Know this: when you watch Avengers: Endgame for the first time in late April, Marvel will shock you once again. The end will mostly be happy and our favorite heroes will certainly undo the massive genocide that broke our hearts in Infinity War, but such an undertaking will require plenty of sacrifices. That much is clear from what Thanos did to accomplish his mission. Say what you will about the titan, but his version of a happy ending also included heartbreak. That said, with the weekend slowly fading away, now is the perfect time to catch up with a great fan theory that proposes a brilliant-yet-painful end for Avengers 4.

Reddit user farores_winds penned an interesting theory about who will get to kill Thanos in Endgame. It offers us a great look at what the Infinity movies are partly about, but also at ways Marvel will deal with the end of an era and set up the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Redditor argues that family and parenthood are the most important themes in the arcs of Captain America and Iron Man, and says one will die to save the other. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. are both expected to leave their MCU roles once Phase 4 begins, and there are plenty of theories that say one or the other — or both — will die in Endgame. Evans also implied that Steve Rogers might die, as he said his final goodbyes when the Avengers 4 reshoots ended, although both Evans and Marvel then denied that Cap’s death is imminent. As for Tony Stark, he may want to retire to focus on family life after he’s done with Thanos, since Pepper is pregnant as we learned recently.

This new theory says that after reuniting, Rogers and Stark will fight Thanos together, with Captain America sacrificing his life to save Pepper Potts and Stark’s unborn child. This will all be enough to motivate Tony to give his best performance against Thanos and ultimately defeat the titan. Here’s the ending of Avengers 4, according to farores_winds:

In the final fight, a pregnant Pepper Potts will don Rescue. She fights because she feels Thanos is attacking her family, and that Tony won’t quit his addiction to defeating Thanos.

Thanos will be about to kill Pepper, and Tony’s unborn child, right in front of Tony.

Steve Rogers will sacrifice himself to save Pepper, very in line with his character arc and his “we don’t trade lives” mantra.

Tony will fight Thanos one final time. Tony will have the upper hand, filled with rage that Thanos tried to kill Pepper and that Steve sacrificed himself for Tony and his family, when he realizes he didn’t deserve that sacrifice. So he will fight Thanos to earn that sacrifice, truly embodying what it means to be a hero (for a long time Tony wavers between what is right and what is self-beneficial in his own movies). This is Tony’s chance to ‘become’ Captain America. Tony will be the one who says ‘Avengers, Assemble.’ And he will use his Iron Man suit and Captain America’s shield in combination to defeat Thanos.

Thanos will draw blood at one point, to which Tony will reply, ‘all that for a drop of blood?’ At this point, the theater will be so fucking hype that everyone knows Tony is about to beat his ass down.

Tony will kill Thanos.

Tony will retire, and have his family that he always wanted.

Steve will die, sacrificing himself so that others could live the life they wanted, and the life he never was able to have.

The only thing we know for certain about Endgame is that Potts will indeed wear the Rescue costume. And we eagerly expect the Captain America-Iron Man reunion we didn’t get in Infinity War. It’ll be a big moment for the MCU after everything that happened back in Civil War. But the theory does deliver a version of the tragic yet happy ending we expect for Avengers 4. And it only feels right that two of the biggest MCU stars would shine at the end of Endgame.

Again, this is just a theory, so we’ll have to wait until April 26th to see if this Marvel fan was able to guess any of Marvel’s plans for Endgame. The full theory, with additional explanations, follows below.

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