Black Widow and Hawkeye

In Avengers: Infinity War, in order to obtain the Soul Stone, Thanos has to sacrifice someone he loves. To thwart Thanos, Gamora tries to stab herself, but he turns the knife into bubbles.

Thanos stops Gamora from committing suicide so he can kill her himself, by throwing her off the cliff.

It seems like, for the sacrifice to count, you have to actually kill a person you love. It's not enough to just lose someone through suicide.

However, in Avengers: Endgame Natasha sacrifices her own life, with Clint actually trying to save her. So even though Clint loses a loved one, it wasn't he who made the sacrifice. Nonetheless he wakes up with the Soul Stone in his hand (and he can hold it without getting killed).

My Question(s):

- Why did Clint receive the Soul Stone, even though he didn't sacrifice a loved one?
- Is it actually necessary to kill a loved one, or is it enough to just lose one?

  • Edit Note: I edited the picture back in because, in this case, I'm using it as spoiler buffer. Sometimes people don't check the tags before clicking on a question, so they might think this is about this Hawkeye, or this Hawkeye, or any other non-MCU Hawkeye. The picture allows people to instantly know what Hawkeye this question is about without having to read even the first line, which does contain spoilers for "Infinity War".
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 12:27
  • 3
    Noone who is actively trying to avoid spoilers for the MCU is remotely going to think this question could be about M.A.S.H.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 16:54

4 Answers 4


I think the pit is important for the ritual. They must be sacrificed to the pit. So Gamora killing herself then being thrown in likely wouldn't have counted, but Natasha falling in did.

  • This makes sense; Clint lost his whole family beforehand. He certainly lost that which he loves, just not off the cliff. Commented May 6, 2019 at 23:46

Because Clint loved her so much he wanted to sacrifice himself so she could live, and she wanted the same.

That's plenty enough love for this job.

Both the love and the sacrifice were present.

  • In "Infinity War" it seemed like Thanos had to kill someone he loved to get the stone, i.e. the stone demanded that he chose power over love. - Clint however was not willing to sacrifice Natasha for the stone. Natasha's life was more important to him than the stone. So, unlike Thanos, Clint wasn't willing to sacrifice love for power.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 10:58
  • Well Clint did let Nat go at the end
    – Huangism
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 18:18

According to Red Skull in Infinity War,

In order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love.

Earlier in the scene, he does say the stone requires a sacrifice, but the above comment is a clarification when Thanos asks. It makes sense as long as you lose that which you love then you've fulfilled the requirements, which Hawkeye does.

  • 5
    But Thanos clearly interpreted it as he has to sacrifice someone he loves in exchange for the stone, as he stops Gomora from committing suicide, so he can kill her. - If losing a loved one is enough, than Gomora killing herself should have done the job as well, since Thanos would have lost someone he loves.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 11:53
  • 5
    @Oliver_C When he arrived at the cliff, Thanos had no prior knowledge of how the soul stone works. It's entirely possible that he had a minor misunderstanding and that he would get the stone even if Gamora had killed herself up there.
    – Sigma Ori
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 19:50
  • "To ensure that whoever possesses it understands its power, the stone demands a sacrifice." I guess it's understandable why Thanos thought that the burden is on the person who wants to obtain the stone. - And what if Clint, Natasha and Bruce Banner had gone to Vormir? After Natasha's sacrifice, who would have received the stone, Clint or Bruce? If the burden of sacrifice is not on the one who wants the stone, how does the stone decide who gets it if there is more than one person mourning a lost love?
    – Oliver_C
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 19:06

Aside from the deaths themselves, all we have to go on regarding the Soul Stone's rules are the utterances of our old pal Johan:

RED SKULL: Soul hold a special place among the Infinity Stones. You might say it has a certain wisdom.

THANOS: Tell me what it needs.

RED SKULL: To ensure that whoever possesses it... Understands its power... The stone demands a sacrifice.

THANOS: Of what?

RED SKULL: In order to take the stone you must lose that which you love. A soul...For a soul.


Captain Rougebones doesn't say that the aspiring wielder has to personally make the sacrifice, just that there has to be a sacrifice.

If the stone has wisdom enough to determine whether Thanos/Hawkeye genuinely loved Gamora/Widow, it presumably also his wisdom enough to determine the intentionality behind a death. Gamora committing suicide to prevent Thanos from getting the stone presumably wouldn't count as a stone-getting sacrifice, but Nat flinging herself from the cliff-side to enable Clint to get the stone clearly does.

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