A year has passed since the release of Avengers: Endgame, one of the biggest cinematic events of all time.
Wrapping up a decade's worth of story while also whetting fans appetite for the future, the film is packed with big, iconic moments. However, after a year and multiple re-watches, it is easier to recognise the smaller moments that contribute to making the film great.
Here's a few underappreciated scenes from Avengers: Endgame.
1. Rocket comforts Nebula
After Captain Marvel manages to find the Guardians' stranded ship (with Nebula and Tony Stark trapped inside) and returns it to Earth, it results in a moment a lot of fans had been waiting for, as Iron Man and Captain America reunite for the first time since the events of Civil War. However, there is another reunion going on in the background- that of Nebula and Rocket Raccoon.
For Rocket, seeing only Tony and Nebula emerge from the ship would have ended any hope he had that the other Guardians may have survived. And yet, he sets aside his own grief to comfort Nebula, whom he knows must have witnessed his friends' demise. While we don't see much more of the two together in the film, we know their relationship changed in a positive way following this scene, as they travelled together carrying out surveillance in space for Natasha Romanoff during the five-year time jump.
2. Pepper and Tony discuss his discovery of time travel.
After Tony Stark discovers the secret to successful time travel, and reveals this knowledge to his Wife, Pepper, he immediately, but clearly half-heartedly tries to talk himself out of taking his discovery to the other surviving Avengers. Pepper, though worried about the outcome, encourages Tony to go, knowing he will not be able to rest if he does not at least try to bring back those lost.
This small but poignant moment between two characters that have been around since the very beginning of the MCU shows exactly how well they know and love each other.
While the scene above is mostly remembered for the tragic yet humorous demise of Ant-Man's lunch, that is not the only notable thing about it. When Nebula disembarks her ship, warning the incoming War Machine about the 'idiot in the landing zone' (ie, Ant-Man), she refers to him by his nickname, Rhodey.
Although this is a small detail, it tells us a lot. The surviving Avengers, even those who had never met before the snap, have bonded over the five years since. This also explains why Nebula was comfortable discussing parts of her past with Rhodey later in the film.
4. Valkyrie doesn't Judge Thor
The scene in which Hulk and Rocket travel to New Asgard is mostly remembered for the reveal of the beer-bellied Thor whom fans have dubbed 'Bro-Thor'. However, one of the most meaningful moments in this sequence is much more subtle.
When Valkyrie reunites with Hulk, she doubts that Thor will agree to see him, as the King only appears in town every few weeks for supplies. She glances meaningfully towards a pile of empty beer kegs as she says this. The most important thing to note about this scene is that she doesn't complain about Thor, nor judge him for drinking away his troubles. Why? Because he is doing exactly the same thing she did after losing the other Valkyries. Valkyrie doesn't judge Thor because she understands his reasons for drinking, even if she does not necessarily agree.
5. Branching Realities
Aside from including one of the most surprising cameos in Endgame, the scene in which The Hulk obtains the Time Stone from the Ancient One may provide some hints towards the future direction of the MCU.
The Ancient One describes the potential dire consequences of her reality losing the Time Stone: a split in the timeline likely leading to a much darker future. While Bruce eventually convinces her to give up the Stone, with a promise that it will be returned, the scene still raises some interesting questions, especially knowing that multiple future MCU projects (WandaVision, What If?, Loki, and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness) deal with multiverses or split timelines.
6. Clint and Natasha's excitement over travelling into space
Of course, the biggest moment for best friends Black Widow and Hawkeye is the tragic sequence on Vormir in which Natasha sacrifices herself in order for Clint to obtain the Soul Stone. However, the duo do get at least one sweet moment together before tragedy strikes.
After Nebula programs their ship's course and they take off for Vormir, the pair take a few moments to excitedly gush over how different their current task is from their usual missions. The scene takes on a bittersweet tone once you know what comes next, but at least Clint and Natasha got to share one last moment of joy.
7. 'Get that Rabbit!'
While Endgame's Asgard scenes tug at the heartstrings through Thor's brief reunion with his Mother, Frigga, there's also a few laughs to be had, particularly from this fun Easter egg.
After retrieving the Reality Stone from Jane Foster, Rocket Raccoon is seen fleeing a squad of Asgardian soldiers. As they pursue Rocket, the soldiers yell:
"Get that rabbit!"
This moment shows that Thor's constantly referring to Rocket Racoon a rabbit during Infinity War wasn't just a case of Thor being a little dim. Apparently, all Asgardians confuse raccoons with rabbits.
8. 'She knows.. they both do'
Much of Endgame's final few scenes are devoted to Tony Stark's funeral, and bringing Captain America to a close. As such, it seemed like other lives lost to Thanos had been pushed aside. Thankfully, one brief scene keeps this from being the case completely.
As Clint Barton and the recently-restored Wanda Maximoff look out over the lake, Clint laments the fact that he has no way of telling Natasha that they had won. Wanda pauses for a moment, then says:
"She knows.. They both do."
The words are clearly a comfort to Clint. While some fans believe Wanda is talking about Natasha and Tony, it is more likely the second person she refers to is Vision, who was killed by Thanos in Infinity War. The scene is a pleasant reminder that the other lives lost to Thanos were not completely forgotten.
It could also be a subtle hint that those characters still have a future in the MCU. Natasha will appear at least once more in the upcoming Black Widow movie, and Vision is set to return for WandaVision on Disney +.