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Summary

  • Steve’s decision to stay in the past may have consequences he didn’t consider, like leaving behind modern luxuries and relationships he valued.
  • Time travel rules complicate Steve’s new life, as he now must navigate changing the past without creating catastrophic outcomes in new timelines.
  • Steve’s choice to be with Peggy may not be as happy as it seems, as he will have to deal with personal and historical tragedies without being able to intervene.



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Avengers: Endgame said goodbye to several major MCU heroes, and while Captain America supposedly got a happy ending, it might not have been as good as it seemed. While Steve finally got to slow dance with Peggy Carter the way he wanted to for around 80 years in the MCU timeline, the life that follows likely had some serious issues. This is due in large part to the way that time travel was confirmed to work in Avengers: Endgame, but there are also some details that make Steve’s decision iffy, regardless of time travel rules.


When Captain America decided to leave the modern world behind, he was also leaving all the people he met, and the luxuries of living in the 21st Century. This means Steve will have to give up things like the internet, which he said was helpful, and also have to go back to eating that boiled food he mentioned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The intricacies of both the MCU and Captain America’s own timeline complicate matters further, meaning it seems that Endgame‘s ending set up Steve’s life to get worse in ways he probably didn’t even get to consider.


Captain America Is Giving Up His Modern Relationships

Captain America Travels Alone Back In Time In Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Steve Rogers' Captain America with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in Falcon and the Winter Soldier


When Captain America decided to go back to the 1940s and be with Peggy Carter, he was also making the decision to leave a lot of people behind. This may have made more sense if Steve had known Peggy for longer, but he never really spent much time with her outside the war. In contrast, Steve spent years developing relationships with people like Sam Wilson, Bruce Banner, and even had a budding romance with Sharon Carter.

Perhaps the most important relationship Steve gives up in Avengers: Endgame is his close friendship with Bucky Barnes. Steve and Bucky were best friends long before they were superheroes, and they always seemed dedicated to having one another’s backs. Steve deciding to leave Bucky in the present makes Steve’s famous “I’m with you ’til the end of the line” quote from Captain America: The Winter Soldier ring pretty hollow in retrospect. What’s worse is that, between The Snap and Bucky’s time recovering in Wakanda, he and Steve barely spent any time together before Steve decided to leave him behind.


Captain America Will Need To Be Very Careful With Time

The TVA Monitors Time Disturbances In The MCU

Loki TVA Captain America Endgame Ending

Even if Steve Rogers could live happily without seeing any of his new friends again, he is still going to have a difficult time ahead of him. It was made very clear in Avengers: Endgame that changing the past would result in a new timeline. This means Steve has to be very careful in his new life not to make any major changes. If he does, it could have some catastrophic results for him and the new timeline he creates.

The TVA was introduced in Loki shortly after Avengers: Endgame. At the time, the organization existed to prune any timelines that branched off the Sacred Timeline. This means that, if Captain America isn’t careful, he could be in danger of creating a new timeline and having everyone on it be erased by the TVA. While Steve says he went back to enjoy a normal life, it’s hard to believe the Captain America that was shown throughout the MCU would have an easy time not getting involved if he thought he could help.


Captain America Will Have To Let Tragedies Happen

The Ancient One Explained In Avengers: Endgame That The Avengers Couldn’t Safely Change Timelines

In Captain America: Civil War, Steve admits to Tony Stark that he can’t help but get involved when he sees a situation that he thinks he needs to help with. This trait was also made clear early on in Captain America: The First Avenger when Steve stands up to a disrespectful man in a movie before he is even Captain America. It’s hard to believe such a core part of Rogers’ character would change just because Thanos was defeated. That means the character will likely have a hard time having to simply watch as terrible things he knows will happen, happen.


In The Avengers, Captain America makes some comments that show he has caught up with American history, and disapproves of some of the decisions the country made along the way. This is in keeping with his comic book counterpart, who famously stopped using the name Captain America after a conflict with President Nixon, and went by the name Nomad instead. However, the MCU Captain America won’t be able to intervene in any significant way out of the fear that he might alter history.

Worse still, Captain America will also have to allow more personal tragedies to occur. For instance, he won’t be able to rescue Bucky, so he’ll have to live a significant portion of his life knowing that his best friend is being brainwashed and used as a weapon by Hydra. Steve will also have to let Bucky kill Howard Stark, who was both a friend to Captain America and the father of one of Steve’s other close friends. Even if he manages not to do something, it’s almost impossible to think that Steve won’t feel a strong urge to stop these events.

Steve Is Messing With The Carters’ Family Dynamics

Steve Rogers Had Romantic Subplots With Both Peggy And Sharon Carter


It was revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Peggy Carter went on to marry another man after Steve’s disappearance. Based on how time travel is explained in Avengers: Endgame, it is clear that she isn’t just talking about Steve after he went to the past, because he hadn’t done that yet. This means that Steve going back to the past actively changed who Peggy Carter married. It seems uncharacteristically selfish for Steve to assume Peggy would be happier with him simply because they met first.

There’s also the strange connection Steve will now have to Sharon Carter. Sharon mentions she spent time with her aunt when she was young. Presumably, if Steve is married to Peggy, he will now take on the role of Sharon’s uncle. This creates a pretty uncomfortable dynamic, seeing as Steve and Sharon shared a kiss in Captain America: Civil War, and were presumably going to pursue a relationship if things had gone differently. Alternatively, Steve may not want to be around Sharon to avoid this strange situation, possibly cutting down on the time that Sharon gets to spend with Peggy.


Captain America’s Later Years Will Be Tough

Peggy Carter Passed Away In Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Avengers: Endgame showed that Steve Rogers lives at least long enough to pass his shield on to Sam Wilson. This means, in his later years, his Avengers friends will be out there. Steve will likely miss them dearly at that point, but he will be forced not to interact with them and potentially sabotage the timeline. That process will likely be a very lonely experience for him, especially since he will lose Peggy years before the events of Endgame.

The MCU also showed that Peggy had Alzheimer’s disease near the end of her life. It was already painful for the younger version of Steve to see her in this state, but after spending a lifetime with her, it will likely be even more difficult to deal with. He will also be forced to deal with this emotional turmoil without any emotional support from people like Bucky or Sam. Steve Rogers seemingly wouldn’t even be able to attend Peggy’s funeral, since his younger self would theoretically be there.


As much as Avengers: Endgame wanted audiences to believe that Captain America’s ending was a happy one, it seems hard to believe when considering the reality of Steve’s new life. While no life is free of hardship, and Steve staying in the present would probably have meant more trouble to deal with, it still seems better than the alternative. The Steve Rogers presented by the MCU up until Avengers: Endgame would likely have hated nothing more than not getting to stand up for what he believes in.

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