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At the Core of Hawkeye, for Jeremy Renner, Is Natasha

Natasha romanoff and clint barton touching foreheads in endgame

It always went back to Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff. Despite the Marvel Cinematic Universe giving Clint a secret family and doing whatever it was they did with Bruce Banner and Nat, their bond still kept bringing the two back to each other.

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From the first time we saw them in action together in The Avengers until their final meeting on Vormir when the two fought to sacrifice themselves for each other, the two had a history that we didn’t really explore, and now that bond is making itself known in Hawkeye.

Whenever it comes to Clint Barton, many of us instantly think of Natasha because the two were bonded long before we met them. Even in Black Widow, Nat talks about Clint’s hiding spot that she brought Yelena to, and the two clearly care about each other outside of what we see onscreen. We know that Yelena is coming to “hunt down” Clint, but I also don’t think that Yelena Belova is going to hurt him knowing what Clint meant to her sister.

But that emotional pull that Clint feels for Nat, and vice versa, is extremely present in Hawkeye as a series so far.

The Nat/Clint connection

Talking to Decider, Jeremy Renner opened up about the connection that the show has to Natasha Romanoff.

“I think it’s quite a huge one,” Renner said. “I think [his relationship with Black Widow] informs Clint and Kate’s bond. I mean, I think as Kate learns [about Clint’s bond with Natasha], the audience learns. I think it’s so beautiful. It’s, you know, just defining of how Clint sees what the job of being a superhero is. Yeah, [Black Widow is] sprinkled throughout [the show] and always a part of what Clint is, for sure.”

Rhys Thomas, one of the directors for the series, talked about Clint’s reaction to seeing Natasha in Rogers: The Musical and the pain there.

“Obviously, deeper down, [watching the musical] eventually conjures up the emotional connection with Natasha and that trauma [of losing her],” Thomas explained. “That was the fun line with that scene, I think — having this kind of light exterior and a fun sequence but ultimately digging at that other level of Clint that’s going on.”

The thing is: Natasha and Clint are connected and always will be. Ignoring that in Hawkeye wouldn’t work in the same way it wouldn’t have worked in Black Widow, but both of these standalone properties understand their history and make it work within the story. It’s fascinating to see the influence they both have on each other.

I don’t think that Clint will ever get over losing Natasha, but I do think that he relates to Kate because of the banter they share that is similar to how he would speak with Nat. He wants to help Kate and protect her because I think that Clint Barton knows that it is what Natasha would do, and that informs his actions.

Hopefully, we get to see more of Nat’s influence over him throughout the show, but these first two episodes did show us that Nat is always going to be with Clint.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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