Avengers: Infinity War, dubbed the “most ambitious crossover event in history” by Marvel, is less than a week away. This blockbuster will feature just about every major character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, and then some. Everything since Iron Man debuted over a decade ago has led to this. Fans are interested in two major themes as the movie approaches:
1. Where is the last Infinity Stone (though I still prefer to call them Gems) and how many will Thanos control?
2. What major deaths will we see?
Who Dies in Infinity War?
The MCU, for the most part, has avoided major character deaths. Villains dropped like flies from the beginning, but it took a long time until Marvel decided to kill heroes. Phil Coulson was the first major “good guy” death–but his death was more a plot point to unite the Avengers than it was a chance to kill off a hero.
Debatably, the only real deaths we’ve seen of heroes so far was Yondu–at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2–and Quicksilver, in Age of Ultron. Of course, Frigga died in Thor 2, and Hela killed all of Thor’s friends in Ragnarok. Still, Yondu stands alone as being the MCU’s biggest death so far, as well as its most well-done one.
That, presumably, is about to change. Everyone expects at least some major deaths in Infinity War. Marvel has almost admitted as such, especially as the studio wants to move on to new heroes once Phase Three is finished. Also, it just wouldn’t be an Infinity War without at least some major deaths.
With a movie this big coming up, spoilers slip out. Thankfully, I have managed to avoid major ones until now. That doesn’t make it any less fun to talk about who will die–on the contrary, it’s more fun this way. So, based on nothing but the previous movies and the trailers, here are my spoiler-free predictions as to who will die in Infinity War.
Loki: He faked his death in The Dark World, but that never felt too real. The film certainly didn’t give us a long time to wonder about it. It would have been a fitting time to kill him though, after just reconciling with Thor, more or less. To have him die at the start of Infinity War would be equally fitting. We know Loki stole the Tesseract; we also know from the trailers that he gives it to Thanos. Also, Thanos is probably not happy that Loki lost it in the first place. A quick killing of the currently-reformed Trickster God to open the film will very quickly show just how serious Thanos is.
A major Wakandan character: Fans just met and fell in love with everyone from Wakanda. There’s no way that Black Panther dies. But there are too many Wakandans–and too much of the film takes place in Wakanda–for no one to be in danger, and the emotional impact of one of them dying is too great. Shuri would make the most impact, but I think that’s too much to go for. I think Okoye goes out in a blaze of glory fighting the Black Order.
One of the Guardians of the Galaxy: This will be a practical decision as well as a plot-based one. There are just too many Guardians at the moment. The team is up to six members, and there’s a second Guardians team incoming, as was shown at the end of vol. 2. There are already too many major characters for the franchise, so we’re probably going to lose at least one in Infinity War. Groot already died once (sorta?), so I’m guessing Drax dies… and Rocket.
Vision: Conventional wisdom since Age of Ultron is that Vision has to die. After all, the Mind Stone powers his being, and Thanos needs that to unite the gauntlet. Also, a trailer clearly showed Corvus Glaive trying to extract the Stone from Vision’s head. However, I think Vision has a decent chance of survival. First of all, it’s too obvious and expected. Secondly, the trailer also shows Vision as looking far more human than in the past. I think the plot line is building to wean Vision away from needing the Mind Stone, so he can survive losing it.
Captain America or Iron Man: With all due respect to Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, these two are the Founding Fathers of the MCU. If you want to have the most impactful death, one of these two is the way to go. Steve Rogers’ death issue remains, by far, the most powerful and touching death in superhero comics history–yes, even more so than Jason Todd’s or Superman’s. (We’ll let others debate whether Archie Andrews’ death beats it in terms of general comics impact.) Any movie death of his will have to live up to that. If it can though, it would make it a death worth watching. Similarly, the impact of losing Tony Stark in the MCU would instantly be must-see.
Thor: Asgard is gone, the Thor trilogy is played out, and Loki is probably dying. There will probably never be a better time for the Thunder God to make a glorious exit. Also, with Marvel potentially looking to boost the impact of its heroines, this could provide an opportunity for Lady Sif to take Thor’s stead in the Avengers. She was conspicuously missing from Asgard during Ragnarok (due to filming conflicts with the actress, but still), which means that she survived.
Scarlet Witch: With everyone expecting her love interest to die, killing off Wanda Maximoff would be a twist worth trying. Also, her reality-bending powers can easily become too strong. Unless Marvel wants to save that as the focus for a heartrending future movie (similar to X3), it might be easier for her to just die in Infinity War.
The Hulk: What can possibly kill the Hulk? I have no idea, but whatever does will send a real message that it’s a major force.
Dr. Strange: It might be a little strange (pun intended) to kill him so soon after his introduction, but Dr. Strange does own an Infinity Stone. That doesn’t bode well for his long-term prospects.
War Machine: Rhodey’s near-death in Civil War might make it too much to finish him off now, but if Iron Man doesn’t die then his best friend might.
Falcon: Similarly, it makes sense for one of Cap’s best friends to bite the dust. Black Widow will survive, especially considering she has an upcoming solo film. Similarly, Sebastian Stan is under contract for a bunch more movies. That’s not a guarantee of survival, but it does make Falcon the likeliest option to kill off.
Thanos: You know what would throw this entire movie for a twist? If someone can kill Thanos and take possession of the Infinity Gauntlet. It wouldn’t be too dissimilar to what Nebula did in the comics. And, well, Nebula has been saying in the movies that she’ll kill Thanos. It’s certainly possible, and sets up for a whole new villain in the still-unnamed Avengers 4.
Probably Not Dying
Spider-Man: The MCU finally has its hands on Peter Parker. They’re not killing him off. And if they do, Sony will probably just make new movies with him without Marvel’s help. Spider-Man is sticking around for a long while.
Black Widow: As mentioned above, she’s finally getting her solo film. She’s surviving this one.
Black Panther: Marvel just found their new king of the MCU. He’s living through this.
Ant-Man: He has a movie coming out in less than two months. It’s highly unlikely he dies in this one.
Hawkeye: Fans have been expecting Clint Barton’s death for too long. Quicksilver sacrificed himself to save Hawkeye. If Barton was going to die, that was the time. Retirement is possible, but killing him now would be a disservice to fans.
The Chaos Possibility
Of course, we could end up seeing lots of deaths. After all, the Time Stone can travel back through time, and someone who unites the Gauntlet will be essentially omnipotent. We could see characters die only to un-die in the next movie.
This, then, leaves the final possibility–everybody dies. In the Infinity Gauntlet comics mini-series, Thanos kills everyone, quite brutally. Then he’s tricked into reviving everyone–and he kills them all again, equally brutally. We could see Thanos kill all (or almost all) of Earth’s heroes, only for someone else to take the gauntlet and revive them all.
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