*ENDGAME SPOILERS: IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED IT GO WATCH IT!*
Back in May, several articles were released discussing one of the most tear-jerking deaths in Marvel Cinematic Universe, the death of Black Widow aka Natasha. It was revealed that the writers went back and forth between Hawkeye, aka Clint, and Natasha to be the one to make the sacrifice for the soul stone.
It's caused much debate among fans as well. Not everyone likes Clint and thought he deserved to die for all he's done. Others didn't mind Clint but thought that Natasha should've stayed for a strong female representation among the Avengers. While this is true, more female characters have been introduced in MCU to make up for the loss.
This being said, I do believe, though heartbreaking, that Marvel chose correctly. Here is my opinion why...
1. Natasha made her decision.
In the very first 'Avengers' she mentions to Loki that she has a lot of red on her ledger and she could never pay Clint back for all he did for her. This was the opportunity she'd been waiting for.
Clint: "Natasha you know what I've done. You know what I've done"
Natasha: "Well I don't judge people for their worst mistakes"
Clint: "Maybe you should"
Natasha: "You didn't."
This bit is a reminder of that scene with Loki in the first movie. This is her hero moment and her way of finally paying her debt to Clint, even if it wasn't what he wanted. She was at peace with her life.
2. Clint has a family.
Natasha, unfortunately, could never have the type of family that Clint has. Though we learn that is something she may have wanted as she and Bruce grew closer in "Age of Ultron," this sadly reinforces that it'd never happen.
Bruce: "You have no future with me. I can't ever.. I can't have this. Kids. Do the math, I physically can't"
Natasha: "Neither can I. In the Red Room, where I was trained, where I was raised, um.. they have a graduation ceremony. They sterilize you. It's effecient..."
Yes, she does have a family in the Avengers, but Clint has three children and a wife who he loves dearly. He deserved to see them again. Natasha knew what it was like to grow up with no father, and though it didn't really affect her while growing up, she did not want that for Clint's children whom she loved as if they were her own.
3. Natasha loved Clint.
In the first movie, there is definitely some sexual tension between the two characters. However, as the series progresses we see that their love for each other is purely friendship, at least for Clint. Natasha falls in love with Bruce, but does she ever really lose those romantic feelings for Clint.
There's not a great quote to show this, but just the way she looks at him sometimes shows this.
People question why the sacrifice for the Soul Stone worked unless Clint loved Natasha back. Well first, Thanos didn't love his daughter romantically and it worked for him. So, Clint loved her like a sister or best friend.
Also, if Natasha was truly romantically in love with Clint, she was giving him up too, by dying. She sacrificed herself because she loved him and that was good enough of a trade.
4. Clint deserves more screen time.
I don't know who else felt this way, but I've always loved Hawkeye's character growing up. He was who I was most excited to see live-action. I felt very cheated when he spent the majority of the first movie off-screen and when he did get screen time, the majority of it he was brainwashed.
His character shined through in "Age of Ultron"
Scarlet Witch: "It's all my fault..."
Hawkeye: "Hey look at me. It's your fault, it's everybody's fault, who cares? Are you up for this? Are you? Look I just need to know cause the city is flying- okay the city is flying.. we're fighting an army of robots.. and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense."
I love how he kinda takes on a dad role to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, giving a recognizable dad pep talk to Scarlet Witch and the playful banter between him and Quicksilver. However, he got zero screen time in "Infinity War" which is explained, but still disappointing.
If they had killed him off, I would have been extremely upset and not just because he's my favorite Avenger. He deserves to make amends with himself with all the people he killed, even though they were bad people. Clint still feels guilt for killing them all and the mistakes he's made during the five years after the snap. I am very excited to see him return for his own series.
5. Natasha had the greater good in mind.
There is no doubt that both her and Clint had the greater good in his mind, but Natasha really had nothing to lose. It was her moment to be the hero and she was willing to risk everything for the mission. She wanted to make sure, not just Clint, but everyone got their families back.
It can be argued that Clint was also more playing the martyr, believing he deserved to die and be a hero for Natasha again, than actually making the sacrifice for the greater good. As previously stated, Natasha made peace with her life, Clint had not yet done so, making Natasha's intentions more pure toward the end goal.
6. Not all the fans liked Clint.
Okay, so, as I said at the beginning Hawkeye doesn't have the largest fan club. Several people think his character is poorly developed or there is no real connection with the character. This being said, his sacrifice wouldn't have had as big as an impact on fans. Think about that for a moment.
The Avengers franchise is one that fans have been emotionally attached too since 2008 when the first "Iron Man" movie came out. That's eleven years! Grant it we didn't meet Hawkeye until 2011, in "Thor," but I remember getting super excited when he first came on screen because I've always loved him from the comics.
Anyway, to my point. Fans have become emotionally invested in this series. The end of "Infinity War" physically hurt, I remember it taking over an hour to process what I just saw.
The Soul Stone requires sacrifice, it is the most taxing of all the stones to retrieve. The death of Natasha was emotional and taxing on not just these characters, but on the fans. The fans made the painful sacrifice right along with Clint. Would all the fans felt Clint's death as they felt Natasha's? Probably not. So, in a way, we all helped retrieve the Soul Stone.
Yes, I'm cheesy and a geek, get over it.
7. Natasha was invested in the mission.
In the five years since the snap, the world did a variety of things to cope in the aftermath of losing half the population. Captain America had his PTSD support group, War Machine protects various parts of the globe, and Iron Man retires to family life. Natasha, however, has never known anything more than serving a mission. She took charge and continued the mission and held together the remaining Avengers despite how hopeless things looked.
All her life Natasha has been taught there is nothing more important than the mission. This meant, even her life. She was practically raised for this moment.
Hawkeye had abandoned the mission for five years as he'd lost all hope. Once again, she deserved this and no one was going to take it away from her.
So yeah, it sucked, but I stand by their decision. And no worries Black Widow/Scarlett Johansson fans, as you probably know, we'll be getting more ScarJo in her own Black Widow movie, coming 2020!