The Death of Black Widow
While the final scene in the movie jumps forward two weeks and prepares for the prison breakout that closes out Captain America: Civil War, the post-credits brings us back to the present. Much has happened, but the big thing is that Natasha has died. While it was overshadowed by Tony Stark having all these big names pay their respects in an MCU who’s who of mourning, Natasha’s death in Avengers: Endgame was sort of a big deal.
In order to obtain the Soul Stone, Natasha and Hawkeye visited the planet Vormir. Instructed by the wraith-like Red Skull that one could only access it by sacrificing a loved one, the two heroes battled it out in a race to see who could sacrifice his or herself first. Despite Hawkeye’s attempts to stop her, he had no choice but to let Natasha fall to her death. Later on, the Hulk admittedly tried bringing her back to life with the Infinity Gauntlet, but it didn’t work.
Obviously, Natasha isn’t buried at her gravesite. Her body is on a mystical planet across the galaxy…in a different year and maybe timeline. Still, it’s a callback to her unknown mother as Dreykov had her buried in a similar setting. The difference is that people know who Natasha is, and the tributes on her grave make it clear that the world knows who she is and all the sacrifices she made for them. It would seem that the “red in her ledger” has finally been cleared.
Yelena visits Natasha’s grave, seemingly for the first time, along with her dog Fanny. Not only did Yelena admit that she had always wanted a dog, but “Fanny Longbottom” was a suggested alias for Natasha earlier in the movie. And a tail is a long bottom, if you think about it! Yeah?
When Does the Black Widow Post-Credits Scene Take Place?
It would seem that the Black Widow post-credits scene takes place in the “present” of the MCU. That is to say, approximately 2024 (remember the Endgame timejump has to be calculated into everything). I think it’s safe to say that Yelena Romanoff was turned to dust during Thanos’ snap. I have to imagine that she would have been at her sister’s side as Black Widow attempted to keep something resembling the Avengers together in the face of a half-empty world. Not even for the altruism, but for the human support.
What Does Valentina Want?
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine appears next to her, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This was supposed to be her first MCU appearance, but due to COVID causing Black Widow to get bounced around the calendar for over a year, Valentina has already shown up in the MCU. She has previously appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for the sake of recruiting and rebranding John Walker, the disgraced Captain America. He becomes US Agent for…reasons.
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