Tony Stark in India...
OK - so Tony Stark going to India to find healing and to center himself and his thoughts and feelings after “Civil War” – something to mull over… and I find this all really fascinating…anyway, it was one small scene that stuck in my mind after the movie for a number of reasons, all of which may tell us something deeper about Tony.
Here’s what we KNOW from that brief scene in “Homecoming” – he seems to be in India (confirmed by Helpful Anon who pointed out that this scene is IN the junior novelization, which is based on the script, and which says that Tony is in India trying to find himself…. Does anyone have the junior novel who can give us the actual paragraph?)
Helpful commenter @ficreviewsandstuff posted that it may be an Indian welcoming ceremony.
To recap their comment, because this is all great info: “It looks like an Indian Welcome ceremony to me, held to celebrate someone really important (the flowers garland, and if I remember it correctly, they also performed the aarti, the one with the candle on a plate). So from this scene, I concluded that he’s doing some philanthropist works, especially when you see schoolgirls still in their uniforms around him. Also, interesting that Tony wears white (sherwani white, nevertheless, bless). I normally see people wear white when they’re attending funerals in India. However, he matched the white nice red scarf, so I doubt he attending a funeral. (And this is me reading too much fanfic that white is a widow colour in India, and it reminds me of all those post-cacw fics I read and how it akin to a divorce, but here, steve is dead and buried in Tony’s mind lol dont mind me).”
So then my speculations:
It appears to be a posh scene – he has a sports car there, he’s being feted or welcomed or thanked with the flower wreaths, there is drinking (unclear what sort of beverage he’s enjoying…but Hinduism does not forbid alcohol…). Maybe he’s being welcomed to a ritzy ashram for meditation and instruction? (But he drives off at the end?) Maybe he did perform some philanthropic act while in India for his meditation/healing, and he’s being celebrated for it?
(My other speculation is that this…kind of?…hearkens back to the
Tony of the World War Hulk comics – I think that was it – where he’s
cleared his office of all frills and clutter and maintains a
Zen-like, clean, spare space that’s almost like a meditation room…albeit one with Samurai armor and swords on the wall…)
But bottom line - Tony is trying to heal. He’s willing to take on a practice of meditation or contemplation or at least wise instruction, and to go halfway across the world to do it. He’s trying to become centered and a better person, or at least one who understands himself better.
We have to remember that he JUST suffered the immense trauma of having his parents’ deaths thrown back in his face again at the end of “Civil War.” Their deaths, which he thought was a car accident, was the signal event of his teenage years that hurtled him into the life of dissolute playboy behavior that has colored his life ever since, even though he’s long left that behind.
Added to that agony: he has JUST found out that the co-leader he considered a friend had betrayed him by not telling him the truth about his parents’ murder. And he has JUST played a role in the complete fracture of the Avengers. And he and Pepper split up. And he knows “something worse is coming” and that he and the world and whoever he can get to be on his side will be needed for that inevitable battle. Tony Stark at the end of “Civil War” has pretty much lost everything.
And OF COURSE he blames himself, because that’s what Tony does.
But in “Homecoming” he suddenly starts gaining it back. He suddenly has this young kid hero who won’t give up, and in whom he sees something of himself at that age, if he’d had a chance at a normal childhood and if his teen years hadn’t been blown up by the ultimate tragedy of losing both parents at once. It’s clear the kid WON’T STOP, so Tony does the only thing he thinks he can responsibly do and gives the kid protective tech and a training wheels program so he can do his hero thing as safely as possible. And clearly Tony cares so much about the kid that he’s monitoring him at every step.
And It’s clear that he and Pepper had their problems, but obviously in Homecoming, by that time she’s back in his life in some important way – and he WOULD do all of this for her. Maybe it was even her suggestion that he go halfway across the world to try to find himself. So – Tony now all of a sudden has TWO things he “can’t live without” - Pepper and his young protoge.
And ALL THE WHILE HE’S IN INDIA he’s still keeping a protective eye on Peter Parker, back in Queens – to the point where he knows all the details of what Peter has reported in his posts to Happy.
All speculation and just plain thoughts on my part - what do you all think about the India scene??