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Why Pepper Potts Will Be More Important In Avengers: Endgame Than You Think

When Avengers: Endgame is brought up, it usually conjures images of Thanos in retirement, Avengers re-assembling, Captain Marvel being introduced, Ant-Man showing up at the Avengers facility, and so on. And that makes sense. These are the elements that have gotten the most attention since Infinity War left us all devastated and desperately asking what comes next.

However, the absolutely enormous scope of Endgame can make it easy to forget a few characters that have sat relatively quiet on the sidelines in the Infinity Stones saga thus far. We're talking about characters like Nebula, Clint Barton, Scott Lang, and Hulk, all of whom could have a much bigger impact on Endgame than anyone might suspect. Another character who's hardly been brought up in the discussion since the Infinity War credits rolled is Pepper Potts. While she did make a brief appearance, Miss Potts was quickly left in the dust of Infinity War's fast-paced action, but it doesn't mean she's gone for good. Here are all the ways Potts could make a difference in Endgame, dramatically shaking up the story in the process.

An underestimated impact

It's easy to forget just how much Pepper Potts we've had up to this point. The character was right there at the genesis of the MCU, and she hasn't gone anywhere (at least not for long) ever since. Sure, there was that brief period after the showdown with Ultron when Stark and Potts "took a break," but by Spider-Man: Homecoming they had hooked back up and even jumped forward enough to get engaged in lieu of announcing Peter Parker as a new Avenger.

Over the course of her onscreen career, Potts has been a steady force for good in Tony Stark's life, from keeping him organized and providing a moral compass for the Iron Avenger to helping him run Stark Industries, replacing his arc reactor, and even personally saving Tony from disaster at the end of Iron Man 3. Right from day one, Pepper Potts has been a crucial guiding force in the MCU, quietly yet effectively keeping one of the most important Avengers of them all safe, sound, and on the right path. With Tony in absolutely desperate straits at the end of Infinity War, will she come through yet again?

Leaving the MCU

Another interesting twist to Potts' role going into Endgame is the fact that actor Gwyneth Paltrow has reported that she'll be retiring from the MCU after the film. While everyone has been fixated on characters like Captain America and Iron Man potentially bowing out after the Phase 3 finale, the news of Paltrow's exit has been a bit overshadowed. In an interview with Variety, she argued, "I mean, I'm a bit old to be in a suit and all that at this point," after which she went on to explain how much it meant to her to work on the first Iron Man film and watch the MCU grow over the ensuing decade and change.

Paltrow's departure has opened up a whole slew of new possibilities for Pepper Potts, along with a lot of accompanying questions. Is Paltrow really leaving the MCU because she's getting tired of superhero stuff, or is this covering a larger potential spoiler regarding the fate of her character in Endgame? One interesting thing that stood out from the statement was the whole "in a suit" comment, which would seem to feed right into a popular fan theory surrounding the film.


While she briefly donned Stark's armor in Iron Man 3, Pepper Potts hasn't traditionally functioned as a hero during her time in Marvel's cinematic universe. On the contrary, her encounter with Extremis in the third Iron Man adventure seemed to leave her a bit overwhelmed and ready to go back to normal life. However, Paltrow's comment about being suited up seems to semi-confirm — or at least strongly hint — that Endgame will finally herald the arrival of Potts' own superhero character, known in the comics as Rescue.

In addition to the comment made while announcing her retirement, Paltrow also leaked a picture a while back that showed herself suited up in purple and silver armor. In the comics, the Iron Man Armor MK 1616 is created by Stark and then used by Potts to help save him. Could the situation be repeated, this time on the silver screen? Fans have been looking for Potts to come to the Rescue for a while now, and it seems about as good a time as ever for Tony to get a helpful hand.

Off the Benatar

Speaking of Tony needing some help, one of the big questions that Infinity War left us with was how Tony Stark and Nebula were going to get off Titan. We now know, thanks to the Endgame trailer, that Stark is going to spend quite a bit of time floating through space on the Guardians of the Galaxy's ship, the Benatar, although it's going to run out of fuel and possibly even food, water, and air before they can save themselves.

The situation is about as grim as Stark's time spent with the Ten Rings in his origin film. It might even have a similar "super-scientist Stark going against all odds to stay alive" solution in store as well, thanks to a quick hint tucked into the Super Bowl Endgame spot. However, if Stark can't manage to save his hide this time around, he'll need to find a savior somewhere else. The Iron Avenger kicks things off in the first trailer by explaining how dire his situation is, specifically referring to the fact that "being adrift in space with zero promise of rescue is more fun than it sounds." Is he simply spouting off in typical Stark style, or is there more to the statement than appears at first glance? Perhaps Stark and Nebula will pull off a miracle and find a way home, but if they can't, it might be none other than Potts who swoops in to save the day.

The Stark/Potts family

Potential superhero future aside, there are a ton of other ways that Pepper Potts could make a huge impact on the Endgame storyline, much of which is already established information. For one thing, as of the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Potts and Stark finally decided to tie the knot. Their engagement was hammered home in the opening minutes of Infinity War when the two were shown jogging through the park discussing the upcoming wedding and Stark's desire to start a family. Pepper has already had a titanic influence on Tony Stark's life and career, and the added role of wife is only going to up the ante that much more.

On top of the spouse storyline, though, there's also the fact that a baby Stark might be right around the corner. In another interview, spoiler-happy Paltrow casually explained that after all the couple's time together in the MCU, "now this decade later they're married, and they have a child." Come again? As of the end of Infinity War, no child has been confirmed, although Pepper's behavior and cut off phone call at the beginning of the film may have indicated that she was pregnant. By the time Tony gets home, he might find that he needs to take frequent breaks from his revenge plans in order to help put the new baby to sleep.

The leader

Pepper Potts has spent the majority of her screen time in the very large shadow of her fiance so far, cleaning up after his messes, organizing his schedule, and even taking out his "trash." Her serving and supporting attitude has made it easy to forget that she's one of the most powerful women in the world. Not only is she attached at the hip to one of the richest and most influential superheroes in the MCU, but she's also put a significant amount of time in as the CEO of Stark Industries itself.

Ever since Iron Man 2, Potts has been busying herself with the affairs of a mega-company, to the point where seeing her making public announcements and major business decisions feel like the norm. Wielding that kind of power can do quite a bit for a person's confidence, and you can bet she's got a spine of steel at this point — or perhaps we should say a spine of iron. If someone needs to make the tough calls in the post-snap-pocalypse, Pepper Potts will likely be out in front, leading the charge.

Making her exit

Of course, functioning as a CEO, wife, mother, and even a hero could all be immensely important parts of Endgame, but the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow is leaving the MCU could mean another thing: perhaps we're approaching the end of the line for Pepper Potts. On the surface, her announcement to retire seems to be largely driven by her age and unwillingness to continue being overly involved in Marvel-sized franchise filmmaking. But the tight-lipped embargo on official Endgame information has ensured that even when a tiny tidbit of info does slip through the cracks, it's extremely difficult to determine how it fits into the bigger picture.

For instance, when Chris Evans tweeted an emotional farewell on his last day of filming Endgame, everyone assumed that it was a sign of Cap's imminent doom. However, not long after that, director Joe Russo came out and said that the farewell meant something else, and Evans wasn't actually done with the MCU. Bottom line? All we really know is that Gwyneth Paltrow is ready to walk away from Pepper Potts — or at least she wanted us to think she was during one particular interview. This could be the end of an era, but we won't truly know what's going on until Avengers: Endgame arrives.

Stark's sacrifice?

Infinity War showed the devastating cost that Thanos paid in order to gather the Infinity Stones, and one in particular demanded the highest cost of them all: the Soul Stone. While most of the Mad Titan's quest involved rampaging around the universe proving he was the alpha in order to claim each of the cosmic baubles, the Soul Stone threw him a curveball, demanding a sacrifice he never expected.

While it cost Thanos "everything," he might not be the only fella in the MCU that has to face the same decision. One common theory for Endgame is that the Avengers, led by Tony Stark, will find a way to head through space and time in order to gather up the Stones and create a second Infinity Gauntlet in order to reverse Thanos' Decimation. If that's the case, someone is going to need to claim the Soul Stone. While theories have gone all over the place suggesting that Steve Rogers or even Stark's parents could be the ones that are sacrificed, the most obvious option is none other than Pepper Potts herself.

Wait a second…

Of course, the temptingly tragic suggestion that Pepper Potts could pay the ultimate price in Endgame is undermined by a couple of recent revelations. For one thing, we got a slight glimpse into the future of the MCU in the form of the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, during which Happy Hogan arrives at a fundraiser with a giant novelty check signed by none other than CEO and business titan Pepper Potts. Kevin Feige himself reported that Far From Home picks up right after Endgame, so Potts' signature seems to indicate that she'll still be around in some capacity.

Then there are further remarks made by Paltrow herself. In the Variety interview she used to announce her Marvel retirement, she added, "Of course, if they said, 'Can you come back for a day?,' I will always be there if they need me." Of course, this is the MCU, with timelines jumping all over the place all of the time, so perhaps Paltrow was simply saying she was willing to come back if the occasion ever presented itself, regardless of where we leave her character at the conclusion of Endgame.


While the case for Pepper making a significant impact on the Endgame storyline all on her own is pretty solid, there's always the extra fact that she serves as a significant motivation to Tony Stark as well. The fact that the love of his life, and possibly their child to boot, will be growing up in a post-snap world is a good reason for Stark to up his game and put Thanos in his place.

The other thing is that, while the Russo brothers did take the time to confirm a few offscreen victims of Thanos' Decimation, Potts' fate seems to be unconfirmed at this point. While it would be fun to have Pepper running around post-snap helping to save the day, perhaps she would serve an even greater purpose as a casualty, spurring Stark on to even greater efforts in order to restore everything to the right order again.

Completing her arc

Mark Ruffalo made waves when he announced that the Hulk had been going through a "special trilogy" of his own, woven throughout Thor: Ragnarok, Infinity War, and Endgame. The unsurprising knowledge that Marvel is thinking in the long term about its characters could also mean that an even longer, if significantly quieter, story arc has been playing out for Pepper Potts all along as well.

Over the years, Potts has grown from a dependable assistant to a powerful CEO, fiancee, potential mother, and now even possibly a superhero. Her confidence and decision-making skills have made a key difference in the MCU. She's taken out villains on her own (we're looking at you, Killian) and she's even temporarily experienced superpowers thanks to her unpleasant encounter with Extremis. Going into Endgame, if anyone is a sleeper character with a lot of potential to play an instrumental role in the outcome, it has to be Pepper Potts.