Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame receives the most attention and is given ample closure, with a funeral and recorded goodbye message, showcasing full-circle closure and honoring his character perfectly. Loki’s death in Avengers: Infinity War allows Thor to witness his true loyalty, proving himself as a hero and setting the stage for his redemption and development in the Loki series. Black Panther’s death in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a painful loss, but Marvel handles it perfectly by giving King T’Challa a proper funeral and honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy, while also setting up Shuri as the next Black Panther.

Many characters throughout the MCU Timeline have died, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe concluded 10 characters’ stories perfectly. Particularly after Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, several major characters, including a few Avengers themselves, met their ends, either as a direct result of Thanos’ brutality or because of the larger war. In films that have such an ensemble cast, it can be difficult to give each character enough screen time to honor their story, including their deaths, but it’s clear that certain deaths were planned well in advance and given ample thought.

While innumerable characters ‘died’ after Thanos’ snap, they ultimately returned in Endgame, when the Avengers managed to go back in time, recover the Infinity Stones, and bring everyone back. Not all MCU characters have been so lucky, though, and many died permanently. While Marvel deaths can often be a mixed bag in terms of poignancy, these 10 permanent deaths honored the characters perfectly.


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12 Iron Man’s “I Am Iron Man”

Iron Man’s Story Came Full Circle in Avengers: Endgame

Iron Man’s death in Endgame is easily the one that receives the most attention. Not only does Tony Stark get a scene where his wife, Pepper Potts, is telling him that it’s okay to go before he dies, but he also gets multiple ‘goodbyes,’ both from him and to him. After Tony dies, every major Avengers character, and several outside the Avengers, gather at his house, holding a funeral — something extremely rare in the franchise. After that, Happy Hogan, Tony’s longtime close friend, sits with Tony’s daughter, Morgan, signaling that he will watch over her and she will be alright.

Even before the funeral, Tony has the most direct farewell of the MCU, having recorded a goodbye message via hologram in case he died during the war. Pepper and Morgan sit and watch the message, which concludes with “I love you 3,000,” a callback to Morgan saying that to Tony at the beginning of the film. Crucially, this also comes after Tony has died after delivering the best example of full-circle closure in the franchise; repeating the phrasing he used when he revealed his true identity, Tony says “I am Iron Man” and snaps, thereby killing Thanos and his army.


10 Loki’s Proof of Loyalty

Thor Got to Witness Loki’s True Allegiance in Avengers: Infinity War

Throughout the MCU movies, Loki was difficult to pin down in terms of which side he was on. As the God of Mischief, he constantly played both sides, tending to put himself first in most situations. His death in the MCU, at least on Earth-616, clearly indicates the ‘side’ he falls on, though, pretending to swear his allegiance to Thanos while plotting to stab him. Brutally, Thor watches as Thanos murders his brother, but this also means that Thor gets to see Loki’s true intentions, giving Loki the opportunity to die having proven himself to Thor and die a hero.

Of course, this wasn’t really Loki’s end in the MCU Timeline, as the character returned as a variant in the Loki series. This series went on to develop Loki into a hero even further, seeing him, ultimately, become the God of Stories in the Loki season 2 finale, sacrificing his future to hold together the Sacred Timeline in perpetuity, alone. While this isn’t exactly the same Loki, it builds upon the perfect end that Loki got, somehow giving him what may well be a second perfect end depending on how the MCU chooses to continue onwards.

9 Black Panther’s Funeral

King T’Challa (and Chadwick Boseman) Got The Proper Send-Off in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Perhaps the most painful death in all the MCU is that of King T’Challa, Black Panther, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as it came to be solely because the Black Panther actor, Chadwick Boseman, tragically died of cancer after the release of Endgame. This made the on-screen death of King T’Challa all the more emotional, but Marvel handled the difficult situation perfectly, giving T’Challa a proper funeral and a beautiful send-off. This was particularly nice to see as Black Panther’s end because there was speculation that they would recast Boseman, whereas this conclusion was much more respectful.

Wakanda Forever is then informed completely by T’Challa’s passing, as Shuri steps up as the next Black Panther and spends the film struggling with her immense grief while also dealing with an attack on Wakanda. The film’s conclusion offers Boseman an even better send-off, with the post-credits scene revealing that T’Challa had a son, Prince Toussaint, whom Shuri meets, further honoring Boseman and no doubt continuing Black Panther’s legacy.

8 Gamora’s Final Fight With Thanos

Thanos’ Love Meant Gamora’s End In Avengers: Infinity War

The MCU is full of complex family relationships, but perhaps none is as complicated as Gamora’s relationship with Thanos. Thanos sees himself as Gamora’s father, and, while Gamora refers to him that way several times, it’s clear that she does not have a traditional daughterly affection for him; she is well aware that he murdered half her people, likely including her mother, and then took her. However, when Gamora attempts to kill him and is deceived by an illusion into thinking that she did in Infinity War,she does cry, suggesting that her feelings are complicated.

This extremely fraught relationship is clearly communicated in Gamora’s death, though. On Vormir, Thanos must kill someone he truly loves to get the Soul Stone. Initially, Gamora mocks him, believing he doesn’t love anyone. Although she argues that Thanos doesn’t love her when she realizes he means her, he evidently dies, as the villain throws her to her death and receives the stone. Later, when a young Gamora appears to Thanos and asks what completing his mission cost, he responds, “everything,” further cementing the idea that he really did care for her greatly.

Although a vicious, violent end, this death was perfect for Gamora because it demonstrated how complicated and painful her relationship with Thanos was. While he could hardly be considered a true father to her for many reasons, he did love her, and that love, because he was so twisted, meant her death. Peter Quill’s inability to control himself when he learns of her death in its aftermath is a fitting way to prove how deeply Peter loved her, and her alternate iteration’s appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, when she confirms that she is not the same Gamora, is the perfect closure.

7 Frigga’s Final Farewell

Frigga Dies a Hero’s Death In Thor: The Dark World

Thor and Loki’s mother, Frigga, was a powerful character and a wonderful mother, all of which was on display when she died in Thor: The Dark World to save Jane Foster. She had only just met Jane, but, perhaps because she knew Thor loved her, but also because of her selflessness, she was willing to die for her. Both Loki and Thor are completely distraught after her death, showing how much she meant to them, and when Frigga appears briefly in Endgame, she and Thor get the perfect moment to say their goodbyes to one another.

6 Yondu’s Redemption

Yondu Proves Who Peter Quill’s Father Is In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


Yondu was yet another nuanced character, having kidnapped Peter Quill when he was a child and raised him in a very harsh environment. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 depicts Yondu as largely antagonistic, the sequelcomplicates him significantly, showing that, although he kidnapped Peter, he decided not to bring him to Ego to save him. At the end of the movie, Yondu dies to save Peter, proving himself to be more of a father to Peter than Ego was. Yondu is notably another one of the MCU’s few characters who also get a true funeral.

4 May Parker’s Selflessness

May’s Values Give Her The Perfect End in Spider-Man: No Way Home

In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker is left twice-orphaned after his Aunt May is killed by Green Goblin, but her death was certainly not in vain. Throughout the movie, May proves herself to be an extremely selfless person who believes the best in others, working to save the many villains that arrive from other Spider-Man universes. When Green Goblin attacks May after receiving so much help and support from her, it’s clear that in some ways those values are the cause of her death, but they also give Peter exactly what he needs to move forward.

Through Aunt May’s death, Peter realizes that he must prioritize others over himself, even when the sacrifice is a seemingly insurmountable one, and that leads him to erase himself from everyone’s memory, thereby saving the universe. May also gets to deliver the classic Spider-Man line about power and responsibility, adjusting it slightly to, “With great power, there must come great responsibility.” This line has previously been Uncle Ben’s, so this was a great way for the MCU to show how significant Aunt May was to Peter.

3 Vision’s Heroic Sacrifice

Vision’s Final Moment With Wanda Honors His Sacrifice in Avengers: Infinity War

Vision’s death was a difficult one, not only because it meant the loss of a great character and was an excruciating loss for Wanda Maximoff, but also because it meant that Thanos acquired the final stone he needed to execute his plan to snap half of all life out of existence. Despite this, though, the MCU gave Vision an excellent end. While Thanos does ultimately reverse time and rip the stone from Vision’s head, killing him, Wanda first gets a peaceful goodbye with Vision, in which he assures her he can’t feel pain, and, using their old refrain, tells her, “I just feel you.”

Of course, Vision also gets a return in WandaVision. While it isn’t this exact Vision, this offers Vision, as a character, another appearance in the MCU, and this grants him yet another perfect end. In the series, Vision gets to deliver perhaps his best line in the franchise in a flashback scene, telling Wanda, “What is grief if not love persevering?” When Wanda must erase him to undo the damage she’s done throughout WandaVision, Vision accepts his fate, assuring Wanda that she will see him again.

2 Quicksilver’s Split-Second Decision

Quicksilver’s Brief Screen Time Concludes Perfectly in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Quicksilver’s screen time is brief (at least before he is falsely impersonated by someone else in WandaVision), but even as a minor character, he gets a perfect death. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Quicksilver, a.k.a. Pietro Maximoff, begins on the ‘wrong’ side, having worked with both Hydra and Ultron alongside his twin, Wanda. Despite that, by the end of the movie (and his death), Quicksilver has seen the error of his ways, jumping to save Hawkeye and a young boy Hawkeye is protecting. Pietro even gets to end with a joke, teasing Hawkeye by saying, “You didn’t see that coming.”

1 Thanos’ Double Death

Thanos Meeting His End Twice Offers Some Justice in Avengers: Endgame

Unlike the other perfect character deaths, Thanos’ end is satisfying not because he gets a hero’s end, but because he is shown dying twice. While not equivalent justice for murdering trillions, it’s a nice consolation prize after all he’s done and gives Thor the opportunity to undo his mistake in Infinity War. Thanos first dies at the beginning of Endgame, when Thor cuts off his head after the Avengers find him in his cabin (fixing the fact that he didn’t go for the head); this comes after the Snap, though, and doesn’t seem to bring anyone any relief.

Thanos’ second death – the much more gratifying one – comes when Iron Man snaps the villain and his army out of existence at the end of Endgame. Thanos even has a brief moment of realization before he goes, and it’s nice to know that he was aware that he lost before he died. In fact, while the MCU has had many satisfying ends for characters, good and bad, this might be the best of them all, because the Avengers, and Iron Man specifically, get to exact a perfect revenge.

Key Release Dates

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 The MCU has had 10 perfect character deaths.  Read More