‘Avengers: Endgame’ Theory: Did Hawkeye’s Family Die?

Avengers: Infinity War featured many of the same characters as the previous team-up films, but one major player was missing: Clint “Hawkeye” Barton. In both the comics and on screen, Hawkeye has had a unique path as a character, and fortunately, we’ll get to see at least some of that in Avengers: Endgame. Here’s the sad reason why we think he joins up with his old friends.

Jeremy Renner in Avengers: Endgame
Jeremy Renner in Avengers: Endgame | Film Frame © Marvel Studios 2019

Hawkeye ‘retired’ in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Unlike many of the other characters, Hawkeye never gets his own movie. We first learn about him in The Avengers, in which he is a SHIELD agent who is possessed by the power of the Tesseract, before joining up with Tony, Steve, and the rest of the gang, making him one of the original Avengers.

He returns in Age of Ultron, but the audience soon learns a secret: Unlike the rest of his cohorts, Barton has a family. At the end of the film, he goes into retirement, in order to stay safe and spend more time with his wife and kids.

He wasn’t around for any of Infinity War

Clint is briefly pulled out of retirement to fight on Steve’s side against the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War. Along with Scott Lang (Ant-Man), he is captured and put in the Raft prison, where he remains until they strike a deal. Both Clint and Scott choose to stay on house arrest for two years so that they can be with their families.

Given the timeline, Hawkeye would have been finishing up his house arrest during the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Would he have come to his friends’ aid if he could have? It’s hard to say, but the Russo brothers said they had a very good reason for keeping him out of the action in Infinity War.

Here’s why we think Clint’s family died in the Decimation

Hawkeye in 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer
Hawkeye in the Avengers: Endgame trailer | Marvel Studios via YouTube

OK, now things are about to get a little dark. As we’ve seen, everyone loses someone — a close friend, a significant other — they care about when Thanos snapped his fingers and made half of all living creatures disappear (henceforth referred to as the Decimation). There’s very little chance that all of the Bartons would have made it out alive — but it might be even worse than that.

In this shot from the official trailer released on March 14, 2019, we see Clint, in a field, helping a teenage girl as she shoots an arrow at a target. He then smiles and high-fives her. Many have speculated that this is his daughter and that it is the loss of her, as well as possibly one or two other members of his family, that drives him to take action.

Who is Ronin?

If there’s one thing we know about Hawkeye, it’s that he’s a marksman, and is always seen using his bow and arrows. But in the first glimpse of him in the teaser trailer, he is holding a sword. This, along with his hooded costume, has led fans to believe that he has taken on the alias of Ronin when we meet him in Endgame.

The name Ronin comes from the Japanese word, which refers to a lone warrior or samurai. In the comics, Clint takes on this identity after the events of Civil War. There is bound to be an interesting story as to how he adopted this moniker and why he switched his weapon of choice.

The part he’ll play in Endgame

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Fortunately, we’ve known from the first trailer that Clint will be involved in Endgame. In subsequent trailers, we’ve seen Clint at Avengers headquarters, so clearly, he rejoins the team in some way.

Here’s one possibility: Natasha, his good friend, seeks him out in the aftermath of the decimation. She discovers that he has gone rogue, so to speak, after his family disappeared and, being the independent fighter that he is, has channeled his energy into fighting Thanos’ outriders, which can be seen in the 3D trailer. It might take some convincing, but eventually, Clint will rejoin the Avengers, albeit with a bit of a different attitude, look, and fighting style. Maybe his fresh take on the situation will help them in the battle against Thanos.

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