SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
The threat of major character deaths has been one of Avengers: Infinity War‘s longest and most ominous shadows since the promotional campaign started in earnest last year. We’ve known for a long while now that not everyone was going to make it out alive and, well, those threats proved to be pretty darn legitimate.
So let’s not beat around the bush here: you came for spoilers, so spoilers are what we’ve got for you. Here’s a complete casualty list for Infinity War — proceed at your own risk.
Infinity War‘s casualties can be divided up into two major categories: on-screen deaths, and those who fell victim to Thanos’s ultimate, Infinity Stone-powered will. Those who fall into the latter category are a pretty interesting case — not just because they, rather than “dying,” seem to crumble into dust and fade out of existence (something surely to be followed up on in next year’s fourth Avengers film), but because of exactly which characters they include among their ranks.
Infinity War‘s first victim came from a surprising quarter. Seeing as how a huge chunk of Asgard — including the Warriors Three — were massacred during last fall’s Thor: Ragnarok, named Thor side characters have been at a premium lately. But apparently their numbers are only going to continue to dwindle. Heimdall (Idris Elba) sacrificed himself to use the very last bit of Bifrost magic he could muster to send Bruce Banner to Earth. He met his end at the hands of Thanos, who impaled him with Corvus Glaive’s scepter.
This was Heimdall’s fourth feature in an Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Perhaps slightly less surprising than Heimdall but, if anything, more devastating, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was the second life claimed. After an MCU tenure dating back to 2011’s first Thor movie and including a major villain feature in Avengers, Loki’s arc has been complex and multifaceted, garnering him a die-hard fan base. Still, popularity aside, with his most recent turn of heart in Thor: Ragnarok in the books, it seems as though it was decided his story has been told as completely as it could be.
Loki was killed by Thanos and this time — as Thor himself later explains — it seems like it’s going to stick.
Loki has been featured in five of the MCU’s movies.
Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) status as one of Thanos’ “daughters” has had her in the crosshairs from the beginning, but knowing that she’s in danger and actually seeing that danger come to fruition are two very different things.
Gamora’s death served as Thanos’s sacrifice — the cost he had to pay to retrieve the Soul Stone from the mysterious, liminal planet Vormir. Though there may be more to the story than just tossing her off a cliff in a ritual — we see the young Gamora once more before the end of the film, apparently trapped in the orange-tinted Soul World inside the stone, something that may mean she’s got a chance to return.
This was Gamora’s third outing in the MCU.
Like Gamora, Vision’s (Paul Bettany) been living on borrowed time for a while now. The Mind Stone that created him and powers him has obviously been on Thanos’ wishlist, and he certainly doesn’t care whether or not Vision survives the process of removing it.
… and, well, he doesn’t. Despite the team’s valiant effort (ultimately headed by Black Panther standout Shuri) to figure out a way to keep Vision alive without the Stone in his forehead, Thanos still gets exactly what he wants in the end, and poor Vision doesn’t make it.
This was Vision’s third major movie role.
The Entire Black Order
Maybe the least surprising death to be found in Infinity War was the entire four-person roster of Thanos’ Black Order, streamlined for the MCU as Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight and Cull Obsidian (“Black Dwarf” in the comics). All four of them met their own unique, grisly fates surprisingly easily at the hands of various Avengers teams. Ebony Maw was sucked into space thanks to Strange, Spider-Man and Iron Man. Promixma was caught in the gears of one of her own death machines thanks to Scarlet Witch (“that was really gross”), Cull Obsidian was propelled by Hulkbuster armor parts and torn in half by a Wakandan energy shield, and Corvus Glaive was speared through with his own Glaive by Vision.
This was the Black Order’s first (and, apparently, last) appearance in the MCU.
The first person to be seen suffering the effects of Thanos’s reality-warping finger snap is none other than Bucky Barnes, who makes it about two steps towards Steve Rogers before he crumbles into ash. (“… Steve?”) Apparently poor Bucky just hasn’t suffered enough already, so naturally he was one of the Avengers to get the short straw when it came to the balancing of the universe.
This was Bucky’s sixth appearance in the MCU, including his post-credits scene in this year’s Black Panther.
One of Infinity War‘s more subtle touches was an emphasis on the friendship forming between Sam Wilson and James Rhodes, who had previously been on opposite sides during Civil War. It seems like they’ve set their differences aside now, however — and just in time for to really drive home the heartbreak.
As Thanos’ will manifests across the planet, Sam is one of the disintegrating victims, crumbling to dust as Rhodey calls out looking for him. Needless to say, he never finds him.
This was Sam’s fifth MCU movie.
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