AVENGERS: ENDGAME has officially hit theaters. The MCU’s overarching INFINITY GAUNTLET narrative is over. Many iconic characters have their hero’s journey fulfilled as well. The figure to start the entire franchise off, Iron Man, fulfills his hero’s journey introduced way back in 2008 with IRON MAN. Let’s look at the Iron Man ENDGAME story arch and how ENDGAME concludes the adventure of Tony Stark.

Tony’s Destiny Against an Upcoming Intergalactic Threat

The climax of the original AVENGERS was a life-changing experience for Tony Stark. He made a life-changing sacrifice by flying the nuke up into the Chitari portal. Witnessing a compelling vision of their future threat defines the Iron Man ENDGAME journey. Tony is connected to Thanos and feels responsible for preventing his return. Throughout all the movies leading up to ENDGAME, preventing a second invasion of Thanos is solely on Tony’s mind.

Tony throwing nuke in space
Courtesy of Movieplus.news

The moment Tony laid eyes on the threat of Thanos, the careless billionaire was gone entirely. Going forward, Tony dedicates his money and intelligence to protect the Earth from another alien attack. He spent his time trying to build as many Iron Man enhanced suits as possible, which ended up destroying his relationship with Pepper. As Tony is left on Titan, he realizes that all his defense planning is for absolutely nothing. As Captain Marvel saves him from death and he returns to Earth, Tony is done trying to be the world’s savior.

With a second chance at life, Tony spends the next five years building everything that he’s been trying to do since AGE OF ULTRON; start a family. Tony gives up being an Avengers in favor of being happy with Pepper and their young daughter. With most stories, a character arch would end at this moment; the hero growing and rewarded with a happy life. Unfortunately for Tony, an old and untrustworthy friend comes to his porch.

The Tony Who Cried Wolf

CEO Tony Stark
Courtesy of Wallpaper Cave

One of the most significant resolutions ENDGAME resolves is the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. The Iron Man ENDGAME role sums up as a big “I told you so” against his fellow Avenger. No matter how adamant and dedicated Tony was about protecting the world, nobody would believe his warnings about a more significant threat to come. Tony’s resentment towards Steve is so hostile that he refused to get involved with him at the beginning of INFINITY WAR. The reunion between Tony and Steve Rogers at the beginning of ENDGAME ultimately showcases the anger and resentment Tony has towards his friend.

This exchange of Tony being aggressive towards Steve is the proper continuation of their feud in AGE OF ULTRON and CIVIL WAR. Tony’s dialogue about risking freedom integrity in favor of safety is a direct dig at Steve’s opposing agenda that led to Thanos’ win. As time heals all wounds though, Tony can be civil with Steve five years later when he shows up on his doorstep.

The Growth and Maturity of Tony Stark

Captain America Civil War
Courtesy of HDQWalls

ENDGAME’s porch scene with Steve, Natasha, and Scott showing up at Tony’s house sums up how Tony has matured as a human being. Tony does reject their offer to join up with them for the Time Heist. However, he refuses to participate in fear of losing his family rather than a petty grudge. If the scene occurred back in the original AVENGERS, Tony would not be so generous to offer them to stay for lunch. Tony’s unique personality and attitude were very one-minded and selfish during the early days of the MCU.

The Tony Stark displayed in the original IRON MAN could never forgive anyone who stabbed him behind his back. Currently, the multiple offers he gives out for them to stay for lunch shows how much he truly cares about them even with their previous disagreements. Concluding Tony and Steve’s feud, even more so, is their exchange outside Avengers Headquarters later in the film. After doing his research on quantum physics, Tony invents a navigator for time travel that the team desperately needs. Even when having the upper hand on them, Tony still talks civilly with Steve when he arrives at the headquarters.

Genuinely, Tony feels wrong with how his relationship with Steve has turned out. Tony once considered Steve as his enemy after finding out that Steve knew about his parent’s murder executed by the Winter Soldier. Now, Tony willingly gives Steve his shield back and risks his life on Steve’s cause to bring everyone back. Even when no one else believed him, Tony dedicated to doing whatever it took to stop the evil titan he laid eyes on so many years ago.

Tony Can’t Quit Being Iron Man

Besides having a resolution to his fights with Steve, Tony willingly participates in the Time Heist to bring back his platonic son, Peter Parker. During his feud with Steve, Tony attempts to recruit a new hero to take his place: Spider-Man. Everything seems to be going well for Spider-Man to take over the job that Tony is trying to leave behind. Tony even offers Peter to be in the Avengers while giving him a high-tech suit. However, Peter refuses; leaving Tony still responsible for imminent threats.

Tony is responsible for the loss of Peter Parker. He is the one to bring Peter into a dangerous lifestyle and encourage him to be a worthy superhero. No matter how hard Tony tries to let go of Peter’s loss, he still has that little motivation to bring him back. As many times as Tony tries to hang up the Iron Man suit, he always has another reason to put it back on. This time in ENDGAME, adding on to his guilt with Peter, Tony has the motivation of hearing of Doctor Strange’s visions into the future.

Doctor Strange Gives away stone
Courtesy of Amino Apps

The big foreshadowing moment in INFINITY WAR is Doctor Strange viewing the 14,000,605 possible outcomes to defeat Thanos successfully. Set up earlier in the film, Doctor Strange makes it clear to Tony that he will not hesitate to let Tony die to protect the time stone. Once Thanos stabs Tony and leaves him on death’s door, Doctor Strange willingly gives up the stone. The moment hints at Doctor Strange needing Tony alive to lead to their victory against Thanos. Tony was the first to see the imminent threat of Thanos’ second attack. He is destined to be the one to take the Mad Titan out.

A Father and Son Conversation

Tony stuck in Space
Courtesy of IMDB

Through his contributions through the heist to collect the Infinity Stones from the past, Tony approaches his younger father. Tony’s relationship with his father has been very bitter. Tony didn’t show any love or compassion to his old man. He believed his father’s figure paid more attention to his work over his family.  As he shared a conversation with him though, Tony misunderstood his dad’s love for him. Through their conversation, Tony learns that his father would do anything for him before Tony was even born. Not only does Tony succeed on the overall mission, but he also gains some insight into his father’s genuine love for him.

The Avengers successfully managed to bring all the lost souls back into existence. Unfortunately, Thanos returns once again to mess with Tony’s retirement plans. He has no other choice but to continue on the Avengers’ quest. Iron Man joined Captain America and Thor to defeat Thanos once and for all. As long as the trio get a few hits in, they are no match for the Mad Titan. Right as all hope is lost, all their fallen teammates return to their aid in battle — including Peter Parker.

The Iron Man ENDGAME for Tony Stark

The return of Peter Parker is the happiest Tony Stark has been in quite a long time. Tony no longer feels guilty and responsible after Peter Parker’s return. Now, Tony has both his real daughter and his platonic son to protect. Tony has reason to defeat Thanos once and for all. With an indication from Doctor Strange, Tony rushes towards the Gauntlet and removes all the stones away from Thanos. Tony Stark has all six Infinity Stones in the palms of his hands.

Tony holding gauntlet
Courtesy of Animated Times

Everything about Tony’s hero’s journey led to this moment. All the heartbreak, grieving, and pain he has faced as Iron Man has built up to this very moment. With just one snap, everything that has been torturing him since the Battle of New York will be gone. Appropriately, Tony recites the four words that begin and ends his hero’s journey:

“I am Iron Man.”

Saving the world with a snap of his fingers causes Tony’s ultimate death. Faced with death on multiple occasions, this is indeed the end for Tony Stark. The reasoning for Tony’s survival on that infamous day in the desert has been fulfilled. Surrounded by loved ones, Tony dies in peace knowing he has gifted his family with a better world.

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