How Mia Thermopolis Renaldi Saves the Avengers

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The movie poster on which the internet spends months debating whose mysterious hand is guiding Mia’s arrow.

Earlier this week, @rosesmcu tweeted:

But don’t think you’re going to scroll through a great Twitter essay, because it isn’t there.

Thanks, @rosesmcu, now I’ve spent an afternoon thinking about this. So I’m going to be the nerd you bribed in middle school to write your essay for you. Except you didn’t bribe me. Hm.

Obvious warning, what follows contains spoilers for both the Avengers storylines and The Princess Diaries.

To recap where we’ve last left our past and future heroes, Queen Amelia Mignonette “Mia” Thermopolis Renaldi of Genovia abolished the requirement for royal marriage and opened a children’s home. Post-snap, the world is left with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, War Machine, Rocket, Nebula, Okoye, and M’Baku. Hawkeye and Ant-Man should also be showing up, and a few other folks are of unknown dust-status.

Both of these storylines have movie and book (or comic book) canon. And in both cases, there is significantly more story in the book form, which sometimes, but not always, is reflected on the screen.

The stinger at the end of Infinity War implies that Captain Marvel is going to be important to the rescue mission. We could just say that it turns out Captain Marvel is Mia’s secret superhero identity (oh, are we using our made-up names?), but that’s both clearly untrue and would be the easy way out. It’s possible that was a red herring, or that Nick Fury couldn’t know that Captain Marvel was also dusted. Or she’s too busy protecting us elsewhere. Who knows? But this is Mia’s story.

We open a few days after the events of Infinity War. Those left behind were shattered by what they saw — and what they didn’t see. They’ve been trying to figure out who’s left and how they can right things again. Everyone loves comfort food, so the Avengers are gathered for shawarma, arranged just like last time in a callback to that stinger.

In walks a dark-haired woman dressed in black. (Someone makes a subtle Catwoman joke.) They try to dismiss her, but she persists. She introduces herself as Queen of Genovia. Steve, still skeptical, says he knows the world map changed a lot since he took geography, but he’s never heard of Genovia.

“How about Wakanda?” Mia points out.

Turns out there’s more than one nation operating under the radar. Genovia has a long history with Wakanda, having bonded over their need for secrecy. Genovia is “famous for pears,” but the reason for those great pears is also the great secret of their own piece of land.

Tony convinces the rest of the team that they don’t need outsiders right now. They need each other and can’t risk being distracted.

Then over the course of the next hour, the team splinters. Each of the heroes we’ve seen triumph over and over fails and falls in their attempts to bring Thanos down.

Periodically we see Mia continue to try to help. She tries to bond with Hawkeye over their successes in archery. She reaches out to Bruce through a mutual contact from her time at Princeton, but it turns out Bruce didn’t actually like that guy. None of her efforts go over well. In a flashback, we see her grandmother, the former queen, Clarisse (Julie Andrews), disappear into dust from her beloved Joe’s (Hector Elizando) arms. (The #savejulie hashtag is instantly born, and a rush of outraged memes flood Twitter.)

Finally we see Mia talking to Shuri in her lab. They’ve clearly known each other for some time. Mia jokes that she might not be so into playing Space Alien with Michael anymore. (Confused? See post-postscript.)

Shuri gives her the toys she needs to get to Thanos. In the comics, he’s vulnerable while he’s fighting Eternity, so let’s assume that something similar has gone down. Mia offers him pears, or whatever it is that makes Genovia special and grows the pears. The movie’s going to be sponsored by the pear industry. Whatever. We’re interested in Mia’s part of the story right now.

Mia steals the Infinity Gauntlet from the vulnerable Thanos and uses it to move time back to before Thanos’ snap. In the comics, Nebula does this and retains the gauntlet, so we’ll assume Mia does as well.

Now a stranger is standing in the midst of all these superheroes, wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. None of the events of this movie have happened, so most of them have no idea who she is. Fortunately before they all attack her, T’Challa is able to speak up and stop them.

Now that she’s clearly no longer a threat and very much over his attitude, Mia picks up a nearby pear and lobs it into Tony’s groin (a callback to the baseball scene in The Princess Diaries). “We’re famous for pears,” she says.

Fin.

PS – Are there a lot of problematic parts here? Sure. But you came looking for a way for the star of something called The Princess Diaries to save The Avengers. Let’s not throw pears.

PPS – Did you know there’s an adult Princess Diaries book? Mia and her husband like to play firefighters and space alien, wink-wink-nudge-nudge. Yes, really.

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