That tiny little arc-reactor, that damage to his body, that was as much a part of him being Iron Man as his motivations to escape his prison. Yet, it was simply just thrown-in like some sort of additional info, which seemed to bother me. I would have liked to see more development that just "op, i'm gonna get fixed too!"

Is this an honest "why would you do this?" question or do I simply care more than most?

EDIT: This is a question of why if was barely covered in the film, not why it happened.

  • 1
    Possible Duplicate: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/11424/…
    – Tablemaker
    Jun 21, 2013 at 14:23
  • 2
    @TylerShads Rather "related" than "duplicate" I'd say.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 21, 2013 at 14:30
  • 4
    Not a duplicate, asking about the director's choice of minimal air-time for this subject, not why it happened, I realize now my question was worded poorly. Thanks though! Jun 21, 2013 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


The idea is that Iron Man 3 closes a major chapter, or set of chapters, of Tony Starks life. This chapter started when he was first taken hostage and the shrapnel was embedded in his body.

One of the themes of this movie is dependence. Tony has been dependent on the suit, on the reactor in his chest, for a long time. After all of the events in IM1, 2, Avengers, and IM3, Tony has finally learned that he's no longer dependent on the suits. To show this to Pepper he destroyed all of the suits he created. He also finally had the peace of mind to remove the shrapnel, the one thing that made him dependent on the core in his chest.

  • 1
    Exactly, "that was as much a part of him being Iron Man as his motivations to escape his prison." - And that's why he finally removed it.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 21, 2013 at 14:32
  • 2
    I understand why it was included and I wanted it to be, I failed a bit on the wording of the question. I was more asking if this was such a pivotal moment for Tony Stark, why did the film make it seem like an add-on ending? I thought it should have been given more air-time then it did. Jun 21, 2013 at 18:25
  • 3
    I like the phrase "dependent on the suit", not only physically (to keep him alive) but mentally reliant on them... at the end of the third film he's neither.
    – Liath
    Aug 22, 2013 at 10:20

At the close of the movie 'Pepper' Potts is safe yet the question remains: how on Earth can we undo the effects of the Extremis virus? Suitably motivated to engage with the Extremis biology, at last, Stark makes it the focus of the coming months to save 'Pepper' and restore her to 'normality'. At some point it occurs to him that there would be a symmetry in also restoring himself to 'normality', completing the journey of redefining himself without the dependency on the Iron Man technology. Perhaps he is also inspired by Pepper's courage in submitting to experimental treatment to reverse Extremis and goes under the knife himself.

The narrative emphasis here is on Pepper and Tony - together - being rid of the biological aberrations that have made them superhuman yet unable to live as whole people, and then moving on together. This, I think, is why Tony's surgical procedure gets only a brief viewing as the movie wraps up.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .