ByTrevor Norkey, writer at
Writer, filmmaker, actor and film enthusiast.
Trevor Norkey

As happy and chipper as he may seem, Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) has gone through a lot of tough crap. People love to hate on this billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist saying he lives the perfect life with billions of dollars, but money is not everything.

Over the years, Tony Stark has gone through many traumatizing moments. From losing his parents, to almost dying countless times, Stark's life is far from perfect. Here are the top 5 most traumatizing moments in Tony Stark's life.

5. His Health Problems

During Iron Man 2, we witnessed Tony's health defects caused by the arc reactor, which was the only thing keeping him alive. As the reactor poisoned his blood, Tony went through periods of trauma where he accepted the fact that he would die soon. The 'I can do anything' spirit of Tony Stark suddenly died that day as he realized even Iron Man was not invincible.

This traumatizing realization caused him to turn against Pepper, against Rhodey and against his morals. He even threw a party dressed in the Iron Man suit and endangered the lives of everyone there. In fact, he was so reckless that he managed to ignore the return of Whiplash until it was almost too late.

4. "Losing" Pepper

During the climax of Iron Man 3, Tony failed to catch Pepper as he promised her he would. This resulted in the "death" of his lover as she fell into a fiery explosion (though we now know that she actually survived).

This moment was very traumatizing for Tony as he realized her death was directly caused by his own reckless behavior. Had he not been a jerk to Killian all those years ago, Killian would not have targeted Pepper and she would have survived. The death of someone you love always hurts, but the death of someone you love because of your own actions hurts even more.

3. The Battle of New York

The Battle of New York took place during the climax of The Avengers and ended with Tony Stark himself delivering a Nuke into a portal. While in this portal, Stark witnessed the monstrous reaches of space and was an enormous wake-up call to him that they were not alone. There were other beings out there, many of whom wanted nothing more than to destroy the Earth.

The effects of this event appeared throughout multiple different movies after. In Iron Man 3, we witnessed the Post Traumatic Stress that continued to pester Tony, even giving him anxiety attacks. This was an extremely traumatic moment in Tony's life that influenced his later actions.

2. The Afghan Cave

The moment that changed Tony's life forever was being captured by the Ten Rings in Afghanistan. During his time captured, Tony worked to build the Iron Man suit so as to escape the hell he was thrown into.

The most traumatizing part of this period of time for Tony Stark was not building the suit, but rather seeing the evil and harm that was being done with his own weapons. Before, Tony had lived a happy and carefree life, but now he realized the expenses of his happiness - the deaths of thousands of others. The trauma that Tony went through while in that Afghan cave was like nothing any of us could ever imagine.

1. Scarlet Witch's Vision

At the beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark was shown a vision by Scarlet Witch. The vision was based relatively in the same astronomical region that Tony witnessed during The Avengers, but there was one difference: all of his friends were dead. The worst part, as Tony later explained, was that he was not dead with them.

This traumatizing vision is what made Tony realize he can do something about the space invaders he saw during The Avengers. In Age of Ultron, this moment inspired him to create Ultron, and we can only assume that this inspiration is what led him to work with the government during [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409). Like all the other moments on this list, this was a traumatizing wake up call. The difference, however, is that this wake up call actually inspired him to take action, even though the vision was nothing but a figment of his own imagination.

Tony Stark has gone through a lot in his life. Anyone who says he has it easy is clearly fooling himself. You can't be trapped in an Afghan cave for months and come out exactly the same; you can't shoot a missile into space and not see the world through different eyes; and you can't witness all of your friends dead and expect to be able to walk away without making some rash decisions.

As much as people try to say Stark is not a good character, he really does try to do what is right. The only problem is that the events in his life all traumatize him to this day, making his view of the world rather different from ours. Tony Stark is a very in-depth character who we really can't relate to simply because of how much has happened to him.

What do you think, though? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!


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