After an entire year spent waiting and wondering how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were going to avenge the human race following the Infinity War-ending snap from Thanos, fans finally have their answer and then some.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ WILL FOLLOW AFTER THE GIFs (LITERALLY, RIGHT AFTER THE GIFs).
While there are three major deaths (counting Thanos) in Avengers: Endgame, only two of them are heroes: Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow and Tony Stark / Iron Man.
Romanoff’s death comes during the second act as our heroes are scattered along the universe’s various timelines, as her life had to be sacrificed in order to allow Clint Barton (Hawkeye) to retrieve the Soul Stone from Vormir.
However, considering he is literally the founding father of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is the third-act death of Tony Stark that is the emotional climax of the three-hour-long film.
Stark, who since settled down and had a daughter with Pepper Potts following the events of Infinity War, lays down his life during the ultimate battle with Thanos, as the victory-sealing snap of the Infinity Gauntlet proves to be too powerful for his mortal body.
And while the death of Tony Stark certainly raises all sorts of questions about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is the presence of a particular character at his funeral that has fans asking the most questions.
In one of the final scenes in the film, as essentially every major MCU character gathers at the Stark’s lakeside home to pay their final respects, an out-of-place looking teenage boy can be seen standing amongst the Avengers.
In fact, this teenager is the only face that fans didn’t recognize off the bat, so who is he?
That gangly-looking teenager that appears at Tony Stark’s funeral is the character of Harley Keener, the little boy who helps Tony get back on his feet back in Iron Man 3.
While the speculative amongst us may chalk this up to merely being a coincidence, it is, in fact, the same actor — Ty Simpkins — that appeared in 2013’s Iron Man 3.
Similarly, the official Avengers: Endgame cast list confirms that the character of Harley Keener does appear during the course of the film, meaning that this forlorn-looking young man at the funeral could only be the young by that Tony Stark once inspired.
Oh, simpler times in the MCU. How naive we were.