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Avengers: Endgame Character Endings Ranked From Worst To Best

Avengers: Endgame juggles a ton of different characters. From the original six Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Master of the Mystic Arts and everyone else that shows up for that last epic battle, the film has its hands full from one end to the other. And that doesn't even take into account multiple Thanoses, their Children, and an army of villains to boot. Suffice it to say, there have never been so many story arcs crashing together into one raucous cacophony of finality.

With ten years of cinematic backstory and an endless comic history to draw from, every character in the MCU is interesting to follow at this point. That said, there are certainly some story arcs that are more compelling than others. We thought we'd parse through the long list of names from the fourth Avengers film and figure out which characters ended the film with style and which ones left us a tad disappointed. From cosmic villains to genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropists, here are the Endgame character endings ranked from worst to best. 

(Warning — we're spoiling the entirety of Avengers: Endgame.)

The Children of Thanos

Let's start with the Children of Thanos. If you're ranking Avengers: Infinity War endings, the Black Order would end up pretty high on the list. It doesn't matter if you're talking about Ebony Maw being sucked out into space, Proxima Midnight going down in a grudge match with a trio of female heroes, or Cull Obsidian exploding over Wakanda — all of these guys face some pretty epic endings in the third Avengers installment.

That said, once you get to Endgame, the group stumbles a bit. As their 2014 selves come hurtling into Upstate New York, each of them goes out not with a bang but with a whimper. The Maw attempts to reclaim Iron Man's Infinity Gauntlet but fails, Corvus Glaive is quickly stabbed and tossed aside by Okoye, and Obsidian is unceremoniously crushed to death by a giant Ant-Man. Regardless of the specifics of each lackluster ending, all of them end up piles of dust by the time the credits roll. Their endings are inconsequential, to say the least.

Captain Marvel

In many ways, Carol Danvers was the greatest disappointment of Avengers: Endgame. The overpowered character — who even got her own film between Infinity War and Endgame to set up her backstory — ended up playing a very minor role throughout the film. There were certainly a million reasons that this should be the case, not the least of which being that the original six Avengers were the primary focus. Nevertheless, the fact that Blockbuster Girl didn't get more screen time definitely puts a dent in her overall Endgame storyline.

Still, Vers does manage to stay busy, saving Tony Stark and Nebula in the opening moments of the movie, patrolling the universe for years, and then arriving in the nick of time to take out the Sanctuary II and join in the final battle. From there, she headlines the A-Force scene, tussles with Thanos over Stark's Infinity Gauntlet, and even gives the Mad Titan a headache in the moments leading up to Iron Man's snap.

When it comes to the character's ending, it isn't too glamorous. Danvers is last seen paying her respects at Stark's funeral as the film wraps up. She looks a bit out of place — and why not? She barely knew the man. The lackluster ending to her undercooked story lands her pretty low on the list, if only because her narrative ends up still largely shrouded in mystery, awaiting further development in Phase 4.

The Wakandans

Wakanda, as a whole, plays an epic part in the third act of Avengers: Endgame. The fearless armies of the Black Panther march, en masse, from the plains of their mother country right onto the turf of Upstate New York. While practically every hero in the galaxy is present at the final fight, it's the sturdy Wakandan soldiery — along with the Asgardians and the Masters of the Mystic Arts — that end up filling in the rank and file, providing a sea of muscle to back up the Avengers and their allies.

Standing tall at the head of the well-trained African army are two characters who deserve a shoutout — Okoye and Shuri (we'll get to the king himself in a bit). The former, in particular, makes her mark on the proceedings by literally taking out Corvus Glaive single-handedly. She even makes the process look easy. Needless to say, the Wakandans make a splashy entrance and carry their own weight throughout the fight with Thanos. Nevertheless, they leave enough of their forces behind on the battlefield to make their collective "ending" a bit less desirable than might've been hoped.

The Iron Man crew

Another group of individuals that has a powerful ending is Iron Man's closest family and friends. This includes three characters above all else — Pepper Potts, Morgan Stark, and, of course, Happy Hogan. The triad soaks up the emotional spotlight in the fading moments of the film. The mourning kicks off as the group watch Tony's final holographic message, in which he expresses the fact that he "loves them 3,000" one last time.

Not long after having donned her Rescue armor in the film's final battle, Potts is finally shown bidding adieu to her lost love as she sets Tony's arc reactor adrift on the lake. Meanwhile, Happy and Morgan have a touching moment on the porch, where the hero's daughter shows that the apple — or more accurately, the burger — doesn't fall far from the tree. Happy gets all the feels as he promises her as many burgers as she could ever want. The trio, two of which were there at the MCU's inception, usher out their character's Endgame narratives with sympathetic aplomb.

War Machine

There's one other major character in Iron Man's storyline, and he gets a slot all to himself in the rankings. War Machine faithfully remains by Tony Stark's side throughout the entire MCU, providing an alternating mix of wisdom and muscle, depending on the situation. The character stays busy throughout Endgame, and his story once again wraps up on the lakeside where he's front and center as he attends Stark's funeral.

However, it's a moment that takes place just a few minutes earlier in the movie that bumps Rhodey's character a tad higher on the list than the rest of the Iron Man crew. In the seconds after Tony Stark snaps away Thanos and his army, it's none other than the Iron Patriot who's the first one to find his best friend as he breathes his last. Upon his arrival, Rhodey quickly takes in the worrisome situation. As he realizes what's taking place, his expression shifts from alarm to acceptance. He puts his hand to Stark's head, and the two brothers in arms share a quiet moment together. The scene is deeply moving, especially considering what the pair of friends have gone through up to that point in time, and it ranks amongst their best scenes together.

Spider-Man

Peter Parker manages to get tangled up in the entire Thanos storyline early on when Ebony Maw's giant flying donut happens to park right over his home town. From there, the web-head joins Stark and Dr. Strange on an unplanned trip to Titan, where he finds himself in a fight for his life — and the life of half of the universe — as Thanos hunts down the Time Stone.

From there, Parker is snapped away, and he doesn't reappear until the portals open up in the climactic ending of Endgame. Nevertheless, the Crime-stopper from Queens swings right back into action and even carries Stark's Infinity Gauntlet for a bit. He mourns the loss of his mentor when Stark dies and even attends the funeral. However, his ending gets a little brighter when he's shown returning to normal life. He reunites with his friend, Ned Leeds, and sets the stage for his own solo sequel film, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Valkyrie

Of all the characters in Endgame, only one of them gets to end their story by making an abrupt shift into royalty. After doing her part in the final battle against Thanos, Valkyrie finds herself back in New Asgard, where she's seen standing next to her then-king, Thor. Valkyrie is surprised to find that Thor is leaving and likely won't return. When she reminds him that his people need a king, Thor informs her that they already have one.

The next thing she knows, Valkyrie has been handed the leadership of Asgard. The happy ending to her "rags to riches" story seems like the kind of thing that would give her the number one best spot on a list like this. However, it's important to remember the current state of the "kingdom" that she's just been tasked to rule. New Asgard is populated by a tiny population that's lost their home planet and was further killed off by Thanos' forces — twice. The handful of survivors hardly make up a town, let alone a world at this point, and it makes Thor look a little bit like a jerk to ditch out and leave all his kingly responsibilities to his second-in-command — especially on the heels of five years spent neglecting his duties, anyway. Nevertheless, Valkyrie's promotion to top dog is certainly one of the better endings in the film, even if it simply means she doesn't have to take orders from a lackadaisical monarch anymore.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier

We're going to lump Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes into the same "ending" because, well, they share one together. Not only that, but their parallel MCU futures are set up during their final moments in Endgame. After a dramatic, portal-bound, "on your left" entrance into the final battle, Wilson and Barnes help hold back Thanos' armies until Stark is finally able to finish them off with a snap of his fingers.

From there, the two heroes attend Stark's funeral before they head off to help Professor Hulk send Captain America back in time to return the borrowed Infinity Stones. When Steve Rogers fails to return from the time portal and old Rogers arrives with his shield in tow, Sam Wilson's character ending goes off the charts. After all, how many heroes get to inherit the role of Captain America? Bucky also manages to end on a strong note by gracefully stepping aside to let Wilson take up Cap's shield. Much like Peter Parker's final moments, Wilson and Barnes' dual ending perfectly primes the pump for their own spinoff storyline in Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Professor Hulk

Hulk and Bruce Banner's combined storyline takes a big step forward in Endgame. Well, really, it takes a big step forward between Infinity War and Endgame when the two manage to join forces and create the gentle giant, Professor Hulk.

At first glance, when we first meet the unlikely combo earlier in the film, it seems like a great new start to an exciting storyline for the character. But then, in the general hubbub of the movie, the Professor Hulk narrative just kind of stalls out. Oh, he's around and pretty heavily involved in the goings-on — gratuitous or not — but his character arc just kind of falls off a cliff. The most we're given is the simple fact that the Hulk/Banner combo is strong enough to reverse the Snap, even though it comes at the expense of possibly permanent damage to his arm.

The problem here is that Endgame was supposed to be Hulk's chance to shine. Banner and the Big Green Guy were at odds throughout Infinity War, especially after the latter was beaten up in a tangle with Thanos. The fact that Hulk lost the fight left the expectation that he'd find some redemption in Endgame. He didn't get it. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp

While important, Scott Lang's involvement in Endgame tends to push the plot forward more than anything else. Apart from introducing the time-travel concept and equipment, Lang's character doesn't do much to help him stand out from the crowd of admittedly stiff competition. Hope van Dyne's role in the movie is even smaller since she doesn't return until after Hulk snaps. This is nothing new. In many ways, all of Ant-Man and the Wasp's adventures have felt like ancillary events within the greater MCU. They're generally contained, independent from the larger narrative, and primarily serve as fodder for establishing how the time-related aspects of the universe work. Plus, they provide some fun cameos like the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War.

All of that said, it's no surprise that, while not terrible, the heroes' endings in Endgame are fairly vanilla. The teammates are involved in the final battle and help repair Luis' van, although it doesn't even end up being the catalyst for victory. Afterward, they get some personal closure when we see them back home watching fireworks with Cassie, and they're finally shown attending Stark's funeral. While the heroes have a bright future moving forward, all things considered, their Endgame endings are anything but special.

Hawkeye and Wanda

Seemingly an unlikely pair to couple up in a listing like this, Hawkeye and Wanda make very different contributions in the third act of Endgame. On the one hand, Hawkeye focuses on recovering and getting the Infinity Gauntlet to safety. On the other hand, Wanda literally takes on Thanos mano a mano, earning the moniker "strongest Marvel hero" from none other than Kevin Feige himself.

Interestingly, though, the two share a very important connection — they both lost a loved one throughout the course of events. Hawkeye watched Black Widow sacrifice herself instead of letting him do so, and Scarlet Witch had to literally kill Vision ... and then watch Thanos kill him again.

When the pair are shown at Stark's funeral in the fading moments of Endgame, it's natural that they'd reminisce and comfort each other in their sorrowful victory. The scene in which they reassure one another as they stand side by side is touching — a heartwarming moment in midst of everyone's shared pain.

Doctor Strange

Stephen Strange's impact on Avengers: Endgame is less about his presence and more about his quiet work behind the scenes. After all, Strange sets up the entire story by willingly surrendering the Time Stone at the end of Infinity War in order to save Stark's life and steer toward that one-in-14 million outcome. Of course, he's dusted moments later and fails to show up until the very end of the next film.

Nevertheless, Strange inches a bit higher up the list if only because of his overarching presence that continues to guide events from the moment of his post-Snap resurrection. Strange opens up the myriad of portals, brings his own cohort of fellow sorcerers, and then personally plays a critical part in the ensuing battle. Particularly, near the end of his Endgame arc, he finally reveals to Stark that they are, indeed, operating within the timeline in which they win. Technically, Strange follows this up with a quiet appearance at Stark's funeral, as well. Taken as a whole, his Endgame ending is a solid one that leaves him in a prime position to continue playing a critical role going forward into Phase 4.

Gamora

Next up, we have a character that, for all intents and purposes, shouldn't have had an ending in Endgame in the first place because, you know, she was already killed in Infinity War. In the lead-up to the film's release, Gamora actress Zoe Saldana electrified the MCU fanbase when she revealed that she was engaged in reshoots for the film, indicating that her character would be making some form of a return. That return ended up manifesting as the 2014 version of the heroine, who comes through the time machine with Thanos' 2014 forces and ultimately becomes the new, slightly dated replacement for her deceased 2018 self.

Sure, the entire situation is a bit sticky, but the point is, Gamora comes back in Endgame and gets a second crack at an Avengers film ending. She turns on her adoptive father during the final battle, and she's present for Stark's death. In a deleted Endgame scene, it was revealed that, rather than kneeling in respect along with everyone else, the confused 2014 version of the character opts to walk off into the blue, likely hoping to figure out what she should do now that her entire life has literally fallen to ashes. This open-ended finale is a fun one, especially considering the fact that, for a while there, everyone thought she wouldn't have a shot at Endgame finality in the first place.

Black Panther

Black Panther plays a very important role in the monumental third act of the film — after he and half of his kingdom are snapped back into existence, of course. With the universe at stake, the faithful King T'Challa crosses continents through Strange's portals and arrives with Shuri, Okoye, and a host of loyal soldiers at his back.

In the ensuing conflict, the infusion of Wakandan muscle plays a critical part in helping to hold off Thanos' hordes until Stark can snap the bad guys out of existence. T'Challa, in particular, helps to keep the Stark Gauntlet safe from Thanos. After the fight, the king and his country can be seen reveling in their reunification. T'Challa, Shuri, and Okoye are also present at Stark's funeral, bringing a heady sense of royalty to the somber event.

While T'Challa's final moments in Endgame aren't particularly flashy, they ended up being the last scenes that actor Chadwick Boseman filmed for the role before he tragically passed away. This makes them especially important, as they serve as his character's ending not just for Endgame but for the MCU as a whole.

The Guardians of the Galaxy

While Gamora's final moments in Endgame are a bit bewildering, the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy have happier endings. Rocket and Groot finally reunite after five years apart, Star-Lord finds new hope in the fact that Gamora is, in some sense, still alive, and Drax and Mantis, well, they just keep on finding humor in everything around them.

The best part of the Guardians of the Galaxy's Endgame ending, though? The simple fact that it turned out not to be the last time we'd see this particular iteration of the team working together. Just months before Endgame hit theaters, the long-derailed third Guardians installment got back on track, with none other than James Gunn at the helm, allowing the powers that be to weave the future of the Guardians right into the Endgame story. This leads to the scene in which the posse is preparing to leave Earth, with Thor by their side, to head off and find their missing member, Gamora. The excitement of the reunion, as well as the humor of their departure with Peter Quill and Thor jockeying for command, ranks as one of the better multi-character endings in the entire film.

Thor

Thor has been through hell and back again throughout his MCU tenure. In Endgame, in particular, the fella falls off a cliff and spends most of the film trying to climb back up it again. Fortunately, he manages to do so, finding some much-needed inspiration from his past mother during the time heist. After that, the son of Odin resumes his smash-mouth ways, wielding both Mjolnir and Stormbreaker in his electrifying initial fight with Thanos.

After the defeat of the Mad Titan, Thor spends his final moments of the film passing off his kingly duties to Valkyrie and joining up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in search of a new path. As a bona fide Asgardian of the Galaxy, he subtly challenges Star-Lord, leaving the question of crew leader up in the air. Thor's ending isn't just refreshing and fun for the character, it also makes the universe his oyster.

Both Nebulas

There's still one Guardian of the Galaxy that hasn't made the list until now — Nebula. The conflicted daughter of Thanos manages to land such a high spot partly because Endgame literally features two different iterations of the character throughout the film, both of whom have solid endings.

The primary Nebula — i.e., 2023 Nebula — wraps up her Endgame journey by helping in the climactic battle, attending Tony Stark's funeral, and then joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in their search for her adopted sister. Her redemptive journey is full of promise, as her dark past has literally gone to ashes on the battlefield.

However, 2014 Nebula's ending is less positive, though more moving. She spends the majority of the movie tragically tethered to father's every whim. She helps bring the Sanctuary II through the time machine and nearly kills Hawkeye as she attempts to reclaim the Infinity Gauntlet. At that moment, 2014 Gamora and 2023 Nebula arrive and attempt to talk her out of the deed. Unable to change, she's eventually shot and killed by her older self. A tear runs down her cheek as her life ebbs away, bringing a heartbreaking ending to a deeply conflicted character.

Black Widow

Now we're getting to the end of the Endgame endings — see what we did there? — and the competition is heating up. Next on the docket is Black Widow. Natasha Romanoff's character arc peaks and then abruptly cuts off in Endgame. In fact, she's the only one on the list whose ending doesn't involve the third act of the film. Black Widow actress Scarlet Johansson even joked about her character's missed presence in the climactic battle fought over the ruins of the Avengers HQ.

Of course, her absence from the end battle is precisely why she lands so high in the rankings. Up until this point, Romanoff's MCU journey had been one of redemption. Starting with red in her ledger, the super spy consistently trended in an upward direction in her eight MCU appearances throughout the Infinity Saga, until her story suddenly ended when she sacrificed herself to get the Soul Stone halfway through the fourth Avengers film. In the end, Romanoff rose from her dark beginnings to make the ultimate, universe-saving sacrifice, which also makes her unexpected demise in Endgame one of the most powerful endings of them all — even though it means she missed the festivities at the end of the film.

Thanos

While most of the best endings in Endgame come on the hero side of things, there's one baddie who absolutely earns a high spot on the list. We're talking about Thanos himself. Who else could keep audiences trembling in their seats for a year between Infinity War and Endgame, only to calmly sit and accept his dusty fate when it finally catches up to him?

Like Nebula, Thanos actually double dips a bit when it comes to the whole "character ending" concept. The 2018 version of the villain meets his end early on in the film. After using the Infinity Stones to destroy themselves, the Mad Titan is hunted down by the Avengers and decapitated when Thor finally goes for the head. In a sense, this is the ultimate victory and the greatest ending for the character, since he not only wipes out half of the universe, but he permanently prevents his victory from being undone — as far as he can reasonably expect, at least.

Nevertheless, when the Avengers go back in time to undo the past, 2014 Thanos steps up to the plate once again. This leads to his more devastating, though equally epic, ending, in which he and his soldiers are snapped away into the wind. No matter which way you slice it, this guy's ending is about as insane as they get.

Captain America

Captain America has a huge story arc that stretches nearly the entire length of the Infinity Saga before it literally comes full circle — a completion that takes place right in Endgame. In other words, part of the reasons Cap's Endgame ending ranks so high is because it's not just the end of a movie for him, it's the end of the line.

Steve Rogers' path begins way back in Phase 1, picking up during World War II when he's transformed from a 90-pound asthmatic with heart to a super soldier of epic proportions. His journey eventually leads right into the 21st century, where he becomes a founding member of the Avengers.

By Endgame, Cap's arc has spiked from patriotic soldier to universe-saving team leader. His long-awaited "Avengers, assemble" line toward the end of the film still puts fans into hysterics. So does his opportunity to finally wield Mjolnir in battle. At the end of the day, though, it's Cap's chance to finally go back in time and get that dance with Peggy Carter that truly takes the cake. After a lifetime spent feeling out of place and at the service of others, Rogers finally goes back to "try some of that life" for himself, and it's beautiful.

Iron Man

Finally, we have the man himself. Tony Stark is the central hero of the Infinity Saga. The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off with his initial pivot from a narcissistic billionaire playboy into a bona fide superhero. Early in that journey, Tony proves that he's willing to make the sacrifice play when he flies a nuke into space and hurls it at a Chitauri ship. While that's a good start, though, the next several years see an anxious Stark doing his best to prepare for the inevitable approach of some unknown existential threat. When that mystery is finally revealed to be Thanos, Tony's initial attempt to bring the fight to the enemy goes up in smoke on the alien landscape of Titan.

Then, in Endgame, he finally gets a chance to redeem himself, and folks, he comes through with flying colors. When Stark realizes that the one version of the story where they win is through his own sacrifice, he doesn't hesitate to snap away every last one of Thanos' soldiers, even if it means he'll never see his family again. The heroic act leaves the World's Greatest Hero mangled and dying, yet he's finally able to rest — making it the greatest character ending in the entire film.