Iron Man and Captain America are widely considered two of the three main pillars of the Avengers upon whom the entire legacy of the superhero team rests. But despite their complete dedication to the team and their teammates, the two often found themselves at odds with each other. During a recent virtual watch party for Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. popped in to say hello, during the reconciliation scene between Cap and Iron Man, and explained the significance of the scene for the story and the characters.
"It was all about him forgiving me for not forgiving him so we can start getting ready to who knows, you know maybe throw in the towel for whatever we gotta do. It wasn't just the idea of burying the hatchet, it was burying the hatchet and taking up the cross together. It was a complex scene."
The scene Robert Downey Jr. is speaking of takes place in the middle of the second act of the movie, when Tony comes to the Avengers with his plan to use time travel to fight Thanos. The last time Tony and Cap had met, the meeting had been fraught with tension, with Tony accusing Cap of not doing enough to stop Thanos's snap. Before that, the two had been at odds for years, ever since the events of Captain America: Civil War, which culminated in Tony finding out that Cap knew Bucky had murdered his parents and hid the information.
With the long, complex, often antagonistic history between the two, it was never going to be a simple thing for them to forget their shared past and jump right back into being teammates. That was why the scene between Tony and Cap was so significant. As Downey Jr. explains, it was not just about the two deciding to reconcile. It was them acknowledging that everything was still not completely all right between them, but also recognizing that their personal differences needed to be set aside in order to undo the effects of the Snap.
It was moments of emotional resonance such as these that made Avengers: Endgame a fitting end to the Infinity Saga and not just another mindless action blockbuster. Just like Avengers: Infinity War was essentially a character study of Thanos, Endgame was driven by the complex inner motivations of the Avengers, each member of the team suffering from various types of guilt, fears, and rage that compelled them to do anything, even tinker with the very fabric of time, to undo Thanos's work.
Sadly, Cap and Tony never got the chance to have a proper sit down where they could thrash out their differences in detail and hug it out. Tony passed away after using the infinity gems, and Cap went back in time to live out the rest of his life in the 1950s. And with them ended the original team of the Avengers that stormed the big screen and won over the hearts of fans back in 2012. This story originated at ScreenRant.