Avengers: Endgame marked the ending of the Infinity Saga. But it came with a cost. Natasha and Tony sacrificed themselves for the greater good. Tony’s sacrifice was acknowledged at the end with his memorial, but Nat’s sacrifice wasn’t recognized. However, fast forward to Phase 4 and Black Widow, Marvel was quick to rectify that by giving the spy a proper goodbye. She sacrificed herself in Endgame to retrieve the Soul Stone. But a new theory suggests that Natasha sacrificed herself to save Yelena Belova, her sister.
Theory: Natasha Sacrificed Herself To Save Yelena
The theory is based on the possibility of Yelena being dusted by Thanos’ snap. Black Widow takes place before Infinity War and Endgame. This establishes the fact that Natasha now has a family apart from the Avengers. Her newly found family includes Melina, Yelena, and Alexei. The time frame of the movie makes it hard to have explicit clues that Yelena was missing. Anyway, Nat was wearing Yelena’s jacket in Infinity War.
But Endgame doesn’t really align with the fact that Nat is the daughter of Ivan. This is a thread that wasn’t explored in the movie or even mentioned once. But if Yelena was indeed dead during the events of Infinity War, then it gives a lot more meaning to Natasha’s sacrifice. When fans saw the super-skilled spy dying in Endgame, they were furious that Hawkeye was chosen over MCU’s first female hero. But if her motive was to bring back her sister Yelena, then it makes sense why she was adamant about being the one to be sacrificed.
The reason why Natasha chose to sacrifice herself is because of the love she has for her sister. First, she didn’t ask for help from Yelena in Infinity War and hoped to waive off the threat with her team. She respects and loves her renewed bond with her sister which wasn’t ready to lose. At the end of Black Widow, Yelena gives her favorite jacket to Nat which she even wears in Infinity War.
Was Yelena Snapped Away By Thanos?
Thanos wiped out 50% of all living things from the universe. So Yelena had the same percentage of surviving and dying. While there’s a possibility that Yelena survived, there’s more evidence to prove that she was rather dead. The biggest clue is her absence from Infinity War and Endgame. Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige said that the fans will soon if she was a victim of The Blip or not. A fan asked him a question during the Black Widow watch party to which he replied, “You will find out, but not on this Twitter thread.”
Moreover, in the post-credits scene of the movie, Yelena was visited by a very interesting character. While she was at Nat’s tombstone and grieving, she was visited by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). She made her debut in the Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. She hired Yelena to kill Hawkeye and blamed him for Nat’s death. This proves to a certain extent that Yelena is unaware that her sister sacrificed herself.
Black Widow’s Sacrifice In Endgame
Endgame brought all the Avengers back together, thanks to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). It was decided that they would retrieve all the Infinity Stones, which eventually resulted in Hawkeye and Black Widow going to Vormir. When they reach, they learn from Red Skull (Ross Marquand) that one of them has to die to get the Soul Stone. After Clint confirms whether he’s not bluffing the duo gets into a brawl to be one to be sacrificed. They fight each other, but Natasha wins out in the end.
As Nat jumps off the cliff, Clint managed to hold her by her arm. But Natasha tells him to let her go as she kicks off the side of the cliff and falls to her death. The Avengers got the Soul Stone but at a cost. Infinity War only proves how much she loves her people. Before finally besting Clint on Vormir, she tells him, “For the last five years, I’ve been trying to do one thing. Get to right here.” Natasha adds, “That’s all it’s been about. Bringing everybody back.” So her sacrifice could be bifurcated into two purposes – help the Avengers and protect her sister as well.