Deaths in the MCU often subvert initial expectations, and there are a handful of movies and shows where said deaths were guessed for someone else entirely. Across the MCU’s 15-year legacy, not every hero and villain has survived. To that end, it’s interesting to look back at the original speculations for some of these deaths, as well as who actually met their demise instead.
With a franchise as big as the MCU, nearly every project is highly anticipated with large amounts of excitement before each release. As such, theories and rumors abound based on teasers and trailers as well as the actual movie’s narrative framework, culminating in prevailing assumptions held by the majority of the Marvel fandom. This of course includes assumed deaths, though there are instances in which deaths sometimes befall different characters than expected. To that end, here are 9 MCU deaths that everyone guessed would happen to someone else.
9 Ultron Killing Quicksilver (Rather Than Hawkeye)
In 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pietro Maximoff’s Quicksilver died in the MCU, having been murdered by the villain Ultron while saving Clint Barton’s Hawkeye (who himself was saving an endangered civilian). Based on the framing of the Avengers sequel, it had certainly seemed as though Hawkeye was marked for death with the reveal that he had a secret family, establishing that he had something major to lose. Likewise, much of the movie’s final act has Hawkeye in a dangerous position, highlighting the fact that he only had a bow and arrow before he was put directly in Ultron’s line of fire.
As a result, the death of the newly introduced Quicksilver was very surprising for audiences. This was especially true considering the fact that Marvel Studios had two versions of the scene filmed to avoid leaked spoilers, one where Hawkeye died and one where Quicksilver died. Even those actively looking for leaks were likely surprised by the decision to kill off Pietro who debuted in the same movie where he’d meet his end.
8 Loki Dying In Infinity War (Instead of Thor)
With Loki having faked his death several times before in the MCU, it was initially expected that Thor was going to die for the sake of his brother at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. However, this was not the case as the God of Mischief indeed met his true and ultimate death at the hands of Thanos. To that end, the Mad Titan promised no more resurrections for Loki, and this has indeed been the case as the version starring in his own Disney+ show is the Loki who escaped the Avengers in 2012 (during Avengers: Endgame’s Time Heist).
7 Iron Man Dying In Endgame (Not Captain America)
Ahead of Iron Man’s iconic sacrifice at the end of Avengers: Endgame, it was believed that Steve Rogers’ Captain America would have been the one to lay down his life, especially after the reveal that Tony Stark started a family during the five-year Blip. Based on their previous characterizations in the MCU, it certainly seemed as though Captain America was more inclined to sacrifice himself rather than Stark, though that’s what ultimately made Iron Man’s death and sacrifice so powerful, highlighting his evolution over a decade of being the Armored Avenger.
6 Black Widow Dying In Endgame (Over Hawkeye)
It had initially seemed as though Hawkeye was going to sacrifice himself during Endgame’s Vormir scene. After all, Clint Barton lost his entire family after Thanos’ Snap and had become incredibly dark and violent in his grief. Sacrificing himself would have been an act of redemption that would have also helped bring them back. Likewise, Black Widow arguably had more of a narrative future than Barton, so a Hawkeye death felt more likely. However, Black Widow ended up sacrificing herself, ensuring that Hawkeye would live on to reunite with his family once the Avengers brought half of all life in the universe back using the recovered Infinity Stones.
5 Scarlet Witch in Multiverse of Madness (Rather Than Wong)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features the controversial corruption of Wanda Maximoff’s Scarlet Witch. Having endured incredible loss over the course of her life, all Wanda wanted was to reunite with her lost children in another reality, not caring what she had to do or whom she had to hurt to do it. Having been corrupted by the Darkhold, Wanda wouldn’t see the light until the movie’s final act where she saw how far she’d fallen.
Wanting to set things right, Wanda used her power to destroy every copy of the Darkhold in the multiverse while also destroying Mount Wundagore, an act that seemingly resulted in the death of the Scarlet Witch. However, there was a prevailing theory that Wong would have been the major death in Multiverse of Madness, giving the movie high stakes and greater emotional weight. It would have also cleared the way for Doctor Strange to eventually take Wong’s place as the MCU’s Sorcerer Supreme.
4 Jane Foster Dying in Love and Thunder (Instead of Thor)
Thor: Love and Thunder saw Jane Foster becoming the Mighty Thor, having gained the power of Mjolnir and joining forces with Thor Odinson against Gorr the God Butcher. However, Jane’s debut as the Mighty Thor also mirrored her journey in the original Marvel Comics involving her battle with cancer. Nevertheless, there had been theories that Love and Thunder would set up the Mighty Thor replacing the original Thor in the MCU following the Son of Odin’s potential demise. Instead, Jane Foster sacrificed herself to save Thor, losing her life before entering Valhalla, the Asgardian afterlife.
3 Kang The Conqueror’s Death in Quantumania (Instead of Ant-Man)
Ahead of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s release and the debut of Kang the Conqueror, trailers for the film made it look as though Scott Lang’s days were numbered. It certainly looked as though Ant-Man was going to lose his life facing Kang, instantly marking the villain as a major force to be reckoned with in the MCU. There were also theories that the tease of Lang’s death as Ant-Man was actually a red herring, concealing a twist that Hank Pym was going to sacrifice himself instead to save his family. Surprisingly, Kang himself had the movie’s biggest death with countless variants of the Conqueror debuting as an ongoing MCU threat.
2 Guardians Of The Galaxy Deaths Were Expected in Vol. 3
In a similar vein, it was widely believed that at least one Guardian would meet their end in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (if not more). This prevailing expectation grew to be quite large especially after teasers were shown with various Guardians experiencing great pain, perhaps even loss. Although there were close calls with both Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord, none of the Guardians met their demise. Instead, the most surprising deaths came in the form of the High Evolutionary destroying Counter-Earth and the entire Humanimal population he created for the world.
1 Maria Hill’s Death In Secret Invasion (Not Nick Fury)
Everything about Secret Invasion ahead of the show’s actual release made it look as though Nick Fury was embarking on his last adventure. It seemed as though Fury was going to have one final ride with a heroic last stand or even a major twist revealing that the real Fury had been dead for years, having been replaced by a Skrull. Instead, Maria Hill had the most shocking (and controversial) death in the show’s premiere. Furthermore, the death of Fury’s Skrull ally Talos was surprising as well with Fury continuing to have a role in the MCU going forward (as he’ll be seen next in The Marvels).