‘Avengers: Endgame’: What Happened to FRIDAY After Tony’s Death?
Marvel fans have been mourning the loss of Iron Man for a year and a half ever since he sacrificed himself to defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. However, it’s not just Tony Stark they’re mourning, It’s the characters associated with him.
That includes FRIDAY, his artificial intelligence assistant. Marvel fans are asking an existential question – when a character who wears an Iron Man suit dies, does the AI associated with them die too? Does it serve a new master? Or does it just vanish into the digital ether?
A short history of Stark virtual assistants
If people are most familiar with the movies, the AIs they know are JARVIS, KAREN and FRIDAY. Jarvis was the OG virtual assistant who was with Tony from the original Iron Man through Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was named after the butler who served Tony’s father, and we met the human Jarvis during the Agent Carter series. JARVIS was destroyed by another creation of Tony’s, Ultron, in the second Avengers movie, but then Jarvis transformed into a sentient being called Vision.
JARVIS was replaced by FRIDAY, who was with Tony from Ultron forward. Whereas JARVIS had stood for Just a Rather Very Intelligent System, FRIDAY stood for Female Replacement Intelligent Digital Assistant Youth, according to Fandom. Another assistant created by Tony, KAREN, showed up in Spider-Man’s suits.
In a clever in-joke, KAREN was voiced by Jennifer Connelly, whereas JARVIS had been voiced by her husband, Paul Bettany, who also played Vision. Friday was voiced by Kerry Condon.
So far, the only AI to become known after Tony’s death was EDITH, another program created to help Spider-Man. Standing for Even Dead I’m The Hero, EDITH appeared in Spider-Man; Far From Home, although Peter Parker couldn’t control the tech very well. So what becomes of an AI when there is no more creator?
What do fans want to be the new assistant?
The specific question asked on a Reddit thread was “Will FRIDAY be transferred to the War Machine armor. The fan pointed out, “It’s never been said that Rhodey has an AI like Tony. I think it would only make sense that FRIDAY goes with Rhodey post Endgame. What happened to her after Tony’s death? Is she going to be with Pepper now? I just want her to be in future movies. I feel like she should either be with Rhodey or Pepper.”
Another fan wrote, “I always sort of liked the fact that War Machine didn’t have an AI. His suit was always a stripped down version of the Iron Man suit with it basically just being a giant rocket-propelled arsenal. Its like the Iron Man suit but without all the flash and tech, just guns and explosives.”
Another fan pointed out that FRIDAY had a different fate in the comics, Friday also became a sentient being, similar to the transformation between JARVIS and Vision. More specifically, a Medium article points out that FRIDAY got jealous of the lack of attention from Tony and tried to kidnap Pepper. After that, FRIDAY was sent away with Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four
What’s the future of Iron Man characters in the MCU?
Ever since Tony Stark’s death, fans have been clamoring for some kind of return, whether it’s a Robert Downey Jr. cameo somewhere or a successor character like Ironheart. There has been much speculation that the kid from Iron Man 3, who showed up at Tony’s funeral in Endgame, will have some kind of role in the MCU going forward. Fans have also pitched a movie or TV series for War Machine.
If there has been any actual development on these ideas, none of them have gone beyond the rumor stage. For now, Marvel is more concerned about keeping Black Panther going, even after Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected death. The best fans can probably hope for is some kind of reference in Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man movie, because Spider-Man was the natural successor in the movies. Perhaps we’ll at least hear more from KAREN or EDITH.