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Hear me and rejoice! You have had the privilege of being saved by the Great Titan. You may think this is suffering. No… it is salvation. The universal scales tip toward balance because of your sacrifice. Smile… for even in death, you have become Children of Thanos!
~ Ebony Maw after helping his father and siblings in slaughtering the Asgardians.

Ebony Maw is one of the secondary antagonists of the 2018 Marvel film Avengers: Infinity War.

He is the herald of the Black Order (alongside Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian and Corvus Glaive) and the adopted son and second-in-command of Thanos who intends to help him in his quest to search and collect the Infinity Stones.

He was portrayed by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.

Appearance

Ebony is a rather unattractive alien. He has grey, wrinkly skin, no hair on the top of his head, a very large nose with no visible nostrils and long bony fingers. He also possesses very large holes on the sides of his head, possibly from previous battles or is merely a trait of his species. His attire consists of black robe with a green necklace and rings on his fingers.

Personality

In all the time I have served Thanos, I have never failed him.
~ Ebony Maw on his relationship with Thanos.

Of all the members of the Black Order, Ebony was the most prominent and was seen the most. Unlike some of Thanos' children, such as Gamora and Nebula, Ebony is utterly devoted towards Thanos, believing all of the genocide Thanos has committed is justice and an act of mercy in the grand scheme of things. His devotion to him is so strong, he has never failed him, and is willing to commit torture to be in his good graces. He also displays utmost confidence in Thanos as well, as seen when Ebony stops Cull from intervening in the fight between Hulk and Thanos, saying to let Thanos have his fun. He has a very high view of himself and the rest of the Black Order, and snidely condescends his opponents and their weakness.

Role

Maw was first seen raiding the Asgardians' ship following the destruction of Asgard by the deceased Surtur. Along with his father and siblings, he slaughtered the Asgardians and tells them to rejoice in becoming children of Thanos, before Thanos is attacked by the Hulk. Although Obsidian intends to help Thanos, Maw tells him to stand down, knowing that Thanos is too strong for the Hulk to defeat. When the defeated Hulk is sent back to Earth by Hemidall (who ends up being killed by Thanos), Maw uses his powers to restrain Thor, making him watch Thanos forcing Loki to surrender the Space Stone (the Tesseract). It is also revealed that Maw was involved in his father's attack on the planet Zen-Whoberi along with the Chitauri, massacred half the Zehoberei population (including Gamora's family) and took in Gamora. After Thanos kills Loki, Maw escaped with his family as Thanos uses the Orb to destroy the Asgardians' ship, leaving a helpless Thor to drift in space.

With two of the Infinity Stones in place, Thanos sends the Black Order to Earth to collect the Time Stone (the Eye of Agamotto) and the Mind Stone while he personally travels to Knowhere to collect the Reality Stone (the Aether) from the Collector and Vormir to collect the Soul Stone from the Red Skull. Assigned to collect the Eye of Agamotto, Maw and Obsidian tracked down its current location in New York City, where they laid down an attack in to draw out Doctor Strange (the current holder of the Eye), also attracting Tony Stark, Wong, Bruce Banner (who had warned the group about Thanos) and Spider-Man. Despite the heroes' efforts, Maw managed to capture Strange and flies away on his ship, intending to deliver the Eye to Thanos at the planet Titan while Obsidian meets up with Proxima and Glaive to later attack Wakanda to get the Mind Stone.

Unknown to Maw, Tony and Spider-Man had snuck on-board to stop him and save Strange. Maw begins torturing Strange to force him to release the Time Stone, while Tony and Spider-Man come up with a plan, leading to Spider-Man asking Tony if he has ever seen the film Aliens. Tony soon confronts Maw, who arrogantly remarks that his abilities are superior to Tony's and he will kill him easily, although the latter states "yeah, but the kid has seen more movies" before blasting a hole in the ship. Maw is then sucked out into space, where he freezes to death while his ship crashes on Titan. His siblings would later meet the same fate along with their army of Outriders during the battle in Wakanda.

Despite the losses, Thanos shows no regard for Ebony's death when he arrived on Titan and deduced it after seeing Doctor Strange free and waiting for him as he managed to collect the Time Stone after defeating the heroes in Titan; though he did say that Ebony carried his mission anyway by dragging Strange to Titan, implying that he appreciated his adopted son's efforts. Thanos then heads over to Earth to successfully collect the Mind Stone, allowing himself to use the Stones to wipe out half of the universe's populace (including several Avengers and Guardians), much to the surviving heroes' distraught.

Trivia

  • During his attack on New York, Tony Stark refers to Maw as "Squidward", in reference to the character Squidward Q. Tentacles from Spongebob Squarepants.

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