Note: This article is about the incarnation of Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Thanos (Marvel).
|“||Fun isn't something one considers when balancing the universe. But this... does put a smile on my face.||„|
|~ Thanos's most famous line - 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”.|
Thanos is the main antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is the Greater-Scope Villain of The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He will return as the main antagonist of Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel.
He is an extremely powerful and cataclysmic extraterrestrial warlord of pure evil who rules over a dead dimension and commands a massive army known as the Chitauri. He formed an alliance with Loki to invade Earth, and later allied himself 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. Brolin will reprise Thanos' role in Infinity War and its sequel, Josh Brolin also portrayed Dr. William Block in Planet Terror.
Thanos's 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.
Also taken in was Nebula, a cyborg; she 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.
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. According to Infinity War co-writer Stephen McFeely, he desires them so as to "re-balance the universe", but what this exactly means is unknown. He somehow obtained the Mind Stone, which could mind-control people, and put it into a spear of his own making; the other Stones, however, eluded him.
In The Avengers, Thanos appears in a post-credits scene, where the Other tells Thanos that the Tesseract, the Space Stone, is in 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 go 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 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 the universe.
Avengers: Age of UltronThanos 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, 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. However, Ultron and his Sentinels end up being destroyed by the Avengers at Sokovia while the Mind Stone ends up in the possession of Vision, just as Thanos finally appeared in a mid-credits scene. Fed up with losing his resources and his henchmen failing him and betraying him in his failed attempts to acquire the Stones and tired of the lack of progress in his crusade, 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 Vol. 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 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 her army of Berserkers and the destruction of Asgard by the the hands of the fiery demon Surtur. It can be implied that Thanos and his forces are going after the Space Stone that Loki saved from Ragnarok following Surtur's death.
Avengers: Infinity War
Thanos will finally directly serve as the main antagonist in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War, having been built up since The Avengers. He, alongside his new army (the Outriders) and his elite team of adopted children (known as the Black Order), engage in an quest throughout the galaxy to locate and obtain the scattered Infinity Stones. Eventually, gaining the Power Stone and Space Stone, Thanos arrives on Earth to engage the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy - who had been foiling his plans to gain the others.
|“||You think you know pain? He will make you long for something as sweet as pain.||„|
|~ The Other describing Thanos.|
Thanos has an unforgiving and loathsome nature; The Other warned Loki that he would know a new kind of pain if he did not give them the Tesseract, something which visibly scared the God of Mischief and made him more determined than ever out of fear of Thanos's power. Even though Thor had not yet known about Thanos, he could still sense Thanos's easy control over Loki as being absurd due to Loki's arrogance. This side of his was shown further when Thanos furiously threatened to bathe the starways in Ronan's blood if he failed to deliver the Orb, something which scared one of the strongest Kree into submission, and 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 followers, showing absolutely no empathy when Ronan killed The Other and referring to Gamora as his "favorite daughter", even with Nebula present. He inspires no love, as he is despised by his own "daughters", Gamora and Nebula. He is also manipulative and hesitant, sending Ronan to retrieve the Orb for him and not telling him that it contained an Infinity Stone. He keeps a low profile, lurking in the shadows and making others do his work for him. However, after both of his alliances backfired, he shows that he is capable of taking action himself, as he decided to hunt for the Infinity Stones himself.
Thanos is also highly confident to the point of borderline arrogance. He merely smiled when The Other told him challenging the Avengers is like courting Death. He even was unfazed when Ronan threatened to kill him with The Orb, despite knowing well that the Kree was already very powerful even without the Stone, displaying only anger over his betrayal. Thanos also confidently smiled when he decided to collect the Infinity Stones personally.
Powers and Abilities
Thanos has not demonstrated his powers at this point, it is conceivable that he is frighteningly powerful and strong, able to strike fear into beings as powerful as Loki, who is almost on par with Thor, and Ronan The Accuser, who was among the strongest Kree, and command the Chitauri army unchallenged. Korath has fearfully said he is the most powerful being in the universe, although Ronan was confident that he could kill Thanos with the power of the Orb. Nevertheless, Thanos displayed no sign of concern after Ronan threatened him. Gamora also blatantly told Nebula she doesn't know if killing Thanos is possible. Thanos was also shown to be fully confident that he is capable of collectively harnessing the full power of all the six Infinity Stones with the use of an Infinity Gauntlet, a feat that no other being have ever survived. He was shown to be powerful enough to wield two Infinity Stones with the Gauntlet.
- Superhuman Strength: Little of Thanos's powers are known, but in the trailers of Infinity War, he has shown sufficiently immense levels of strength to touch the Space Stone, one of the Infinity Stones, without showing any strain and insert it into his gauntlet. He was also shown to be able to use both the Space Stone and Power Stone at once with the Infinity Gauntlet, also without any difficulty. These feats were extremely remarkable considering that Ronan evidently struggled to keep the Power Stone in control while Thanos was not fazed at all by using 2 of the Infinity Stones's power. Thanos was also shown capable of effortlessly pummeling Iron Man and Spider Man and overpowering Thor at his full potential without much effort.
- Energy Blasts: Thanos is capable of shooting out purple energy blasts, as shown when he unleashed a barrage of purple energy attacks when attacking Star Lord in the d23 trailer of Infinity War.
- Portal Opening: With the Space Stone inserted into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos was able to open portals to anywhere in the Universe, as shown in the trailer of Infinity War, where he warps into an unknown location using a portal where he battles Spider Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange and Iron Man.
- Master Manipulation: Without leaving his throne, Thanos was able to cause the Battle of Xandar and Chitauri Invasion, which were among the most devastating battles ever known. Thor has said that Thanos has been playing a very intricate game for years with such efficiency that he has effectively manipulated the Avengers as pawns for his plans.
Minions of Thanos
|“||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.|
|“||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.|
|“||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.|
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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 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".
|Guardians of the Galaxy Villains|