet from the Mad Titan, he did manage to covertly steal all six stones, assembling them in a makeshift gauntlet, thanks to his Iron Man suit.
In order to prevent any further destruction, Tony snaps his fingers together, completely destroying Thanos and his army as they turn to dust. Of course, the energy burst and radiation from the snap are too much for Stark to bear, and he slowly succumbs to his wounds, not before saying goodbye to his friends and family, though.
As a result, some fans are wondering why Tony had to be the one to take the fall, as opposed to stronger characters, such as Hulk, Thor, or Captain America. As reported by ComicBookMovie.com, Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo weighed in on the matter and said the following about it:
“Thor in this movie couldn’t do it, only Hulk was strong enough to do the snap without dying. We are still not sure whether Captain Marvel can also withstand all the power of Infinity Stones at once. The reason we choose to let Iron Man do it in the end was because he was the closest one to Thanos at the time. In all the futures Doctor Strange foresee, Iron Man was the only one who could get close to Thanos and do the snap. People usually think the death of a hero is a horrible tragedy. But we think this is different. When his death was able to bring back hope, to save half of the universe, then his death was powerful and meaningful. We shouldn’t feel too sad or angry about it.”
With Doctor Strange already knowing how things would ultimately go down, this also explains why he raised his finger to Iron Man during Avengers: Endgame‘s climactic battle. That being said, even with Joe Russo’s explanation, the pain isn’t any easier to handle and fans will no doubt continue to mourn the loss of Iron Man for years to come.