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"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, referred to as the Dark Lord by his most loyal underlings and the Mad Titan by the galactic community, is a powerful Titan warlord who rules over a distant region of space and commands two massive armies, known as the Chitauri and the Outriders, and a small group of followers known as the Black Order. His own main objective was to bring stability from the universe, as he believed its massive population would inevitably use up the universe's entire resources and condemn it. However, his methodology to succeed was warped; through using the Infinity Stones, Thanos intended to harness their power to exterminate half of life in the universe.

He spent many years hunting down these stones and his desire to achieve his ultimate goal is what led Thanos to forge new alliances with Loki and Ronan the Accuser in their respective campaigns against Earth and Xandar, as seen in his promising to aid them in exchange for an Infinity Stone. Both of the new alliances had cost Thanos much of his resources, including one of the stones and the loyalty of his daughters, Gamora and Nebula, and inadvertently resulted in the formation of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Fed up with all the failures of his subordinates, Thanos had opted to seek out the location of the Infinity Stones himself.

Thanos engaged in a ferocious warpath in order to obtain all of the Infinity Stones. In his journey, both he and his Black Order invaded Xandar, Earth, and Knowhere and even murdered Loki, along with half of the surviving Asgardians, and even his beloved Gamora. As the primary aggressors fighting against Thanos became an alliance comprising the Avengers, Masters of the Mystic Arts, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the nation of Wakanda. Despite facing off against a powerfully combined opposition and the wrath of Thor, Thanos had ultimately triumphed over his enemies once he completed the Infinity Gauntlet, using this to finally complete his goal and destroy half of the life within the universe at the snap of his fingers.

Biography

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Early Life

Fall of Titan

"When Thanos took my homeworld, he killed my parents in front of me. He tortured me, turned me into a weapon."
Gamora to Star-Lord[src]

Thanos was born to Alars,[1] a member of the Titans, a race of powerful, god-like beings that evolved on a planet with which they shared their name. Thanos was born misshapen, bearing a physical mutation that left him marked as an anomaly amongst his people and therefore left him an outcast. Despite his status, Thanos unconditionally loved his people neverthless and he desperately sought to save Titan when the planet became threatened by the imminent catastrophic event of overpopulation. When Thanos suggested killing half the population of the planet to solve the problem, his idea was considered too drastic and was dismissed by his people, which resulted in Titan becoming subsequently devastated as well as nearly uninhabitable. Another result of this devastation was that the Titan species was on the verge of extinction.[1]

Sometime after Titan's fall, which weighed heavily on his conscience, Thanos came to believe that the universe's large swell of life was depleting its finite resources, and would eventually cause the destruction of the universe itself. Hence, to save other planets from Titan's fate, Thanos became a world-conqueror, moving throughout the universe and destroying half of all life within the planets he conquered due to his ideology of balancing the universe by destroying half of all life.[1] He earned such a fearful reputation as a galatic warlord, due to his immense power and even ruling over a distinct region of space,[2] and gaining control over the deadly armies of Chitauri[3] and Outriders, that he was considered among the most powerful, if not the most powerful, being in the universe.[1]

Training his Children

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Thanos overlooking the fall of Zen-Whoberi

"Flesh is weak. Weakness must be cast aside for the sake of power."
―Thanos[src]

Thanos collected orphans from each race that he conquered. His oldest children were Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian and Proxima Midnight. [4] The latter four warriors, completely faithful and devoted to Thanos' command, comprised the Black Order, although he felt no care for them.[1]

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Thanos adopting Gamora as his own child

When killing half of the Zehoberei people to balance Zen-Whoberi, Thanos's attention was caught by a young Zehoberei named Gamora fighting against one of his soldiers. Commenting that she was "quite the fighter", Thanos took her aside as his Chitauri army began the massacre, keeping her distracted with a knife.[1] Thanos adopted Gamora as his daughter afterwards, training her to become the deadliest in the galaxy,[2] and growing to genuinely care about her as a result. Even as she changed from being at first devoted to him to hating him, Thanos still believed she can become loyal to him again and inherit his Throne.[1]

He also massacred a Luphomoid family to raise Nebula to be another devoted and deadly assassin.[5] Very cruel to Nebula, Thanos always pitted her against Gamora and whenever Nebula lost in a duel against Gamora, Thanos removed a body part from her, which according to him was to make her stronger than Gamora.[6] Thanos also acquired the services of the Other to act as his servant.[3]

Quest for the Infinity Stones

Thanos eventually realized that they are far too many lifeforms in the universe for him to balance. 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,.[1] and forged several alliances in order to locate them.[3][2] He successfully located at least one of the stones; the Mind Stone, which he then hid inside a Scepter that was capable of manipulating minds.[3][7]

Through many years of searching, Thanos discovered a lead on the Orb's location, sending 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. Nebula was forced to amputate her own arm in order to escape. The Orb was never recovered, but Thanos let the failure pass and resumed his search.[5] He also sent Gamora to find the Soul Stone, but she lied and reported back to him that her search had been unsuccessful, while in actuality she had found a map to the location of the Soul Stone and burned it to ashes. However, Thanos, being as perceptive as he is, easily saw through her but allowed her to believe she had fooled him for the time being.[1]

Chitauri Invasion

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Thanos is updated on Loki's invasion of Earth

"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 in order to retrieve it, providing him the Scepter and his Chitauri army, who would help him conquer the entire planet in exchange for handing over the Tesseract to him. Through his intermediary, The Other, Thanos threatened the god of mischief, saying that if he failed in delivering the Tesseract to him, Thanos would force him to endure a new kind of horrific suffering.

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Thanos sees an opportunity to court Death

Despite his vast army of the Chitauri and powerful weapons, Loki was defeated during the Battle of New York,[3] and the Scepter-laden Infinity Stone came into HYDRA's hands,[8] while the Tesseract was transported to Asgard by Thor, along with the now captured Loki.[3] The Other reported to his master how the Earth's inhabitants were not as weak as they were thought to be. He also declared that challenging the Earth's heroes would be to court Death. Thanos rose to his feet and smiled at the prospect of what was coming.[9]

Quest for the Orb

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Ronan and Nebula gather at Thanos' throne.

"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 stairways in your blood."
―Thanos to Ronan the Accuser[src]

Sometime later, Thanos brokered a deal with his old ally, Ronan the Accuser of the Kree Empire, promising to lend a fraction of his forces in a genocide against the Xandarians in exchange for locating the Orb for the Mad Titan. Ronan and Korath the Pursuer quickly discovered the Orb on Morag and attempted to deliver it to Thanos, but the stone fell into the possession of a Ravager called Star-Lord who was trying to sell it to Broker before Ronan could claim it.

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Thanos threatens Ronan the Accuser's life

Unwilling to be denied the stone, Thanos ordered Ronan to pursue Quill and recover the stone, sending Gamora to aid the Kree in his pursuit. Gamora found Quill first, cornering him on Xandar where he was attempting to sell the Orb. She recovered it, but what Thanos did not realize is that Gamora had chosen to cut all ties with him, due to the torture she and her many siblings have suffered through from the Mad Titan and planned to hand the Orb over to the Collector, who also sought the Infinity Stones for his own purposes.

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Thanos sends away Ronan the Accuser

When Ronan relayed news of Gamora's betrayal to Thanos which he had learned had been planned for some time, the Kree berated the Mad Titan for not taking the situation seriously and even murdered The Other when he lectured Ronan on not showing Thanos respect. Undaunted by The Other's death and Ronan's complaints but angry for Ronan's failure and losing Gamora, Thanos furiously admonished Ronan before turning him away and instructing him to return to his task and correct Gamora's betrayal and threatening that if he failed again, he will "bathe the starways in his blood". Thanos then instructed Nebula to take Gamora's place as Ronan's aide.[2]

Ronan the Accuser's Betrayal

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Thanos learns Ronan has found the Orb

"BOY! I would reconsider your current course!"
"YOU CALL ME "BOY"?! I will unfurl one thousand years of Kree justice on Xandar AND BURN IT TO ITS CORE!! Then, Thanos, I'm coming for you!"
―Thanos and Ronan the Accuser[src]

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.

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Thanos is betrayed by Ronan the Accuser

Nebula joined with Ronan, contemptuous towards Thanos after the horror he forced her to endure throughout her youth. Now believing himself superior to Thanos, Ronan promised to come after the Dark Lord when Xandar was destroyed. Unphased, 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.[2]

Infinity War

Doing it Himself

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Thanos retrieves an Infinity Gauntlet

"Fine. I'll do it myself."
―Thanos[src]

With both Loki and Ronan the Accuser having failed Thanos in their tasks of conquering worlds and bringing him the Infinity Stones, and both of his daughters lost to him, Thanos, fed up with the failures, had finally grown tired of the lack of progress in his crusade and decided to take matters into his own hands. He forced the dwarves of Nidavellir to forge the Infinity Gauntlet in order to control the power of all the six Infinity Stones at once before massacaring them all, leaving only the Dwarf King Eitri alive, whose hands he cut off.[1] Thanos then began to hunt for the Stones himself, believing himself to be capable of completing the task while smiling confidently to himself at the prospect of victory.[10]

Acquiring the Power Stone

Seeking to collect the Power Stone first, Thanos went to Xandar, effortlessly defeated and destroyed the Nova Corps, decimating the Nova Empire in process, and retrieved the Orb and destroyed it to unveil the Power Stone and then inserted it into his Gauntlet before massacring half of the Xandarians as part of his quest to balance the universe.[1]

Obtaining the Tesseract

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Thanos stands victorious on the Statesman

"Let him have his fun."
Ebony Maw to Cull Obsidian[src]

With his ship, the Sanctuary II, Thanos tracked down the ship carrying the Asgardian survivors of the cataclysmic Ragnarök on their way to Earth, Loki and his brother Thor among them.[11] As the Black Order then massacred half of the Asgardians, Thanos personally confronted and easily defeated and beat Thor half-to death, then tortured him with the Power Stone in order to force Loki to give up the Tesseract.

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Thanos is finally given the Tesseract by Loki

Loki agreed and manifested the Tessract but then distracted Thanos by saying he was not an Asgardian, which shocked Thanos due to Loki always claiming to be one in all their interactions, allowing Hulk to attack. However, Thanos quickly recomposed himself and swiftly beat the Hulk to a pulp and then once again easily overpowered Thor after he punched off a portion of his helmet, allowing Maw to bind Thor. After Heimdall gave the Hulk a chance to escape by teleporting him to Earth, Thanos angrily executed him with Corvus Glaive's spear, much to Thor's dismay.

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Thanos gleefully chokes Loki to death

The mad Titan then ordered The Black Order to retrieve the other stones after crushing the Tesseract and retrieving the Space Stone from it. Loki offered to help, but Thanos, easily seeing through his trickery, foiled Loki's attempt to stab him. Thanos then sarcastically mocked Loki for choosing the word Undying and rebuked that he should have chosen his words more wisely. Undaunted by Loki's defiant threats he would not become a god, Thanos gleefully crushed Loki's neck, his punishment for him failing during the Chitauri Invasion and then mocked a distraught Thor by bringing Loki's corpse to the restrained Thor's knees and saying that he will not be resurrected again as he is truly dead. Thanos then destroyed the Statesman with the Power Stone and warped his children and himself out of the exploding ship, leaving Thor and dead Asgardian bodies to float in space.[1]

Ambush in Knowhere

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Thanos is furiously ambushed by Gamora

"The Reality Stone. Not even you would surrender anything so precious."
"I didn't know what it was!"
"Then you are more of a fool than I took you for."
―Thanos and Collector[src]

Thanos then arrived on Knowhere long before the Guardians of the Galaxy could and after killing the Collector and retrieving the Reality Stone, having predicted the arrival of the Guardians and needing Gam, tricked them successfully with a realistic illusion conjured by the Reality Stone that made it look as if he was still torturing the Collector, also pretending to be killed by Gamora. He then revealed himself after revealing that he knows that Gamora still deep down cared for him, and boasted that while reality is often unpleasant, with the Reality Stone, he can make reality to be whatever he wants. He offered Gamora a chance to return to him willingly, implying he would spare the Guardians had she came along.

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Thanos closely admiring the Reality Stone

Of course, Gamora refused and attempted to pick up Godslayer but Thanos effortlessly restrained her before she could. He them effortlessly imcatipated both Drax the Destroyer and Mantis by using the Reality Stone to turn them to pieces. Thanos is then confronted by Star-Lord, who threatens to kill him if he doesn't let her go, but calmly realizes that Peter is Gamora's boyfriend and when Gamora begged him to kill her to prevent Thanos from discovering the location of the Soul Stone, Thanos then brought her closer to Quill and dared him to do it. However, when Star-Lord hesitatingly shot, Thanos simply used the Reality Stone to turn his ammunition into bubbles and teleports away after praising him for being willing to sacrifice his girlfriend to save the universe.[1]

Sacrifice of Gamora

"Where is the Soul Stone?"
"You should know, it extracts a terrible price."
"I am prepared."
"We all think that at first. We are all wrong."
―Thanos and Red Skull[src]

Back on his ship, Thanos gave Gamora food, believing that she was hungry, but Gamora tosses it to his throne, saying bitterly that she always hated the throne, which Thanos simply retorted to by saying yet he always hoped she would sit on it. Having already heard Gamora's repeated confessions of hatred for his ship and life, Thanos remained unfazed by all of Gamora's angry statements and simply said that he saved her when Gamora reminisced on how she was a child when Thanos took her. Thanos then revealed to Gamora on how thanks to his massacre of half the population, Zen-Whoberi now prospered and simply dismissed it as a small price to pay for salvation when Gamora angrily said it. Thanos remained calm even as Gamora denies everything that Thanos believes and reminded Gamora on how she once had the same will as he had and that it was due to his training that she became the fiercest woman in the Galaxy and he was so confident in her abillities that he even send her to locate the Soul Stone, which she sarcastically apologized for failing to do.

However, Thanos was unfazed and said that he is disappointed not because she did not find the location but she did and lied. He took Gamora to reveal that Nebula has been captured and tortured her in front of Gamora. Even though Gamora desperately sought to conceal it, Thanos revealed that he is aware that Gamora had lied to him, going as far as to say that while Thanos turned her into the warrior and assassin she is now, he never taught her to lie and thus she is never a good liar before beginning to torture Nebula further. Giving in, Gamora tells Thanos the stone is on Vormir. Gamora and Thanos travel to Vormir via a portal from the Space Stone where they meet Red Skull, who guided them to the top of a nearby cliff.

The guardian of the Soul Stone explained to Thanos that obtaining the Stone requires the sacrifice of a loved one. Upon hearing this, Gamora mocked Thanos as heartless and uncaring, but Thanos, having truly loved Gamora as his daughter, sheds tears that he would have to kill her. Although Gamora was genuinely surprised and almost looked happy for a moment, she quickly and desperately attempted suicide but Thanos used the Reality Stone to turn her knive into bubbles and tearfully apologised before he then threw her off the cliff still in tears. A light bursts out that briefly knocked Thanos out but once he awoke, he found the Soul Stone in his right hand and inserted it into his Infinity Gauntlet.[1]

Battle of Titan

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Thanos finally returns to Titan

"I hope they remember you."
―Thanos to Iron Man.[src]

Following the Sacrifice of Gamora, Thanos arrived on Titan to retrieve the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Thanos swiftly deduced that Ebony Maw died upon seeing Strange free and waiting for him but showed no regard for it, only commenting that he accomplished his mission neverthless. Remaining unfazed by Strange's confident threat that he may regret Maw bringing him face-to-face with him due to his Mastery of the Mystic Arts as he intended to defeat Thanos.

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Thanos revealing the past beauty of Titan

Thanos simply asked Strange where did he think Maw brought him to and corrected Strange when he calmly guessed Titan as being his home, saying it was. The Titan then told him about the history of his planet while altering the reality around it using the Reality Stone to show it's former beauty before stopping. He then explains on how he plans to commit painless and randomly fair genocide across the entire universe with the assistance of the Infinity Stones, after which he simply intended to rest.

As his conversation with Strange ended, Iron Man dropped a massive piece of debris on him, which only served to infuriate Thanos, who simply blasted away the rubble and transformed it into an endless swarm of bats and hurled them at Iron Man, forcing him to flee. Spider-Man then used his webbing to blind Thanos, and Drax the Destroyer quickly slashed him with his Knives while Doctor Strange conjured a sword made of Eldritch Magic to engage Thanos in close combat, but Thanos swiftly composed himself and quickly overwhelmed them, overtaking Drax through several stones and blowing away Doctor Strange upon bringing down his Eldritch Magic shield with a kick.

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Thanos being restrained by Doctor Strange

However, Star-Lord maneuvered through Thanos's blasts with aid from Doctor Strange, who conjured platforms for him to jump on and shot him before planting an explosive on Thanos' back, which briefly stunned him. The Cloak of Levitation wrapped itself around the Infinity Gauntlet and Spider-Man attacked Thanos, but it only served to irritate the titan, who swiftly pinned Spider-Man down and angrily called him an insect before flinging him at Strange, knocking him to the ground. Iron Man caused a massive explosion next to Thanos, who remained once again uninjured and simply used the Infinity Gauntlet to absorb and blast the flames back at him. Thanos was once again attacked by Spider-Man but he easily broke out of his web and used it to pull Spider-Man towards him, striking him in the face.

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Thanos being ambushed by Nebula

Suddenly, a Necrocraft crashed upon Thanos but he easily survived and was punched by Nebula. Coldly greeting his former adopted daughter, Thanos blatantly dismissed killing her as being a waste of parts. He then swiftly overpowered her but the group took advantage of the time Nebula bought and managed to barely restrain Thanos. Doctor Strange restricted the gauntlet while Drax, Iron Man and Spider-Man restrained Thanos' arms and legs, allowing Mantis to inflict sleep upon him using her powers. Star-Lord then mocked Thanos and demanded the location of Gamora, visibly causing him to become crest-fallen. Mantis then revealed that Thanos was mourning, which led Nebula to understand in horror and sadness that he had sacrificed her for the Soul Stone. Star-Lord then angrily questioned Thanos to tell her that Nebula was lying and Thanos emotionally said he had to.

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Thanos furiously ripping apart an entire moon.

Infuriated, Star-Lord punched Thanos, causing Mantis to lose her control over him. Freed from his trance and now truly furious upon being reminded of how he was forced to kill Gamora, which only served to make him more determined to complete his goal so as not to let her sacrifice be in vain, Thanos brutally attacked the group, taking down the Guardians of the Galaxy with a single wild shockwave and then using the Power Stone to pulverize an entire moon, which he then hurled at his opponents in a hail of meteors, taking advantage of Titan's unusually high gravitational pull to make the projectiles much more rapid and faster to force Spider-Man to focus on saving the unconcincious Guardians so he may fight Strange.

Thanos then confronted and ferociously dueled the sorcerer upon cornering him, with Strange launching the first strike with fiery beams. Thanos leaped into the air to avoid them and retaliated with a blast of energy from the gauntlet. Strange summoned the Mirror Dimension to absorb it and then hurled it back at Thanos. Thanos responded by crushing it with the Power Stone, unable to be trapped inside thanks to the Reality Stone, and then threw the remnants back at Strange in the form of a destructive black hole with the Space Stone, which Strange transmuted into blue butterflies.

However, Thanos eventually won when he dispelled the many replicas of Doctor Strange the sorcerer conjured with the Soul and Power Stones and sundered his Astral Form out of his body until he regained control but it stunned him long enough that Thanos was able to pull him to his hand before he can react. Thanos admitted he was impressed by Strange's mastery over Magic but soon realized he has removed the Time Stone and tossed him aside after crushing the Eye of Agamotto, determined to get the stone.

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Thanos is challenged to fight by Iron Man

Before he could look for it, Iron Man, being the final Avenger standing, used a trap to restrain Thanos' gauntlet hand. After a brief conversation in which Thanos revealed that thanks to the Soul Stone, he now knew who Iron Man was and what drove him, which Stark expressed his profound grudge towards him, Thanos was attacked relentlessly by all of Iron Man's advanced technology but remained uninjured until he was eventually striked with enough force to bleed.

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Thanos brawls with Iron Man

Unfazed, Thanos simply mocked Iron Man for drawing so minimal blood after all his efforts and effortlessly caught Iron Man off-guard and brutally beat him down, badly damaging his Iron Man Armor. He used the gauntlet to deflect Iron Man's repulsor beams before punching off his helmet, breaking off his sword and stabbing him in the gut with it. Thanos admitted his respect for Stark before beginning to use the Stones to execute him.

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Thanos takes possession of the Time Stone

However, Doctor Strange intervened, offering the Time Stone in exchange for Stark's life. Thanos agreed but reminded Strange to not attempt any magic and despite Iron Man's vain attempts to stop Strange, Strange manifested and let the Time Stone float to Thanos, who then inserted the stone into the gauntlet, leaving him with only one more to collect: the Mind Stone, which he knew was still located on Earth with the Vision. Suddenly, Star-Lord appeared out of nowhere and began shoot at him but Thanos remained completely uninjured and simply left for Earth.

Battle of Wakanda

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Thanos finally arrives in Wakanda

"You should have gone for the head..."
"What did you do? THANOS!"
―Thanos and Thor[src]

Having obtained the powers of the Time, Space, Reality, Soul and Power Stones, Thanos arrives on Wakanda to retrieve the final Infinity Stone, the Mind Stone. He confronts Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Bruce wearing Hulkbuster, Black Panther, Okoye and Groot single-handedly without fear and after briefly staring at his enemies, calmly walks towards them as they began their attempt to repel him.

Even with all of his army destroyed, Thanos with the nearly complete Infinity Gauntlet proves to be practically invincible and far too powerful for all of his opposers and he makes short work of them, effortlessly stopping Hulkbuster and imprisoning it in solid stone by making it intangible for a while, effortlessly sending Captain America to the ground, easily catching Black Panther in the neck when he charged at him and negated Black Panther's attempt to use his energy pulse upon choking him before slamming him down to the ground to redirect it, downing two individuals within seconds.

He then calmly sending Falcon to the ground after easily withstanding his bullets, casually crushing and twisting the guns of War Machine's armor and pinning him with large debris to interfere with his flight before simply flinging him away, knocking down Winter Soldier soon after with a single shockwave of energy, stopping Okoye's spear and easily downing her to the ground, trapping Black Widow with large concrete walls and then easily breaking out of Groot's vines and incatipating him as well.

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Thanos is challenged by Captain America

As he approaches Vision and Scarlet Witch, Captain America desperately buys time as much as he can and to Thanos's shock, is able to land a few hits on him and block his Infinity Gauntlet hand, but it is only temporary as Thanos swiftly dispatches the Super Soldier with a single punch. Now free of distractors, Thanos is about to retrieve Vision's Mind Stone when he saw Scarlet Witch try to destroy it. Thanos tries to stop it but Wanda is able to push him back, although he slowly charges through the beam but it is too late as Wanda destroys the Mind Stone before he could get to them.

Rather than angrily killing the girl for her hinderance of his goals, Thanos sympathised with her tearful sacrifice of Vision to destroy the Mind Stone, as he too had sacrificed Gamora for the Soul Stone. Activating the Time Stone, Thanos turned back time and reversed Wanda's actions, restoring both Vision and the Mind Stone. Before Wanda could intervene, Thanos forcefully ripped the Stone from Vision's head, killing him in the process. The Mad Titan placed the Stone within the Gauntlet, and with all six Stones assembled, assumed infinite power and control over the universe.[1]

The Snap

"Did you do it?"
"Yes."
"What did it cost?"
"...Everything."
Gamora and Thanos[src]

Moments after the Infinity Gauntlet's completion, Thor arrived on the scene and struck Thanos with a lightning bolt. Thanos fired an energy beam in response; the Asgardian responded by fully charging and throwing Stormbreaker with all his might, which directly cut through it due to Thanos not using the full potential of the now completed Gauntlet as he was still surprised. The axe ultimately struck Thanos in the chest, gravely wounding him. However, the Mad Titan appeared unfazed by his injury, even as Thor forced the blade of the axe deeper. After a brief moment of pretending to be dying, Thanos taunted Thor that he should have aimed for his head, and before his stunned opponent could react, he snapped his fingers. Energy surged from the Gauntlet, with a blinding light flooding the battlefield; the universe was about to be altered on an unprecedented scale.

Thanos briefly passed out, and to his great surprise, reawakened in a vast orange void within the Soul Stone. The void was empty, save for Thanos himself and one building in the distance. The building resembled the same archway on Zen-Whoberi where Thanos and Gamora met many years ago. Sure enough, as Thanos approached the arch, he encountered the child Gamora once again. Thanos excitedly told her that he had finally completed his mission. When Gamora asked "what did it cost?", he became solemn in his demeanor. Thanos simply replied, "Everything".

Regaining normal consciousness, Thanos returned to his body in Wakanda. Upon seeing the damages inflicted on the scorched Gauntlet, Thor furiously questioned Thanos about the finger-snap, but he offered no answers and simply mockingly smirked at Thor, having completed his goal despite Thor's best efforts, before teleporting away with the Space Stone, proving that the Gauntlet can still function. As half of all life across the universe began to disintegrate as a result of the snap, a fully healed Thanos reappeared on another planet. He 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 satisfactoraly, content at his victory but still mourning over Gamora.[1]

Personality

"Little one, it's a simple calculus. This universe has finite its resources, finite...if life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correcting."
"You don't know that!"
"I'm the only one who knows that. At least, I'm the only with the will to act on it."
―Thanos and Gamora[src]

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. 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 finding children to take as his own so he can raise them as assassins while forcing them to watch as he murders their families and tirelessly searching for the Infinity Stones.

He is extremely intimidating and 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 the Asgardian tried to kill him. Even though Ebony Maw had never failed Thanos, he still feared his master and father enough that he did not dare to go to Titan without having fully taken the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Thanos threatened Ronan the Accuser to 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 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, as well as remaining calm even after learning the death of Ebony Maw, although he acknowledged his effort to complete his mission. He was even able to command the Chitauri and the Outrider armies, both being highly savage and powerful creatures, unchallenged.

He is extremely confident, to the point of borderline arrogance and being 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 powered by the Power Stone coming after him despite knowing 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 at the betrayal. 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. However, his patience has limits and when it is pushed to the edge, he is fully willing to take action when necessary, as after Loki and Ronan betrayed him and caused him to lose the only Infinity Stone he managed to find and two of his daughters, Thanos finally was fed up with the failures and decided to take matters into his own hand and hunt for the Infinity Stones himself.

While Thanos was able to inspire absolute loyalty into his Black Order children, he is not completely flawless in his ability to fake parental affection, as he is despised by his own "daughters," Gamora and Nebula. Raising them in a brutal way, Thanos would pit them against each other in the hope that Nebula would beat Gamora; however, when Nebula lost, he would remove parts of her in order to make her stronger, taking her apart piece by piece and replacing her with artificial limbs and organs so she would be able to defeat her sister. He proves he does not care at all for Nebula, as he had no qualms torturing her to get the location of the Soul Stone out of Gamora, and held her in a low regard, going as far as to coldly said he did not want to waste his time to kill Nebula. However, Thanos is not completely unable to love, as is it seen that he deeply loves Gamora as his own child. When he first met her, he quickly took an interest in her and cared for her enough to shield her from seeing the massacre of her people as well as sparing her from the half of the Zehobereis that he killed and adopt her as his own child. Indeed, he was known for favoring and holding Gamora's abilities at a higher regard than all his other children, being known for considering her his favorite daughter and openly telling her he considered his training to have molded her into the fiercest woman in the galaxy. He also seemed to consider her the only one worthy to inherit his Throne, openly saying that he hoped still despite her hatred for the chair that she would sit on it one day. He expressed anger at Ronan for alienating Gamora and later on attempted to reconnect with his daughter, patiently and calmly talking to her despite her bitter rejection of all he believed and notably he did not torture Gamora to force the location of the Soul Stone out of her but instead Nebula. He was seen in shock and tears when he realized that to get the Soul Stone he had to throw "a loved one" off the cliff, knowing the only one he truly loved was Gamora and apologized tearfully and was visibly struggling to muster enough will to sacrifice her as she frantically screamed. When Star-Lord asked where she was, Thanos was visibly crest-fallen and Mantis stated that Thanos was traumatized and in severe emotional pain from sacrificing Gamora, with even Nebula admitting that sacrificing Gamora must have been the only thing to caused him that much pain. The reminder of how he killed Gamora caused Thanos to finally became truly furious and also even more determined to fulfill his goal to honor her sacrifice. After finally achieving his goal, he went as far as to solemnly say that killing her caused him to lose everything.

Even though he was shunned by his own people for a hideous mutation he bore, he 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 would have presumably turned him into the being he is now today with his desire to exterminate half of the population of every planet so as to save these civilizations from the same overpopulation tragedy which destroyed his home planet. This is why Thanos truly believes his cause for killing off half of everyone in 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, so they do not face the same tragedy as his home planet. 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.

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 chosing the word "undying" and even was not at all angered by Loki defying him before dying by saying he will never be a god. 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 by Ronan coming to him empty-handed and alieniating his favored daughter 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.

Interestingly, despite being usually considered as an incredibly cruel and cunning being, Thanos did not took 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.

Powers and Abilities

What If... Coulson
"This is not okay!"
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Powers

"Master, you cannot! Thanos is the most powerful being in the universe!"
Korath to Ronan the Accuser[src]

Thanos is an immensely powerful Titan, feared throughout the galaxy as one of the most powerful beings in the universe. He is able to easily overpower beings such as Thor, and Hulk, and commands his Chitauri and Outriders legions unchallenged. The Confederacy, despite their combined strength, openly admitted that their forces could not face Thanos and said 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, and even Thor acknowledged that he needed Stormbreaker if he were to face Thanos, as fighting the Mad Titan without it would be suicidal.

  • Immortality: Thanos is effectively immortal, having reigned as a galactic warlord for thousands of years. His immortality also seems to make him unkillable to most means, as Gamora told Nebula that killing Thanos may not be possible. It's been shown that Stormbreaker, the strongest and most powerful weapon ever made from Uru, has the potential to kill him if the attack were lethal, as during the Battle of Wakanda, Thanos mused that Thor should have gone for his head when he attacked.
Infinity War Thanos destroys Tesseract

Thanos crushing the Tesseract in his hand

  • Superhuman Strength: Thanos has displayed immense levels of superhuman strength, being capable of crushing the Tesseract to reveal the Space Stone, destroying Doctor Strange's magical shields with a kick, and snapping Loki's 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. Thanos was able to overpower Iron Man's Mark L armor, tearing away pieces of the armor with his hands, and overwhelmed Captain America with a single hand. Even Doctor Strange's use of a powerful binding spell proved useless during the Battle of Titan. 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 rip the Mind Stone from Vision's body, tearing through the Vibranium housing with ease, and overpower Hulk during his acquisition of the Tesseract.
"All of that for a single drop of blood?"
―Thanos to Iron Man[src]
  • Superhuman Durability: Thanos has incalculable levels of resilience and durability, rendering him capable of easily handling the Infinity Stones without being harmed and wielding the power of the Infinity Gauntlet without strain. Hence, despite the combined efforts of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos remained completely uninjured by the force of their attacks, even mocking Iron Man for his effort to draw a small cut on his cheek. Thanos was unharmed by the surprise attack by Hulk, and was uninjured after having a massive pillar dropped on him and colliding with a Necrocraft at full speed. He was also able to withstand the energy attacks from Scarlet Witch, as well as a powerful lightning blast from Stormbreaker, though the maul was capable of severely injuring him in close range. Notable, despite the injury and even that was not enough to kill him, even after Thor twisted the axe as deep as he could into Thanos, with Thanos retaining enough strength to activate and use the Infinity Gauntlet at the scale needed to wipe out half of the universe, surviving such vast display of power despite the severe injury, although it did cause him to briefly entered a catatonic state but he quickly recovered, even going as far as to mock Thor for not aiming at his head.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Thanos, despite his size and muscular body, possess incredulous superhuman reflexes, as he was able to effortlessly dodge a few blows from Hulk, and then instantly struck him multiple times before Hulk had a chance to respond. Thanos also 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 (which Thanos broke in the process), 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 and effortlessly punch Captain America before he could react while he was blocking Thanos's Gauntlet hand. He also was able to easily catch Iron Man Mark L Armor's sword and then break it and stab him with the piece before he could react. He could easily react to and outspace both Drax the Destroyer and Doctor Strange's moves even while his sight was hampered by a web cotton and also managed to quickly overtook Nebula and deliver a powerful punch that send her flying. While Thor was able to surprise and punched off a portion of Thanos's helmet, Thanos soon effortlessly kicked him away before he could react. He has also been shown to be able to easily react to the bullets of War Machine Armor: Mark IV and Okoye's spear when she threw it at him, allowing him to easily repel them with the Gauntlet's powers.
  • Superhuman Agility: Thanos has shown superhuman levels of agillity far greater than regular humans despite his large and muscular body, as shown when he 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 Speed: Thanos, despite his large and muscular body, is exceptionally fast, capable of effortlessly outmaneuvering and beating the Hulk in hand-to-hand combat within seconds and swiftly pummeling Iron Man in his Mark L Armor in close quarters combat.

Infinity Gauntlet

"He has the Power and Space Stones; that already makes him the strongest creature in the whole universe. If he gets his hands on all six Stones, Tony..."
"He could destroy life on a scale hitherto undreamt of."
Bruce Banner and Doctor Strange[src]

After equipping the Infinity Gauntlet into his left arm, combined with his already extraordinary physical constitution and raw power, Thanos is granted the potential to safely harness the supernatural powers of all the six Infinity Stones should he add them to the Gauntlet. The more stones Thanos inserts into the Gauntlet, the more power he gains and he acquires the stones dominion over the necessary fabrics of existence. Just having two Stones was enough that Bruce Banner called 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 becomes nearly infinitely powerful, the most powerful being in the universe, gaining absolute control over all the fabrics of existence and able to do almost anything he desires, 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 Doctor Strange's use of the Time Stone to peer through over 14 million futures saw only one in which Thanos is defeated. Presumably due to having done thorough research on the Stones, Thanos displays incredible understanding and knowledge of their powers and quickly fully mastered all of them, allowing him to use their dominion over the fabrics of reality for combative purposes with extreme finesse, making him nearly impossible to defeat in battle. So far he has shown the following supernatural powers.

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Thanos telekinetically ripping apart a moon.

  • Nigh-Omnipotence: With all six Infinity Stone in the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos gains nearly omnipotent levels of supernatural power, with control over all six aspects of existence, making him the most powerful being in all of the universe and wielding such near-limitless godly levels of power that allows him to do almost anything he desires. His power is 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 is almost invincible, to the point that the only way to subdue him is for the gauntlet to be removed, which will take away his power or if a sufficiently powerful being wielding a sufficiently powerful weapon were to surprise Thanos, as Thor wielding the Stormbreaker managed to injure Thanos and Thanos said that Thor may have killed him had he aimed for Thanos' head.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Upon completing the Infinity Gauntlet, its power was able to quickly heal and regenerate any of Thanos' wounds, regardless of severity or blood loss. Hence, upon it's activation, Thanos instantly healed and recovered from any injury he sustained from fighting the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, with even the grievous wounds Thor dealt with Stormbreaker vanishing without any trace of it being there.
  • Terrain Manipulation: Combining the Space and Reality Stones, Thanos can 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 Stone and Power Stone, Thanos can manipulate and redirect outside energy, absorbing and channeling the explosive power of Iron Man's missiles into a concentrated beam of fire.
  • Death Inducement: After the Gauntlet was completed and the Stones reached their full potential, Thanos gains the power to induce death on a universal scale at whim, using each of the Stones's 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, scorching the Gauntlet and Thanos's left arm.
  • Energy Manipulation: After inserting the Power Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over the destructive force of the universe. Due to his strong understanding and familiarity with the Stone's powers, he is 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 is able to 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 to 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 can 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 and killing her.
    • Energy Detonation: Thanos is able to 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 proves 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, allowing him to use it with devastating effiency, 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 can 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's primary usage of the Stone is to project it's 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 are even potentially 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. He 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 Convertion: After the Gauntlet was completed and the Power Stone reached it's 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 the universe, it caused energy to surge from the Gauntlet and cover the whole battlefield of Wakanda and caused omnious rumbling through the universe.
  • Space Manipulation: After inserting the Space Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires the stone's complete control over space and due to his full understanding of the Space Stone's powers, is capable of expertly using the stone's dominion over space to achieve a wide plethora of potent and dangerous capabillities.
    • Spatial Pressure Generation: Thanos shows 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's 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 him down. The Space Stone's spatial induced telekinesis is so strong that Thanos was even able to use it to telekinetically pull the shattrered fragments of Titan's moon across space to rain down on the attacking Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy during the Battle of Titan.
    • Portal Creation: With the Space Stone inserted inside the Gauntlet, the most useful power that Thanos acquires is the power to open gateways to any part of the universe, allowing him to effortlessly teleport himself to anywhere he desires at will. As such, Thanos instantly warped himself to Knowhere, Titan and later Wakanda with ease. He can also take others with him, as shown when he warped 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 can open with the Space Stone as an instant means of transportation, Thanos can 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 is very precise, capable of using the Stone to selectively control what objects are transported, even removing the impaled Stormbreaker from his chest upon 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 it's path and sent it flying towards Doctor Strange. However, Strange was swiftly capable of transmuting it into a harmless substance.
    • Intangibility: Thanos is even capable of using the Space Stone to phase and unphase 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 can manipulate the Space Stone's energy reserves to manifest extremely powerful blue force-fields of energy capable of instantly vaporizing the bullets of War Machine's armor, and even blocking the energy of Scarlet Witch.
    • Global Influence Spreading: After the Gauntlet was completed and the Space Stone reached it's full potential, it appears that the Space Stone allows the influence of the other Stones to reach the whole universe, allowing Thanos to use the power of all Stones to wipe out half the universe.
  • Time Manipulation: After inserting the Time Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over time, allowing 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 is shown to be far more capable and familiar in using the Time Stone's powers than Doctor Strange.
    • Event Recreation: Thanos is capable of rewinding time to recreate certain events with a surpassing amount of finesse, enough so as 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, so as to resurrect Vision and recreate the Mind Stone, even after Wanda Maximoff had destroyed both of them, while preventing his foes from getting rewinded so as to prevent them from making an attempt to stop him, whereas Doctor Strange could not truly recreate the stolen pages of the Book of Cagliostro.
"Reality is often disappointing. That is, it was. Now, reality can be whatever I want."
―Thanos to Gamora[src]
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Thanos revealing the past beauty of Titan

  • Reality Manipulation: After inserting the Reality Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over reality. His skill in using the Reality Stone is shown to be more advanced than Malekith, capable of skillfully warp 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 grants 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 send at him by Doctor Strange.
    • Illusion Conjuration: Thanos can 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, in order 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.
      • Invisibillity: It seems the powerful illusionary powers the Reality Stone granted Thanos also allows him to make himself invisible, as upon unveiling the illusion, he initially talked to Gamora unseen before revealing himself.
    • Matter Transmutation: He can 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 sword before she attempted to kill herself, transform and manipulate specific parts of the environment to use against his enemies, as shown when he transmuted the pieces of the 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 makes 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 is only temporary, as Drax and Mantis eventually returned to their original form. However, with the Infinity Gauntlet completed and the Reality Stone amplified to it's full potential, it became so potent that it can actually 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 Containment: The Soul Stone contains a mysterious pocket dimension that contains the soul of Gamora, as she is the one he sacrificed to obtain the Stone, and the dimension would pull Thanos to it should he be overwhelmed by a situation until he recovers and the appearance of the realm and sacrifice seems to change to fit the form that Thanos most wanted to see, as shown after wiping out half of all life in the Universe, the sheer energy required to achieve such a feat in his weakened state nearly overwhelmed Thanos, and briefly sent him into a dream state caused by the Soul Stone itself, transporting his mind to a world consisting of a barren, infinite expanse of feet-high water under an orange sky. Within the dream world, Thanos saw himself as without the Gauntlet or his injuries sustained 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 - in the form of the young child she was when Thanos first met and adopted her - telling her of his final fulfilment of his lifelong goal and admitting to her his deep regret that she had to die for it to happen.

Abilities

IWantTheBigGuy-AoU
"I want the big one."
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  • Genius-Level Intellect: Even at his youth, Thanos was deemed a genius among his kind, despite his deformation. 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 not only successfully used Loki as a pawn without the latter realizing it for a long time, but he was later also able to successfully finish off the God of Mischief by easily predicting that he would attempt an assassination and countering it casually. 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 worships from having known his deceptive and manipulative nature and instantly knew that Gamora was lying when she said she never found the Soul Stone as well as being able to predict correctly that deep down Gamora did still care for him. He accurately predicted that Titan would be destroyed by overpopulation.
    • Master Tactician:  The greatest master tactician in the universe, Thanos is a oustandingly formidable strategist with centuries of experience in tactical warfare. Even without using his immense powers and combat skills, he succeeded in conquering many worlds relying purely on his tactical genius alone. Thanos's tactical genius and ingenuity allows him to create extremely complex and well-coordinated plans and execute them effectively, 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 Humans 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 using 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's 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 and escape from the Guardians uninjured. Thanos is able to create effective strategies in the midst of combat, as he efficiently employed Titan's strong gravitational pull to separate much of his opposers by breaking and launching the pieces of Titan's moon at his enemies from the atmosphere so as to make them much more rapid and faster, forcing Spider-Man to focus solely on saving the incatipated Guardians 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, nearly impossible to overcome, setbacks, as after Scarlet Witch destroyed the Mind Stone, Thanos was unfazed, due to now having the Time Stone, and swiftly reversed time prior to 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, a once again unfazed Thanos convincingly pretended that he was close to death before revealing that he will still live and can still accomplish his mission by sarcastically 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.
    • Master Manipulator: Thanos is an exceptionally skillful and cunning manipulator, far surpassing even Loki, the God of Mischief himself who was famous for his manipulation abilities. 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. His manipulation ultimately caused both the Chitauri Invasion and the Battle of Xandar. As Thor noted, Thanos has effectively manipulated the Avengers for his own goals.
  • Master Torturer: Thanos is ingeniously accomplished in many fields of torture, with his skills in torture being highly feared and well-known among his followers, as Loki was visibly terrified of the possibility of being tortured by Thanos when the Other warned him that Thanos can torture him to the point that he would beg for something as sweet as pain and Ebony Maw fearing the idea of Thanos punishing him should he fail to break the spell Strange cast on the Time Stone and retrieve it. He is able to effortlessly cause the maximum amount of pain while avoiding killing or rendering his victims unconscious, as shown when he very effectively tortured a mature Thor with the Power Stone, effortlessly exerting enough energy to cause him excruciating pain while avoiding exerting too much without even looking, swiftly making Loki give up the Tesseract, and later when he tortured Nebula to make Gamora give up the location of the Soul Stone, Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to painfully pull apart Nebula's cybernetics implants, but he was casually able to avoid truly ripping the necessary implants apart in order to cause her severe pain without killing her, swiftly causing Gamora to give in and tell Thanos the Soul Stone was on Vormir
  • Master Combatant: Thanos is the most powerful warrior in the universe with millennia worth of fighting experience. Thanos's supreme combat skills supplemented by his colossal physical prowess enable him to overpowered even the strongest enemies. Under his tulage, the Black Order including Gamora herself became extremely formidable fighters. He effortlessly beat Hulk ( the former undefeatable champion of the Grandmaster's Contest of Champions) to a bloody pulp, easily single-handedly defeated and beat a mature Thor half-to death, effortlessly overpowered and restrained Gamora before she could react and take up Godslayer, casually fought off both Doctor Strange using a sword made of Eldritch Magic, and Drax with his knives and quickly overwhelmed them (while his sight was hampered by a web cotton), effortlessly fought off and swiftly pummel Spider-Man with only one hand (while his other hand was restricted by the Cloak of Levitation), easily fought off and quickly defeated Nebula wielding her batons despite being distracted by her mentions of Gamora, easily pummeled Iron Man despite Iron Man's nanotech Mark L armor and swiftly disarmed him of his sword and grievously wounded him with it, with only Doctor Strange's intervention saving Iron Man from death, easily countered Black Panther's charge by choking him with a single hand and then pummeled him to the ground with a single punch and effortlessly defeated and knocking out Captain America with a single blow. It was only with a sneak attack that Thor armed with Stormbreaker was able to land a severe wound on Thanos.

Equipment

Weapons

Infinity War Teaser

Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet.

  • 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, able to 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 effect against his enemies. He eventually completed the Gauntlet and use it to wipe out half of the universe, although he damaged the Gauntlet in process due to doing so while griveously wounded but it remained functioning nevertheless.
  • Corvus Glaive's Glaive: Following the massacre of all the remaining Asgardians, Thanos witnessed Heimdall drawing the last of his power to teleport the Hulk back to the Earth. As punishment, Thanos took the main weapon of Corvus Glaive and impaled Heimdall, killing him.

Other Equipment

  • Armor: Thanos utilized a Golden Armor while he was searching for the Infinity Stones. The Armor was resilient enough to resist damage from Hulk's blows. He discarded the Armor upon requiring the Space Stone from Loki.
  • Space Throne: Thanos' stationary home, he was accompanied by The Other until he was mercilessly killed by Ronan the Accuser.
  • Sanctuary II: A gargantuan spaceship commanded by Thanos.

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies


Appearances

Appearances for Thanos

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • 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.
  • Thanos is one of the only three main antagonists in the MCU to appear in more than one movie. The others are Loki and Red Skull.
  • The name "Thanos" is based on the name of the mythological Greek figure Thanatos, meaning "death."
  • Thanos is the only main antagonist to physically appear before he became a main antagonist, as he appeared in The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron before he appears in Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Thanos is popularly considered by many and by Kevin Feige to be the main antagonist of the entire MCU saga. Feige has stated that Thanos is "the biggest, baddest villain of all." Additionally, he is the mastermind behind many events such as the Chitauri Invasion which led to the Battle of New York as well as the Quest for the Orb which led to the Battle of Xandar.
  • Thanos, Helmut Zemo, Surtur and Loki are the only main antagonists whose plans were successful to any extent, as Thanos managed to collect all six of the Infinity Stones to wipe out half the universe as he planned.
  • Thanos is the most mentioned antagonist in the MCU films.

Behind the Scenes

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Thanos.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of quotes related to Thanos.

External Links