endgame end credits sound

Marvel has made their end credits scenes events unto themselves. As far as some fans are concerned, if you skip out on these last-minute stingers, you’re doing the movie – and yourself – a disservice. Sometimes the end credits scenes set up what’s to come. Sometimes they serve as a moment of levity. But no matter what happens, they tend to always get undivided attention.

Many wondered if the epic, three-hour Avengers: Endgame would employ an end credits scene to tease what was next for the MCU. But that didn’t happen. Endgame has no credits scene. But it does have something else – a mysterious sound that baffles some. What does the Endgame end credits sound mean? And why is there at all? Spoilers follow.

Confession: I don’t usually stick around for the Marvel Cinematic Universe credits scenes. In my opinion, if the scene in question was really important, it would be in the movie proper – not after the credits have rolled. But when I saw Avengers: Endgame, I dutifully stuck around as the lengthy credits rolled. I was reviewing the film for this very site, and I was curious to see if there would be a set-up of what was to come – be it in the form of Spider-Man: Far From Home, or beyond. It figures that the one time I stay is the one time Marvel doesn’t bother tacking on a credits scene.

But there is something awaiting those who stick around: a distinct sound that rings out as the Marvel Studios logo appears on the screen. It’s a loud, clanging sound – like a hammer striking steel. When this occurred, I heard several people in my audience murmuring, trying to figure out what it all meant. “Must be Thor’s hammer!” I heard someone say. Sure, that’s a fair assumption – but that’s not what the sound is. It’s this.

It’s the sound of Tony Stark hammering away in a cave, building the first of many, many Iron Man suits. It is, quite literally, the moment that started it all. Back before anyone had any inkling what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would become, there was Iron Man. A clunky, funny superhero flick that would turn Robert Downey Jr. into a blockbuster mega-star. None of us knew it at the time, but we were witnessing the start of something huge.

Whatever you think of the MCU, it can’t be denied that it is ultimately a major achievement. For over 10 years, and over 20 films, Marvel built themselves an entire cinematic universe. A cinematic universe that stuck around while so many imitators faltered. Placing the sound of Tony hammering away, laying the foundations for what would become the MCU, at the close of Endgame could be construed as a bit of grandstanding on Marvel’s part. But hey – they earned it.

And the sound is more than that.

One of the things I like most about Endgame is how conclusive it feels. While the MCU will go on, there’s a real sense of an ending on display in this film, bringing the storylines of several characters – most notably Tony Stark – to emotional climaxes. Tony dies in the film, sacrificing himself to save the world. He’s come so incredibly far from where we first saw him back in Iron Man, as a self-absorbed arms manufacturer. By placing the sound of the now-dead Tony hammering away at the end of the credits, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is saying goodbye. Letting go. Paying tribute to the character that started it all for them.

In Iron Man, Tony Stark goes into a cave as one man, and comes out another. Changed. Different. Reborn. His old life a thing of the past, his new life waiting. And so that sound that closes Endgame is also the sound of something starting. Something being built up. Created. Born. Marvel is closing a book here. But they’re also turning the page on something new. That sound you hear, ringing out in the darkness like church bells calling forth worshippers, is the sound of an ending and a beginning. It’s telling us it’s time to say farewell to what we once knew. And to welcome whatever comes next.

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