|For alternate versions of Thanos, see Thanos' Character Hub|
- "I know what it's like to lose. To feel so desperately that you're right, yet to fail nonetheless. It's frightening. Turns the legs to jelly. I ask you, to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. And now, it's here. Or should I say, I am."
- ― Thanos[src]
Thanos was a genocidal warlord from Titan, whose own main objective was to bring stability to the universe by wiping out half of all life at every level, as he believed its massive population would inevitably use up the universe's entire supply of resources and condemn this. To complete this goal, Thanos set about hunting down all the Infinity Stones, being confident that the combined power of the Stones would achieve his goal. Thanos forged alliances with Loki, and Ronan the Accuser, in order to track down some of the Stones: However, both alliances cost Thanos much of his resources, including the Mind Stone and the loyalty of his daughters, Gamora and Nebula. Fed up with all his subordinates' ongoing failures, Thanos made the decision to seek and procur the Stones himself, and he began by forcing Eitri to create the Infinity Gauntlet for him so that he would be able to wield the power of the Stones safely.
Thanos then engaged in a ferocious crusade in order to obtain the Infinity Stones. During his mission, both Thanos and his Black Order invaded multiple planets and slaughtered thousands to gain the stones, including Loki and the Asgardians. This quest even forced Thanos to sacrifice his beloved Gamora, in order to take the Soul Stone. Thanos soon found himself challenged by the alliances of the entire universe's greatest heroes, which included the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, despite facing off against the powerfully combined opposition and the wrath of Thor, Thanos still ultimately triumphed as he completed the Infinity Gauntlet, using it to finally complete his goal through the Snap, which resulted in half of all life in the universe being wiped out with a mere snap of his fingers.
Following his Snap, Thanos had then ensured this could never be reversed by destroying all of the Infinity Stones, resulting in the Avengers tracking him down on Planet 0259-S, where Thor executed him with Stormbreaker. For five years, the universe continued to live on with the devastating ramifications of his actions. In 2023, the Avengers resurrected the victims of his Snap after traveling through time to collect the Infinity Stones, and while they came across an alternate version of himself, with great personal sacrifice, they finally ended his reign once and for all.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Seeking Power
- 1.3 Infinity War
- 1.4 Cost of Victory
- 1.5 Legacy
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Facilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Behind the Scenes
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
Fall of Titan
Thanos was born to A'Lars, a member of the Titans, a race of powerful, god-like beings that evolved on the planet of Titan. Thanos had unconditionally loved his people and desperately sought to save Titan when the planet became threatened by the imminent catastrophic collapse of overpopulation. Coming up with his own solution, Thanos suggested killing half of the population of their planet entirely at random, freeing the rest from starvation. However, his idea was considered too drastic and was dismissed by his people, who exiled him from Titan for his suggestion. However, Thanos' warnings were proven right, as Titan was subsequently devastated over the decades as well as rendered nearly uninhabitable, and Thanos' own race was reduced to extinction, leaving only Thanos remaining.
As a result of Titan's fall and the circumstances surrounding it, Thanos came to believe that the universe's vast swell of life was depleting its finite resources, and would eventually destroy the universe itself. Hence, to save other planets from Titan's fate, Thanos used his uncanny skills to amass resources and became a world-conqueror, moving throughout the universe and destroying half of all life on the planets he conquered due to his ideology of balancing the universe. This campaign earned Thanos a fearful reputation as an intergalactic warlord, due to his immense power, ruling over a region of space, and gaining control of the deadly armies of the Chitauri, Sakaarans, and Outriders. His infamy was so staggering that Thanos came to be considered among the most powerful, if not the most powerful, being in the universe.
Training his Children
Seeking to build up his strength, Thanos collected orphans from some races that he conquered. His oldest children were Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, Cull Obsidian and Proxima Midnight. These four warriors, all devoted to Thanos, comprised the Black Order. When Thanos attacked the Zehoberei peope to balance Zen-Whoberi, Thanos' attention was captured by a young Zehoberei named Gamora, who was bravely pushing back against one of his Chitauri soldiers.
Looking down at Gamora, Thanos asked what was wrong, and she demanded to know where her mother was, still looking at Thanos without any fear in her eyes. As he knelt to look at her, Thanos became fascinated by the child's clear strength and asked what her name was before he commented that she was quite the fighter. He then offered Gamora his hand and promised to help her, taking her past the thousands of terrified Zehoberei whom he had at his mercy.
Thanos took the young Gamora aside and offered her a switchblade to admire, showing Gamora how the blade was perfectly balanced, as he believed life should be. While Gamora was distracted, Thanos and Maw proceeded to massacre half of all the Zehoberei people, including Gamora's entire family. Thanos adopted Gamora as his daughter, training her to become a ruthless assassin, though he grew to genuinely care about her as well, unlike his other children.
Even as Gamora changed from being devoted to him to hating him, Thanos' love for her never wavered and he continually held onto his hope that she would inherit his throne. Thanos also massacred a Luphomoid family to raise Nebula as another devoted and deadly assassin. Thanos always pitted Nebula against Gamora and whenever Nebula lost, Thanos removed another body part from her to make her stronger. Thanos also acquired the services of the Other to act as his servant.
Quest for Infinity Stones
- "The entire time I knew Thanos, he only ever had one goal. To bring balance to the universe by wiping out half of all life. He used to kill people planet by planet, massacre by massacre."
"Including my own."
"If he gets all six Infinity Stones... he can do it with the snap of his fingers like this."
- ― Gamora and Drax the Destroyer[src]
Thanos eventually realized that there were far too many lifeforms in the universe for him to balance by himself. Deducing that the Infinity Stones, objects of immense power that held considerable dominance over the various forces that occupied the universe, could solve this issue permanently, Thanos made it his life's goal to gather them, and forged several alliances to locate them. The first Stone he located was the Mind Stone, placing it within a Scepter that was capable of manipulating minds as a means of better controlling its formidable power.
Through many years of searching, Thanos would tell Nebula that he intended to claim all the Stones and use them to wipe out half of all life before retiring permanently on his Farm to live out a peaceful life, believing that the universe would be grateful for his actions. Eventually, Thanos discovered a lead on the Orb's location, and sent Nebula and Gamora to the Cloud Tombs of Praxius under Korath's command. Nebula fell victim to a trap during the mission, and Thanos, not one to tolerate failure, forbade Gamora from rescuing her.
As a result of Thanos' disregard for her, Nebula was forced to amputate her own arm to escape. The Orb was never recovered, but Thanos let the failure pass and resumed his search. He also sent Gamora to find the Soul Stone, but she lied and reported back to him that her search had been unsuccessful. In truth, she had found a map to the location of the Soul Stone and burned it to ashes; and, Thanos, being as perceptive as he is, easily saw through her lie but said nothing. Upon allying with Ronan the Accuser, Thanos commanded the Kree to conduct several massacres adhering to Thanos' agenda, including one where Drax the Destroyer's entire family was killed by Ronan.
- "The Tesseract has awakened. It is on a little world, a human world. They would wield its power, but our ally knows its workings as they never will. He is ready to lead, and our force, our Chitauri, will follow. The world will be his, the universe will be yours. And the humans, what can they do, but burn?"
- ― The Other to Thanos[src]
Thanos discovered that the Tesseract was on Earth and allied himself with Loki to retrieve it, providing him with the Scepter, as well as a portion of his Chitauri soldiers, who would help him conquer the planet. Before the mission, Thanos personally trained Loki in mind control, and through his intermediary, The Other, told the god of mischief, that if he failed to deliver the Tesseract to him, Thanos would force him to endure a new kind of horrific suffering.
Despite his vast armies of Chitauri and powerful weaponry, Loki was defeated during the Battle of New York after Iron Man destroyed the Chitauri Command Center,. This resulted in the Scepter and Infinity Stone falling into the hands of HYDRA for their own research, while Thor transported the Tesseract and the now-captive Loki to Asgard. The Other reported to his master that Humans were unruly wretches, and that challenging them would be to court Death. Thanos rose to his feet and smiled at the prospect of what was coming. Thanos then began researching the "unruly wretches," whom he discovered were called the Avengers, gaining a special interest for Tony Stark, whom he viewed as a kindred spirit also "cursed with knowledge."
Two years later, the Kree Empire signed a peace treaty with the Nova Corps, much to Ronan's ire. Having a lead on the Power Stone, Thanos offered Ronan that if he brought the Orb, he would then destroy Xandar for the Kree. Sometime after that, Thanos ordered his daughters to take part in the slaughter of the Korbinites. Upon gaining victory, Thanos teleported to his daughters' Q-Ship, while wiping the blood from his Double-Edged Sword, informing them that Ronan had located the Power Stone and they would be going to the Dark Aster to oversee the retrieval of the Stone.
Although Gamora noted that Ronan would not be happy about them observing him, Thanos noted that the alternative was death and that Ronan's obsession with the Kree-Nova War clouded his judgment. Nebula bowed before Thanos with her Electroshock Batons, vowing that she would not fail her father. Thanos replied that he knew she would not, while Gamora rolled her eyes at her sister's attempts to appease their father.
- "Your politics bore me. Your demeanor is that of a pouty child. And apparently, you alienated my favorite daughter, Gamora. I shall honor our agreement, Kree, if you bring me the Orb. But return to me again empty-handed... And I will bathe the starways in your blood."
- ― Thanos to Ronan the Accuser[src]
Although Ronan and his Kree ally, Korath the Pursuer, had already discovered the Orb on Morag and attempted to deliver it to Thanos, the stone fell into the possession of Star-Lord, who was trying to sell it to Broker, before Ronan could claim it.
Unwilling to be denied the stone, Thanos ordered Ronan to pursue Quill, and entrusted Gamora with recovering the stone. Gamora found Quill first, cornering him on Xandar where he was attempting to sell the Orb. She recovered it, but hating Thanos for torturing her and her siblings for years, planned to give the Orb to the Collector, who also sought the Infinity Stones for his own purposes.
As Ronan relayed news of Gamora's clearly planned betrayal, the Kree berated Thanos for not taking the situation seriously and even murdered The Other when he lectured Ronan for not showing Thanos respect. Undaunted by The Other's death and Ronan's complaints, Thanos turned Ronan away, instructing him to return to his task and correct Gamora's betrayal, hiding his regret and only appearing slightly annoyed. Thanos then instructed Nebula to take up Gamora's place.
Ronan the Accuser and Nebula both eventually stole the Orb from the Guardians of the Galaxy, but when Thanos was contacted by Ronan to be updated on their progress, he was furious to discover that the Kree, having experienced the true power of the Orb, intended on keeping the Infinity Stone for himself, despite Korath the Pursuer noting Thanos was the most powerful being in the universe.
Nebula joined with Ronan, despising Thanos for the horror he forced her to endure throughout her youth. Now believing himself superior to Thanos, Ronan promised to come after Thanos when Xandar was destroyed. Unfazed, Thanos cut contact with them without a word. Ronan would eventually lose his life at the hands of the Guardians of the Galaxy, who gave the Orb to the Nova Corps, making yet another Infinity Stone lost to Thanos.
Into His Own Hands
- "Fine. I'll do it myself."
- ― Thanos[src]
With both Loki and Ronan the Accuser failing to conquer worlds and bring him the Infinity Stones, Thanos decided to take matters into his own hands. He forced the Dwarves of Nidavellir to forge the Infinity Gauntlet before massacring them all, leaving only Eitri alive, whose hands he crippled. Thanos began hunting down for the Infinity Stones himself, as he believed himself to be the only being capable of completing the task. Eventually, Nebula returned and attempted to kill Thanos onboard the Sanctuary II, but she was subdued and captured.
During his preparations, Thanos thoroughly investigated the whereabouts of each Infinity Stone, including their current keepers: the Asgardians, the Masters of the Mystic Arts, the Tivan Group, Vision, and the Nova Corps. Having amassed all the knowledge he could, Thanos launched the Infinity War so he could finally bring balance to the universe.
Thanos soon tracked the Power Stone down to Xandar, where it was being protected by the Nova Corps following the defeat of Ronan the Accuser. Thanos infiltrated the Nova Corps Headquarters before acquiring the Orb. After having destroyed it, he placed the Power Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet and proceeded to kill half of the Xandarians. As news of Thanos' attacks spread, the Confederacy reminded HYDRA of Thanos' threat he posed to Earth and the protection they had offered against him, leading Hale to continue with the deal she made with them. However, knowing they were no match against Thanos, they only exploited the deal in order to take the Earth's resources, primarily Inhumans and Gravitonium.
One week later, with his ship, the Sanctuary II, Thanos managed to track down the starship carrying the only remaining Asgardian survivors of Ragnarök on their way to Earth, including Loki and Thor. As the Black Order massacred half of the Asgardians, Thanos personally confronted and easily beat Thor half to death, gloating about his victory while dragging the humiliated Thor across the ship.
Standing over Loki with Thor down on his knees, Thanos demanded that Loki hand over the Tesseract to him in exchange for his brother's life. When Loki claimed to not care whether his brother lived or died, Thanos proceeded to brutally torture Thor with the Power Stone while Loki looked on. While Thor screamed in agony, Thanos continued watching Loki until his theory was proven correct and Loki finally begged for his brother's life.
Thanos then stopped torturing Thor, who insisted that none of them had the Tesseract, as it had been destroyed by Surtur along with Asgard. Loki then revealed that he had stolen the Tesseract before Asgard's destruction, and used his Magic to reveal it in his hand, while the wounded Thor claimed that he was the worst brother. Thanos watched as Loki stepped towards him to hand over the Tesseract to Thanos. Loki promised Thor that the sun would rise on them both again, and Thanos remarked that Loki's optimism was misplaced.
However, when Thanos referred to Loki as an Asgardian, Loki corrected him by first claiming that he was actually not an Asgardian, before revealing that his side had a Hulk. Before Thanos could react, Hulk burst out of hiding and ambushed the Titan, furiously pummeling him and smashing him against the walls of the Statesman. As Thanos initially was knocked back, Cull Obsidian stepped forward to assist him, only for Ebony Maw to insist that they all allow Thanos to have his "fun" by defeating Hulk himself.
Grabbing hold of Hulk's wrists, Thanos used his superior strength to rip Hulk away from him, before landing a hard punch onto Hulk's jaw which visibly stunned him. When Hulk attempted to strike back, Thanos proved himself to not only be stronger but a vastly superior fighter as he proceeded to block all of Hulk's blows and land counter hits against his head and body, leaving Hulk completely stunned about being so vastly overpowered.
Finally, Thanos managed to strike his knee into Hulk's face, dazing him; before lifting him over his head and smashing Hulk down onto the floor, leaving him barely able to move and covered in blood. While Thanos looked down at the defeated Hulk, Thor attempted a surprise attack by landing a strike against the back of Thanos' head, but the Titan shrugged it off and kicked the Asgardian King away. This allowed Maw to use his powers to entrap Thor in metal bars.
With little hope of survival left, Heimdall then made a last-ditch effort to warn the rest of the Nine Realms of Thanos' attack. Taking Hofund into his hand, Heimdall then used his power to send Hulk through the Bifrost Bridge, and Thanos was unable to stop him in time. With Hulk gone, Thanos calmly stood over Heimdall, noting that he had just made a terrible mistake in doing this. He then took Corvus Glaive's blade and thrust it through Heimdall’s heart, while Thor screamed in grief and rage, threatening to kill Thanos until Maw silenced him by wrapping his mouth with metal.
With all the Asgardians defeated, Maw then bowed down before Thanos and offered him the Tesseract, expressing his admiration of Thanos' might while Thanos removed his armor and prepared himself for the Tesseract's power. Taking the Tesseract in his hand, Thanos crushed it to reveal the Space Stone. He placed the Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet, giving himself incredible new powers to transport himself across the galaxy.
Having gained two of the Infinity Stones, Thanos then instructed the Black Order to travel down to the Earth to locate both the Mind and Time Stones and return them to him. However, he was then interrupted by Loki, who suggested that if the Black Order was going to Earth, then he could offer his services as a guide, also noting his experience on the Earth during the Chitauri Invasion, which Thanos called his previous failures, although Loki refuted this.
Loki seemingly pledged allegiance to Thanos once again, naming his titles of rightful king of Jotunheim and son of Odin as he stepped towards Thanos and bowed his head. However, Thanos suspected that something was wrong and witnessed Loki attempting to plunge his dagger into his throat, as Thanos was able to use the Space Stone to freeze Loki in place just inches away, mocking Loki's vow of undying fidelity.
Declaring that he should have chosen his words more wisely, Thanos proceeded to lift the God of Mischief by his throat as Loki desperately attempted to break free, while gasping for air. Thanos looked Loki straight in the eye before turning to Thor, who watched on in horror as his brother was unable to free himself. As Thanos turned back to his victim, Loki told him that he would never be a god, which Thanos responded to by simply crushing Loki's throat.
As Loki's corpse went limp in his hands, Thanos heard Thor cry out in pain and grief upon watching his brother's death. Thanos dropped Loki's corpse in front of a distraught Thor, saying that he will not be resurrected again. Thanos then destroyed the remaining parts of the Statesman with the Power Stone, as he used the Space Stone to transport his children and himself out of the exploding ship, leaving Thor and dead Asgardian bodies to float out in space.
Thanos then arrived on Knowhere where he proceeded to force the Collector into handing over the Reality Stone which he had been tasked with safekeeping following the Second Dark Elf Conflict. After having succeeded in solidifying the Stone and placing it onto the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos predicted the arrival of the Guardians of the Galaxy as he knew that he needed Gamora to locate the Soul Stone. Thanos tricked the Guardians with an illusion conjured by the Reality Stone, making it look as if he was torturing the Collector and asking where the Reality Stone was.
Thanos then waited for the Guardians to arrive, conjuring the illusion that Knowhere was not engulfed in flames as they had attempted to launch a surprise attack on Thanos. Eventually, the Guardians made their presence known, as Drax the Destroyer was knocked out by Mantis to keep him from attacking first, as Thanos instead allowed Gamora to charge forward to attack his duplicate, which proceeded to break Godslayer before Gamora had used her other sword to stab Thanos' illusion directly in the throat, before finishing the job by using the Switchblade he once gave her to stab Thanos in the heart.
Thanos then watched on as Gamora fell to her knees, weeping over the seeming demise of her only father figure, until his voice spoke through the emptiness, questioning if he could sense sadness within her. Thanos then revealed himself and boasting that while the reality is often unpleasant, while also revealing the true burning wreckage of Knowhere, noting that using the Reality Stone, he could make reality to be whatever he wanted. Noting that he had known that she would come, Thanos offered Gamora the chance to go with him willingly.
However, Gamora refused and attempted to pick up Godslayer, but Thanos effortlessly restrained her before she could grab it. He then effortlessly incapacitated both Drax and Mantis as he had used the Reality Stone to turn them into pieces of stone and strings. Thanos was then confronted by Star-Lord, who threatened to kill him if he did not let Gamora go, while he also aimed his Quad Blasters directly at Thanos' head, as Thanos realized this was Gamora's boyfriend.
While Star-Lord continued threatening an unintimidated Thanos, Gamora had begged him to instead kill her to prevent Thanos from discovering the location of the Soul Stone. Realizing what was now happening, Thanos claimed that Gamora was expecting too much from Star-Lord and, to prove his point, Thanos brought her closer to Quill and even dared him to shoot her, believing that Star-Lord's love for Gamora would not allow him to ever actually pull the trigger.
Pushing Gamora into his face, Thanos furiously demanded that Star-Lord fire and watched the pain going across his face as he made his decision. However, when Quill hesitatingly pulled the trigger, Thanos simply used the Reality Stone to turn his ammunition and blaster into bubbles, much to the shock of both of them. Thanos teleported away with Gamora, after taking a liking for Star-Lord, as he proved himself while returning Drax and Mantis back to their normal selves.
Torture of Nebula
Back on the Sanctuary II, Thanos gave Gamora food, believing that she was hungry, but Gamora tossed it at his throne, saying bitterly that she always hated the throne, to which Thhanos calmly responded by saying he had always hoped that she would sit on it one day. Gamora, however, insisted that not only had she hated the throne, but she had hated everything about the life which Thanos had given her.
Having already heard Gamora's repeated confessions of hatred for his ship and her life, Thanos remained unfazed by all of Gamora's angry statements, commenting that she had told him as much every day that she had been with him. Sitting on the steps in front of his throne, Thanos insisted that he saved her when Gamora reminisced on how she was a child when Thanos took her from her homeworld, before massacring her entire family in the process of taking her.
Thanos then revealed to Gamora on how thanks to his massacre of half the population, Zen-Whoberi had since prospered and were no longer going to bed hungry every night, as Gamora had done as a child when her planet had been on the brink of extinction. When Gamora noted how he had murdered half of the population of their entire planet, Thanos simply dismissed this as a small price to pay for salvation, while insisting that it was simply calculus.
Thanos had remained calm even as Gamora denied everything that Thanos believed in and reminded Gamora on how she once had the same will as he had and that it was due to his training that she then became the fiercest woman in the Galaxy. Thanos then noted that he had once been so confident in her abilities that he even send her to locate the Soul Stone, which she sarcastically apologized for failing to do for him, which Thanos had already deduced to be a lie.
Commenting to Gamora that he was disappointed not because she did not find the location of the Soul Stone, but that she did and lied about it, Thanos then took Gamora to reveal that Nebula has been captured due to her attempt to assassinate him, noting that she had come close to succeeding. As Thanos looked on, Gamora reacted in horror upon seeing that her sister's cybernetic implants had all been torn out of her body, which had caused Nebula terrible agony.
Using the Power Stone, Thanos began torturing Nebula, causing her to scream out in pain until Gamora begged him to stop, insisting that she never found the Soul Stone. Despite Gamora's claims, however, Thanos revealed that he was aware that Gamora had lied to him by showing a video recording inside Nebula's system. Thanos went as far as to say that while Thanos turned her into the warrior she is now, he never taught her to lie and thus she was never a good liar.
Thanos tortured Nebula even further, long enough for Gamora to feel remorse for all her pain, as Nebula screamed in endless agony as her cybernetic implants were torn further from her, all while Thanos had continued furiously demanding that Gamora finally reveal where the Soul Stone could be found. Giving in, Gamora told Thanos the stone was on Vormir, which then caused him to stop torturing Nebula as he demanded that Gamora also come with him to find the Stone.
Thanos and Gamora then traveled to Vormir via a portal created from the Space Stone. As they looked over the landscape, Thanos had told Gamora that the Soul Stone had better be where she claimed it was, making it clear that Nebula would suffer a terrible fate if this was not the case. Thanos and Gamora then walked on top of the cliff where the Stone supposedly was, in search of Thanos' ultimate prize.
Once Thanos and Gamora had reached the top of the cliff, they were greeted by the keeper of the Stone, who acknowledged that he knew Thanos was the son of A'Lars and that Gamora was the daughter of Thanos, much to Thanos' surprise. The Red Skull would then talk with Thanos about finally retrieving the Soul Stone away from him, as the Red Skull simply noted how this would extract a terrible price, but Thanos just responded to his statement, that he was prepared.
As the Red Skull guided them to the top of a nearby cliff, Thanos questioned how he knew so much about the Infinity Stones, to which the Red Skull explained how a lifetime ago he sought the Stones and had even held the Tesseract in his hands. While the Red Skull continued telling his story, he simply explained that the Tesseract had banished him to Vormir to protect the Soul Stone, before he showed Thanos and Gamora to the end of the high up mountain edge.
As the guardian of the Soul Stone explained to Thanos that obtaining the Stone required a sacrifice of a loved one, ensuring that whoever held it would understand the stone's true power, summing this up by explaining that a soul must be given to obtaining the power of the souls. Upon hearing all this, Gamora mocked Thanos as heartless and uncaring, but Thanos, having truly loved Gamora as a daughter, shed tears that he would have to kill her.
Thinking back to the fate of Titan, Thanos told Gamora that he could not ignore his destiny to seemingly save billions of lives this second time. Although Gamora was genuinely touched for a moment, she quickly and desperately attempted suicide, grabbing her Switchblade as she attempting to plunge it straight into her stomach, but Thanos instead used the Reality Stone to turn her knife into bubbles while he tearfully apologized before then grabbing Gamora by the wrist.
While Gamora tried to fight back, Thanos threw his beloved daughter from the cliff, as she fell to her death. Having committed this terrible act, Thanos sternly looked over the cliff and mourned over Gamora's death as a voice told him his will was strong and his sacrifice had proved him worthy. A light burst out and knocked Thanos out, but once he awoke from a river, with the Soul Stone in his hand, he then inserted it into his Infinity Gauntlet, giving Thanos greater power.
Following the Sacrifice of Gamora, Thanos arrived on Titan for a rendezvous with the Black Order to retrieve the Time Stone. However, he was greeted by Doctor Strange, who sat on top of a hill, noting how Thanos fit his name well. Upon seeing Strange there, Thanos swiftly deduced that Ebony Maw was dead, noting that Maw had accomplished his mission nevertheless by bringing the Time Stone to him, as Strange noted he may regret Maw bringing him face-to-face with a Master of the Mystic Arts since he intended to personally defeat Thanos.
Thanos then proceeded to ask Strange where he had thought Maw had brought him to and corrected Strange when he calmly guessed Titan as being his home, saying it was. Thanos then told him about the history of his planet while altering the reality around them using the Reality Stone to show all its former beauty. Thanos told Strange how when Titan was coming close to extinction, he offered his solution with a mass genocide, which the Titans rejected as pure madness, resulting in Thanos' prediction coming true.
Strange mockingly called Thanos a prophet, to which Thanos simply insisted that he was merely a survivor. When Strange then accused Thanos of wanting to murder trillions of lives, he explained how he planned to commit a painless and randomly fair genocide across the entire universe with the power of the Infinity Stones, claiming that he would be able to cause this mass genocide with a simple snap of his fingers, after which he intended to rest and watch the sunrise.
As their conversation ended, Thanos explained his belief that the hardest choices required the strongest wills, to which Strange then insisted that "their" wills are equal to his. Just as Thanos questioned what Strange meant by this, Iron Man soured down and smashed a massive piece of debris onto him. However, this only enraged Thanos as he used the Power Stone to destroy that debris and turned them all into an endless swarm of furious bats with the Reality Stone.
With the bats attacking Iron Man, forcing him to flee, Spider-Man swung into the fight and used his Synthetic Webbing to blind Thanos, before Drax the Destroyer quickly slashed him with his Knives while Strange conjured a sword made of Eldritch Magic to engage Thanos in close combat. However, Thanos had swiftly composed himself and overwhelmed them, managing to land a heavy blow against Drax and blocking Strange's attack and then angrily kicking him away.
Before Thanos could destroy Strange, Star-Lord charged forward and began shooting Thanos with his Quad Blasters. Before Thanos could stop him, Star-Lord managed to maneuver through all Thanos' blasts with aid from Strange, who conjured platforms for him to jump on and shot him before planting an explosive on Thanos' back, which briefly stunned him while Star-Lord simply vanished through an Inter-Dimensional Portal which had just been created by Strange.
When Thanos attempted to retaliate, the Cloak of Levitation wrapped itself around the Infinity Gauntlet, which stopped him from using his powers. In the same moment, Strange opened more portals using his Sling Ring and Spider-Man attacked Thanos through them, but it only served to irritate him. Thanos swiftly pinned Spider-Man down and angrily called him an insect before flinging him at Strange, knocking them down as Thanos tore the Cloak off the Gauntlet.
Returning to the battle, Iron Man caused a massive explosion around Thanos by shooting missiles from his Mark L Armor, although Thanos had once again remained uninjured and just simply used the Infinity Gauntlet to absorb and blast all the flames back at him. Thanos was once again attacked by Spider-Man who tried to steal the Gauntlet, but Thanos easily broke out of his webbing and then used that to pull Spider-Man towards him, before ruthlessly striking him in the face.
Once Thanos ripped all the webbing from his Gauntlet, a Necrocraft suddenly crashed into him, dragging him across the battlefield. As Thanos was getting back on his feet, he was then suddenly struck in the face by Nebula, who had escaped from the Sanctuary II. Coldly greeting his former adopted daughter, Thanos dismissed killing her as being a "waste of parts." While Nebula attacked Thanos with her Electroshock Batons, she furiously demanded to know where Gamora was, but Thanos refused to answer as he soon overpowered her with a backhand.
Entrapped by Heroes
Thanos was then intercepted by Doctor Strange, who used an Eldritch Whip to entrap the Infinity Gauntlet. While Thanos attempted to break free, Drax the Destroyer charged forward and knocked Thanos back down onto his knees while Star-Lord fired one of his Gravity Mines which pulled his other arm down. To keep Thanos trapped, Spider-Man used his Synthetic Webbing to pull him backward as Thanos tried to fight.
With Thanos unable to move, Iron Man flew back and attempted to pull the Gauntlet away from him, while Strange opened another Inter-Dimensional Portal over his head, which allowed Mantis to land on Thanos, using her powers to put him in a trance-like state. With all the heroes working together, Thanos was trapped while Iron Man and Spider-Man worked together to take the Gauntlet, with Thanos using all his might in his attempts to break himself free from their hold.
Rejoining the others, Star-Lord then mocked Thanos by noting how he had thought that Thanos would be harder to catch before he had then demanded the location of Gamora. Despite being under Mantis' control, Thanos was still able to communicate a few words as he referred to her as his Gamora, which Star-Lord denied. Mantis, however, revealed that Thanos was mourning, as Star-Lord and Drax had both questioned what he could possibly have to mourn.
This comment, however, led Nebula to finally understand in horror and sadness that Thanos had actually sacrificed Gamora to obtain the Soul Stone back on Vormir. Refusing to accept that his girlfriend was gone, Star-Lord ignored Iron Man's advice as he then furiously questioned Thanos to tell her that Nebula was lying and Thanos emotionally said he had to. Infuriated by this, Star-Lord hit Thanos with his blaster, causing Mantis to lose her control over him as Stark desperately tried to hold Quill back but with little success.
Having become freed from his trance and furious over almost being defeated, Thanos brutally attacked the group, grabbing the gauntlet just before Spider-Man took it off his hand and throwing Mantis to the ground with Spider-Man only narrowly being able to save her. Thanos then knocked back Iron Man and took down the Guardians of the Galaxy by kicking Drax into the other members, before then stopping them from attacking him by knocking them all down with a powerful shockwave from the Gauntlet.
With the Guardians now defeated, Iron Man returned to the fight as he used a sword created from his Mark L Armor to try and finally kill Thanos, but Thanos managed to block the blow and then responded by headbutting Iron Man. Fueled by pure rage, Thanos proceeded to use the Power Stone to pulverize an entire moon above Titan, before Thanos had then used the Space Stone to hurl a hail of meteors at his opponents, taking advantage of Titan's unusually high gravitational pull to make all these projectiles much more rapid.
Duel with Doctor Strange
As the meteors continued raining down upon them, Thanos was confronted again by Doctor Strange, who floated down with the Cloak of Levitation and looked Thanos straight in the eye. Strange then readied his Magic for a duel against Thanos, who remained calm and confident over being challenged by a Master of the Mystic Arts, who then began their fight by ferociously launching some fiery beams at Thanos, which destroyed the ground around him.
Thanos immediately leaped into the air to avoid the fiery beams and retaliated with a beam of energy from the Infinity Gauntlet, which completely obliterated a passing meteor. However, before this could kill him, Strange managed to use his own powers to summon up the Mirror Dimension to absorb the blast. Hoping to also trap Thanos within the Dimension so that he could not be any harm to the outside world, Strange then launched the Dimension straight towards him.
However, Thanos responded by crushing the entire Mirror Dimension with a strike from the Power Stone, before he then used the Space Stone to crush whatever was remaining of the Dimension and then launched these remnants back at Strange in the form of a destructive black hole, which Strange managed to successfully transmute into blue butterflies, the sight of which made Thanos briefly pause to look at them in surprise, as he had expected a more deadly reaction from Strange.
Thanos then watched as Strange lifted himself into the air and used a spell to conjure dozens of replicas of himself, all of whom had then used the Eldritch Whips to entrap Thanos, covering him in their whips which held him in place. However, Thanos refused to be held down yet again and eventually won as he dispelled the many replicas of Strange with a blast of the Infinity Stones, the power of which had caused Strange's Astral Form to be briefly pulled out from his body until he then managed to regain control of his true form.
Ending the duel, Thanos pulled Strange to his hand before he could react, tightening his grip around Strange's throat. Thanos admitted he was impressed by Strange's mastery over Magic while noting that he should have used the Time Stone to his advantage in the fight, calling it Strange's greatest weapon. However, once Thanos had crushed the Eye of Agamotto, he realized that Strange had removed the Time Stone, causing Thanos to throw him aside.
Iron Man's Last Stand
Before Thanos could look for where the Time Stone was hidden, he was intercepted by Iron Man, who used his trap to restrain the Infinity Gauntlet. Iron Man expressed his anger at Thanos throwing the moon at him earlier before Thanos then revealed that he knew Stark's name due to the events of the Battle of New York. When Thanos noted that he had been cursed with knowledge, Iron Man simply responded by insisting that his only curse was Thanos himself.
Ending the conversation, Iron Man launched several missiles straight at Thanos, which he was able to survive. Before he could even react, Thanos was then attacked relentlessly by all of Iron Man's advanced technology from his Iron Man Armor, as Iron Man smashed Thanos into some rocks and hit him with jet-powered battering rams. Thanos then responded by ripping off Iron Man's helmet, which was replaced milliseconds later by nanobots, and hitting him, causing Iron Man to fall to the ground.
With Iron Man lying dazed on the ground, Thanos then ripped his trap from his Gauntlet, which had allowed him to gain access to the power of the Infinity Stones again. With all this power back, Thanos unleashed a blast of energy from the Power Stone, although Iron Man was able to deflect the blast by creating his shield from his nanotech suit. Despite being pushed back several feet by that blast, Iron Man was unharmed and was able to charge back into the fight.
Getting back to the fight, Iron Man turned part of his suit into a heavy claim, which had held down Thanos' arm, before using a jet-powered battering ram to strike Thanos right across the face. The force of this blow was enough to cut Thanos, causing him to bleed slightly; however, this only served to amuse him as he noted that all of Iron Man's greatest efforts and weaponry could do nothing more than causing a small cut to his face with a single drop of blood.
Intending to end the fight once and for all, Thanos caught Iron Man off-guard by effortlessly freeing himself and brutally beat him down, badly damaging his Mark L Armor as Thanos had struck Iron Man repeatedly in the head, with each blow ripping his helmet apart and causing the nanotech to work faster to repair itself. Hitting Iron Man with the Power Stone, Thanos still moved towards him, as Iron Man desperately fired his repulsor beams to try to slow him down.
As Thanos continued using the gauntlet to deflect all of Iron Man's repulsor beams, he got close enough to Iron Man to punch off his helmet, leaving little of his armor to protect him from another hit. Iron Man used what little nanotech he had left to create a sword to stab Thanos, who responded by breaking off the sword and then stabbing Iron Man through the stomach with it.
With Stark gasping for air, bleeding heavily from this wound, Thanos walked him backward and gently set Stark down on a nearby rock. Softly placing his hand onto his head, Thanos admitted that he had gained strong respect for Stark, and promised that once his goal was completed, half of humanity would still be alive,hoped those who survived would remember Stark's legacy, before then stepping back and preparing to use the combined power of all four Infinity Stones to finally execute him.
Before Thanos could end Stark's life, however, Doctor Strange spoke out and promised that if Thanos agreed to spare Stark's life, then he would offer up the Time Stone in exchange. Strange promised that this would not be a trick, as Thanos turned the Infinity Gauntlet away from Stark and aimed it at Strange instead. Despite Stark desperately begging him not to do it, Strange then used Magic to reveal the Stone's location.
Having manifested the Time Stone into his hand, Strange regretfully considered his decision to go against his vow as one of the Masters of the Mystic Arts before he finally allowed it float towards Thanos, much to the horror of Stark. Taking the stone, Thanos examined it for a moment and then inserted the stone into the gauntlet, giving him the power to control the very fabric of time itself. With the fifth stone in the Gauntlet, Thanos had only the Mind Stone left to collect before he finally had the power to complete his ultimate goal.
As Thanos basked in his victory, he was suddenly struck by multiple blaster shots, as Star-Lord had appeared out of nowhere and began furiously shooting at him with his Quad Blasters, still furious over the death of Gamora. However, Thanos remained completely uninjured and simply conjured his portal using the Space Stone and departed from Titan, intending to go to Earth and collect the final Infinity Stone, leaving all of the heroes behind, feeling utterly defeated by him.
Cost of Victory
Having obtained the Time Stone, Thanos proceeded to use the Space Stone and arrived onto Wakanda to retrieve the Mind Stone. However, Thanos found himself confronted not only by the forces of Wakanda but also fractured teams of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos stood alone and without fear, staring at his enemies, then began to calmly walk toward them.
Even with all of his army of Outriders now destroyed, Thanos with the nearly complete Infinity Gauntlet proved to be practically invincible and far too powerful for all of his opposers and he made short work of them. As Bruce Banner charged at him in the Hulkbuster, Thanos did not slow his pace and simply made the Hulkbuster intangible and imprisoned it in solid stone. With more of the heroes charging at him, Thanos used the power of the stones to subdue them all.
With both Captain America and Black Panther charging towards him, Thanos used the Power Stone to send Captain America flying back, before grabbing ahold of Black Panther by the throat, punching him down to the ground. Thanos then proceeded to blast Falcon out of the air before War Machine unloaded his entire arsenal upon him. However, Thanos remained unaffected as he simply blocked all the shots and crushed the Mark IV Armor, before tossing it aside.
As Thanos continued to make his way towards the Mind Stone, the Winter Soldier and Okoye did whatever they could to bring him down, as Thanos shrugged off the bullets and stopped the Vibranium Spear and knocked them both backward with a shock wave, before trapping Black Widow under rocks ripped from the ground. With the Stone near, Thanos saw that Wanda Maximoff was attempting to use her powers to destroy it, which meant that Vision would also die.
With little left between Thanos and the Stone, Groot tried to trap him with his vines, but Thanos simply tore these apart. With only Captain America left, he furiously took on Thanos alone, striking him with the Wakandan Shields. Tiring of this fight, Thanos tried to push Captain America down with the Gauntlet, as he was impressed by Captain America's strength and ability to stop the force of the gauntlet, before knocking him down with a brutal punch to the ground.
Finally, Thanos reached the Stone, as Maximoff then unleashed a blast of energy to try and hold him back while she continued trying to destroy the Stone to keep Thanos from completing his goal. Thanos found that Maximoff's power, which also came from the Infinity Stones, harder to get through, as he pushed with all his might to get to her. However, Thanos was too late as Maximoff overloaded the Stone, causing it as well as Vision to be destroyed.
Upon seeing the Mind Stone's destruction, Thanos did not react with any rage or sadness at the girl who had seemingly hindered his ultimate goal. Instead, he sympathized with her tearful sacrifice of Vision to destroy the Mind Stone, seeing the same pain which he had felt as he sacrificed Gamora to obtain the Soul Stone. Maximoff then insisted that Thanos could never understand her pain, to which Thanos had claimed to have lost more than she could ever know.
Thanos then claimed that he did not have any time to mourn, noting that there was no time at all. To the horror of Maximoff, Thanos then activated the Time Stone and aimed the gauntlet at Vision's remains, restoring all the pieces of Vision's shattered vibranium body and returning him into life, along with the Mind Stone. Upon seeing this, Maximoff screamed out in horror and attempted to stop him, only for Thanos to knock her out with a brutally heavy strike.
Now with a greater advantage, Thanos wrapped the Infinity Gauntlet around Vision's throat and proceeded to lift him in the air. Looking Vision straight in the eye, Thanos crushed his vibranium skull with little effort, forcefully ripping the Mind Stone out from Vision's head and killing him in the process. As Vision's lifeless body turned grey, Thanos threw him aside and admired the Mind Stone in his hand.
With all six of the Infinity Stones, Thanos placed the Mind Stone in the Infinity Gauntlet. As the might of all six stones were combined with the Gauntlet, Thanos harnessed infinite power and control over the universe. As this energy entered his body, Thanos roared out to the sky in pain.
Moments after the Gauntlet's completion, Thor furiously charged out from the sky and struck Thanos with a large lightning bolt that had been fired from Stormbreaker. In response to the attack, Thanos had furiously fired an energy beam with the combined strength of all six stones. However, Thor then launched Stormbreaker with all his might, which directly cut through the beam and straight towards Thanos himself, who could do nothing to stop it coming at him.
The axe ultimately struck Thanos in the chest, gravely wounding him as Thanos dropped down to his knees in agony while Thor had stepped over to him, basking in his victory over his enemy. Thor then took hold of Thanos' head, and reminded him of his promise that he would kill Thanos for murdering Heimdall and Loki, and thousands of Asgardians on the Statesman, furiously forcing the axe blade deeper into Thanos' chest which caused him to roar in pain.
After a brief moment of discomfort from the terrible wound caused by the axe still embedded deep inside his chest, Thanos, while struggling to get all his words out, taunted Thor that he should have aimed the axe for his head. Before his stunned opponent could react, Thanos simply lifted the Infinity Gauntlet into the air and snapped his fingers. The energy surged from the Gauntlet, which then caused the blinding light flooding the battlefield as Thanos briefly passed out.
To his surprise, Thanos then awoke within the Soulworld, without the wound in his chest or the Infinity Gauntlet. The void was empty, save for Thanos himself, and one building far in the distance. The building resembled the same archway on Zen-Whoberi where Thanos found the young Gamora waiting for him. Thanos grievously told her that he had finally completed his mission. As Gamora had asked what it cost him, Thanos became solemn and simply replied, "Everything."
Regaining normal consciousness, Thanos returned into his body back in Wakanda. Upon seeing all the damage inflicted on the scorched Infinity Gauntlet as a result of finally being able to activate the Snap, Thor furiously questioned Thanos about the finger-snap, demanding to know what he did, but he offered no answers and instead used the opening to heal his injury, give his enemy a spiteful glare, and teleport away using the Space Stone.
As half of all life across the universe began to disintegrate as a result of his actions, Thanos reappeared on his Garden. Unable to hear all the screams of sadness and pain that were going out across the universe as trillions died in front of their loved ones, Thanos rested in a small hut with a view overlooking the alien countryside. Having at long last accomplished his objective, Thanos peacefully gazed out to the rising sun and smiled in satisfaction.
Three weeks after the incident, knowing that he would be tempted into a lust for power and acknowledging that the Avengers would likely target them, Thanos utilized the Infinity Stones a final time to reduce them to the atomic level with their own energies, essentially destroying them and eliminating any possibility from reversing the damage he did, which caused grievous wounds and scars on his body, mainly those parts nearest to the Infinity Gauntlet, which was completely ruined by the stones' destruction and permanenthly fused with his hand.
Despite being severely wounded, Thanos continued with his life in retirement on the Garden. Knowing he would die sooner or later, Thanos now only wanted to spend his remaining days in peace.
Two days after Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones, the surviving Avengers saved Tony Stark and were able to locate his coordinates via the Benatar. While they were doing that, Thanos picked out a few fruits from his crops on his farmland to prepare for his stew.
Collecting his harvest in a bag, the injured Thanos returned to his hut, where he began to prepare his stew. As he tended to his food with salt, Thanos walked out with his food to cook it on a campfire. Thanos then looked up at the sky to see a bright light crash though his hut; he then blocked the energy beam with his worn-out Infinity Gauntlet. Captain Marvel flew toward Thanos and knocked him back, stalemating him for a second.
Captain Marvel subdued Thanos by wrapping herself against him, putting him in a headlock, and pushing his left arm with the Infinity Gauntlet away with her leg to prevent him from closing his fist and utilizing the Infinity Stones as she was not yet aware he destroyed them. While Thanos was choked by Captain Marvel's grasp, Bruce Banner in the Mark XLVIII armor burst out from the floor of his campfire and furiously grabbed his arm. War Machine then broke inside the hut, and together restrained both of Thanos' arms.
Thor arrived at the hut by crashing through the back of it, and used Stormbreaker to sever Thanos' left arm, freeing the Infinity Gauntlet, which dropped to the ground as well as causing great pain to Thanos, who yelled out in a mixture of rage and agony. While suffering great pain, Captain America and Black Widow arrived to interrogate Thanos and collect all six Infinity Stones, as Thanos was helplessly retrained by the team.
As Rocket Raccoon turned the charred Infinity Gauntlet over, the team saw that the Infinity Stones were gone. When the Avengers demanded to know where they were, Thanos noted that the universe required correction and after he accomplished his goal on that, the Stones served no purpose beyond temptation. Banner grew enraged from Thanos' reasoning and yelled at Thanos for murdering trillions of lives, shoving him onto the ground.
Recovering from the push by Banner, Thanos looked up and claimed that he should be grateful, but was brutally punched in the face. When Black Widow asked again where the Infinity Stones were, Thanos revealed that they were gone and reduced to atoms. After furthering questioning Thanos, he noted that by using the Stones to destroy themselves, he ensured that the Snap was irreversible, thereby making his victory everlasting.
Thanos explained that the effort of him destroying the Infinity Stones had nearly killed him, but admitted that his work was done, and would always be. Thanos declared himself to be inevitable. A disbelieving Rhodes inquired the Avengers to tear the hut down to find the Stones, but Nebula confirmed that, while Thanos was many things, he wasn't a liar; implying that his statement of destroying the Stones had to be true. Surprised and touched, Thanos confirmed this by thanking Nebula, finally admitting that perhaps he treated her too harshly.
With this horrible yet genuine revelation revealed, Thor furiously swung his weapon at Thanos, decapitating him with one swift stroke and sending his head rolling across the floor of his hut as his body slumped to the ground, fittingly fulfilling Thanos' taunting 'suggestion' to him three weeks earlier to go for his head. As the Avengers looked on in horror and contempt, Nebula crouched by her father's head and closed his eyes as a final deed for him as she silently cried for his passing. Despite Thanos' death, his actions left the Avengers in utter defeat once again as they sadly resigned to moving on with their lives on over the losses of their loved ones that he caused to them.
- "To try and become whole again, try and find purpose. I went in the ice in '45 right after I met the love of my life. Woke up 70 years later. You gotta move on. Gotta to move on. The world is in our hands. It's left to us, guys, and we got to do something with it. Otherwise... Thanos should have killed all of us."
- ― Steve Rogers to Brooklyn Support Group[src]
After Thanos completed his goal in killing half of life in the universe, his actions became common knowledge, especially on Earth. The global population was despaired by the loss of their respective loved ones, world governments that remained struggled to take a census, and pop-culture got frozen ever since. Hawkeye, under the belief that he could never regain his family, went as the Ronin to kill criminals that were lucky enough to survive the mass genocide from the Snap. Tony Stark, retiring from the Avengers, managed to find peace when he married Pepper Potts and had a child. Steve Rogers worked for a Brooklyn Support Group to help others recover from the catastrophe. Thor became the miserable king of New Asgard, unable to cope with his failure. The remaining Avengers did their best to fight for Earth.
Scott Lang's Intuition
- "What I am saying is... Time works differently in the Quantum Realm. I can't stop thinking about what if we could control the chaos and we could navigate it. What if there was a way we could enter the Quantum Realm at a certain point in time, but then exit the Quantum Realm at another point in time, like before Thanos."
- ― Scott Lang to Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff[src]
During the course of the Snap, Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man, was stranded in the Quantum Realm and was assumed to be a victim of Thanos' victory. Five years later, in 2023, Lang was freed by a rat, and soon learned about the state of depression Earth was in. Despite the passing of time, Lang only experienced five hours in the Quantum Realm due to its unpredictable nature. He then suggested this fact to the Avengers as a method of using time travel to reverse the Snap. They decided to pull a Time Heist, where they could travel to alternate years in the past to retrieve each of the Infinity Stones and use them to resurrect half of the universe's population.
Scarlet Witch's Meltdown
Three weeks after being restored to life and still in grief over Thanos killing Vision, Wanda Maximoff learned that Vision's body had been taken to the custody of S.W.O.R.D. and requested Director Tyler Hayward to give him a proper burial. When Hayward refused, Maximoff decided to bid Vision a solemn farewell before leaving the S.W.O.R.D. Headquarters. Maximoff eventually drove to a plot of land that Vision purchased for her in Westview, New Jersey. Overwhelmed with grief, Maximoff unknowingly unleashed her Chaos Magic, inadvertently creating a reality and a new Vision whom she could live a happy life with.
Universe Returned to Peace
- "Over five years ago, half of all life in the universe, including our own Midtown High was wiped from existence. But then eight months ago, a band of brave heroes brought us back. They called it the Blip. Those of us who blipped away came back the same age. But our classmates that didn't blip grew five years older."
- ― Betty Brant[src]
When the Avengers retrieved the Infinity Stones to bring every soul that Thanos exterminated as well as to kill Thanos himself, everyone in the universe celebrated their victory knowing that Thanos was ultimately defeated for good.
- "People believed in her cause so much that they helped her defy the strongest governments in the world. Why do you think that is? Look, you people have just as much power as an insane god or a misguided teenager. The question you have to ask yourself is, “How are you going to use it?"
- ― Sam Wilson to a Senator[src]
Although Thanos' actions inflicted countless hardships, it also created unity. During the five-year span between the Snap and the Blip, nations of Earth started to cooperate and provide benefits to people who survived but still affected by the Snap. However, when half of the global population returned shortly after Bruce Banner performed the Blip, billions were displaced and conflicted by the changes, and the Earth started to revert to its pre-Snap state. By 2024, numerous disgruntled survivors of the Snap led by Karli Morgenthau formed the Flag Smashers, an anti-nationalist group with the aspiration to return the planet to how it was before the Blip.
Following the defeat of the Flag Smashers, which ended with Morgenthau's death at the hands of Sharon Carter, Sam Wilson, the new Captain America, confronted the Global Repatriation Council officials for their indifference to the Snap survivors by comparing their power to that of Thanos, assuring them that they had power, like that of an insane god as Thanos, of making things better for both the refugees and the former survivors of the Snap. Sam's efforts were successful and the GRC disbanded the Patch Act.
Redeeming an Alternate Loki
During the Time Heist, Iron Man accidentally supplied the Loki from an alternate 2012 timeline the Tesseract when an alternate Hulk accidentally knocked him away while trying to leave Stark Tower. This led Loki to teleport away with the Tesseract, creating a branched new reality and forcing the Minutemen of the Time Variance Authority to take him into custody to prevent conflicts with the timeline. After an interrogation with Mobius M. Mobius, Loki temporarily escaped from the Minutemen and checked a series of clips using the TVA Holoprojector featuring what would have happened with him had he not escaped. The series finished with Loki's death at the hands of Thanos aboard the Statesman. Realizing that Mobius was right and regretting his choices by that point, Loki turned over a new leaf to Mobius.
- "The hardest choices require the strongest wills."
- ― Thanos[src]
Thanos was usually seen by everyone else as the ultimate personification of sadism, cruelty, megalomania, infinite destruction, death, power, and madness, with his search for the Infinity Stones seen by others as his plot to gain dominion over all the civilizations in the universe. In reality, Thanos was a more complex and tortured soul given that his traumatic past and obsession with completing what he perceived as his destiny had led him to commit horrible actions all in the name of saving the universe even at a great personal sacrifice to himself. He desired to use the Tesseract to look beyond the known worlds to find greater ones that it would unveil. He was also relentless, as seen by his gathering of children from across the galaxy to take as his own so he can raise them as assassins and aid him by tirelessly searching for the Infinity Stones. In addition to this, Thanos had extraordinary willpower, as evidenced by his absolute refusal to succumb to Mantis' sleep-inducing touch despite its ability to usually make her victims docile almost instantly through but a simple touch, with her thus remarking that the Titan was "very strong" in his mental fortitude.
He was extremely intimidating and often unforgiving of failures. The Other once warned Loki that he would know a new kind of pain if he did not give them the Tesseract; this was proven true when he ruthlessly murdered Loki for his failure in retrieving the Tesseract for him and when he tried to kill Thanos. Even though Ebony Maw had never failed Thanos, he still feared his master and father enough that he did not dare go to Titan without having fully taken the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Thanos threatened Ronan the Accuser that he would bathe the starways in his blood if he failed to deliver the Orb, visibly terrifying Ronan. He even forbade Gamora from rescuing Nebula when the latter fell into a trap whilst on a mission in the Cloud Tombs of Praxius. He had little to no regard for his subordinates, as seen by him showing absolutely no empathy when Ronan killed The Other. Regardless of his disregard for his minions, Thanos was shown to be an extremely skilled and charismatic leader, having been able to inspire fierce loyalty from the Black Order, as well as command the Chitauri and the Outriders, both being highly savage and powerful creatures, unchallenged.
He was extremely confident to the point of arrogance and appeared almost impossible to intimidate, smiling when The Other told him challenging the Avengers would be like courting Death. He was even unfazed at the idea of Ronan, who was strengthened by the Power Stone, coming after him despite knowing full well that Ronan was already very powerful even without the Stone and the fact that he was backed up by Nebula who had betrayed him, displaying only anger. He also smiled confidently after deciding to hunt for the Infinity Stones himself.
He was also manipulative and mistrustful, sending Ronan to retrieve the Orb for him and not telling him that it contained an Infinity Stone, while also sending Nebula and Gamora to monitor him. He is surprisingly patient, as he kept a low profile, lurking in the shadows and making others do his work for him even after centuries of failure. He did not make a move for the Infinity Stones directly nor did he openly show that he possessed an Infinity Stone until he was finally ready to collect the stones himself in rapid succession, presumably because he knew possessing one or more of the Infinity Stones would draw unwanted attention, prompting others to attack him and impede his preparations before he was finally ready. Thanos' actions, despite their brutality, were so low that even Doctor Strange, who kept a watchlist of beings that may be a threat to Earth had never heard of Thanos, before Dr. Banner told him who the former was.
Despite Thanos' ruthlessness during the early days of his conquest, he was not without compassion, especially when it came to children. When he met the young Gamora during his invasion of her planet, in stark contrast to the claims of Gamora that Thanos killed her parents in front of her, he gently kept her from being a part of the random genocide of her people by giving her the task of balancing a blade he gave her and when her attention turned to her people's screaming, he gently reminded her to remain focused on her task. He especially loved Gamora, calling her his "favorite daughter"; he even hoped that she would be the one to inherit his throne, in spite of her repeated proclamations of hatred, forgave her treachery of not telling him the location of the Soul Stone and allowed her to keep the façade for years before finally deciding to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself and openly made it clear to Ronan that costing him Gamora as being one of the reasons he was angry with him.
However, unlike the genuine love and care he showed towards Gamora, Thanos was ruthlessly strict and feared by the rest of his children, having been the one who turned Nebula into a cyborg, and Ebony Maw fearing his judgment should he fail.
When he finally captured Gamora, Thanos treated her more like a guest than a prisoner. He gave her food and remained patient and appealing despite Gamora's anger, and rather than torturing her for the location of the Soul Stone, he instead had Nebula tortured to make Gamora tell him. He took the lead when they ventured to the Soul Stone's shrine and when they encountered the Red Skull, not knowing if he was friend or foe, he made a gesture telling her to stay back, shielding her with his own body. He was utterly heartbroken when it was revealed to him that he had to kill Gamora to gain the power of the Soul Stone, to the point where he shed tears and sincerely apologized, his grief and pain being sensed by Mantis despite still going through with it as he believed it was for the greater good. When Gamora, upon seeing his victory from the future Nebula's memories, asked on what did he do to the Avengers, rather than suspecting or reprimanding her for not praising and relishing his victory, Thanos merely told her the truth and affectionately cradled his favored daughter's chin as he proudly proclaimed his victory.
Even with all his strictness towards Nebula, Thanos showed that he did hold affection towards her, as when Nebula swore to make him proud, Thanos was visibly pleased and encouraged her to do so. Although his lack of hesitation in torturing her to make Gamora confess the location of the Soul Stone could be another act of favoritism, Thanos did not actually kill her and in the final moments of his life, following Nebula defending his honor, Thanos genuinely thanked her and regretfully acknowledged that he'd been too harsh on her. When his past self saw this recording, he took those words to heart and decided to treat Nebula better such as breaking the chain Ebony Maw had wrapped around Nebula's neck and cradled her chin in his hands affectionately, believing her loyalty and giving her the chance to prove it by bringing him to the future, even though Nebula could have been freed of him in the future had she decided to betray him. He also trusted her to retrieve the stones herself and seemed very concerned when she wasn't answering her comm.
When he learned from Doctor Strange that Ebony Maw was dead, he stated that the quest for the Infinity Stones "extracts a heavy toll" and with the loss of all his children and his followers, he mournfully acknowledged to Gamora's spirit he lost everything by fulfilling his goal. His love for his children was particularly returned by his Black Order children and even Gamora and Nebula did reciprocate his love to an extent, with Gamora breaking into tears once she'd thought she'd killed him and Nebula silently crying for Thanos once Thor had killed him, even closing his eyes so he could rest in peace.
Thanos loved his race unconditionally and desperately sought to save them, going as far as to propose wiping out half of his kind so the other half may survive. His plan for saving his homeworld was rejected, leading to the fall of his race. This incident has burdened Thanos with immense regrets and remorse as he confessed to Gamora that he had ignored the inevitable extinction of his people once when he could have saved them by being more forceful and resolved in carrying out the genocide against his people's wishes. As a result, Thanos became more determined in exterminating half of the population of every planet to save these civilizations from the same overpopulation tragedy on Titan. This is why Thanos truly believes his cause for killing off half of everyone on all planets to be a righteous cause, seeing himself a righteous soul who is doing what is necessary to save all the civilizations of the universe. As such, he stated that the Zehoberei did not suffer from environmental hazards, global hunger, or any other form of violence anymore, due to him killing off half of their population. Regardless of his campaign to murder trillions, Thanos' viewpoint of killing them in an admittedly painless and quick manner of disintegration was, according to him, mercy compared to all of life suffering the same fate of starvation that his people endured. Not only that, but he did make an effort to keep the casualty count to an absolute minimum during his quest for the Infinity Stones and let the Snap handle killing half of all sentient life.
Though he sought the Infinity Stones, the most powerful artifacts in the universe, Thanos did not do this for selfish reasons, only seeing the Stones as a means to facilitate his goal of balancing the universe, even quick to destroy the stones to avoid being tempted by their power. He reserved special respect and even some empathy for those who displayed signs of great selflessness and bravery even if they were his enemies, as shown by how he praised Iron Man for bravely confronting him and wished the people of Earth would remember his heroism, complimented Star-Lord for being willing to kill Gamora, even stating that he "liked him" for his willingness to sacrifice his love for the universe, and briefly comforted Scarlet Witch after she destroyed Vision and the Mind Stone despite how crucial the last Infinity Stone was to his plans. By contrast, Thanos disliked those who sought power for selfish gain, finding Loki's greed to be pathetic and being openly disgusted when the latter told him he would never be a god just before he killed him, showing his lack of desire for godhood, holding Ronan's grudge against the Xandarians in contempt, openly expressing disgust of Collector for his value of possessing over all else in his illusion, showing outright disapproval that Thor wanted to gloat at him and didn't kill him instantly as he could have, and being dismissive of Ebony Maw's sycophant behavior.
Thanos had shown a dark sense of sarcastic humor and was able to remain calm and unfazed in situations that would frighten and shock most others, as he remained fully composed even after thwarting Loki's assassination and mocked him for choosing the word "undying." He ignored Loki's acts of defiance before dying, with Loki declaring he would never be a god as he was suffocated. He even remained unfazed after being badly injured by Thor and even mocked him for not striking him in the head.
Thanos had also shown himself to be surprisingly honorable. He did not go back on the end of the deal he made with others and would honor them even when angered, as he was still willing to destroy Xandar for Ronan should he retrieve the Orb even though he was angry at Ronan for coming to him empty-handed and alienating Gamora. He extends this even to his enemies, as he did not kill Iron Man after acquiring the Time Stone as he promised to Doctor Strange and instead simply left Titan. Despite his manipulative nature, Thanos is also known as a man who never lies, a fact firmly confirmed by his own daughter Nebula and further shown by how Thanos showed genuine disappointment at Gamora's lie, stating that out of the many things he taught her to, lying was never one of them. Although he may play favorites with his children based on their skill, he also proved to be fair when it came to judging their loyalty. When he saw what seemed like a betrayal in the 2014 Nebula, rather than immediately kill her, he brought her to his ship to thoroughly investigate her memory.
Interestingly, despite being regarded by many as an incredibly cruel and cunning being, Thanos did not take his genocidal motives as a pretext to eliminate potential foes who could be able to exact revenge on him. Indeed, he kept his intent to make his genocide as random and dispassionate as he intended, resulting in the survival of several members of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy who had done everything they could to stop him. Although he did destroy the Infinity Stones to prevent any chances from undoing his actions, with his victory seemingly ultimately fully secured, despite knowing fully well his surviving enemies would come for him to get revenge, Thanos did not attempt to avert what he knew would be his death by their hands, not bothering to create defenses or even fighting back at all, and allowed himself to be at their mercy and accepted his fate with dignity. It was only after another version of himself was confronted by these survivors did Thanos realize that there would always be people who would seek to undo his actions, prompting him to extend his plans from balancing the universe to simply erasing it all and creating a new one.
Between 2014 and 2018, Thanos became more mellow. An example of this was when he referred to the Avengers as "unruly wretches" in 2014, while in 2018, he expressed his respect for Iron Man and did not refer to his enemies with derogatory terms, even referring to Scarlet Witch as "my child" when empathizing with her about losing a loved one. When he completed his task and retired, Thanos became even more mellow. When Nebula defended him by saying he is not known for lying, Thanos thanked her and expressed regret at treating her too harshly.
Powers and Abilities
Thanos was an immensely powerful Titan, feared throughout the galaxy as one of the most powerful beings in the universe. He was able to easily outfight other powerful beings such as Thor and Hulk, and commands his Chitauri, Outrider, and Sakaaran legions unchallenged. The Confederacy, despite their combined strength, openly admitted that their forces could not face Thanos and said that even if Glenn Talbot, in his initial stages of having Gravitonium, were to join forces with the Avengers, he would still lose. When Nebula told Gamora that she planned to kill Thanos, Gamora stated that she didn't know if it was possible. Even Thor acknowledged that he needed Stormbreaker if he was to face Thanos, as fighting him without it would have been suicidal.
Titan Physiology: Thanos possessed much of the same physical constitution and abilities from his extinct species. He possessed immense levels of superhuman strength and durability that allowed him to effortlessly overpower and injure similarly sized beings as strong as Hulk, but even smaller and incredibly powerful and super strong individuals as well, such as Thor, Vision, Loki, Spider-Man, Drax the Destroyer, Iron Man in his Mark L Armor and Captain America.
- Superhuman Strength: Thanos managed to display incalculable levels of superhuman strength, being capable of lifting, moving or exerting tremendous amount of force, such as quickly crushing the Tesseract to reveal the Space Stone, destroying Doctor Strange's magical shields with a kick, and easily lifting Loki and snapping his neck with a single hand. During the Battle of Wakanda, Thanos slammed Black Panther with enough force to cause his Panther Habit's nanites to overload with energy and expel a kinetic pulse, instantly broke out of Groot's vines with just a tug, and effortlessly overwhelmed Captain America with just a single hand, knocking him out with a punch. During the Battle of Titan, Thanos was able to easily punch Drax through several stones even with him blocking the attack with his knives, completely overpower Iron Man's Mark L armor, tearing away pieces of the armor with his bare hands and breaking out of any restraint put by Stark and upon waking from Mantis' forced slumber, Thanos was able to swat Mantis and Drax away and regain the Infinity Gauntlet from Spider-Man. While restrained by the hundreds of Eldritch Whips from Doctor Strange's replicas, Thanos was able to activate the Infinity Gauntlet to break free. Notably, Thanos was able to easily overpower Vision, lifting him with a single hand and swiftly ripping the Mind Stone from his body, tearing through the nearly indestructible vibranium housing with ease, and outmatched and severely beat both Thor and Hulk to a bloody pulp during his acquisition of the Tesseract.
- Superhuman Durability: Thanos had tremendous levels of superhuman resilience and durability, rendering him to be highly durable. Indeed, he is capable of easily handling the Infinity Stones without being harmed, notably able to hold without any strain both the Space Stone and Power Stone in his hand, especially impressively suffering no harm from touching the Power Stone considering that it destroys almost anything organic that touches it and despite causing him some pain, the stone affect only his wrist and wielding the power of the Infinity Gauntlet without strain. Hence, when facing the combined efforts of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos was able to effortlessly catch bare-handed knife slashes from Drax and the sword strikes of Doctor Strange's magical sword without any signs of pain, shrug off blows from the superhumanly strong Spider-Man, and even colliding with a Necrocraft at full speed as well as having a massive pillar dropped on him did no damage on him, simply getting up and continuing to fight as if nothing happened. The repeated assaults of Iron Man's powerful Mark L Armor did nothing but slightly scratch his cheek which Thanos even mocked him for. Thanos also effortlessly shrugged off attacks from Captain America with no visible injury and surprise blows from Hulk similarly barely affected him at all. He was also able to shrug off energy attacks from Scarlet Witch, as well as a powerful lightning blast from Stormbreaker. Notably, he survived a blow to the chest from Stormbreaker even after Thor pushed on the axe to exacerbate the wound and was still resilient enough to survive using the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe, though it did cause him to briefly enter a catatonic state and his durability was not enough to stop him from suffering severe burns across his face. Thanos himself mocked Thor for failing to target his head, indicating that such a blow is what it would take to kill him. Even after Thanos had been severely weakened by the destruction of the Infinity Stones, he remained durable enough to quickly recover from punches from Captain Marvel and Bruce Banner wearing the Hulkbuster and also endure the pain of Thor cutting off his still Gauntlet coated hand until he was ultimately killed when Thor was finally able to decapitate him with his axe.
- Superhuman Speed: Despite his size, Thanos could move at extraordinary speeds, being able to effortlessly overpower Hulk in hand-to-hand combat, easily dodging and countering all of his blows while simultaneously striking him multiple times, easily kick Thor aside after he had caught him off-guard and attacked him before he could attack him again and effortlessly grip Loki's neck before he could react moments after thwarting his assassination attempt. He was also able to easily punch aside Nebula after composing himself from her demands of Gamora's whereabouts and completely outmatch Iron Man's Mark L Armor in hand-to-hand combat, landing several vicious blows with Iron Man completely unable to defend himself, and after breaking the sword Iron Man attempted to stab him with, stab him with the piece before he could react, as well as easily punch Captain America before he could react while he was blocking Thanos' Gauntlet hand.
- Superhuman Agility: Despite his giant size and vast muscle mass, Thanos moved with incredible agility in battle, being able to easily overcome the attacks of fast enemies like Thor and Captain America. Thanos was able to jump high from a piece of debris into the air to dodge Doctor Strange's fiery rays and then land perfectly on his feet without any problems.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Thanos, despite his size, possessed incredible superhuman reflexes, as he was able to effortlessly dodge and counter all of Hulk's blows upon composing himself after being briefly pummeled and easily reacted to Loki's swift attempt to kill him, effortlessly choking Loki to death before the latter could react. With just a single hand, Thanos was able to easily grab Gamora before she could strike him with Godslayer, and to even react to the extremely agile Spider-Man's attacks, eventually getting a grip on him and pinning Spider-Man down, as well as casually react to the highly agile Black Panther's full speed charge with a single hand. He also was able to easily catch Iron Man's Mark L Armor's sword and then break it and stab him with the piece before he could react. He could easily react to as well as outpace both Drax the Destroyer and Doctor Strange's moves even while his sight was hampered by web cotton and also managed to quickly overtake Nebula and deliver a powerful punch that sends her flying. While Thor was able to surprise and punched off a portion of Thanos' helmet, Thanos soon effortlessly kicked him away before he could react. Thanos was also able to easily react to the bullets of War Machine's Mark IV armor and Okoye's spear when she threw it at him, which allowed him to easily repel them with the Gauntlet's powers.
- Superhuman Stamina: Thanos' musculature produced almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity. As a result, he could exert himself at peak capacity for a near indefinite period before poison toxins start to impair him. Throughout his quest to find all Infinity Stones, Thanos was able to fight the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and other opponents in both short and prolonged battles with no fatigue until his victorious decimation of half of all life.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Thanos' physiology possessed a powerful regenerative healing factor, which allowed him to quickly regenerate from his minor wounds, regardless of severity or blood loss. Upon arriving on Earth, all of the minor wounds he had received at the hands of Tony Stark had completely disappeared. By the time he had killed off half of the universe's population via a completed Infinity Gauntlet and sat down to "admire the sunset," Thanos had completely regenerated from Thor using the Stormbreaker to severely cut his chest open, even though he was still exhausted from previous fights with the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, Thanos' healing factor was not enough to recover from the wounds dealt from destroying the Infinity Stones, which resulted in his body visibly half-burned and his arm thin and shriveled.
- Immortality: Thanos had lived for over a thousand years of age yet was still in his prime by the time of the Infinity War during the 21st century. The only known weapon with the power to kill Thanos was Stormbreaker, the most powerful weapon forged from Uru, and only if the axe was powered to the maximum and the attack was lethal.
After equipping the Infinity Gauntlet onto his left arm, combined with his already extraordinary physical constitution and raw power, Thanos was granted the potential to safely harness the supernatural powers of all six Infinity Stones should he add them to the Gauntlet. The more stones Thanos inserted into the Gauntlet, the more power he gained and also acquired the stones' dominion over the necessary fabric of existence. Merely having two Stones was enough to make Bruce Banner call him the strongest being in the whole universe while Gamora said that with three Stones, Thanos would be too powerful to stop. Eventually, upon acquiring all six stones, Thanos became the most powerful being in the universe while gaining absolute control over the entire fabric of existence and also able to do almost anything he desired, to the point that even with a severe injury, he killed off half of life within the universe by just snapping his fingers. His power with the Infinity Gauntlet was so great that when Doctor Strange used the Time Stone to peer through over 14 million futures, he saw only one that ended in Thanos' defeat, and this future required Thanos to win. Presumably, due to having done thorough research on the Stones, Thanos displayed incredible understanding and knowledge of their powers and quickly as well as fully mastered all of them, which allowed him to use their dominion over the fabric of existence for combative purposes with extreme finesse, making him nearly impossible to defeat in battle.
Nigh-Omnipotence: With all six Infinity Stones in the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos gained nearly omnipotent levels of power, with control over all six aspects of existence, making him the most powerful being in the entire universe and wielding such near-limitless levels of power that allows him to do almost anything he desired. His power was so great that, even while considerably injured, he still was capable of wiping out half of the universe with a simple snap of his fingers. With this level of power, Thanos was almost invincible, to the point that the only way to subdue him was for the gauntlet to be removed, which would take away his powers or if a sufficiently powerful being wielding a sufficiently powerful weapon were to surprise Thanos, as Thor wielding the Stormbreaker managed to injure Thanos with Thanos himself admitting that Thor may have killed him had he aimed for Thanos' head.
- Terrain Manipulation: Combining the Space and Reality Stones, Thanos could manipulate the terrain at such a scale as to pull the surface of Titan itself to force Doctor Strange to him.
- Energy Absorption and Transformation: Combining the Space and Power Stones, Thanos could manipulate and redirect outside energy, absorbing and channeling the explosive power of Iron Man's missiles into a concentrated beam of fire.
- Energy Blast: After acquiring all six Stones, Thanos could combine their powers to fire a concentrated beam of pure light and energy.
- Death Inducement: After the Gauntlet was completed and the Stones reached their full potential, Thanos gained the power to induce death on a universal scale at whim, using each of the Stones' control over the fabrics of existence to wipe out half the universe even after he had already been grievously wounded. However, using the Gauntlet at such a weakened state took a great toll on Thanos, while scorching the Gauntlet and Thanos' left arm.
- Stones Destruction: Thanos was able to destroy the Infinity Stones by turning their energies against them but this further damaged the already crippled Gauntlet and burned the left side of his body, fusing the Gauntlet to his arm and worsening his wounds.
- Energy Manipulation: After inserting the Power Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquired complete control over the destructive force of the universe. Due to his strong understanding and familiarity with the Stone's powers, he was capable of manipulating the Stone's destructive energy for a wide plethora of versatile and dangerous capabilities, with the Stone becoming among his most versatile and often-used in combat methods for its destructive potential.
- Pain Inducement: Thanos could subtly use the energy of the Power Stone as a very effective form of torture by exposing an individual to the energy of the Power Stone to cause them tremendous pain and can limit the amount of energy sent into the body of said being to avoid killing them. This was potent enough to cause a fully-empowered Thor excruciating amounts of pain, forcing Loki to cooperate with him. He could combine this with the other Stones to increase the torture's potency, with him thus brutally torturing Nebula with both the Power and Space Stones, electrocuting her with the Stone's energy while painfully ripping apart her cybernetics, all the while casually avoiding exerting too much force, thereby killing her.
- Energy Detonation: Thanos could unleash the Power Stone's destructive energy to charge objects with unstable explosive energy with just a single gesture from the Gauntlet, causing them to overload and violently detonate. This ability proved to be the most commonly used out of all the diverse capabilities of the Power Stone due to its great versatility and combat potential thanks to his ability to control the time and size of the detonation, whether instantly or slowly or how devastating, which allowed him to use it with devastating efficiency, as Thanos was able to cause the Stone to slowly overload and detonate the damaged Statesman after retrieving the Space Stone, giving himself time to teleport him and his Children out and later violently and almost instantly detonated a ruined spaceship fragment that was dropped on him by Iron Man. He could even exert so much powerfully destructive energy that he was able to rip apart the surface of Titan's moon with its sheer power.
- Energy Projection: Thanos' primary usage of the Stone was to project its explosive energy in many forms of extremely powerful energy attacks, showing much greater raw power and versatility than Ronan's use, that applied incredible amounts of powerful concussive force that were even capable of outright destroying objects with its volatile power or incapacitating and greatly damaging even the most durable of individuals. He can directly concentrate the Stone's energy into destructively powerful beams easily strong enough to cleave through rocks, force back a shielded Iron Man, and sending him flying with great force and damaging his armor. He was also able to unleash the energy wildly as a shockwave of energy that was easily potent enough to knock out Star-Lord, Drax and Nebula instantaneously despite their great superhuman resilience and displays being able to focus the energy into repulsive waves that were easily potent enough to effortlessly blast away the superhumanly strong and resilient Captain America and Winter Soldier and easily stop Okoye's spear in mid-air before flinging both it and her away, during the Battle of Wakanda. Thanos also was able to use it as a powerful form of defense by conjuring a very strong force field of energy that was easily powerful enough to block Iron Man's repulsors even when the latter used both of his hands to emit two blasts at once.
- Energy Conversion: After the Gauntlet was completed and the Power Stone reached its height of power, it appears that the Power Stone was able to convert the influence of the other Stones into energy to be unleashed upon the whole universe, as when Thanos snapped his fingers to wipe out half of life in the universe, it caused energy to surge from the Gauntlet and cover the whole battlefield of Wakanda and caused ominous rumbling through the universe.
- Space Manipulation: After inserting the Space Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquired the stone's complete control over space and due to his full understanding of the Space Stone's powers, was capable of expertly using the stone's dominion over space to achieve a wide plethora of potent and dangerous capabilities.
- Portal Creation: With the Space Stone inserted inside the Gauntlet, the most useful power that Thanos acquires was the power to open Wormholes to any part of the universe, which allowed him to effortlessly teleport himself to another location at will. As such, Thanos instantly warped himself to Knowhere, Titan, and later Wakanda with ease. He could also take others with him, warping both himself and the Black Order out of the exploding Statesman and later teleported Gamora alongside him to the Sanctuary II and Vormir. In addition to using the portals that he could open with the Space Stone as an instant means of transportation, Thanos could also use it to send attacks from other places, as he did to transport the pieces of Titan's moon that he crushed to use them against his opponents. His control was very precise, as he was capable of using the Stone to selectively control what objects are transported, even removing the impaled Stormbreaker from his chest before teleporting away.
- Vortex Creation: Using the Space Stone, Thanos can create powerful and devastating singularities capable of compressing and sucking anything in their path, as he generated powerful compression forces to throw back the fragments of the gateway to the Mirror Dimension sent at him by Strange in the form of a small but devastating vortex that gathered up everything in its path and sent it flying towards Doctor Strange. However, Strange was swiftly capable of transmuting it into a harmless substance.
- Spatial Pressure Generation: Thanos showed being able to expertly use the Space Stone to warp the fabric of space to generate powerful spatial pressure around his surroundings, capable of crushing, pulling, and freezing with tremendous force in a manner akin to telekinesis enable him to manipulate and move objects with just a single gesture of the Gauntlet, an ability that proved to be among Thanos' most often used. Thanos was able to use the Stone to casually freeze Loki's knife mid-stab in an instant, effortlessly crush the guns on War Machine's armor and ground it, and crush the wings on the EXO-7 Falcon to knock Falcon down.
- Intangibility: Thanos was even capable of using the Space Stone to phase and unphased objects out of space, rendering them incorporeal and just as easily make them corporeal again, as he easily made the Hulkbuster and Banner that was inside it, intangible when he tried to attack Thanos and then rendered it corporeal again to trap him in solid stone.
- Force-Field Generation: Thanos could manipulate the Space Stone's energy to conjure an extremely strong force-field, capable of instantly vaporizing the bullets of War Machine's Mark IV armor and even blocking the energy of Scarlet Witch.
- Global Influence Spreading: After the Gauntlet was completed and the Space Stone reached its full potential, it appears that the Space Stone allows the influence of the other Stones to reach the whole universe, which allowed Thanos to use the power of all Stones to wipe out half the universe.
- Reality Manipulation: After inserting the Reality Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquired complete control over reality. His skill in using the Reality Stone was more advanced, as he was capable of skillfully warping reality more powerfully than Malekith's display of the Stone's power over reality, achieving numerous powerful capabilities.
- Dimensional Negation: Having the Reality Stone also granted Thanos the power to nullify the warping of dimensions, as Thanos was able to prevent himself from being trapped inside the Mirror Dimension by a gateway to said dimension sent at him by Doctor Strange.
- Illusion Manipulation: Thanos could use the Reality Stone to alter reality to create highly realistic and elaborate physical simulations and illusions of false realities over a wide range of influence, which he did to create a false illusion of himself interrogating the Collector in a completely deserted Knowhere, to fool the approaching Guardians of the Galaxy and mask the colony's true status as burning down and utterly ruined. Said illusion was so convincing that the illusion of himself was able to physically interact with the environment, as he was able to be engaged by and even killed by Gamora. He was also able to warp reality around Titan to show Doctor Strange how the planet once was beautiful.
- Invisibility: With the power of creating illusions, the Reality Stone granted Thanos to make himself invisible, as upon unveiling the illusion, he initially talked to Gamora unseen before revealing himself.
- Matter Transmutation: Thanos could use the Reality Stone to transmute and warp matter to anything he wants. This allows Thanos to effortlessly transform weapons into harmless substances, as he instantly turned Star-Lord's ammo within his gun into a flock of bubbles before he had a chance to shoot and did the same with Gamora's switchblade when she attempted to kill herself, transform and manipulate specific parts of the environment to use against his enemies, he transmuted the pieces of a ship that he destroyed, when Iron Man threw it at him, into a countless swarm of bats that he sent towards Iron Man, and also spawned a cage of stone pillars to trap Black Widow.
- Biological Manipulation: The Reality Stone even made Thanos capable of warping the bodies of a living organism, showing the power to release a ball of the Reality Stone's energy capable of turning his targets into pieces of themselves, as he easily turned Drax the Destroyer into pieces and Mantis into strips, although it was only temporary, as Drax and Mantis eventually returned to their original form. However, with the Infinity Gauntlet completed and the Reality Stone amplified to its full potential, it became so potent that it could destroy the body of others truly by disintegrating them to dust, something which Thanos used to wipe out half the universe with a simple snap of his fingers, with the Reality Stone turning all the victims' bodies to dust.
- Soul Manipulation: Thanos with the Soul Stone could manipulate the souls of his enemies, such as when he located the true Doctor Strange in the Battle of Titan or when he communicated with Gamora in the Soulworld.
- Soul Identification: Thanos used the Soul Stone in conjunction with the Power Stone on Titan against Doctor Strange when the latter ensnared him in Eldritch Whips with his magic duplicates. He first used the Soul Stone to identify the true Strange among the copies and proceeded to send energy from the Power Stone across the whips to vaporize each clone, leaving Strange surprised and ready to be taken.
- Soul Containment: The Soul Stone contained a mysterious pocket dimension that contained the soul of Gamora, as she was the one he sacrificed to obtain the Stone. The dimension seemed to change to fit the form that Thanos most wanted to see. After wiping out half of all life in the Universe, the sheer energy required to achieve such a feat overwhelmed a weakened Thanos and briefly sent him into a dream state, with the stone transporting his mind to a world consisting of a barren, infinite expanse of feet-high water under an orange sky. Within the Soulworld, Thanos saw himself as without the Gauntlet or the injuries he obtained from Stormbreaker. Before returning to his senses, he was briefly able to communicate with a reflection of his deceased daughter, Gamora, standing under a Zen-Whoberi gateway as she was when she was younger and when Thanos first met and adopted her, telling her of his final fulfillment of his lifelong goal.
- Time Manipulation: After inserting the Time Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquired complete control over time, which allowed him to control time itself by manifesting mystical green runes of energy surrounding the user's arm and wrist before finally conjuring a green, circular mandala made of energy in the palm of his hand. He was able to be far more capable and familiar in using the Time Stone's powers than Doctor Strange.
- Event Recreation: Thanos was capable of rewinding time to recreate certain events with a surpassing amount of finesse, enough to truly recreate destroyed objects, even those of great power while resurrecting beings and keeping some from being affected, as he was able to recreate the events where Vision died, to resurrect Vision and recreate the Mind Stone, even after Wanda Maximoff had destroyed both of them, while preventing his foes from getting rewinded to prevent them from attempting to stop him, whereas Doctor Strange could not truly recreate the stolen pages of the Book of Cagliostro.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Even at his youth, Thanos was deemed a genius among his kind. His long life allowed Thanos to refine his intellectual aptitude to the highest degree, making him quite possibly the most intelligent being in the universe. Thanos was even clever enough to easily outsmart Loki himself on more than one occasion, he was not only successful in using Loki as a pawn without the latter realizing it for a long time, but he was also able to successfully predict his attempt of assassination and countering it. Thanos also easily deceived the Guardians of the Galaxy into letting their guard down, thus allowing Thanos to incapacitate them and capture Gamora. Being highly intellectually and emotionally perceptive, Thanos can easily see right through most lies and accurately deduce the truth and the character of most people, as he effortlessly deduced that Loki was planning to assassinate him behind his worshiping of him from having known his deceptive and manipulative nature and instantly knew that Gamora was lying when she said she never found the Soul Stone. He even accurately predicted that Titan would be destroyed by overpopulation.
- Master Tactician: Thanos was an extraordinarily formidable strategist with centuries of experience in tactical warfare and leading huge armies. Even without using his immense powers and combat skills, Thanos successfully conquered many worlds through just his tactical expertise and leadership of his army. Thanos is also extraordinarily skilled in manipulation, as without leaving his throne, he was able to easily and effectively manipulate other powerful beings, such as Ronan the Accuser and even Loki himself, into doing his bidding, and his strategical ingenuity was shown by how he created extremely complex and well-coordinated plans and instructed his manipulated pawns into performing, with the strategies he created and employed being so effective that he gave the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy immense trouble by causing the Battle of Xandar and Chitauri Invasion all the while remaining effectively anonymous easily fooling even the most intelligent human beings on Earth such as Iron Man and Bruce Banner from figuring out Loki had been aided by Thanos in his invasion, and eluding Doctor Strange's list of otherworldly threats. It was only after Thor received a vision on the Infinity Stones that he was able to figure out Thanos' involvement, with Thor admitting that Thanos had been "playing a very intricate game," and has effectively used the Avengers as pawns without them even realizing it until Thor saw the vision. Thanos is even a far more superior tactician than Loki, who was famous for being a crafty genius in orchestrating cunning schemes, as he easily deceived the God of Mischief into becoming his minion and later easily predicted and outsmarted Loki's attempt to assassinate him. Thanos' strategical intuition also allows him to accurately predict incoming events and effectively manipulate said events to his advantage, as he was able to anticipate the Guardians going to Knowhere to retrieve the Reality Stone and arrived there before they could prevent him from taking it. Thanos even went as far as to set up a brilliant trap for the Guardians by casting an illusion to fool them into believing that he is still torturing the Collector for the Reality Stone while in actuality he had acquired the Reality Stone long before they arrived, all the while easily manipulating Gamora using illusions specifically seen in her mind to lure her into emotionally charging at Thanos, which worked to a great effect, catching Gamora and the Guardians completely off-guard, and allowing Thanos to successfully capture Gamora. Thanos can create effective strategies during combat, as he efficiently employed Titan's strong gravitational pull to separate much of his opponents by breaking and launching the pieces of Titan's moon at his enemies from the atmosphere and allowing Thanos to engage and overpower Doctor Strange and Iron Man, eventually culminating in Strange being forced to surrender the Time Stone to Thanos. Thanos can also swiftly think his way out of debilitating situations, as after Scarlet Witch destroyed the Mind Stone, Thanos was unfazed, due to now having the Time Stone, and swiftly reversed time before Vision's destruction while taking care as to not include the heroes in the time-reversal to prevent them from attempting to stop him, thus allowing Thanos to finally complete the Gauntlet and render Vision's sacrifice in vain. Even after Thor severely wounded him, Thanos was able to use Thor's vendetta against him to manipulate and fool him, as despite still being able to function enough to activate the completed Gauntlet, he let Thor vengefully gloat and attack him to convince him he was killing him before revealing that he will still live and can still accomplish his mission by mocking Thor for not aiming for his head, catching Thor off-guard and stunning him long enough that Thanos was able to snap his fingers before Thor could react. Before his death on the Garden, Thanos used the Infinity Stones' power against themselves to reduce them to atoms to prevent the Avengers from undoing the Snap, thereby securing his victory.Thanos won all but one of the 14,000,605 outcomes of the Infinity War foreseen by Doctor Strange. Thanos, along with Helmut Zemo, was the only other strategist to defeat the Avengers.
- Master Combatant: Thanos was an extraordinary warrior and hand-to-hand combatant, with a millennium's worth of fighting experience. Thanos' supreme combat skills supplemented by his physical prowess enable him to overpower even the strongest opponents. Under his tutelage, all of his adopted children, including Gamora herself, became extremely formidable fighters. He effortlessly beat Hulk to a bloody pulp, effortlessly restrained Gamora before she could react, swiftly overpowered both Doctor Strange using a sword made of Eldritch Magic and Drax the Destroyer with his knives, effortlessly slammed Spider-Man with only one hand, easily fought off and quickly defeated Nebula wielding her batons, and easily pummeled Iron Man in his Mark L armor. During the Attack on the Statesman, Thanos easily managed to single-handedly defeat and beat Thor. He even easily countered Black Panther's charge by choking him with a single hand and then pummeled him to the ground with a single punch, then knocked out Captain America with a single blow, despite the Avenger keeping Thanos occupied during the Battle of Wakanda. Only an attack from Thor using Stormbreaker was able to land a severe blow towards Thanos.
- Switchblade: Thanos carried with him a two dual-bladed knife during the Massacre of the Zehoberei. Upon seeing the young Gamora fighting one of his soldiers, she gained the Titan's interest. He took her aside and used his red and silver switchblade to teach his beliefs on balance by symbolizing it with balancing the knife on his finger and asked her to do the same. Gamora kept the knife over the years and eventually used it against Thanos' illusion.
- Scepter: When Thanos possessed the Mind Stone, he placed it inside the Scepter. He gave it as a weapon for Loki for his coming invasion to Earth. However, Loki lost possession of it during the Battle of New York; as such, Thanos lost an Infinity Stone that he could have just as easily kept.
- Double-Edged Sword: Thanos used his Double-Edged Sword during his attack on the Korbinites in 2014. Following the massacre, he returned to the Sanctuary II where he placed the sword aside.
- Infinity Gauntlet: An extremely powerful item that Thanos forced the Dwarves to construct to allow him to channel the power of all the six Infinity Stones. Masterly forged by Eitri from Uru, the strongest metal in the universe, it is tremendously durable, as it can withstand having all six Stones embedded inside it. He brandished it in the Infinity War, using the power of the Infinity Stones that he acquired to devastating effects against his enemies. He eventually completed the Gauntlet and used it to wipe out half of the universe, although he damaged the Gauntlet in the process due to doing so while grievously wounded but it remained functioning nevertheless. Three weeks after he fulfilled his plan, Thanos used the Gauntlet again, this time to destroy the very Stones themselves. The act severely damaged the left side of this body, and the resulting energy wave leads to the Gauntlet being damaged further and was fused to his left arm. With the Stones destroyed, the Gauntlet was deemed useless and served no further purpose.
- Tesseract: Containing the Space Stone, Thanos sent Loki and his Chitauri army to invade Earth in order to collect it; however, the Avengers stopped the invasion. Years later, Thanos tracked the Tesseract in the Statesman, where Loki kept it secretly. By torturing Thor, Loki gave up the Tesseract to Thanos, who crushed it to abstract the Infinity Stone.
- Corvus Glaive's Glaive: Following the massacre of all the remaining Asgardians, Thanos witnessed Heimdall drawing the last of his power to teleport Hulk back to the Earth. As punishment, Thanos borrowed Corvus Glaive's weapon and used it to impale Heimdall, killing him.
- Infinity Stones: Six of the most powerful objects in the universe, they were Thanos' most primary objective in his crusade to wipe out half the universe. He would successfully acquire all the Stones in Infinity War and install them inside the Infinity Gauntlet, at which point he then finally completed his goal. To secure his victory, Thanos used the stones' collective power to reduce them to atoms.
- Power Stone: Thanos was equipped with the Power Stone after reigning against Xandar for access. Once he gained the stone for his goal, Thanos had the power to augment his strength and project a dangerous amount of energy from his Infinity Gauntlet. Using the stone, Thanos was able to amplify his strength, achieving such feats as punching the Mirror Dimension with ease and punch Iron Man with a powerful blow that sent him backward Thanos has even been able to project an energy blast that can send a normal being away and detonate an entire half of the Statesman.
- Space Stone: Given the Space Stone by hand, Thanos harnessed the power of the Space Stone and was able to control the fabric of space itself. Thanos demonstrated his power of the Space Stone by absorbing remains through a vortex portal and even create Wormholes that allow him to teleport from one location to another.
- Reality Stone: Having taken the Reality Stone, Thanos utilized its power to control the fabric of reality that can mislead his opponents. Taking the Reality Stone to its great effect, Thanos was able to create illusions that surround his environment, transform certain beings and objects into different constructs, and even turn invisible.
- Soul Stone: After completing his sacrifice on Vormir, Thanos was given the Soul Stone within his hand and harnessed its power. Thanos was able to contain the souls of his victims inside of a mysterious pocket dimension, such as Gamora's soul being in the dimension after she was sacrificed.
- Time Stone: By taking possession of the Time Stone from Doctor Strange, Thanos was now able to harness the power of the stone to bend time itself to his will. Using the Time Stone, Thanos can reverse a particular event that he witnessed and recreate destroyed objects.
- Mind Stone: By killing Vision to get the Mind Stone out of his forehead, Thanos harnessed its power and had gained the ability to shoot energy blasts as well as control the minds of other beings.
- Battle Armor: Thanos utilized a Golden Armor during his days of conquest. The armor was resilient enough to resist damage from Hulk's blows. He discarded the armor upon acquiring the Space Stone from Loki, as he felt his power had grown beyond the need for it after acquiring two Infinity Stones. Thanos later recollected the armor and repurposed it as a scarecrow on the Garden following his victory on Earth.
- Space Throne: Thanos' stationary home, he was accompanied by The Other until he was mercilessly killed by Ronan the Accuser.
- Sanctuary II: Thanos commanded a massive warship called the Sanctuary II. Using forces to invade the Zen-Whoberi, Thanos commands the hovered crafts above the capital city. Thanos was able to use the ship to track down the Statesman that was carrying the survivors of Ragnarök and destroying a part of it.
- Q-Ship: Thanos also used these ships for his invasions and conflicts. In 2014 he met with Gamora and Nebula after the Massacre of the Korbinites, to tell them that Ronan the Accuser had just located the Power Stone.
- Statesman: Thanos boarded this massive vessel along with the Black Order to obtain the Space Stone of the survivors Asgardians who were on the ship. After obtaining it Thanos used the Infinity Stones to destroy the complete ship and transport themselves back to Sanctuary II.
- Sanctuary: Sanctuary is the asteroid field inhabited by the Chitauri. Being the domain of Thanos, Loki was captured and tortured by The Other to ensure his compliance and submission then trained by Thanos in the ways of mind control. After Gamora's betrayal, Ronan the Accuser traveled to Sanctuary where he met with Thanos in person and angrily berated him for not taking Gamora's betrayal seriously. Thanos entrusted both Ronan and Nebula with fixing that problem.
- Thanos' Farm: This farm became Thanos' home on the Garden following the end of the Infinity War. There, Thanos intended to spend the rest of his days peacefully, having brought balance to what he now saw as a grateful universe. However, the Avengers, the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel eventually tracked down Thanos to his farm, a search which culminated with Thanos' death at the hands of Thor, leaving the farm abandoned and vacant.
|Appearances for Thanos|
|In chronological order:
In an indefinite temporality:
- In the comics, Thanos was a member of the Eternals, a race of superpowered beings that descended from a caste of humans genetically enhanced by the Celestials. Thanos himself was the son of Mentor, the leader of an Eternal colony on Saturn's moon of Titan. Much of Thanos' villainous motivations in the comics revolve around his romantic feelings for the entity Death. In the famous Infinity Gauntlet storyline, he became the master of the Infinity Gauntlet, which he used to murder most of the universe's inhabitants in an attempt to impress Death. He is one of the Avengers' most historical foes, but when he took a break from being a conqueror, Thanos was entrusted with the Reality Gem of the Infinity Gems. He also displays a wider array of abilities, such as cosmic energy manipulation, telekinesis, telepathy, and matter manipulation without the use of the Infinity Gems.
- Thanos is one of the only five main antagonists in the MCU to appear in more than one movie. The others are Loki, Red Skull, Alexander Pierce and Ronan the Accuser.
- The name "Thanos" is based on the name of the mythological Greek figure Thanatos, meaning "death."
- Thanos' desire for balance is seen through his adopted children, three of which are female (Proxima Midnight, Gamora, and Nebula), and three of which of male (Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, and Cull Obsidian).
- Thanos is the only main antagonist to physically appear before he became the main antagonist, as he appeared in The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron before he appears in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
- Thanos is one of the few characters who is played by different actors in different films. The others are James Rhodes, Howard Stark, Bruce Banner, Fandral, and Red Skull.
- Joe Russo confirmed that Thanos is one thousand years old in Avengers: Endgame. However, it is unclear if he meant Thanos as he appears in the film's opening, or the time-traveled version of Thanos from 2014, who is four years younger.
Behind the Scenes
- It was Joss Whedon's idea to reveal Thanos as the true villain of The Avengers, but ironically he considered the villain too difficult to write.
- Damion Poitier was credited as "Man 1" despite actually playing Thanos in The Avengers.
- In Nicole Perlman's draft of Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos served as the main antagonist instead of Ronan the Accuser. When James Gunn was brought to the project, Joss Whedon asked Thanos' role to be downsized and Gunn agreed.
- Josh Brolin was uncredited for his appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Josh Brolin took inspiration from Marlon Brando's performance as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now in his portrayal of Thanos.
- Christopher Markus stated in the audio commentary for Avengers: Infinity War that there were earlier drafts of the script spent more time on Titan before its downfall. Concept art sketched by Ryan Lang featuring a young Thanos and his Eternals family further indicates a that a flashback of Thanos' youth was considered to appear in the film. It also hints at the possibility of Thanos appearing in the upcoming Eternals film.
- Robert Pralgo was a reader for the role of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
- Greg Rementer, Keil Zepernick, and Carmelo Oquendo were stunt doubles for Josh Brolin in the role of Thanos.
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Avengers: Endgame
- WandaVision 1.07: Breaking the Fourth Wall
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.01: New World Order
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.06: One World, One People
- The Avengers
- Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier Mid-credits Scene
- The Avengers Mid-credits Scene
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Mid-credits Scene
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.20: The One Who Will Save Us All
- Thor: Ragnarok Mid-credits Scene
- Avengers: Endgame Prelude
- WandaVision: 1.08: Previously On
- Loki: 1.01: Glorious Purpose
- How Avengers: Age of Ultron Nearly Killed Joss Whedon
- James Gunn on Twitter, 2 December 2015
- Josh Brolin Talks Thanos’ Love for Death, Future Appearances, Character Comparisons, and More
- Concept art of Thanos and his family.