Someone is going to die. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been promised death from Avengers: Infinity War, and oh, is it coming. In 10 years, Marvel has avoided killing off any major characters in the franchise, save for Quicksilver (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Agent Coulson (The Avengers), but that's all going to change in Infinity War. Speculation about which hero will face his end in the newest film is running rampant, but these are the only seven Infinity War death theories you need to know about before going to the theaters.
Going into Infinity War, Marvel certainly wants fans to think that no one is safe from Thanos' murderous wrath. As War Machine actor Don Cheadle told reporters during a visit to Infinity War set in 2017, "I think the stakes have been raised. We understand that we're not invincible and superheroes can go down."
These vague promises of doom both help keep MCU secrets and raise the stakes for the film, but to say that any of your favorite superheroes could die in Infinity War would be disingenuous. Would Marvel really kill off Black Panther right after his solo film's massive and unprecedented success? No. Could Marvel sacrifice Black Widow, the franchise's first and thus far most prominent female superhero in the age of Wonder Woman? Also, no. (Unless they, like Thanos, would like to court chaos and conflict.) The truth is that some heroes are just more likely to die than others, which is why these are the Infinity War death theories you need to pay attention to.
As much as it hurts to admit, Loki is a heavy favorite to die in Infinity War. His tangled past with Thanos, who fans will remember tasked him with retrieving the Tesseract in the first Avengers movie, makes him a huge target going into the film. Not only did he fail in his mission, he was also in possession of the stone at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, which means Thanos is going to be after him regardless of his fickle loyalties. Furthermore, trailers have shown Loki surrounded by Thanos' followers, a particularly precarious situation.
A report by ScreenGeek cited a source promising "the death of a major Marvel character" at the beginning of the film, and considering where Thor: Ragnarok left off, with Loki and Thor directly in Thanos' crosshairs, it makes sense that the character would be Loki. And what more poetic way to kick off Infinity War than to motivate an Avengers reunion with the killing of the very villain who brought them together?
Marvel has really been playing up the "Captain America is going to die" narrative lately. Actor Chris Evans isn't the only longtime Marvel actor whose contract is up after Avengers 4, and yet he's the one asked about whether or not he'll return for more movies time and time again. Captain America dying in Infinity War would be a huge blow to the Avengers team and a damn good way for Marvel to shake up the original MCU superhero lineup. Killing off one of the franchise's most beloved superheroes would send a clear message to fans that Thanos is not playing around. But, by that logic there's another very obvious superhero potentially on the chopping block, and that's Tony Stark.
Iron Man has been a fixture of the MCU since it began. It was in an Iron Man movie that the concept of the Avengers first came up. He is, arguably, the hero that sparked it all. Killing him in Infinity War would definitely do the job of marking the end of an era. Moreover, it would make complete sense for his character to sacrifice himself, as that was a major point of the first Avengers film. And if he were to sacrifice himself specifically to save Cap and/or Bruce Banner, well, that would just be glorious.
Vision is an obvious pick in the "who will die in Avengers: Infinity War" lottery thanks to the Infinity Stone currently residing in his forehead. There's also the small fact that he's seen being tortured in one of the trailers for the movie. Considering how Vision himself was created, it seems like it would be impossible for him to exist without the stone, but a new clip shows Vision being examined by Shuri in Wakanda, and if there's anybody who can save Vision and make him a real boy, it's her. Alas, Vision dying might be too obvious for Marvel.
Nebula's only motivation, as established in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is to get revenge on Thanos. Her story is inextricable from his, and thus puts her in a very dangerous position. Based on what we've seen so far, Nebula isn't good about working with others and she can be a bit of a hot head. It wouldn't surprise fans to see her try to take on Thanos by herself — and fail.
Heimdall isn't a huge character in the MCU (though he is a fan favorite of the Thor franchise), so this theory hasn't been talked about a lot, but there are some fans who believe that Heimdall is actually in possession of the Soul Stone, which happens to be the most mysterious of the Infinity Stones thus far. As reported by Elite Daily, fans have hypothesized that Heimdall's ability to see every single soul in all the nine realms is actually connected to the Soul Stone, and that Thor's nightmare of a blind Heimdall in Age of Ultron hints at Thanos' desire to take the stone from him. The last time fans saw Heimdall, he was heading to Earth with Thor and Loki when they were intercepted by Thanos' ship, so fans might want to start worrying.
Hawkeye has been MIA from the trailers and promotional material for Infinity War, which, granted, could just mean he's off enjoying his retirement with his family. It could also mean that Hawkeye, arguably the most vulnerable Avenger (his human strength and bow and arrow weaponry does not inspire much confidence against Thanos), is not long for this world.
Directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo have suggested that they are planning something new for Hawkeye. "We cooked up a story for him that is a little bit of a long play," Joe said in an interview with Joe.ie. That said, Hawkeye never really took off as a character, so killing him would make sense in that it would hurt the Avengers without causing too much ire from fans.
Looking at this group of heroes, it seems extremely likely that at least one of them will die in Infinity War, but even if your fave does survive the film, there's always Avengers 4 to worry about.