Top 15 Saddest MCU Deaths

While a few of these characters have returned in other incarnations, their deaths will go down in history as some of the most heartbreaking events in the MCU.

Brian Martin

Apr 17, 2022

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There have been a number of character fatalities as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has progressed through the Infinity Saga throughout the years. There have been so many deaths in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that it would be hard to mention them all without focusing on the ones that affected us the most.

Some of these deaths were noticeably more tragic than the others. While a few of these characters have returned in other incarnations, their deaths will go down in history as some of the most heartbreaking events in the MCU.

Quicksilver - Avengers: Age Of Ultron

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When Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, first emerged as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, fans weren't expecting to spend so little time with the new member of the team. Despite the character's use in the X-Men films being subject to copyright concerns, fans hoped for a bright future for the Maximoff twins on the big screen.

Quicksilver, on the other hand, astonished both the audience and Hawkeye when he gave his life to defend the hero and a tiny kid from a shower of gunfire. Wanda continues to play an important role in the MCU after the Infinity Saga, and Hawkeye honors Pietro's sacrifice by naming his little child after him.

Frigga - Thor: The Dark World

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Rene Russo first played Frigga, Thor and Loki's loving mother, in the 2011 film Thor, and she reprised the character in Thor: The Dark World in 2013. While she gave her sons and even Jane Foster a lot of wisdom, Malekith and his Dark Elves attacked Asgard in pursuit of the Aether, and viewers got to experience Frigga's fighting side.

Frigga gave her life in combat against Kurse to allow Jane Foster a chance to flee. Thor and the fans were both deeply affected by Frigga's death. Thor encountered his mother moments before her death in Avengers: Endgame, and this loss was further addressed.

Groot - Infinity War

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Groot, a large talking tree who spoke with a single phrase and quickly won fans over with his sweet and sometimes humorous personality, was introduced in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, a cosmic team of heroes that included the unique alien character of Groot, a large talking tree who spoke with a single phrase and quickly won fans over with his sweet and sometimes humorous personality. Fans have already seen Groot die a few times, when he initially gave his life to protect his new crew in GotG.

While a new version of Groot appeared, first as Baby Groot, then as Teen Groot, he was taken away by Thanos in a devastating moment in which he reached out to his best friend and father figure, Rocket Raccoon.

Bucky Barnes - America: The First Avenger

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Captain America wasn't truly Captain America the first time he was unveiled. He was still skinny Steve Rogers, the Brooklyn thug who never backed down in a fight. Bucky Barnes was constantly by his side back then, and he has been ever since. Bucky, on the other hand, has been there since the beginning, and he and Steve would die before allowing anything to happen to one another.

Steve was devastated when Bucky perished in Captain America: The First Avenger. He was in deep grief for a long period before finally succumbing to his seeming death. Bucky's death was rendered all the more tragic when it was revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that he had been rescued, tortured, and used as a HYDRA weapon for all these years.

Howard And Maria Stark - Captain America: Civil War

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Howard and Maria Stark had already died by the time the MCU began. However, the particular manner in which the couple perished was not disclosed until Captain America: Civil War. Tony Stark learns that his parents were murdered in this film. Bucky Barnes was used as a weapon against them in 1991.

Tony later displayed footage of the Winter Soldier being forced to kill Howard and Maria after being brainwashed. Even worse, Tony discovers that Steve was aware of the situation, and Steve agrees with Bucky in the matter, making the situation even more tragic.

King T'Chaka - Black Panther

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Before his father, Wakandan King T'Chaka, died tragically in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, T'Challa had already acquired the title of Black Panther. However, the bombing at the United Nations gathering in Vienna, which killed his father, spurred him to take on the role in public.

T'Challa donned the Black Panther suit to exact vengeance on Winter Zemo before deciding on justice for Baron Zemo. T'Chaka's death was made all the more tragic by T'Challa's ability to reconcile with his father in the country of his ancestors after ascending to the king of Wakanda.

Odin - Thor: Ragnarok

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Throughout the MCU, Thor loses a lot of his relatives. His mother, Frigga, was slain in Thor: The Dark World, his brother was killed in Infinity War, and his father, as well as the sister he never knew he had, Hela, was killed in Thor: Ragnarok.

Thor swiftly discovered that Loki had abandoned Odin on Earth; by the time the brothers tracked to their father, he had died on a grassy rock somewhere in Norway. He said one last goodbye to his boys before passing away, making this moment considerably more poignant than it would have been if he had simply died.

Vision - Avengers: Infinity War

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The assassination of Vision has only served to make his death more tragic in retrospect. While Vision began as an artificial intelligence, few would deny that he evolved into a superhero and a human in his own right — albeit a synthetic vibranium android version. Vision realized he could only survive due of the Mind Stone's strength, thus he knew he had to eliminate it.

Wanda agreed to remove the stone and kill Vision, which she accomplished at great personal sacrifice — only for Thanos to rewind time and compel her to watch him murder Vision and take the Stone for himself. WandaVision then brought Vision back to life, only to murder him again as Wanda tried to come to terms with his loss.

Yondu - Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

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Yondu Udonta seemed to be an anti-hero at best, if not openly an aggressive villain fighting the eponymous Guardians, when he first debuted in the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, as he let down his guard and began to communicate himself to Peter Quill, the two didn't have such a strained connection.

It wasn't until the third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that Yondu eventually revealed the truth about Peter's background and described how he had raised him to protect him, even if he wasn't always successful. He saved Peter and sacrificed himself in the end, making one of his famous last remarks all the more poignant: "He may have been your father, kid." But he wasn't your biological father."

Gamora - Avengers: Infinity War

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Unlike Spider-Man and the other heroes that perished as a result of Thanos' snap, a few Avengers: Infinity War characters died and never returned. Tragically, one of these was Thanos' daughter, Gamora. She was a superhero in her own right and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Unfortunately, Thanos recognized that in order to get the Soul Stone, he would have to sacrifice the life of someone he genuinely loved – and Gamora was the only one he loved. Gamora had no choice but to die, which was heartbreaking enough. The Guardians learned of her death, and Peter Quill couldn't keep it together, making this one of the saddest MCU deaths.

Loki - Avengers: Infinity War

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Loki has died a number of times throughout the years. Fans have mourned for him on countless times just to see him reappeared in the next film. In Avengers: Infinity War, however, his power to resurrect at command seems to have vanished along with his breath.

Many people perished in Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but fans knew they were in for a wild ride from the start when Loki died. Loki attempted to fool Thanos by using his trickster abilities, but Thanos just choked him out and killed him in front of his brother. Thor hoped Loki would be able to live this time, but Loki just died.

Peter Parker - Avengers: Infinity War

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Thanos' snap was one of the most heartbreaking moments in the MCU, leaving fans wondering "who died in Infinity War?" Audiences and characters alike hoped Thanos wouldn't go through with it, but once he had all the Infinity Stones, he did exactly what he had threatened to do: wipe out half of all life in the universe.

Characters like Bucky Barnes not only died in the arms of their loved ones, but some characters also suffered as a result of their deaths. Because of his Spidey See, Peter Parker could sense it approaching. Spider-Man sobbed in Iron Man's arms as he vanished with half of the franchise's other characters, making the audience weep as well.

Aunt May - Spider-Man: No Way Home

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With one of the saddest Marvel deaths that startled fans, Spider-Man: No Way Home brought the wall-first crawler's trilogy in the MCU to a close. Aunt May was slain in a confrontation with Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, but she survived long enough to teach Peter a vital and familiar lesson.

Aunt May's lesson about power and responsibility took a while to sink in since he was overtaken with sadness and fury, but it did result in more than a few tears in the theaters when No Way Home was released.

Natasha Romanoff - Avengers: Endgame

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Fans anticipated that some of the core six Avengers will die in Avengers: Endgame. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers were generally expected to die in this film, bringing their respective MCU journeys to a close. As a result, Natasha Romanoff, popularly known as the Black Widow, was the first of the original six to die, which was all the more stunning.

She and Clint Barton had to make a sacrifice in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. Clint would be a father again if they were successful, thus Natasha opted to be sacrificed. Sadly, many would have preferred Hawkeye to die; they were heartbroken and dismayed to lose Nat before she actually had an opportunity to flourish.

Tony Stark - Avengers: Endgame

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Tony's death at the end of Avengers: Endgame is the saddest death in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was hypothesized that he and Steve were on their way out in terms of plot, but it's one thing to think and quite another to witness the event unfold in canon before one's eyes. Tony Stark had to do it first to prevent Thanos from snapping — and he got killed in the process.

Worse, viewers could see that he had finally tried to move on and live a regular life, complete with a kid and all of the things he was leaving behind in doing so. In canon, this tragic demise was so tragic that nearly every character in the MCU attended his burial.

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