Endgame Character Deaths Could Have Weight With Fans, Says Professor

With Avengers: Endgame set to open this week, fans are ready to see the current story to its end. Sadly, that means saying goodbye to particular characters…and that’s something that may hit a few of them emotionally.

The effects of losing favorites that we grew up over the years could have a deeper effect than expected. The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with UCLA psychology professor Yalda Uhls and others about such effects.

“Researchers have long studied a phenomenon called parasocial relationships, whereby people create intense ‘relationships with people they don’t know, often celebrities or characters,” said Uhls. “Experiments on parasocial relationships have shown that affection for a TV character predicts their perception of how real a character is. In other words, if I like character A more than character B, I’ll feel like character A is more real.”

Considering fans grew up with the likes of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and others over the years, there’s an attachment there. And losing them can hurt deeper than some may expect. “Absolutely, that can feel like real grief,” Uhls explained. “These relationships are meaningful.”

On top of that, kids could feel it even more. “A first ‘relationship’ is often the one we remember the most, and that’s what some of these parasocial relationships signify when they begin in adolescence,” Uhls added.

Related: Finish the Fight In New Avengers: Endgame TV Spot

You can read more observations about the possibility of character loss here. But if the forthcoming film hits as hard as many are expecting, you may want to bring some tissues with you.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26. Which character death do you believe will hit you the hardest? Let us know in the comments below!