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Things You Only Notice In Avengers: Endgame After Watching It More Than Once

"Avengers: Endgame" is a towering spectacle of a film. The culmination of the 21 movies that precede it, "Endgame" somehow combines all those storylines and characters into a whole, without becoming a convoluted mess. Marvel Cinematic Universe fans flocked to theaters in droves over the course of its opening weekend, which ended up breaking box office records. "Endgame" had the biggest opening weekend ever with a $357 million take, smashing its MCU predecessor, "Avengers: Infinity War," by nearly $100 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

If you were one of the people who went out to see "Avengers: Endgame" that weekend, you likely had a very unique theater experience. Fans around the world screamed, applauded, and cried throughout the movie, making it more like a concert than anything else. As fun as this was, such excitement caused many viewers to miss quite a few important character moments, callbacks, and references. We're here to take a look at all those "Avengers: Endgame" details you only notice after you've seen the movie more than once.

The opening score contains some major foreshadowing

After a chilling opening scene in which Clint Barton's (Jeremy Renner) family gets dusted by Thanos (Josh Brolin), "Dear Mr. Fantasy" by Traffic begins playing over the Marvel Studios logo. We soon see Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) playing paper football while they drift alone through space. Once the track fades out, the score quietly fades in and grows heightened while Tony records a goodbye message to Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) on his busted helmet. In an act of surprising kindness, Nebula helps an ill-looking Tony to a chair so that he might gaze into the universe as he fades away.

Of course, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) shows up to save the day, and the score fades out. You might not have picked up on it during your first viewing, but on a rewatch, you'll almost certainly notice that the song that plays during Tony's funeral, "The Real Hero," sounds decidedly similar to "Totally Fine," the song that plays during that first scene with Tony. Connecting the dots upon revisiting the film is exciting, but it also makes for very depressing foreshadowing. Musical themes in the MCU have always reappeared during pivotal character moments, but this one hits especially deep.

Rocket has lost everyone

After arriving back on Earth with the help of Captain Marvel, Tony is greeted by Steve (Chris Evans) and Pepper. The entire scene is mostly about Tony, who is still reeling from the loss of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and experiencing some pretty intense anger about the Avengers' failure to save the universe from Thanos' machinations. It's easy to miss a brief moment between Nebula and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), which happens just after Tony is ushered inside the Avengers Compound. Together, they sit on the stairs of the ship and quietly hold hands.

This moment is incredibly revealing for both of these characters, yet it's something many viewers don't really absorb until subsequent viewings. Though everyone has lost someone to Thanos' snap, Rocket is unique in that he has lost everyone he loves. He watched Groot (Vin Diesel) crumble in "Avengers: Infinity War," and likely learns in this moment on the stairs that he has also lost Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). These people are the closest thing Rocket has ever had to family, and the pain he feels in that moment as he grabs Nebula's hand is easily missed on a first watch. She too has lost everyone she cares about, and so they are united, briefly, in sorrow.

Pepper's first act question to Tony is a gut-punch

After Steve, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), and Scott (Paul Rudd) go to meet Tony at his new reclusive digs in the first act, they propose the idea of the time heist, to reverse the events of "Avengers: Infinity War." Tony declines, but their hope and desire lead him to work behind the scenes and eventually perfect time travel. When he goes to Pepper to tell her that he's figured out how to go back in time, he proposes not moving forward with the plan, even suggesting he might throw his work into the lake. Pepper asks her husband, "But would you be able to rest?" She knows Tony wouldn't be able to live with himself if he did this — he'd be forever haunted by the knowledge that there is, in fact, a chance to undo everything Thanos did.

Later, during Tony's death scene, Pepper tells him, "You can rest now." Thus assured, he quietly passes away. It's easy to miss this solemn echo of Pepper's first act question. Some viewers connect the two lines on the first watch, but even if you're one of those quick studies, it still hits twice as hard upon rewatch. Hearing Pepper say something in the safety of their home you know you'll hear again on the battlefield as Tony dies is simply gutting.

Natasha's cheeky goodbye

"Avengers: Endgame" is full of foreshadowing most viewers only notice upon rewatch. Right before the team embarks on their time heist, they all stand on the platform for one last pep talk from Steve. Natasha looks around at her fellow Avengers, smiles, and says, "See you in a minute." When you first watch this scene, it seems playful. They'll only be gone for a fraction of time in the present, after all, though they'll spend far longer in the past. Natasha is lightening the tension with a joke that also acts as reassurance for her friends: They'll do their job, then come home safely.

Unfortunately, on rewatch, hearing this line is like taking a bullet. We know that Natasha won't see any of these people again, as she'll sacrifice herself on Vormir to get the Soul Stone. She at least gets a little more time with Nebula and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) on the trip to Morag, plus a few more moments with Clint on Vormir, before she meets her end. Still, rewatching the Avengers' departure knowing that she'll never see her friends again is crushing.

Vormir is an obvious graveyard

When the team comes back together to plan their time heist, fans are on the edge of their seats. In all the excitement, it's easy to miss the obvious — specifically, that what they're embarking upon is incredibly dangerous and likely to result in someone's death. The audience isn't aware what team members are going where until they pop up in the past. Steve, Tony, Scott, and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) all go to the Battle of New York in 2012, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Rocket travel to Asgard in 2013, and Nebula, Clint, Natasha, and Rhodey go to Morag in 2014. 

When Natasha and Clint leave Nebula and Rhodey, it's obvious upon rewatch that one of them is going to die. The story's hype is a good distraction, but when the pair land on Vormir and meet the Red Skull (Ross Marquand), it all dies down. Everything about the scene, from its color palette to its music to its cinematography, makes it clear that things will not end well. When you take in the movie's rapid shifts from location to location the first time, it's hard to figure out what's going to happen next. But when you rewatch it, you realize all the signs pointing towards doom are there on Vormir.

The portal scene keeps things low-key

If you saw "Avengers: Endgame" in a crowded theater with a hyped-up crowd, you definitely missed this detail. After Sam (Anthony Mackie) comes over the comms and asks Steve if he can hear him, the first portal opens up and T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Shuri (Letitia Wright), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) walk through. Opening night audiences absolutely lost their minds. In the midst of such delirious celebration, it's easy to miss that this moment is actually very, very quiet. "Avengers: Endgame" composer Alan Silvestri's "Portals" begins with striking percussion, but little else. When these three heroes emerge, the movie is nearly silent.

The music only picks up when Falcon enters, and grows more intense as the other portals open up, revealing the rest of our returned heroes. Seeing this moment in a crowded theater for the first time was a whole lot of fun for many of us, but rewatching is a different experience with its own pleasures. Absorbing how tranquil this moment actually is and how much relief Steve feels through the scene's understated music is one of the best parts of revisiting "Avengers: Endgame."

The portal scene's many cameos

It takes way more than one rewatch to take in everything going on in the portals scene and subsequent battle. As the portals open, many background characters in particular go overlooked, as the main heroes steal the viewer's focus. Indeed, while fans are distracted by Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) coming back, they likely miss some of the MCU's best cameos.

Most hilariously, Howard the Duck appears through one of the portals, toting a seriously impressive gun. Sharp-eyed fans will notice that he appears alongside some Ravagers we first meet in "Guardians of the Galaxy." While not necessarily villains, the Ravagers aren't really good guys either, so it's refreshing to see them show up in the fight against Thanos. Miek and Korg (Taika Waititi) also show up in the portal scene, though they're easy to miss. The latter also has a small part in the battle: Cull Obsidian almost wipes him out before Drax saves his life.

On the other side of the field, several famous baddies from MCU movies past show up to aid Thanos against the Avengers. We see the Outriders from "Avengers: Infinity War" try to take out Clint in the tunnels of the Avengers Compound, as well as the Chitauri from "The Avengers" and the Sakaarans from "Thor: Ragnarok."

MCU callbacks in the final battle

As Clint runs around the battlefield with the new Infinity Gauntlet, T'Challa comes to his aid in a tense moment. "Clint," T'Challa tells him, "Give it to me." This is a major callback to "Captain America: Civil War," where Clint tries to introduce himself to the Wakandan king in the midst of battle. T'Challa just isn't having it, and responds, "I don't care." Thus, this moment in "Avengers: Endgame" shows a new brotherhood between the two men, where their respect for one another shines.

One moment that's a little less obvious comes when Scott and Hope hear Steve over their earpieces. When their leader tells them they need to get to the portal in the van, Hope responds by saying, "We're on it, Cap." She and Scott then look at each other and share a brief smile that some viewers might not have understood. A rewatch of "Ant-Man and the Wasp" might help: In that movie, Hope makes fun of Scott, who's a bit of an Avengers fanboy, for referring to Captain America as "Cap."

Wanda shows off her impressive powers

One of the most crucial members of the fight against Thanos is Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). Many would argue that Wanda, aka the Scarlet Witch, is the most powerful character in the MCU, though she doesn't yet have full control of her powers in "Avengers: Endgame." Even so, going toe-to-toe with her would be a death sentence, especially given the rage instilled in her after Vision's (Paul Bettany) death.

We see just how powerful she is when she goes one-on-one with Thanos in the final battle: She lifts him into the air and uses her magic to pluck the armor from his skin. The Mad Titan is in absolute agony during all of this, which causes him to order his troops to "rain fire," sending hundreds of missiles into the ongoing battle. One almost takes out Wanda, which releases Thanos from her magical grasp.

Watching this scene the second time around, it's a lot easier to notice how Wanda absolutely destroys Thanos without even blinking an eye. She easily could have defeated him, and probably his entire army, if a random rocket hadn't come flying right next to her. One wonders how post-"WandaVision" Wanda, who has much fuller control of her powers, might have fared in this battle. Thanos might have been toast a lot earlier.

The dusting of Thanos' army

As Thanos' army crumbles into dust, a number of blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments unfold. Most of them can only be caught upon rewatch, simply because there's just so much happening. While Thanos is taking in what's happing all around him, his thousands of minions perish behind him. This includes the Children of Thanos, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, and Proxima Midnight.

These characters are very far off in the distance. But if you squint, you can see the sycophantic Ebony Maw dissolve as he steadily limps, clutching his stomach. Proxima Midnight holds her husband, Corvus Glaive, in her arms as they both fade out of existence. Their dusting is reminiscent of Wanda's in "Avengers: Infinity War," as she sits on the ground holding a deceased Vision while she slowly dissipates into the air. It's a tragic echo that brings brief, intense focus to a character who probably suffered just as much under Thanos' guardianship as Gamora and Nebula.

Thanos' arrogance dooms him

This is another instance of a line in "Avengers: Endgame" only really sinking in for viewers the second time around. When past-Nebula helps bring Thanos into the future, she tells her father that the Avengers suspect nothing. "The arrogant never do," he replies. While this initially seems like just another clever quip, it feels a whole lot different on a rewatch.

Knowing how the movie ends, we know that Thanos is actually the most arrogant of all. He clearly suspects nothing, and thinks he'll have no issue wiping out the remaining Avengers and subsequently decimating the universe. Specifically, past-Nebula and Thanos have no idea the Avengers have already snapped everyone back. Arrogance gets the best of Thanos in the end — an arrogance he hadn't fully given into up to this point. 

Recall the speech he gives to Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor in the opening of "Avengers: Infinity War." "I know what it's like to lose," he tells them, "to feel so desperately that you're right, yet to fail nonetheless." Thanos should have kept this knowledge a little more in mind in "Endgame" — assuming he's unbeatable is the thing that destroys him, in the end.

Bucky always knew Steve's plan

After all is said and done, it's time for Steve to return the Infinity Stones to their rightful place in the past. Standing on top of a new time-travel machine with Bruce, Sam, and Bucky looking on, Steve and his friends exchange a few words. Bruce tells Steve what he needs to do, Sam offers to go with, and Bucky tells him he's going to miss him.

It's more than apparent to viewers revisiting the film that Bucky knows Steve isn't going to come back to the present. Even before he tells his buddy that he's going to miss him, the quiet smile on Bucky's face and the hug they share suggest Bucky knows Steve is going to live life with Peggy (Hayley Atwell), just like he always wanted. No one knows Steve better than Bucky, and vice versa. Their quiet demeanor upon Steve's departure makes it clear that Bucky knows what's going to happen, as does Bucky's lack of surprise upon seeing elderly Steve.