August 10, 2022

Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has been a key player within the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his debut in Thor. Along with fellow Avenger and best friend Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Clint’s involvement in the MCU is fundamental in representing humanity and morality.

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The archer is put to the test on countless occasions. He is surrounded by tragedy, yet remains selfless and humble. Throughout his MCU venture, Clint’s never afraid to be vulnerable, and has delivered his fair share of gut-wrenching lines that tug at the hardest of hearts.


“Don’t Give Me Hope.”

When Clint is reintroduced in Endgame he embraces idyllic bliss with his family; only moments later is he left helpless as the Bartons evaporate into dust, deserting a confused Clint in their wake. Within the five years between Infinity War and its follow-up, Clint grows further from the quick-witted sharp shooter fans know.

There are few things more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose. Spiraling down a dark path as the Ronin, it seems all hope is lost for Clint, and his quest for vengeance intrudes over his morality. Never one to shun her best friend, Natasha ushers Clint from the edge with a hopeful proposition, receiving a broken response.

“It Was Supposed To Be Me.”

Natasha and Clint’s bond is the backbone of the Avengers. They take care of each other; they understand one another like no one else on the team could, and they always seek out the other’s best. It’s only fitting that the duo would volunteer together for Vormir during the time heist, but it’s abundantly clear Clint has no intention on making it back alive if he can help it.

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Of course, the Black Widow isn’t willing to stand down without a fight. Watching the two best friends clash over who can clear their ledger first is tough. Neither character deserves to meet such a demise, yet Natasha makes the sacrificial jump to save the universe, leaving a distraught Clint behind. His harrowing sob chokes out this line, telling viewers everything they need to know; Clint blames himself, not only for his family vanishing, but for having to watch helplessly as his friend suffers a fate he believes only he is worthy for.

“She Made Her Choice.”

Losing Natasha takes a devastating toll on Clint. As he deals with the aftermath of Endgame, the archer remains deeply affected by her death. Clint alludes to their partnership frequently throughout Hawkeye. Though, his grief reaches a stage of acceptance in the series finale.

Battling it out with Natasha’s younger and mournful sister, Yelena (Florence Pugh), Clint is reluctant to put up a fight. The pair pour their hearts out in the process, resulting in Clint delivering this painful blow. Hearing the sorrow in his tone as he utters the words is heartbreaking; Clint clearly has unresolved guilt over Natasha, but he understands that once the former widow sets her mind to it, nothing can stand in her way – not even Clint’s tearful pleas.

“Natasha… I Really Need To Talk To You Right Now.”

For the first time in a decade, Clint is flying solo. He no longer has his partner to banter with mid-battle; there’s no one to fight by his side and reminisce the good old days; there’s no one to ground him when the darkness becomes too much, or guide him back towards the moral high ground. A part of Clint dies on Vormir, and Hawkeye explores a deep dive into his conscience.

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Arriving at a monument dedicated to the Avengers, Clint gives an emotional monologue that leaves him exposed and vulnerable. Turning off his hearing-aid to tune out the world, he breaks down to Natasha. Clint is evidently lost without her. He misses having Natasha around. Expressing regret over her death and for tumbling onto the path of the Ronin once again, it’s apparent that Clint will never fully recover from the loss, believing Natasha’s death to be unnecessary.

“It Comes With A Price.”

Few characters understand the burden of heroism like Clint Barton. He knows what it means to lose everything in the blink of the eye – usually getting a front row seat. When eager protégé Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) finds herself in the throes of vigilante justice, Clint is hesitant to take her under his wing.

Kate grows on the retired agent. Her potential shines, never lost on Clint. During a post-battle heart-to-heart, he passes on some words of wisdom. Their relationship is complex, but there’s a bittersweet wave of emotion here – like several other scenes in Hawkeye. Clint knows better than anyone what sacrifices must be made; he understands loss in all its forms; his price is a hefty weight on his soul as he teaches Kate a valuable lesson.

“I Wish There Was A Way That I Could Let Her Know.”

Once all is right with universe, the Avengers reunite to mourn the losses of fallen heroes Natasha and Tony (Robert Downey Jr). Saving the world comes at a cost, and the two allies selflessly cash in with their lives. With everyone paying their respects to Iron Man, Clint and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) share a tender moment of mutual sorrow as they honor the respective deaths of Natasha and Vision (Paul Bettany).

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The struggle for the soul stone is tragic. The realization that Natasha’s sacrifice cannot be reversed is salt on the still-open wound. Clint loses regardless of the outcome; either he goes on without his best friend, or he never sees his family again, but he certainly doesn’t believe the orange rock to be worthy of the assassin’s life. The reply Wanda gives Clint further drives Natasha’s conviction in the time heist home; before she makes the jump on Vormir, Natasha is sure their plan will work.

“I’m Making Up For Some Lost Time.”

Clint is a family man. He never fails to put the safety of his wife and kids above all else. Even in the midst of a global catastrophe, Clint has his family at the forefront of his mind and always searches for an exit from the business. Despite his best efforts, the archer finds his way back to the battleground, retired or not.

Whether he’s teaming up with Steve (Chris Evans) in Captain America: Civil Waror on a brutal killing spree in Endgame, Clint battles his inner demons on being unavailable to his family. He finally has the chance to make up for milestones lost following the five-year blip; Clint is eager to remain present in his kids’ lives; he’s tired of disappointing them, and is the type of guy who’ll spend every waking moment creating invaluable memories to atone for his absence.

“I Owe A Debt.”

Undoubtedly the big brother of the Avengers, Clint is the first to welcome Wanda to the team and soon grows protective over her. Their firm connection stems from Avengers: Age of Ultron; when Wanda’s brother gives his life for the sharp-shooter, the two are profoundly overwhelmed with guilt and grief, leading to an exploration of their intricate dynamic in Civil War.

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Clint’s justification for tagging along to the fight is because he believes there is a debt to be repaid. It’s a line that can be overlooked; however, in the grand scheme, these four words are integral when it comes to understanding Clint. Like a lot of affairs in his life, he feels responsible for Pietro’s (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) early demise. Clint sees standing by Wanda and offering his help to Team Cap as a starting point to making amends with his past.

“I Can’t Go Home. Until I Fix This.”

Inspired by Hawkeye’s heroic deeds during the battle of New York, Kate’s admiration for the Avenger inadvertently lands her in a sea of troubles. Clint is haunted by his time as the Ronin, so when he catches Kate donning the suit, he takes it upon himself to keep her safe – and clear his ledger in the process.

Life is never easy for the archer. To find closure, he must forgo Christmas celebrations with his family, delaying another bid for the quiet life. Resilience and determination are two core qualities within Clint’s arc; the weight of his ledger hangs heavy. Clint is labored with internalized guilt; he harshly blames himself for all he’s lost whether directly responsible or not, as well as the consequences of his past.

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