The Falcon and the Winter Soldier deals with the legacy of Captain America. It has been embodied with symbolic potency in the form of his unbreakable shield. The characters of the show have put more importance to the inheritance of the weapon, what it represents and whether or not it is a symbol that needs to be broken to usher in a new age. But there looks to be a startling absence in the conversation about the shield – It was already broken. Let’s see what could have happened to Cap’s iconic weapon between the final battle of Avengers: Endgame and when Sam inherits it.
Captain America’s shield has always been a protective measure against countless attacks over the decades. But it proved to be an extraterrestrial sword wielded by Thanos in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame. Wielding the Mjolnir and the shield together, Thanos disarmed Captain America from the Mjolnir and repeatedly chopped at the hammer. Thanos reduced it to a few scraps at a moment when the battle looked to be at its most desperate.
But it wasn’t long after the battle that Steve Rogers traveled to the past to return the Infinity Stones. He returned to give Sam Wilson a brand new shield to signify the passing of his legacy. This leaves two major possibilities in terms of the fate of Steve’s original broken shield. Firstly, the shield could have been repaired and restored to its original form so that its legacy can live on. Secondly, if Steve actually retrieved a new shield from some point in the past, it leaves lingering questions and splits the legend’s legacy between two different shields.
Both the possibilities come with their own questions. But at this point in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, they don’t look to be the ones that the heroes are entertaining. There is a question of whether or not the original shield could have been repaired. But Marvel Cinematic Universe has set a precedent for such a thing happening. The shield had to suffer prominent scratches from Black Panther’s claws during Captain America: Civil War. At the end of the film, it was passed to Tony Stark, who might have repaired the scratches before returning it to Steve.
Because there are Wakandan resources and a genius like Shuri for assisting, it looks completely possible that the shield might have been restored from its shattered state. The possibility that the shield was replaced with a different one raises different and intriguing possibilities altogether. One issue can be the alternate timeline from where Captain America reclaimed his shield. He left a reality bare of an item that is crucial to his history.
But compared to that, it would be the question of legacy. Since the shards remaining from Endgame’s battle would carry just as much if not more symbolic significance than the one given to Sam. Sam and the series villain Karli Morgenthau have spoken about breaking the shield to end its legacy. Since the shield was already broken, it will prove that destroying symbols is not an easy task. Considering the possibility of its repair, it can still make a potent weapon.
The biggest mystery about the broken shield is whether or not the public of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are even aware that it’s broken. Agent Woo hinted some level of awareness of the intricacies of Endgame’s battle in WandaVision but to what extent is unknown. Since the heroes are more concerned over the death of Tony Stark and left in the wake of the biggest battle of their lives, they might have more important matters to look after. This can leave anyone with a desire for an unbreakable weapon the freedom to look for the debris of the broken shield.