Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Natasha Romanoff And Yelena Belova Are Each Other's Mirror

Contains spoilers for "Black Widow"

With over a decade-long run under her belt, Scarlett Johansson's iconic character finally has her own spotlight via the "Black Widow" solo film. It seeks to explain what happened to Natasha Romanoff following the ratification of the Sokovia Accords, as seen in "Captain America: Civil War," before her reemergence in "Avengers: Infinity War." At the same time, the long-awaited cinematic endeavor also thoroughly explores who Nat is, what her past entailed, and who she left there on her way to becoming a SHIELD agent and later an Avenger. As a result, Nat establishes contact with her estranged surrogate family, eliciting a handful of strong reactions to her presence.

Parental figures Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), aka the Red Guardian, and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) are happy to reconnect with Natasha, but that feeling doesn't extend to the rest of the clan. Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), who was something of a sister to Nat for many years, is hesitant to welcome Nat back into her life. She holds quite a bit of animosity toward her for leaving her behind, not using her status as an Avenger to take down the evil Red Room program, and acting like their old family wasn't real. Nevertheless, they team up and resolve their differences by the time the credits roll.

As we learn about Natasha and Yelena — both individually and as adoptive siblings — and see them work together, it becomes increasingly clear that, despite their time apart, they mirror one another all the same. Here's how.

Visual cues prove that Natasha and Yelena are more alike than they are different

In terms of personality and life trajectory, Yelena Belova and Natasha Romanoff are as opposite as two people can be. Aside from their upbringing in the Red Room and their past allegiance to General Dreykov (Ray Winstone), their lives take very different routes once Nat defects. Her escape leads to her joining SHIELD, breaking free of Dreykov's mental conditioning, and becoming a world-renowned hero. However, this leaves Yelena trapped, with Dreykov's scientists experimenting on her and rendering her a mindless drone for the Red Room — a trance broken by a rare antidote at the beginning of "Black Widow."

Shortly after their reunion, Yelena and Nat's similarities begin to shine through. First and foremost, they engage in a brutal fight and go tit for tat, even inadvertently attempting the same combat maneuvers in unison. This showcases that they're both at a similar skill level and are forever products of the Red Room training program.

Naturally, their duel ends in a stalemate, and viewers can get a good look at their respective ear lobe and cartilage piercings. They're the same except for the ear they chose to pierce, with Nat choosing the left and Yelena opting for the right. This makes it so that when they stand face-to-face, it's as if they're looking in a literal mirror. 

Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova are both world-class assassins (with similar piercing preferences) who honed their skills at the same location. No matter how different their lives and careers have panned out, they'll never be able to shake the fact that they're two sides of the same coin.