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Thanos (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

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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
You think you know pain, Asgardian? He will make you long for as sweet as pain!
~ The Other describes Thanos' wrath

Thanos is the main antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe film series. He is a powerful alien warlord who rules over a dead dimension and commands a massive army known as the Chitauri. He allied himself with Loki to invade Earth, and allied with Ronan the Accuser to destroy Xandar, both in exchange for the deliverance of two powerful Infinity gems, but they both failed to accomplish this task and had betrayed him.

He was portrayed by Damion Poitier in The Avengers and by Josh Brolin in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron and Brolin will reprise Thanos' role in Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 & Part 2.


Thanos' past is unknown at this point and how he came to power. Not even his species has been fully discovered, sans the assumption that he is an Eternal. It is known that at some point, he gained control over the deadly army of the Chitauri, and took the assassin Gamora as his daughter after killing her people. Thanos greatly desired the Infinity Stones, objects of immense power that held considerable dominance over the various forces that occupied the universe, and forged several alliances in order to locate them.

The Avengers

In The Avengers, Thanos appears in a post-credits scene.

The Other tells Thanos that the Tesseract is in a small world, a human world. It also informs him that Loki is ready to lead the Chitauri. In a post-credits scene, Thanos is revealed to have been Loki's benefactor, having provided the Chitauri Army used by Loki in his attempted invasion of Earth. When advised by his intermediary (known simply as the "Other") that opposing the Avengers would be "to court death", 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 for him. As it turns out, Gamora is not actually Thanos' 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.

Thanos' evil grin, as he sees an opportunity to court Death.

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 angry at Ronan for not obtaining the Orb (and for apparently alienating Gamora). He says he will destroy Xandar for Ronan if he brings him the Orb, and will kill him if he does not.

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 preference for Gamora over her. Ronan and Nebula take Korath with them. 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.

Thanos, however, is still determined to find the six Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet so he can use them to conquer the universe.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Fine. I'll do it myself.
~ Thanos vows to hunt down the Infinity Stones himself as he steals an Infinity Gauntlet.
Thanos Infinity Gauntlet

Thanos gaining an Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Following Ultron's defeat at the hands of the Avengers, Thanos appears in the film's mid-credits scene. Fed up with Loki's failure and Ronan's betrayal, he presumably breaks into the vault of Asgard and acquires the Infinity Gauntlet, swearing to collect all of the six Infinity Stones himself.

Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos will appear as the main antagonist of The Avengers 3 Part 1 & 2, as he succeeds in assembling the Infinity Stones.

Powers and Abilities 

Thanos has not demonstrated his powers at this point. However, it is conceivable that he is extremely powerful, able to strike fear into an Asgardian like Loki and command the Chitauri army unchallenged. Korath says he is the most powerful being in the universe, although Ronan was confident he could kill Thanos with the power of the Orb. Nevertheless, Thanos displayed no sign of concern after Ronan threatened him.


  • Thanos is similar to Supreme Leader Snoke from the Star Wars sequel trilogy; they both serve as alien warlords who employ various villains to enforce his will. In Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, Snoke appears as a hologram sitting down on a chair, similar to how Thanos appeared in a hovering throne in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • 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's counterpart, Thanoseid.
    • The name "Thanos" is based on the name of the mythological Greek figure Thanatos, meaning "death".
    • Thanos is the only villain who has interacted, albeit indirectly, 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.

Minions of Thanos

Agents Position Status
The Other Second in Command Deceased
Loki Laufeyson Formerly Alive
Ronan The Accuser Formerly Deceased
Nebula Formerly Alive
Korath the Pursuer Formerly Deceased
Gamora Formerly Alive
Chitauri Alien Army Alive


Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

Iron Monger | Raza | Abomination | Thunderbolt Ross | Whiplash | Justin Hammer | Senator Stern | Loki Laufeyson | The Destroyer | Laufey | Jasper Sitwell | Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Heinz Kruger | Thanos | The Other | Aldrich Killian | Eric Savin | Maya Hansen | The Mandarin | Malekith the Accursed | Algrim the Kurse | Alexander Pierce | The Winter Soldier | Crossbones | Georges Batroc | Wolfgang von Strucker | Lorelei | John Garrett | Grant Ward | Absorbing Man | Franklin Hall | Blizzard | Scorch | Raina | Daniel Whitehall | Ronan the Accuser | Nebula | Korath the Pursuer | Yondu Udonta | Sasha Demidov | Dottie Underwood | Johann Fennhoff | Calvin Chadwick | Whitney Frost | The Collector | Jiaying | Kingpin | James Wesley | Leland Owlsley | Ultron | Ultron Sentinels | Scarlet Witch | Quicksilver | Yellowjacket | Mitchell Carson | Werner von Strucker | Lash | Hive | Gideon Malick | Kilgrave | Punisher | Nobu Yoshioka | Helmut Zemo | Cottonmouth | Black Mariah | Shades | Diamondback | Kaecilius | Lucian | Dormammu | Lucy Bauer | Eli Morrow | Ellen Nadeer | Aida


Chitauri | HYDRA | A.I.M | Ten Rings | Leviathan | Watchdogs | The Hand | Zealots

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