|“||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. But 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’ speech|
|“||You could not live with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to me. I thought by eliminating half of life, the other half might expect it. But you’ve shown me... that’s impossible. As long there are those that remember what was, there are those that are unable to accept what can be... which will resist. I'm thankful, because now I know what I must do. I will shred this universe down to its last atom...and then, with the Stones you have collected for me, create a new one. Teeming with life, that knows not what it has lost, but what it has been given. A grateful universe.||„|
|~ Thanos vowing to take over the universe.|
Thanos is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; serving as the main antagonist in the Infinity saga.
He specifically appeared as the overarching antagonist in both The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, a mid-credits scene character in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the primary antagonist in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Thanos was born on a planet called Titan to an unnamed species of large purple life-forms, which was nearing destruction to overpopulation and rapid depletion of resources taking place at the time. Desiring to do something about it, as he deeply cared for his people even though he was viewed as a deformed freak by the rest of his species, he made a proposal to the Titan government that they exterminate half the planet's population so the other could survive. However, they all rejected this idea and called him mad for this. Not too long after, Thanos' species went extinct. Being the only known survivor, Thanos started looking throughout the universe for "balance", but everywhere he went had something wrong with it (at least in his eyes); he took the title of "Mad Titan" and started going planet-to-planet, wiping out half of it to save the other half. In his mind, if life was spreading throughout the universe unchecked, it would bring ruin.
Among the species he wiped out was the Zehoberei, a species of green humanoids, and took in the last known survivor Gamora, raising her as his daughter. Also taken in was Nebula, a blue humanoid from another world he visited and had both of them given cybernetic implants. Both Nebula and Gamora had a sibling rivalry but became attached, with Nebula saying "of all our siblings, I hated you the least", suggesting that there were many other siblings. Thanos once calls Gamora "my favorite daughter" without considering Nebula being present at the moment. In their childhood, they would fight a lot, and Thanos would force a cybernetic enhancement on the loser. Each and every time, Nebula would lose and her body became less and less organic. At some point, he took command of the Chitauri species and used their leader The Other as an emissary.
He eventually learned of a way to bring "balance" to the entire universe all at once: the Infinity Stones of immeasurable power. Using a golden gauntlet called the "Infinity Gauntlet", he sought to attach all the Stones to it and wipe out half the universe's populace with the snap of his fingers. At some point, he obtained the Mind Stone (which could mind-control people) and put it into a Chitauri scepter of his making while the other Stones eluded him.
In the film, Thanos appears in a post-credits scene, where the Other tells Thanos that the Tesseract, the Space Stone, is on a small world, a human world. It also informs him that Loki is ready to lead the Chitauri, and so he was given the scepter with the Mind Stone to get the Tesseract. In a post-credits scene, Thanos is revealed to have been Loki's benefactor, having provided the Chitauri Army and the Mind Stone inside Loki's scepter used by Loki in his attempted invasion of Earth. When advised by the Other that opposing the Avengers would be "to court death", as the human race was not as weak as Loki claimed, Thanos glances at the camera and flashes an evil grin.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Thanos plays a more active role in the film, where he has enlisted the help of Ronan, Korath, and his daughters, Gamora and Nebula, to retrieve the Orb (Power Stone) for him. As it turns out, Gamora is not actually Thanos's daughter, since Thanos killed Gamora's family and snatched her as an infant to train her into the perfect assassin, having abused and tormented her in the process of doing so. This causes Gamora to betray Thanos, which leads to a chain of events that leads to Gamora finding her true calling as a protector of the universe and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
When Ronan and Nebula are called to discuss Gamora's betrayal, Ronan kills The Other, who was speaking for Thanos. Thanos does not react to this but is furious at Ronan for not obtaining the Orb (and for apparently alienating Gamora).
After berating Ronan and calling him "Boy", Thanos says he will destroy Xandar for Ronan if he brings him the Orb but promises to "bathe the star-ways with [his] blood" should he fail him. Nebula then easily persuaded the frightened Ronan to leave, as they knew too well he is no match for Thanos.
Thanos promised Ronan that he will help Ronan destroy Xandar in exchange for Ronan's services. However, once Ronan gets a hold of the Orb, he feels he no longer needs Thanos help and also decides to betray him. Nebula also decides to betray Thanos out of jealousy over Thanos showing a preference for Gamora over her. Ronan and Nebula take Korath with them, while Thanos, unfazed by their threats of killing him, cut off contact with them in anger of their betrayal.
In the end, Ronan and Korath are killed by the Guardians of the Galaxy (including Gamora), Nebula escapes and becomes a renegade villain independent of Thanos, and the Guardians give the Orb to the Nova Corps for safekeeping. Drax the Destroyer, who got revenge on Ronan for killing his family, decides to turn his attention to Thanos, as the latter was the one who sent Ronan to kill Drax's family.
However, Thanos is still determined to find the six Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet so he can use them to conquer and rebalance the universe and this event would finally make him decide to come out to the open.
AGE OF ULTRON
Thanos is indirectly mentioned numerous times in this film; the first time was when Tony said of a possibility that a powerful villain would destroy the Avengers, which made Thor finally realize that someone has been manipulating the events (including Loki) to find the Infinity Stones. This was foreshadowed when Tony and Banner found Loki's scepter and used it to bring life to a peacekeeping A.I. program, which later became known as the homicidal cyborg Ultron, much to both Tony and Banner's distraught.
Gaining sentience from the power of the Mind Stone after breaking the scepter and killing HYDRA leader Wolfgang von Strucker, Ultron decides to utilize the Mind Stone in his plot to destroy the Avengers and all of humanity with his own army of Ultron Sentinels. Tony also suffered a nightmare (thanks to the powers of Scarlet Witch) where he sees all the Avengers being murdered (presumably by Thanos) while more Leviathans are heading towards Earth, foreshadowing Thanos' plot to take over the universe with the Infinity Stones.
Eventually, as Ultron and his Sentinels end up being destroyed by the Avengers at Sokovia while the Mind Stone ends up in the possession of Vision, Thanos finally appeared in a mid-credits scene, where he is fed up with losing his resources and his henchmen failing him and betraying him in his failed attempts to acquire the Stones. He goes into a white room in an unknown location and takes the Infinity Gauntlet from its hiding place, swearing to collect all of the six Infinity Stones (including the Mind Stone) by himself.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOLUME 2
Thanos doesn't appear in the film, but is mentioned twice, once by Nebula (who angrily blames Gamora for the lifetime of pain and misery that she suffered at the hands of Thanos), and another by one of the Ravagers (led by Taserface) as he is aware that Nebula is Thanos' adoptive daughter. Eventually, after having a change of heart and helping the Guardians defeat Ego and the Sovereign, Nebula reconciles with Gamora but leaves her as she intends to kill Thanos and prevent anyone else from falling under his control.
Thanos doesn't appear nor is mentioned in the film. However, his giant ship (the Sanctuary II) is seen during a mid-credits scene as it was intercepting one of the Grandmaster's giant ships containing the Asgardians survivors following the deaths of Hela and the Berserker Army, as well as the destruction of Asgard, by the hands of Surtur. It can be implied that Thanos and his forces are going after the Space Stone (the Tesseract) that Loki saved from Ragnarok following Surtur's death.
In the film, Thanos is first seen sending his elite team of adopted children (known as the Black Order) to attack the Asgardians' ship, being aware that Loki took hold of the Tesseract before Asgard's destruction. Thanos and the Black Order massacre Half of the Asgardians and he personally beats Thor up with ease. Thanos is surprised by Hulk but he easily defeats him. As all of the Asgardians are being slaughtered while the Hulk is sent back to Earth to warn of Thanos' arrival, Thanos coerces Loki into surrendering the Tesseract by threatening to kill a beaten Thor. Loki does so but intends to reclaim it back for Thor by feigning loyalty to Thanos in an attempt to stab him with a dagger. Unfortunately, Thanos easily anticipates this move and lifts Loki while choking him. Thanos calmly mocks Loki for saying undying fidelity and is unfazed when Loki says he will never be a god, snapping his neck in front of a horrified Thor. It was later revealed that Thanos has previously acquired the Orb after invading and destroying the planet Xandar, and he uses the Orb to destroy the Asgardians' ship, leaving a helpless Thor to drift in space.
With two of the Infinity Stones in his possession, Thanos sends the Black Order to Earth to collect the Time Stone (the Eye of Agamotto) and the Mind Stone while he travels to Knowhere, where he most likely kills the Collector to get hold of the Reality Stone (the Aether). Using the Aether, Thanos conjured an illusion that succeeded to lure the Guardians into a trap. He proceeds to easily capture Gamora and calmly uses the Reality Stone to turn Drax and Mantis into pieces. Thanos then forces her into giving out the location of the Soul Stone by threatening to torture and kill a captive Nebula. Having no choice, Gamora confesses that the Soul Stone is in the planet Vormir and is guarded by the Stonekeeper (previously known as Red Skull). Traveling to Vormir with a captive Gamora, Thanos is told by Red Skull that he will give the Soul Stone, but only if Thanos is willing to sacrifice a loved one. Gamora laughs at this before claiming that Thanos doesn't care for anyone, but Thanos turns to her revealing tears, as she is the only thing and the only adopted child he truly loved; even the Red Skull points out that the tears are for Gamora. Despite realizing this, Gamora tries to commit suicide to ensure that Thanos cannot get the Soul Stone, but Thanos foils this and reluctantly kills her by throwing her off a cliff to gain hold of the Soul Stone.
With four Infinity Stones in place, Thanos travels back to his homeworld Titan, where he intends to wait for Ebony Maw to deliver the Eye of Agamotto. However, he found Doctor Strange waiting for him and instantly deduced that Maw is dead due to Tony Stark (Iron Man) killing him to save Strange (the current holder of the Eye). Unfazed, Thanos explains his goals and begins a ferocious battle with the majority of the Guardians, who have arrived after being contacted by Nebula. Despite being outnumbered, Thanos proves to be too powerful to defeat easily and fights them off using the Gauntlet and his fighting skill and physical power effectively. However, Nebula arrives and although Thanos subdued her swiftly, the heroes barely managed to briefly subdue Thanos thanks to Nebula's distraction of Thanos. Despite this, Thanos still put up a fierce fight and eventually they learned that he has killed Gamora to get the Soul Stone, which provoked an angry Peter Quill to attack Thanos. Unfortunately, this breaks the heroes' group on Thanos, who then initiates the Guardians, forcing Spider-Man to save them from the oncoming meteor shower and making him unable to help Iron Man and Doctor Strange, before overpowering Strange's magic and severely injuring Iron Man, although Strange surrendered the Time Stone to him so he would spare Tony, a deal that Thanos agreed to.
Meanwhile, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight and Cull Obsidian assemble a massive army of Outriders to attack Wakanda, being aware that the hero Vision has the Mind Stone lodged in his forehead and is currently located in Wakanda. This forces several Avengers and the Wakandan warriors to fight back against Thanos's army. At first, the heroes are being overwhelmed, but Thor, Rocket Raccoon and Groot arrived at the rescue with a new powerful weapon called Stormbreaker, allowing the Avengers and Wakandan warriors to finish off Glaive, Proxima, Obsidian and the Outriders to their defeat and deaths. However, Thanos personally arrived on Wakanda after acquiring the Time Stone and managed to easily defeat the Avengers and Guardians, only to witness Scarlet Witch removing the Mind Stone from Vision and destroying it with her powers. Unperturbed by this, Thanos used the Eye of Agamotto to reverse this event, allowing himself to collect the Mind Stone while killing Vision at the same time, much to Scarlet Witch's distraught.
In a last-minute attempt to finish off Thanos, Thor imbued all of his power, further fueled by his strong desire to avenge Loki and the Asgardians and stop Thanos from achieving his goal, into Stormbreaker and managed to violently strike Thanos in the chest before using all of his strength to twist the axe as deep as he could into Thanos. Despite being severely wounded by Stormbreaker, Thanos has already infused all the Stones into the Gauntlet and sends out a death wave with a snap of his fingers in retaliation, taunting Thor that he should've aimed for the head instead. As a result, half of the universe's populace starts to disintegrate away to their deaths (including several Wakandan warriors, Avengers and Guardians) while Thanos briefly enters into limbo, where he talks to a young Gamora about his successful goal, but not before tearfully admitting to her that it cost him everything he had (his armies and adoptive children). Despite the Gauntlet being damaged as a result, a victorious Thanos escapes away with it, and the surviving heroes are horrified that they lost and that the entire universe is now in disarray due to losing their families, friends and allies to Thanos' death wave. A fully recovered Thanos is last seen watching a sunrise from Titan II with a smile on his face, satisfied that he finally defeated the heroes and achieved his goal.
AGENTS OF SHIELD
Thanos doesn't appear in the series, but he is mentioned in the Season 5 episode The One Who Will Save Us All, where Graviton learns from the Kree about Thanos' plot to wipe out half of the universe. As such, Graviton suggests that they ally with the Avengers to fight against Thanos, but the Kree convinced him to obtain more Gravitonium in order to absorb it and increase his powers.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Thanos doesn't appear nor is mentioned in the film. However, during a mid-credits scene following the arrest of Sonny Burch and the curing of Ghost, it is revealed that Thanos' death wave has killed Hank Pym, along with his wife Janet van Dyne and their daughter Hope - known as Wasp; the trio are left to be wiped away from existence. The Pym family's demise also caused Hope's partner Scott Lang - known as Ant-Man - to be left trapped in a quantum realm, much to his complete distraught.
Three weeks after completing his quest, Thanos has become a farmer in his retirement and has been growing crops to settle a new life. It is also revealed that the affects of Thanos' snap of the fingers has left him visibly scarred. He is first seen cooking a crop stew when the Avengers, aided by Carol Davis, suddenly ambush him. Thanos is subdued, gets his hand holding the Infinity Gauntlet chopped off, and is interrogated by Rogers over the location of the Infinity Stones. However, before Thanos can explain, Rocket finds out that the stones are not in the gauntlet. Thanos then reveals that he destroyed the stones to prevent them for further use, thus ensuring that his goal cannot be undone. The Avengers initially believe Thanos' claim to be false, but Nebula confirms her adopted father's theory - recalling how while Thanos is truly capable of imaginable things, lying isn't really one of those aspects. Thanos thanks Nebula for confirming his story, before eventually expressing how he shouldn't have abused her throughout their relationship. Before Thanos can speak further, however, Thor - enraged at the damage Thanos has caused and still vengeful over Loki's death - promptly strikes the Mad Titan with Stormbreaker, decapitating him; despite the victims of Thanos' deathwave being avenged, the deed is already done and the Avengers are forced to accept this outcome for the rest of their lives.
Five years later after Thanos' death, however, the Avengers find themselves having a second chance idea to undo Thanos' decimation when Scott manages to escape the quantum realm and reunites with the Avengers - telling them how he experienced the fact that the time he was trapped is five hours different to the present. This prompts the Avengers to build a time machine and use this opportunity to retrieve all the six Infinity Stones from multiple past times. As Nebula helps the Avengers accomplish this objective, she suddenly malfunctions - which subsequently takes affect to her 2014 past incarnation during a mission with Gamora, from the 2014 timeline. It is then that Thanos meets up with his two adopted daughters and he prepares to send them to Ronan's ship, so they can join him with the mission of hunting down the Power Stone - as well as checking up on his obsessed ambition; with Thanos stating that Ronan's ambition "clouds his judgement". In that moment, Thanos notices Nebula malfunctioning and immediately has her taken in for examination. Upon noticing Nebula's future counterpart, Thanos learns about the Avengers and how he ended up fulfilling his destiny from the future - thus realizing that the Avengers are planning to undo what he would have achieved. Thanos, determined not to jeopardize his destiny, changes his original plan and instead sets course for Earth; along the way, he sends Nebula to capture her future counterpart with Gamora's help. She succeeds and takes her place in returning to the Avengers' headquarters, using this opportunity to extract the coordinates of their location to Thanos' warship. This allows Thanos to travel to Earth and ambush the Avengers amid their attempt to activate the Infinity Gauntlet, destroying their compound in the process.
After sending Nebula to retrieve the Gauntlet, unaware that she would be killed by her future counterpart - who has also convinced Gamora to betray their father after telling her her fate in the future - Thanos awaits for his enemies to come to him; he is confronted by Stark alongside Rogers and Thor themselves. Thanos greets them with the admiration of how they serve a purpose to him, further stating that the Avengers have now made him realize that as long as there are people who remember what life was like before the Decimation, there will always be people who can't accept what the future can be. Thanos then declares that he now intends to destroy the entire universe altogether by shredding it into the last atom, before remaking it into his own image - one where people will never remember about the outcome of what the future would become if his original Decimation quest had occurred. Thanos subsequently engages the trio in a confrontation and gets the upper hand, overpowering Stark and Thor whilst also injuring Rogers - breaking his shield in the process. After summoning his army and the Black Order to besiege Earth, Thanos confines to Steve about how his quest of destroying planets and slaughtering civilizations were never "personal" to him; however, Thanos then expresses disgust towards Earth and states that he will enjoy what the planet endures under his reign. Thanos prepares to unleash his army upon Steve when the latter is suddenly reinforced by the armies of Asguard and Wakanda, along with all the Avengers and Guardians members - including Dr. Strange and his fellow sorcerers - who perished in the Decimation; the Avengers had achieved in restoring 50% of all life back to existence prior to Thanos' arrival.
Thanos makes his last stand when he signals his army to charge at the Avengers and their reinforcements, instigating a climatic battle between them. Thanos initially dominates the entire battle until Carol arrives and destroys Thanos' warship, turning the odds in the Avengers' favour. Although his army is increasingly mounted by this point, Thanos continues to beat down his attackers - including the revived Wanda and then overpowering Rogers and Thor. When the Gauntlet is within his reach, Thanos attempts to seize it - only to end up brawling with Carol when she attempts to stop him. The two proved evenly matched as Carol holds back her strength against Thanos' might, until the Mad Titan takes the Power Stone and blasts Carol away. Thanos eventually gets the Gauntlet and prepares to unleash it's power when Stark intervenes, sparking a tussle between them over the Gauntlet - which ultimately lands in Thanos' possession after he tosses Stark aside. With the Gauntlet in his possession, Thanos triumphantly declares victory - describing him to be inevitable - and proceeds to snap his fingers, but is left confused when the Gauntlet doesn't appear to activate. Thanos looks at the Gauntlet to see that there are no stones within his possession, and instead turns to see that the stones have actually been extracted onto Stark's armoured glove - as Stark has secretly taken the stones from Thanos' Gauntlet amid their tussle moments ago. Shocked at being outdone by the very enemy who he had previously expressed respect towards from their last showdown, Thanos could only watch as Stark snaps his fingers shortly after revealing his alter-ego as "Iron Man": Stark's snap activates the stones from his gloves, which disintegrates all of Thanos' remaining army - including his Black Order lieutenants - and warships into dust as the Mad Titan observers the outcome in horror.
Seeing that his destiny has ultimately died along with his army, as well as realizing that he is about to die too, Thanos accepts his defeat and spends his last moments watching a sunrise on Earth - mimicking how he would've triumphed from the future - before eventually disintegrating into dust. With Thanos finally dead at last, the victims of his Decimation have all been avenged and the Mad Titan's reign is brought to an end - once and for all.
|64px||“||I'm thankful, because now I know what I must do. I will shred this universe, down to its last atom. And then, with the stones you have collected for me, create a new one. Teeming with life, that knows not what it has lost, but what it has been given. A grateful universe.||„|
|~ Thanos to Captain America|
Thanos is 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. Despite this, Thanos is also a more complex and tortured soul given his traumatic past and obsession with completing what he perceives as his destiny leads him to commit horrible actions all in the name of saving the universe even at 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 is 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 while forcing them to watch as he murders their families and tirelessly searches for the Infinity Stones.
He is 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 stairways 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 has little to no regard for his subordinates, as seen by him showing absolutely no empathy when Ronan killed The Other. He is also shown to be an extremely skilled leader, due to being 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 is extremely confident to the point of borderline arrogance and appears to be almost impossible to intimidate. He was shown to be 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 powered 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 is also manipulative and mistrustful, sending Ronan to retrieve the Orb for him and not telling him that it contained an Infinity Stone. He is surprisingly patient, as he keeps 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 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.
Despite Thanos' reputation of being a typical character with narcissistic personality disorder, he does seem to care about his children - since they are the only thing he loves in the world. He especially likes Gamora, deeming her his "favorite daughter"; he even hoped that she would be the one to inherit his throne. However, he sometimes shows it in an extreme manner such as turning Nebula into a cyborg to make her stronger. When he learned from Doctor Strange that Ebony Maw is dead, he stated the quest for the Infinity Stones "extracts a heavy toll" and when Nebula gloated he should have killed her, Thanos claimed it would have been a "waste of good parts", even though she almost succeeded in assassinating him. Despite caring for his children, he is brutally strict with them as he does not hesitate to torture them if they fail to meet his expectations, as Maw stated there would be "judgment" if he failed Thanos. He also seems to display a soft spot for children, with an example being when he met Gamora. Even though Gamora claimed Thanos killed her parents in front of her, in reality, he gently kept her from being a part of the random genocide of her people by having her focus on balancing a dagger he gave her. During the trip to Vormir to acquire the Soul Stone, despite Gamora being the enemy, Thanos 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 even made a gesture telling her to stay back. Thanos was also heartbroken when he realized he had to kill Gamora to gain the power of the Soul Stone, to the point where he was shedding tears. Due to his belief that it was for the greater good, he still went through with it, though Mantis noted that he was tormented by guilt and grief during the battle on Titan. Additionally, Thanos appeared to show some semblance of regret with how he treated Nebula so harshly moments before his death. Once his past self saw this recording, he appeared to take those words to heart and decided to treat Nebula better. This is seen when Thanos broke 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.
Even though he was shunned by his own people on Titan for a hideous mutation he bore, Thanos loved them 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 so as 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 own people endured.
Thanos has shown a dark sense of sarcastic humor and is 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 has also shown himself to be surprisingly honorable. He does 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. He also is capable of praising others should they prove worthy, as he said that he wished people would remember the heroism and will that Iron Man fought with if he was removed from existence once he used the Infinity Gauntlet and praised Doctor Strange for his mastery in the Mystic Arts to be able to single-handedly go up against him with the Infinity Gauntlet. He was also complimentary of Star-Lord as he was going to kill Gamora, saying that he "liked him" for doing what would have been necessary in order to stop Thanos on his quest to obtain the Infinity Stones. He also showed some empathy towards Scarlet Witch's killing Vision despite the fact that she destroyed the Mind Stone, which was necessary for his goal, as he too had killed Gamora for the Soul Stone. Despite his manipulative nature, Thanos is also known as a man who never lies, a fact firmly confirmed by his own daughter Nebula.
Interestingly, despite being usually considered 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. 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.
When Thanos first saw what would become of his future self, he simply saw it as destiny, and was mostly unfazed by the recording of his death. It was only after finding out about the Avengers' attempt to reverse the Decimation that Thanos came to realize that as long as there are people who remember what life was like before the Decimation, they could not accept what the future could be. Thanos came to the conclusion that he would have to shred the universe down to the last atom and make the universe anew so that the people of the new universe would be grateful for the lives they were given while completely unaware of the previous universe that had existed. Thanos himself claimed that when it came to the planets he conquered and slaughtered, it was never "personal", but due to the Avengers and Earth's heroes constantly frustrating his plans, he viewed the Avengers as "unruly wretches" for daring to challenge him and by extension he came to see Earth as "stubborn and annoying" and that he would enjoy tearing Earth apart. When this failed, Thanos, although visibly distraught, upon seeing the sunrise, was at least able to find some solace that he could enjoy it without being hindered and died somberly, accepting his defeat and fate with dignity.
|“||The only matter I do not take seriously, boy, is you. Your politics bore me, your demeanor is that of a pouty child. And apparently, you have 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 stairways in your blood.||„|
|~ Thanos to Ronan the Accuser.|
|“||Boy.. I would reconsider your current course!||„|
|~ Thanos to Ronan as the latter betrays him and takes the Power Stone.|
|“||Fine. I'll do it myself.||„|
|~ Thanos takes action himself as he vows to personally retrieve the Infinity Stones and exterminate both The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.|
|“||Fun isn't something one considers when balancing the universe. But this… does put a smile on my face.||„|
|~ Thanos - heard in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer.|
|“||The end is near. When I’m done, only half of humanity will still exist. Perfectly balanced; as all things should be.||„|
|~ Thanos in the second trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War”.|
|“||In time, you will know what it's like to lose. To feel so desperately that you're right, yet to fail all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.||„|
|~ Thanos to the Avengers.|
|“||You're strong... But I could snap my fingers... and you'd all cease to exist.||„|
|~ Thanos to Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer and Mantis.|
|“||The Tesseract… or your brother’s head. I assume you have a preference?||„|
|~ Thanos to Loki, threatening to kill Thor unless Loki hands over the Tesseract.|
|“||Your optimism is misplaced, Asgardian.||„|
|~ Thanos to Loki.|
|“||Undying? You should choose your words more carefully.||„|
|~ Thanos to Loki before killing him.|
|“||No resurrections this time.||„|
|~ Thanos after killing Loki.|
|“||You’re a great fighter, Gamora. Come. Let me help you.||„|
|~ Thanos adopting Gamora.|
|“||Look. Pretty, isn't it? Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. Too much to one side or the other... Here. You try.||„|
|~ Thanos distracting a young Gamora with a switchblade knife.|
|“||Is that sadness I sense in you, daughter? In my heart, I knew you still cared. But one never knows for sure.||„|
|~ Thanos after Gamora killed a fake copy of him.|
|“||Reality is often disappointing. That is, it was. Now... reality can be whatever I want.||„|
|~ Thanos obtaining the Reality Stone.|
|“||Going to bed hungry. Scrounging for scraps. Your planet was on the brink of collapse. I was the one who stopped that. You know what’s happened since then? The children born have known nothing but full bellies and clear skies. It’s a paradise.||„|
|~ Thanos justifying his acts of cruelty to Gamora.|
|“||Little one, it's a simple calculus. This universe is finite, its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correction.||„|
|~ Thanos to Gamora.|
|“||I’m the only one who knows that. At least I’m the only who has the will to act on it. For a time, you had that same will. As you fought by my side, daughter.||„|
|~ Thanos to Gamora.|
|“|| Thanos: For a time... you had that same will... as you fought by my side. Daughter.|
Gamora: I'm not your daughter. Everything I hate about myself you taught me.
Thanos: And, in doing so, made you the fiercest woman in the galaxy. That's why I trusted you to find the Soul Stone.
Gamora: I'm sorry I disappointed you.
Thanos: I am disappointed. But not because you didn't find it. But because you did. And you lied.
|~ Thanos reveals that he is aware Gamora knows the location of the Soul Stone.|
|“||You're strong, me. You're generous, me. But I never taught you to lie. That's why you're so bad at it.||„|
|~ Thanos to Gamora.|
|“||I ignored my destiny once, I can not do that again. Even for you. I’m sorry, Little One.||„|
|~ Thanos before killing Gamora to get the Soul Stone.|
|“||I take it the Maw is dead. This day extracts a heavy toll. Still, he accomplished his mission.||„|
|~ Thanos on Ebony Maw's death.|
|“|| Doctor Strange: Let me guess, your home?|
Thanos: It was. And it was beautiful. Titan was like most planets; too many mouths, not enough to go around. And when we faced extinction, I offered a solution.
Doctor Strange: Genocide.
Thanos: But random. Dispassionate, fair to rich and poor alike. They called me a madman. And what I predicted came to pass.
|~ Thanos explaining the fate of Titan to Doctor Strange.|
|“||I'd finally rest... and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe. The hardest choices require the strongest wills.||„|
|~ Thanos to Doctor Strange.|
|“|| Thanos: Well, well.|
Nebula: You should have killed me.
Thanos: It would have been a waste of parts!
|~ Thanos confronting Nebula.|
|“|| Thanos: Stark.|
Tony Stark: You know me?
Thanos: I do. You're not the only cursed with knowledge.
Tony Stark: My only curse is you.
|~ Thanos confronts Iron Man for the first time.|
|“||All that for a drop of blood.||„|
|~ Thanos to Iron Man after the latter manages to cut his face.|
|“||You have my respect Stark. And when I'm done, half of humanity will still be alive. And I hope they remember you.||„|
|~ Thanos expressing his respect to Tony Stark after defeating him, before telling him that he hopes that humanity will remember them once his quest is fulfilled.|
|“||I understand, my child. Better than anyone. [...] Today, I lost more than you can know. But now is no time to mourn. Now is no time at all.||„|
|~ Thanos to Scarlet Witch.|
|“||You should… you… you should have gone for the head!!||„|
|~ Thanos taunting Thor after the latter severely wounded him in the chest with Stormbreaker, moments before he unleashes his full power of the Infinity Gauntlet.|
|“|| Thanos: Daughter..|
Gamora: Did you do it?
Gamora: And what did it cost?
|~ Thanos to a young Gamora in the Soul World.|
|“||The work is done.. I've won. What I'm about to do, I'm gonna enjoy it. Very, very much.||„|
|~ Thanos - heard in an Avengers: Endgame TV spot.|
|“||Look at the world now, isn’t it more peaceful? Avengers, time to finish this.||„|
|~ Thanos to the Avengers.|
|“||After I kill you, I’m gonna burn this annoying little planet.. to cinders.||„|
|~ Thanos’ goal|
|“|| Scarlet Witch: You took everything from me.|
Thanos: I don't even know who you are!
Scarlet Witch:...You will.
|~ Thanos before fighting Scarlet Witch.|
|“||I am... inevitable.||„|
|~ Thanos' last words.|
- The character Thanos was at first played by Damion Poitier in the mid-credits scene of 2012's The Avengers, but was then portrayed by Josh Brolin throughout the next two phases of the MCU - the rest of the Infinity Saga.
- Thanos was originally much less of an openly malevolent villain than his comic counterpart but as of Endgame he began to display a personality much more akin to that of the comic book Thanos, including sadism and a desire to end the universe entirely - thus abandoning his previous ideals of "fairness" in regards to how he killed.
- According to producer Kevin Feige, Infinity War will explore Thanos' plans and motives, even saying "you could go as far as to say he's the main character".
- In the comics, Thanos was the master of the Infinity Gauntlet, which he used in the eponymous series in an attempt to court Death. He has no relationships with Loki nor the Chitauri, but he is nevertheless one of the Avengers' most historical foes. When he took a break from being a conqueror, Thanos was entrusted with the Reality Gem of the Infinity Gems.
- In the Amalgam Comics imprint, Loki's counterpart, L'ok D'saad served Thanos' counterpart, Thanoseid.
- The name "Thanos" is based on the name of the mythological Greek figure Thanatos, meaning "death", a reference to his obsession with Death.
- Thanos is clearly the Big Bad of the Avengers film series, as he is the one responsible for providing Loki with the Mind Stone and an army to invade Earth in the first film, and that the Mind Stone is what gave Ultron free will to rebel against the Avengers in the second film.
- Thanos is the only villain who has interacted with every major hero in the franchise; as he was responsible for the events depicted in The Avengers (which featured all the major heroes of Phase One) and is the mastermind behind Guardians of the Galaxy before going on to proceed in meeting them all in Infinity War.
- In Thor, which was released a year before The Avengers, the Infinity Gauntlet makes a cameo in Odin's vault. This one was for the right-hand, but the one seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron was for the left-hand. Producer Kevin Feige confirmed after the movie's release that there were two, and the one Thanos has is not the one from Thor.
- However, in Thor: Ragnarok, it is revealed that the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin's vault is a fake, meaning that there truly is only one Infinity Gauntlet.
- It is revealed in Avengers: Infinity War that Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet was forged at Nidavellir, meaning that it is not the original, if there was an original.
- It is likely there is an original and Thanos has somehow managed to see it, considering how otherwise he would not have been able to provide the prototype for Eitri to work on.
- The involvement of Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy was largely-influenced by The Avengers director Joss Whedon; the early script by Nicole Perlman had Thanos appear as the Guardians' primary foe, but Whedon was convinced that he should be downsized. In addition, Whedon says that it was his idea to include him in The Avengers, but found him the most-difficult character to write, ironically. He also helped Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn cast Josh Brolin as the character.
- Josh Brolin based his portrayal of Thanos on the performance of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.
- Thanos is one of the five villains of the MCU to actually succeed in his plans, as he finally collected all of the Infinity Stones and wiped out half of the universe's populace. The other ones are Loki (who took control of Asgard in Thor: The Dark World), Helmut Zemo (who has managed to split the Avengers apart in revenge for his family's demise in Captain America: Civil War), Surtur (who has managed to destroy Asgard), and Ghost (who has managed to obtain quantum energy to cure herself from a fatal disease in Ant-Man and the Wasp). However, unlike the other four, Thanos is the only one ever to get away with his actions as he is last seen watching a sunrise from another planet, though he eventually gets defeated in the sequel and arguably all his successes have been erased due to the temporal reset.
- Thanos appeared in a drawing by Thor in the non-canon web series Team Thor, which serves as a cross-promotion for Thor: Ragnarok, on a wall of pictures and information in an attempt to deduce who "the man in the purple chair" is, noting that he's "big", he's purple, and "he doesn't like standing up".
- At 29 minutes, Thanos has the most amount of screen time of any character in Avengers: Infinity War, beating Gamora (19 minutes), Iron Man (18 minutes), and Thor (14 minutes).
- In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos massacres half of the Zenhoberi race and states they are now filled with "children that see clear skies with full bellies". However, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora's rap sheet states she is the last remaining member of her people. When the Russo brothers were asked about this during a Q&A, they only asked in return whether you believe Gamora or Thanos, implying one of them is not telling the truth.
- Though it is possible that the rest of the Zenhoberi died after Thanos visited the planet.
- In 2019, to celebrate the release of Avengers: Endgame, Google implemented an Easter egg where, if Thanos was searched, users could click on an icon of the Infinity Gauntlet and make half of the search results vanish into dust. Clicking the Gauntlet again resulted in it using the Time Stone to bring all of the lost results back.