Avengers: Endgame Writers Explain Why [SPOILERS] Had To Die

Avengers Endgame

We knew going into Avengers: Endgame that it would likely wrap up Iron Man’s journey, but that didn’t make it any easier when the time came in the moving climax.

As you surely know by now, Tony Stark sacrifices his own life by using the Infinity Gauntlet to snap Thanos and his army out of existence, with the immense power it takes to do so tragically killing him. After seeing this moment for the first time, fans might be wondering why the filmmakers would put them through such emotional torment, and in an in-depth interview with the Los Angeles Times, Endgame‘s writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explained why Iron Man’s self-sacrifice was the only end for the character that made sense.

“We always knew we wanted him to bring it on himself as opposed to being killed by Thanos. Because it’s really the one thing left for him to do, in a way. The five-year jump allowed him to become this fully realized human: He married Pepper, he had a child, he basically retired from public life and lived a very peaceful existence out there in the country.”

Though they knew Tony had to die to save the universe, it surprisingly wasn’t always set in stone that using the Infinity Stones would be what kills him. Ultimately, though, this eventuality leapt out at the duo during the writing process.

“We knew he was going to die but we wanted to put it in his hands as opposed to someone else’s. We didn’t always know that the Infinity Stones were going to be what caused it, but once we worked out the mechanics of it with the nano particle suit that both the gauntlet and his suit were made out of, it all worked too perfectly not to do.”

As much as it hurts to witness the death of the Earth’s greatest defender, as Cap called him back in Avengers: Infinity War, it’s hard to disagree that this is the only way to finish Stark’s story arc that began in 2008’s Iron Man. As lamp-shaded in The AvengersTony didn’t use to be the sort of man to “make the sacrifice play” but, by Endgame, he’s willing to lay down his life for the greater good.

Unlike Captain America, as Steve Rogers passed the mantle onto Sam WilsonAvengers: Endgame leaves the future of Iron Man uncertain in the MCU, though Markus and McFeely have previously teased the possibility of a second version of the Armored Avenger. We’d imagine Marvel won’t rush into this, though, as whoever’s next will have a hard time stepping into Tony Stark’s shoes.