5 Best MCU Quotes That Have A Deeper Meaning Than They Seem
While there are plenty of truly iconic quotes out there, whether it makes viewers cry, laugh, or give pause, there’s no doubt that the true meaning often remains unsaid, uninterpreted, or lost indecipherable in the expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While many viewers understood the superficial or literal meaning in context, only some fans were able to interpret the deeper meaning of some quotes. The gap between listening and hearing the deeper meaning behind each quote lies in the difference between a viewer and a fan, as fans often revisit these films, providing everyone with the opportunity to see the old lines through a new lens of understanding.
“I am Iron Man”
The unscripted phrase “I am Iron Man” has been iconic since the first movie was released in the MCU in 2008. Although at that time the phrase was simply Tony’s public acknowledgment of being the masked armored hero, the phrase has come to mean much more since Tony’s character arc has been explored further. In Iron Man 3, as Tony deals with the traumatic experience of New York City, he suffers frequent panic attacks, struggling to adjust to both the role of Tony Stark and Iron Man, stating that his suits are part of him, referring to himself and the costumes as “us”.
At the end of the film, as a sign of devotion to Pepper as well as a demonstration that he lets go of what he cannot control, Tony self-destructs the multiple armored suits he has created. He also had the shrapnel and thus arc reactor removed from his chest. However, Tony states that “you can take my house, all my stuff and toys [but] one thing you can’t take away, I’m Iron Man,” reinforcing the idea that Tony Stark is Iron Man, not his suits. In Avengers: Endgame, Tony declares he is Iron Man before snapping his fingers in recognition of who he is.
“I went for the head”
When Thor punches Thanos in the chest in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos tells Thor he should have tackled the head instead. Following the events of the Blip, or the disintegration of half the universe, the remaining Avengers visit Thanos to retrieve the Infinity Stones, hoping to reverse the damage done.
When Thanos reveals he destroyed the Infinity Stones so his actions couldn’t be undone, Thor beheads him, stating that he went for the head. While Thor’s straightforward dialogue gives in to listening to it, Thanos’ statement was full of condensation, reminding Thor of how he failed to stop him. This moment marked a pivotal moment for Thor’s character arc as he could finally say he had it done – he went for the head, he avenged what he lost, he killed Thanos. Although there was no pride in his voice, Thor’s internal turmoil was evident, as he continued to blame himself.
“You can rest now”
When Iron Man snaps his fingers to finally stop Thanos, he succumbs to the extent of his injuries from using the Infinity Stones. As he breathes his last, Pepper assures Tony that he and their daughter Morgan would be fine, telling him he can rest now.
Although superficially it seems like a moment of reassurance that Tony can pass in peace, there is a deeper meaning to the phrase. In Iron Man 3, Tony addresses his fear of losing her after discovering the fragility of human life after the events in New York. As he declares that he senses “the threat is imminent, and he must protect [his world]”. In Avengers: Endgame, when Tony discovers time travel creating a possibility to bring everyone back, he reluctantly turns to Pepper. However, Pepper asks him if he could rest, if he should turn away from the opportunity to bring everyone back – All the people who were Other People’s worlds.
“You will never be a god”
As Loki’s character has been branded as insecure and narcissistic throughout his evolution in the MCU, his last words to Thanos come across as one of arrogance, wanting to have the last word.
His last words remind Thanos that he has something he will never have, even if he manages to be the strongest being in the universe. Thanos saw himself in a benevolent nature, seeing himself as a heroic figure who deserves both praise and adoration. However, Loki eventually comes to terms with the fact that he is not a god, on the terms he wanted, accepting his limitations and, as a result, dies a hero, marking his tragic end.
“I can’t feel you”
In Episode 8 of WandaVision, Wanda breaks into SWORD’s lab to find Vision’s body. As she bursts into tears, she utters the words “I can’t feel you”. While this appears to be a nod to his inability to read minds using his telepathic abilities after his disappearance, there is a parallel in the Avengers movies that not only demonstrates a deeper meaning, but can easily be missed without particular attention to detail.
In Avengers: Infinity War, during their on-screen introduction, at Vision’s request that the Mind Stone bother him, Wanda attempts to read his mind to which she states, “I only feel you”. Before his death, Vision repeats this line as his last words, wanting to comfort Wanda by saying “you could never hurt me [as] I only feel you”.
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