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Avengers: Endgame SPOILER THREAD

MarkB

Hero
...and yet we have all the other movies indicating otherwise. Questions of religious redemption and the requirements therefor notwithstanding, how many times does a shady character have to save literally millions of people (or more) before we start thinking he or she is on a path of atonement?
I'll put it this way. I always knew Darth Vader was a villain in the Star Wars trilogy, but I still fully bought into his redemption arc in Return of the Jedi.

And then I retroactively unforgave him once I saw what he did during the invasion of the Jedi temple in Revenge of the Sith.

People can accept the idea of a character with a shady past who's on a path of redemption, right up until they're confronted with the full reality of that past, in detail.

Or to put it another way, a lot of us will judge someone on the basis of their worst day.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Umm, they were sent to retrieve the stone. They already had motivation. The death of Black Widow in no way motivates Hawkeye to do anything. Still not seeing it.



Again, this is reaching pretty hard. Fridging is a very, very specific trope. It's when you kill off the female character pointlessly for the sole purpose of motivating the male protagonist. That is very much not true here in any, way, shape or form. Thanos didn't decide to do the snap because he killed Gamora, nor did he decide to get the stones because he killed Gamora. He killed Gamora because he had to kill something he loved in order to get the stones. Hawkeye doesn't even get that much. Black Widow kills herself. She sacrifices herself for the greater good because she believes that Hawkeye has to return to his lost family. She can never get a family back. This way, she gets to reunite a family, go out a big bloody hero and achieve her goals.
I think that is an important part - it's self-sacrifice. It's not someone murdering her to get at the hero (be the intention by the "author" or by the in-universe murderer). She has full agency, and is making a decision.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
Yeah, no. A female character dying is not "fridging" the character. Fridging means that you are providing a male protagonist a motivation that is entirely based on the needless killing off of a love interest character. Black Widow dying was neither needless (as someone had to die, be it BW or Hawkeye), nor does it provide any real motivation for the male protagonist(s). It's not like they suddenly want to stop Thanos because Black Widow died.

While I can see that a particular interpretation of Black Widow's death might be problematic, this particular issue isn't one of the problems.

The notion that the character is "disposable" is also stretching pretty hard. Professor Hulk makes a point of saying that he tried to bring her back with the Stones. IOW, he lost an arm trying to bring her back. Hardly seems "disposable" to me. And, as far as "she's a monster because she can't have kids" that's also missing the point. The audience is supposed to look at that and have the same reaction that every other character has - she's wrong. She's not a monster.

I think folks might be trying just a tad too hard to find interpretations that fit a specific narrative by cherry picking examples and ignoring the rest of the movies.
While there was an explicit "for Nat" moment, I have to agree with you. The motivation was already present.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I'll put it this way. I always knew Darth Vader was a villain in the Star Wars trilogy, but I still fully bought into his redemption arc in Return of the Jedi.

And then I retroactively unforgave him once I saw what he did during the invasion of the Jedi temple in Revenge of the Sith.

People can accept the idea of a character with a shady past who's on a path of redemption, right up until they're confronted with the full reality of that past, in detail.

Or to put it another way, a lot of us will judge someone on the basis of their worst day.
But Darth Vader didn’t become a Sith because he was sterile.* I mean, really- imagine if the window into the Vader’s darkness revealed he became what he was and corrupted himself because he was infertile.

But somehow, this is OK with Black Widow?






* “Duh!”, as his kids might say.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Good point! Although that didn’t help Red Skull too much at the end of the First Avenger! Mind you, he did hold it earlier in the film with no problem.
With a single stone I think holding it is okay. Using a stone is a different matter.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
But Darth Vader didn’t become a Sith because he was sterile.* I mean, really- imagine if the window into the Vader’s darkness revealed he became what he was and corrupted himself because he was infertile.

But somehow, this is OK with Black Widow?






* “Duh!”, as his kids might say.
Except, if I remember the lore correctly, BW was sterile because she was a spy, as part of her training. She wasn't a spy because she was sterile.
 

MarkB

Hero
But Darth Vader didn’t become a Sith because he was sterile.* I mean, really- imagine if the window into the Vader’s darkness revealed he became what he was and corrupted himself because he was infertile.

But somehow, this is OK with Black Widow?
That isn't what I was saying. I simply meant that revealing actual horrific details about Black Widow's past for her to feel monstrous about runs the risk of leaving us, the audience, agreeing with her assessment, alienating us rather than evoking sympathy. The infertility does not.
 

Hussar

Legend
But Darth Vader didn’t become a Sith because he was sterile.* I mean, really- imagine if the window into the Vader’s darkness revealed he became what he was and corrupted himself because he was infertile.

But somehow, this is OK with Black Widow?






* “Duh!”, as his kids might say.
Becoming a cold hearted killing machine wasn't because she was sterile. She was forcibly sterilized as part of her transformation into a cold hearted killing machine. Why would anyone even think that her "dark side" moment is because of her forced sterilization? The forced sterilization was a symbol of the horrific things they did to her to turn her into a monster, not the reason she became a monster.

And then, when she destroys a family, she begins to try to redeem herself by switching sides - the whole "red ledger" thing. At the end, she balances the ledger by saving a family through her own self sacrifice.

As I said, I'm really not seeing the issue here. [MENTION=177]Umbran[/MENTION], if the only thing you took out of my entire argument was that line, then, sure, there isn't much to talk about here. Talk about cherry picking an argument.

Gamora? Maybe, you might be able to make the argument, because the death of Gamora drives Quill. But, even then, that's stretching pretty hard. Not every female character that dies is a fridging. Sometimes, it's actually ok to kill off female characters. Heck, why isn't the death of Vision being touted as fridging? Seems to be the driving force behind Scarlet Witch after all.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Agreed with all about the facts of BW’s sterilization. (All similes ultimately fail at some point.)

The point is, regardless of the infertility’s causation, the prospective alternative Darth Vader’s negative view of himself based on infertility would probably be seen as a weakly written characteristic in him, and it isn’t any better for her. And some would assert it is worse, given the historical context of how men have viewed and valued women.
 

Hussar

Legend
But, again, it's not like this is a male centric viewpoint. There are lots and lots of women who react exactly this way to being able to have children. It's entirely plausible. There are numerous papers that support the psychological effects of a hysterectomy on women. Never minding being violated in such a way that you are forcibly sterilized.

And, I keep coming back around to the fact that Black Widow sacrificed herself. She wasn't murdered. She wasn't accidentally killed. She CHOSE to save Hawkeye because he had a family. This is completely in keeping with character.

If any other character actually agreed with Black Widow that her sterilization made her less of a person or less of a hero, then I think the criticisms would be valid. Thing is, no one does. She says it, but, she's shown to be wrong. And she proves the point wrong by ending as a 100% bad ass hero.
 

MarkB

Hero
Agreed with all about the facts of BW’s sterilization. (All similes ultimately fail at some point.)

The point is, regardless of the infertility’s causation, the prospective alternative Darth Vader’s negative view of himself based on infertility would probably be seen as a weakly written characteristic in him, and it isn’t any better for her. And some would assert it is worse, given the historical context of how men have viewed and valued women.
Would it really be any weaker than what we got? Anakin's clingy, one-sided love and desperate fear of abandonment isn't exactly a great motivation for a villain. Having him be truly in love with Padme, but finding that he was physically unable to give her the family that both he and she wanted, would hardly have been any weaker as a motivation.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'd also point out that there are numerous characters that are killed in the Avengers movies. Is Vision fridged? He didn't get a funeral. His death is a major motivation for Scarlet Witch. Does that count as fridging. He was also killed to further Thanos' story, so, what's the difference between Vision and Black Widow? As I recall, didn't Thanos kill The Collector as well, for exactly the same reason - to get the stone.

So, it's not like Thanos only kills Gamora to get a Stone. He kills LOTS of people to get the stones. I'm not sure you can single out Gamora and claim that her death should be treated differently.
 

jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
Only just saw the movie yesterday (it was awesome), and I haven't had a chance to read through everything here yet, so apologies if someone already mentioned this.

Captain Marvel was underused. Okay, this makes sense as they were filming her movie at the same time, so she was likely pretty busy. And they didn't have a clear idea of her character.
In their interview on Ellen Brie and Scarlett mentioned that when Brie was shooting her scenes for Endgame they hadn't even started with the Captain Marvel movie (didn't even have a script), so Brie had no idea at all what the character was going to be like. She basically went into Endgame blind.

(They talk about it at 4:35 in that video.)
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
In their interview on Ellen Brie and Scarlett mentioned that when Brie was shooting her scenes for Endgame they hadn't even started with the Captain Marvel movie (didn't even have a script), so Brie had no idea at all what the character was going to be like. She basically went into Endgame blind.
Great googly moogly!

Knowing that you have a movie focusing on you coming up that you have no idea what your character will be like, but needing to portray that character accurately in a different movie filming first, showing second, that will have a huge audience.

Ugh, I do not envy Brie Larson.

This does explain why they kept down the numebr of character interaction scenes. Not flinching when Thor testing her is an easy guess. But there was discussion about why she wasn't around for mourning of Black Widow and not knowing how the character takes it (stoic, empathizing, etc.) is much harder.

Thanks, I did not know that and it helps put some things in perspective.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
A second viewing was definitely helpful for me. I still stand by most of my previous commentary (I'm a bit more relaxed about Thor), but it was nice to actually relax into a bit.
 

Janx

Adventurer
There is murmur that Namor was hinted at during the conference call and one of the problems was left at the bottom of the ocean.

Now here's the thing I think would be awesome. Get Jason Momoa to play Namor.

Go ahead, get the sputtering out of your system.

Yeah. Exactly.

Rip-off the rip-off by sharing the actor.
 

jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
[video=youtube;hBmj4rs1KrI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBmj4rs1KrI[/video]

I think this video fits quite snuggly into this thread. :D
 

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