*Spoilers for Endgame ahead*
Let’s just dive right in shall we?
In the opening scene we see Hawkeye / Barton giving his daughter some archery lessons. His family is intact so we know this is before Thanos’ Snap / The Snap / The Decimation.
And then, The Snap happens… and he is left alone.
At the end of Infinity War…
The confirmed survivors: Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Thor, War Machine/James Rhodes/Rhodey, Okoye, M’Baku, Rocket, Nebula, Hulk/Bruce Banner. And we know Ant-Man/Scott Lang and Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers survived. And Hawkeye/Barton. But, Iron Man and Nebula are stranded on Titan after their defeat by Thanos.
So now, we see that Iron Man and Nebula managed to start the Guardians’ ship, the Benatar, and attempt to go back to Earth but with resources dried up, they float adrift in space at the brink of death as oxygen was running out… And then, Captain Marvel appeared and brought them, Benatar and all, back to Earth into the arms of Black Widow, Captain America, War Machine and Pepper Potts (so now we know she survived The Snap).
Then, they track down Thanos with the help of Nebula and they detected that the Infinity Stones were used again on another planet. Finding only Thanos alone on the planet, they confronted him and chopped the Infinity gauntlet and his hand off but alas! The stones were no longer in the gauntlet. And apparently, the now weak and injured Thanos had already used the stones to destroy the stones and nearly killed himself in the process. And without warning, Thor chopped Thanos’ head off… finally doing what Thanos said he should have done in Infinity War…
Next we know, it’s 5 years later…
Meanwhile, Antman who was trapped in the quantum realm after Wasp/Hope Pym, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne were dusted off by The Snap, was freed when a rat scrambled across the quantum controls in the van that held the quantum realm machine. Not knowing anything about The Snap or Thanos, he realised what happened when he came across the Memorial with names of those who vanished in The Snap. To his relief, when he rushed home, he sees his little girl Cassie alive, now a young lady.
Captain America was giving counselling / group therapy to survivors of The Snap on moving on with their lives. Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff is at the Avengers HQ in a “teleconference” meeting with Okoye, War Machine, Rocket, Nebula and Carol Denvers who tells the rest that she will be gone for quite a while. The last to exit the meeting was War Machine who updates that he knows where Hawkeye is and what he has been doing. Right after he exits, Black Widow breaks down in sobs, interrupted only by Captain America who came to visit. He commented that they themselves were the ones who needed to move on. That thought stopped in its track when Antman appeared at their front door.
Antman explains to Captain America and Black Widow about the quantum realm and how he thinks they can make a time machine and fix everything. So they went to find Tony Stark, who now has a daughter, for help but he turns them down. Next, they find Bruce Banner who is now permanently in Hulk form but with Banner’s brains as he had managed to merge his 2 parts together. With Banner’s help, they made a time machine and tried it by sending Antman back in time but it didn’t work correctly. Fortunately, Tony Stark thought it through and successfully made a time machine. After Hawkeye, whom Black Widow was able to convince earlier that there was hope, successfully went back in time to before The Snap and return, they assembled the rest of the team including Thor.
Thor was in New Asgard, where the surviving Asgardians set up home after their planet was destroyed in Thor Ragnarok. Welcomed by Valkyrie, who survived The Snap, Rocket and Banner find Thor, having drinks and playing video games with Korg and Mieg, who we know now survived The Snap as well. Now in a beer-bellied long-haired dishevelled state after he considered himself a failure after the events of Infinity War, Thor only agreed to join them with the promise of beer.
Down memory lane…
The team now complete, the plan was to gather all the Infinity Stones and use it to bring everyone who was decimated back. To do that, they have to go back in time to when and where the stones were long before Thanos found them. The only catch was that they only had one chance each to go and come back as they had just enough pym particles do the whole thing.
After studying their collective knowledge of the Stones, it was decided that they will go to 3 different times in 4 different locations to collect the six Infinity Stones.
ONE: The Space Stone / The Tessaract (blue), the Mind Stone / Loki’s sceptre (yellow), The Time Stone / Eye of Agomoto (green) were in New York in during the time of the first Avengers, where Loki uses the Tesseract to open a portal to space and an alien army streams through the portal to invade Earth.
And so, Antman, Ironman, Captain America and Hulk went back to this particular time and saw themselves fight Loki and the Chitauri. Ironman and Captain America went to get the Space Stone and the Mind Stone, while Hulk went looking for Dr Strange to get the Time Stone.
Hulk did not find Dr Strange but instead found the Ancient One, as past-Dr Strange was yet to become the guardian of the New York Sanctum and keeper of the Eye of Agomoto. He requested and wanted to get the Time Stone by force from the Ancient One but was no match for her powers. Having an out-of-body experience similar to what Dr Strange experienced where soul and body was separated, the Hulk’s body lay lifeless and Banner was left in spirit form to persuade the Ancient One to give him the stone. Even after explaining what happened in the present/future, the Ancient One was still insistent to not part with the Time Stone as if he were to take the stone out from its place, it will cause for alternate realities. It was only after Banner told her that Dr Strange had willingly let Thanos have the Time Stone did the Ancient One decided that it must have been for a reason, and gave the Stone to Hulk/Banner, after she restored him back in one form.
Meanwhile, Captain America successfully intercepted the Mind Stone from S.H.I.E.L.D using the knowledge that they were actually H.Y.D.R.A. But, Antman and Ironman failed to get the Space Stone because the then Hulk knocked the briefcase containing the Tessaract out of Ironman’s possession when he bumped into him. And eventually, in the confusion of past-Stark having a mild heart attack because of Antman, Loki managed to use the Space Stone to escape. At this point, past-Captain America finds Captain America exiting the elevator with the briefcase with the Mind Stone, and deduced that he had found Loki. The two Caps battled for the briefcase, and past-Cap had Cap in a chokehold but Cap told him that Bucky was alive, which distracted past-Cap just long enough for Cap stand and use the sceptre to put past-Cap down. Cap then exits to find Ironman and Antman waiting for him, with news they lost the Space Stone.
Bearing in mind they only had one last pym particle each, Ironman and Captain America decided to go back to the 1970s to kill two birds with one stone: get the Space Stone, and get more pym particles. Antman was to return to the present with the Mind Stone.
In the 1970s, Ironman and Captain America went to the military/S.H.I.E.L.D facility. They split up, but raised the suspicion of the lady in the elevator with them. Captain America made a false phonecall to Hank Pym about a delivery, which made him leave his lab. Captain America was then able to take 4 more vials of pym particles (2 which will be used by him and Ironman to return to the present and 2 for backup). But on his way out, in the hallway, he saw from a distance the elevator lady alerting the security about him and Ironman, so he ducked into a room to hide – which turned out to be Margaret Carter/Peggy’s office, his love interest, before he went on ice. He saw her in the next room but she didn’t see him.
Ironman, on the other hand, managed to sneak into the S.H.I.E.L.D facility, and found the Tessaract that was being studied by Howard Stark, his father. At a lost for words, when asked who he was, he told Howard that he was a student from M.I.T. named Howard Potts. Howard Stark offered to lead him outside. During the walk, Tony pointed out that Howard had a bouquet of flowers. Howard then told him that his wife was pregnant and Tony told him he had a daughter. It was a bittersweet encounter with his father, and right before leaving, Tony he hugged Howard and thanked him for everything he is doing “for the country,” he added, who was puzzled by the interaction. Howard reaches his car, and his butler Jarvis opens his car door for him. He asked Jarvis if he knew the man that he was just talking to. Jarvis turns to see Tony Stark walking away and comments: “You know a lot of people.”
TWO: The Reality Stone / Aether (red) was in Asgard.
In the events of Thor 2, during the Convergence, Jane Foster was infected by the Aether. Realizing that Foster’s infection was beyond human containment, Thor brought her to Asgard via the Bifrost Bridge. So now, Thor and Rocket are in Asgard to retrieve the aether from Foster’s body. The plan was for Thor to distract Jane while Rocket extracted it. However, Thor was in no condition to think properly and completely forgot why he was there in the first place when he saw his mother, Queen Frigga. Rocket then decided he had to get the aether with or without Thor.
As Thor spied on his mother, she realised that she was being watched and managed to sneak up on Thor catching him off-guard. She knew immediately that Thor was not past-Thor but from the future. Thor confided in his mother what had happened and that he had failed to be the hero he was supposed to be when he lost against Thanos. But, his mother encouraged him to be the person he was. And even gave him some diet tips. At that time, Rocket burst into the room with the aether, being chased by palace guards. Right before going back to the present, Thor held out his hand and summoned Mjolnir, exclaiming “I am still worthy!”
THREE: The Power Stone / The Orb (purple) was in Morag
Thanos employed the Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser to bring the orb containing the Power Stone to him. However, before Ronan obtained the Orb, it was stolen by Star-Lord on Morag. So when War Machine and Nebula arrive on Morag to get the stone, it wasn’t just Star-Lord who was coming; there were many people looking for it – Thanos, Past-Gamora and past-Nebula as well. Unbeknown to Nebula and War Machine, being in Morag, past-Nebula’s systems linked onto Nebula’s systems and thus accessing her memories. This allowed Thanos to see the present/future and he knew that he succeeded in his plan to wipe out half of the universe. That meant he managed to get all the stones and so he sent past-Nebula to find Nebula and get him all the stones.
Meanwhile, Star-Lord arrives on Morag to get the orb, but before he even enters the chamber, he is knocked out by War Machine and Nebula and they make their way inside. The successfully enter the chamber and obtain the orb. But just as War Machine went quantum with the orb, Nebula collapsed as her systems were disrupted and she was caught by past-Nebula, Past-Gamora and Thanos. Past-Nebula takes Nebula’s quantum GPS and a part of her face and uses it on her own face as disguise and goes quantum.
FOUR: The Soul Stone (orange) is on Vormir
In 1945, the Space Stone banished the Red Skull, the villain from the first Captain America movie, to the planet after he had abused its power, due to knowing that the HYDRA commander would be unable to make the sacrifice required to obtain the Soul Stone. Red Skull, transformed into an immortal wraith, become a Stonekeeper and serves as an adviser to those who would seek the Soul Stone. As did Thanos, when Black Widow and Hawkeye arrived on Vormir, they encounter Red Skull who tells them that they need to sacrifice something that they love to attain the gem. Unlike Thanos who killed Past-Gamora for the stone, Black Widow and Hawkeye literally beat each other to jump over the cliff to sacrifice themself so the other can get the storm and return to the present. Hawkeye jumped first but Black Widow saved him; he caught her hand but she pushed off from him and fell to her death. Barton obtained the stone, after losing Nat, and went back to the present.
Back in the Present Post-Snap Thanos-dead Day…
Everyone returns from their mission with all six stones – everyone except Nat. The original Avengers (Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Ironman) mourn their fallen friend and were determined to make the plan work to make her sacrifice worth it.
Back in the lab, they successfully made an Infinity Gauntlet. Next was deciding who would use it to undo the decimation. Thor wanted to do it as he did not want to waste any time deciding but later it was unanimous that Hulk would be the only one strong enough to endure the power of all the stones combined. Hulk put on the Infinity Gauntlet and adjusted to the powers and then he snapped his finger, and they waited. Birds appeared outside the Avengers HQ, chirping and flying happily around the trees, and Hawkeye gets a phonecall from his wife, confirming that Thanos’ snap had been undone by Hulk’s snap.
Thanos is back – from the past
While this was happening, past-Nebula that had taken the present-Nebula’s place earlier was opening the quantum realm and bringing Thanos and his ship into the present. Thanos’ ship attacks Avengers HQ. On the ship were also past-Gamora and present-Nebula, and past-Gamora decided to help present-Nebula stop Thanos.
In the rubbles of Avengers HQ, Hawkeye finds the gauntlet and runs away with it from Thanos’s army. Meanwhile, above the rubbles, Thanos sits and waits for past-Nebula to bring him the stones. As he waits, Thor, Ironman and Captain America faces off with him. With Thor defeated, Captain America summons Thor’s Mjolnir (proving HE is worthy!!) and battles Thanos. Underground, past-Nebula finds Hawkeye with the gauntlet and Hawkeye gives it to her, not knowing this was the wrong Nebula but only realising this after she communicated with Thanos that she has the stones. At that moment, present-Nebula appears with past-Gamora to get the gauntlet back. Past-Nebula refuses and present-Nebula shoots her. Hawkeye takes up the gauntlet again.
It looked to be just Captain America against Thanos when he summoned his Black Order and full army. It was at that moment that Sam called out to Captain America in his comms and soon enough portals opened behind him and all our previously dusted heroes return for the final battle, and the Asgardian and Wakandan army.
Whilst battling Thanos and his army, Hawkeye reached the surface with the gauntlet still intact. They have to return the stones back to where they took them. With the Avengers HQ in rubbles, the only quantum machine left was the one in the van. From here on, it was a Gauntlet relay as the Avengers tried to bring the gauntlet to the van. At one point, Spiderman meets his mentor Ironman and was the former was telling him what happened post-snap, that he just disappeared, went unconscious, but that Dr Strange was there and told him that it was “5 years later and they need our help.” Ironman gives him a tight hug. There was also a moment where Star-Lord saw past-Gamora and touched her face lovingly, only to be kicked in the balls by past-Gamora who turned to present-Nebula in disbelief, “seriously, him?” to which present-Nebula answers “It was either him or a tree.”
Thanos orders an attack from his ship to everyone on the ground. But soon the ship diverted their aim into a fiery glow in the sky. Soon the ship was split in half as Captain Marvels punches her way through. Still trying to get the gauntlet, which was now with Spiderman, to the van, Captain Marvel offers to take the gauntlet off of him. Then she charges towards the van, being helped by her fellow female superheroes including Pepper Potts, Valkyrie, Mantis and Shuri. Right before reaching the van, Thanos destroys it, the blast knocking the gauntlet from out of her grasp.
Thanos has the gauntlet. Just as he was about to snap his fingers to destroy all of the universe and create a new one, Captain Marvels fights him but he manages to toss her aside. Then Ironman tried to pull the gauntlet from Thanos’ hands but it would not budge and he was knocked to the ground. Thanos snapped his fingers.
But nothing happened. Thanos looks at the gauntlet and sees that the stones were not there. Instead, Ironman has the stones on his armor’s gloves. Ironman looks at Thanos, determination in his eyes, “I am… Ironman” he says, and snapped his fingers.
All of Thanos’ army was decimated…and a defeated Thanos sits down and turns to dust.
However, the power of the gauntlet was too much for him to bear. He managed only a brief time with Peter Parker, his protégé Spideman and a moment with his wife, Pepper Potts, before the light on his chest turned off permanently.
Everyone was present at his funeral, with his heart sent drifting down the river, even Nick Fury. Noticeably absent though, was Gamora. Was she dusted off along with Thanos?
Meanwhile, Thor has decided that he no longer wants to hold a Kingdom and hands the throne over to New Asgard’s Queen Valkyrie. Instead, he’s decided to ride along with his new friends, the Guardians of the Galaxy, with him and Quill having a discussion on who should be captain of the ship. Before that. Quill was using the Benatar ship computers to look for Gamora.
Captain America goes quantum to return all the stones to where they took them to restore the realities. Before he does that, he says his goodbyes to Sam and Bucky, the latter seemingly knowing it would be a long time before they meet each other again. Banner opens the quantum realm for Captain America and counts down to when Captain America should have appeared again – but he doesn’t.
Thereafter, Bucky notices a man sitting by the river and calls to Sam. He urges Sam to go speak to the man. Sam walks cautiously towards the man, who is then revealed to be an aged and happily married Steve Rogers. He passes on his Captain America shield to Sam. And then we see a young Captain America dancing with Peggy at their home.