As one of only a few Avengers that survived Thanos’ snap, Iron Man will certainly have a pivotal role to play in the Avengers: Endgame. There is a fan theory that the one way which Dr. Strange could see to beat Thanos all hinged on Iron Man and this is why the doctor had to ensure that Tony Stark was spared by Thanos. Although we know that Tony Stark will definitely be in the next movie, we don’t know what sort of role he will play and what his ultimate fate will be. However, hints about his potential fate may have started to be dropped in Captain America: Civil War and it is all to do with his left arm.
Iron Man first started to talk about the problems he has with his left arm in Civil War. In previous movies he had taken several blows to his arm but this was the first indication that there could be a serious problem. He made a comment to Black Widow where he asked if it was normal for your arm to be completely numb. The comment was laughed off at the time but now people are thinking that it might have actually meant much more. It suggests that the Russo brothers have had the storyline for Endgame in their minds for a while and decided to plant some clues in earlier movies.
No mention was made of any discomfort in Spiderman: Homecoming but in several scenes he could be seen rubbing his left arm. This is not necessarily something that you would notice unless you were looking out for it but when you watch the movie back it is fairly obvious. After spending so long making viewers aware that there is a problem with his arm, fans are now wondering how things are going to play out. It could be that he ends up losing the arm altogether in a final showdown with Thanos. While this would be a blow, it would not necessarily mean the end of Iron Man. We can assume that he would be able to build himself a prosthetic arm without too much trouble and it would probably come with a load of really cool gadgets.
Another theory is that he could suffer a heart attack. Pain in the arm can be a warning that a heart attack is imminent. However, this often occurs just before the heart attack rather than several years before. Nevertheless it could still be the case that after all the things and people he has battled as Iron Man, a human ailment that could happen to anyone will be his downfall.
Fans have also been wondering whether he will end up wearing the Infinity Gauntlet himself at some point. Thanos wears it on his left hand and this could be why so much attention has been drawn to the left arm of Iron Man. There has been the suggestion that more than one gauntlet was made and it would probably even be possible for Tony Stark to make his own. Getting the gauntlet off Thanos for someone else to use may prove tricky because it now appears as if it has fused to his left arm and so presumably cannot be removed.
This theory seems to be the most popular with fans at the moment because there are so many similarities between Iron Man and Thanos. They are both prepared to make the decisions that no one else will for what they believe is the greater good. Since the first Avengers movie Tony Stark has always been worried about the possibility of another alien attack on Earth in the same way that Thanos worries his plans for the perfect universe would be ruined by a human. Also, if the two characters are headed for a final showdown then they could both be without the use of their left arm.
Gwyneth Paltrow has recently revealed that Pepper Potts will not appear in any more Avengers films after Endgame. This could be an indication that the events of Endgame will mean that Iron Man will also no longer feature. Fans will just have to wait and see whether the reason for this is because the couple get a happy ending or for a more sinister reason.