In Avengers: Endgame, Tony has a conversation with his father. In it, his father mentions his wife is pregnant and Tony inquires about 'how far along is she?'

Something about Tony's reactions in this conversation suggested to me that something was amiss. As I remember it, they knew the date they were returning to, and presumably, he knows his own birth date, and the way the dialogue panned out suggested to me at least that these two things were incongruent.

So is there something to this, or did I misread the scene?

  • Great question, and something I've been wondering about as well.
    – Brandon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 11:03

8 Answers 8


It seems nothing more than just a part of a conversation and a need to keep it going.

However, Tony didn't really have any meaningful conversation with his father before and this conversation allowed him to finally connect with him. And he never got to tell his father that he loves him. So, basically, he ends up saying thanks and loves him.

Besides this, there could be more than that. As Hollywood Reporter says,

For Tony Stark, his conversation with his father Howard (John Slattery) in 1970 is the final means for him to expel the corrosive energy that had grown in him since the events of Captain America: Civil War. But, it also redefines his own role as a father. Tony’s admittance to Howard that his father did the best he could with what he had is the very thing that drives him to sacrifice his life in order to ensure a future for his daughter.

  • 3
    I understand the significance of the wider scene. But it's specifically the dialogue when they're in the elevator around his own birth which suggested something more to me. Commented May 1, 2019 at 6:09
  • 1
    @KorbanDallas I had the same thought. I was expecting him to find out he had an older sibling he didn't know about or something like that.
    – Darren
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 11:25
  • @Darren Yes! Exactly my feeling too. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Commented May 1, 2019 at 12:23
  • This is the correct answer. Tony clearly chose this date for this part of the "time heist" because he knew his father would be at the base on certain dates near his birthday. He knows the answer to this question better than his father, since he knows exactly when he will be born and his father doesn't, yet. The entire conversation is tinged with irony because Howard is uncertain about what is to come, and Tony already knows all the outcome(s).
    – tbrookside
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 13:06

I noticed that scene as well. However, to me it just seemed that he forgot his birthday and was trying to figure out when he would be born.

He was trying to place "today" with respect to his birthday.

I also remember that he guesstimated the date on which they traveled - so wouldn't have thought too much about it.

  • 2
    If they guesstimated when they were returning to then that might explain it, as you said they're trying to pin down the exact date of 'today' - although presumably there are easier ways to do that. The only other thing I thought was that maybe Tony knew the date and was simply 'playing the role' acting like he didn't know how far along Howard's wife was. But the feeling I got from the scene was that it was some sort of 'reveal' which doesn't really match that explanation either. Commented May 1, 2019 at 6:11

There is not a single reference in the Marvel timeline that does not have some significance. I found this on Wikipedia.

Stark married Maria Collins Carbonell and together they had a son, and adopted Anthony "Tony" Stark.


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    That's interesting. In the MCU, has it always been known that Tony was adopted, or is this our first hint? Commented May 6, 2019 at 0:54

I noticed how Tony froze when Howard said “my wife’s expecting”. It means soon. Either today or in couple of days. But Tony realises he was born about 7 weeks late. Maria gives birth to Aron Stark, a Howard-Maria child who was genetically engineered by Recorder 451. He was supposed to be genius but was differently-abled. So they adopted Tony as son decoy, who turns out to be genius. Check out Ironman 2020 comic features Aron as Ironman post tony’s death.

If You Don’t believe me search for Aron Stark on fandom. Here: https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Arno_Stark_(Earth-616)

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    "Expecting" doesn't mean "about to give birth", it just means "pregnant". I don't see any evidence that Arno Stark exists in the MCU.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 27, 2021 at 11:17

The main thing Tony remembers about Howard as a father is his absence.

Howard was much too busy with his company, and Tony wasn't really fathered much as a result. By the time of Endgame, Tony has seen the video Howard left for him, so he knows that Howard did in some way notice Tony, but Howard is still a very incomplete image from Tony's past. His business acumen is well documented, but Tony never really knew Howard as a father.

To me, this scene reads like Tony is continuing the conversation about Howard's child, in an attempt to be able to read Howard's feelings about being a father. Was he excited about it? Was he disinterested? Was he dreading the thought?

This could help reframe Tony's opinion on Howard. Maybe Howard never was interested in children. Maybe he was, but the company unexpectedly took up more of his time than he was anticipating. In this conversation, Tony has an opportunity to maybe find that out.

Tony has a limited window on getting to know his father face-to-face (i.e. this specific conversation), so he's trying to get a read on Howard by continuing the topic of Howard being Tony's father (unbeknownst to Howard at the time that he is speaking to Tony).


The pregnancy Howard is talking about in 1970 couldn't be Tony. First, in the MCU, Tony is older. In Iron Man 2 when Tony is watching the old reel to reel movies of his dad rehearsing the "1974" Stark Expo, young Tony appears in the movie and takes a prop off the table behind Howard. Tony is at least 8 years old.This would make him born at least 1966. So, I couldn't figure out who this baby could be when watching Endgame, but it's clearly not Tony.


I thought it was simply the person he was supposed to be while there, undercover, and all, wouldn't know any of this. So what does a guy say to another guy when talking about the other's pregnant wife? You make small talk about the kid to be. "How far along?" "Boy or girl?" Of course Tony should know, but Howard wouldn't know that this guy should know. So he was just talking to Howard. I thought he was just trying to "get to know his dad". Because when you think about it. He never really did know his dad. He was surprised the night he did his "homework" and found the film where Howard talked to Tony and told Tony how much he meant to him.

As someone who's dad has been gone for a while, and unfortunately the last 5 years of my dad's life, he was estranged, I would jump at the chance to just talk to him again. It wouldn't have to be about anything significant either, just to be able to talk to him would be great. That's the way I interpreted it.

Even though I've been a long time fan of Iron Man, I didn't know about about the "adoption" plotline. I wasn't reading during that time of publishing.


From what I understand, this was the MCU's way of confirming Tony Stark was adopted, possibly to open up more storylines. Who is this biological child, where are they? What happened to Stark secrecy? And it might seem like this is all irrelevant due to Tony Stark's story arc ending, but the MCU is more connected than ever before.

A short, basic answer could be simply that the directors added that in as an easter egg to everyone who knew what it meant without Wikipedia.

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    I agree it could be an easter egg, but I don't think it confirms Tony is adopted in the MCU. There's no mention in any of the other movies about him being adopted as far as I remember.
    – Luciano
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 9:34

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