- "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, referred to as the Dark Lord by his most loyal underlings and the Mad Titan by the galactic community, is a powerful, extremist, genocidal, psychopath, violent and tyrannical 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 to the universe, as he believed its massive population would inevitably use up the universe's entire supply of 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 all 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 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, murdering Loki, along with half of the surviving Asgardians, and even his beloved Gamora. 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 all life within the universe at the snap of his fingers.
Fall of Titan
Thanos was born to A'Lars, a member of the Titans, a race of powerful, god-like beings that evolved on a planet. Thanos unconditionally loved his people and 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.
Sometime after Titan's fall, 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. He earned such a fearful reputation as a galactic warlord, due to his immense power and even ruling over a distinct region of space, and gaining control over the deadly armies of the Chitauri and Outriders, that he was considered among the most powerful, if not the most powerful, being in the universe.
Training his Children
- "Flesh is weak. Weakness must be cast aside for the sake of power."
Thanos collected orphans from each race that he conquered. His oldest children were Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian and Proxima Midnight. The four warriors, completely faithful and devoted to Thanos' command, comprised the Black Order.
While killing half of the Zehoberei people to balance Zen-Whoberi, Thanos' attention was caught by a young Zehoberei named Gamora, restraining 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. Thanos adopted Gamora as his daughter afterwards, training her to become the deadliest woman in the galaxy, and growing to genuinely care about her as a result. Even as she changed from being devoted to him to hating him, Thanos still believed she could become loyal to him again and inherit his throne.
He also massacred a Luphomoid family to raise Nebula to be another devoted and deadly assassin. Becoming 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. Thanos also acquired the services of the Other to act as his servant.
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, and forged several alliances in order to locate them. 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.
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. 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.
- "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
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.
Despite his vast army of the Chitauri and powerful weaponary, Loki was defeated during the Battle of New York, which had also then resulted in the Scepter-laden Infinity Stone came into the hands of HYDRA for their own research, while the Tesseract itself was then transported away to Asgard by Thor, along with the now captured Loki. The Other reported to his master how the inhabitants of Earth 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.
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.
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.
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, Thanos turned Ronan away, instructing him to return to his task and correct Gamora's betrayal, which he was only slightly irked by. Thanos then instructed Nebula to take Gamora's place as Ronan's aide.
Ronan the Accuser's Betrayal
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.
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 Mad Titan 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.
Doing it Himself
- "Fine. I'll do it myself."
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 massacring them all, leaving only the Dwarf King Eitri alive, whose hands he cut off. 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.
The Confederacy, an intergalactic alien alliance, learned about Thanos' intentions. When HYDRA managed to communicate with the Confederacy, they warned them about the Mad Titan and the threat he posed to humanity, so they offered their service to protect Earth. However, they knew they were no mach against the forces of Thanos, so they only exploited the deal in order to get from HYDRA Earth's resources, primarily Inhumans and Gravitonium.
Acquiring the Power Stone
Thanos learned that the Power Stone was on Xandar and went there promptly, 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.
Obtaining the Tesseract
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. As the Black Order then massacred half of the Asgardians, Thanos personally confronted and easily defeated Thor half-to death, then tortured him with the Power Stone in order to force Loki to give up the Tesseract.
Loki agreed and manifested the Tesseract 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 attacked him with a piece of metal which was broken off from his head, 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 glaive, much to Thor's dismay.
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 refused his offer as he considered failure as experience. Loki offered his fidelity, only to attempt to attack Thanos with his dagger. 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 threat that he would never become a god, Thanos gleefully crushed Loki's neck, as punishment for an attempt to kill him. Thanos dropped Loki's corpse in front of a distraught Thor saying that he will not be resurrected again. 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.
Thanos then arrived on Knowhere long before the Guardians of the Galaxy could and after retrieving the Reality Stone, having predicted the arrival of the Guardians and needing Gamora. Thanos tricked the Guardians successfully with a realistic illusion conjured by the Reality Stone that made it look as if he was still torturing the Collector and pretended to be killed by Gamora. He then revealed himself after revealing that he knew that Gamora still deep down cared for him, and boasted that while reality is often unpleasant, with the Reality Stone, he could make reality to be whatever he wanted. He offered Gamora a chance to return to him willingly, implying he would spare the Guardians if she came along.
Gamora refused and attempted to pick up Godslayer but Thanos effortlessly restrained her before she could. He then effortlessly incapacitated both Drax the Destroyer and Mantis by using the Reality Stone to turn them into pieces of stone and strings. Thanos was then confronted by Star-Lord, who threatened to kill him if he didn't let her go, but calmly realized that Quill 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 Quill hesitatingly shot, Thanos simply used the Reality Stone to turn his ammunition and blaster into bubbles. Thanos teleported away after taking a liking to him.
Back on his Sanctuary, Thanos gave Gamora food, believing that she was hungry, but Gamora tossed it into his throne, saying bitterly that she always hated the throne, which Thanos simply retorted by saying he always hoped that she would sit on it. Having already heard Gamora's repeated confessions of hatred for his ship and her 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 is 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 abilities 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 due to her attempt to assassinate him and tortured her in front of Gamora. Even though Gamora desperately sought to conceal it, Thanos revealed that he was aware that Gamora had lied to him by showing a video recording inside Nebula's system. Thanos went as far as to say that while Thanos turned her into the warrior she is now, he never taught her to lie and thus she was never a good liar. Thanos tortured Nebula even further, long enough for Gamora to feel remorse for her pain. Giving in, Gamora told Thanos the stone was on Vormir.
Thanos and Gamora traveled to Vormir via a portal from the Space Stone and told her that the stone better be recovered from where she last lost it. Thanos and Gamora then walked on top of the cliff and met a mysterious figure. The Stonekeeper would then talk to Thanos about retrieving the Soul Stone and how it extracts a terrible price but Thanos responded to his statement, that he was prepared for it. The Stonekeeper guided them to the top of a nearby cliff, as the guardian of the Soul Stone explained to Thanos that obtaining the Stone required 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, shed tears that he would have to kill her.
Although Gamora was genuinely surprised for a moment, she quickly and desperately attempted suicide, but Thanos used the Reality Stone to turn her knife into bubbles and tearfully apologized before throwing her off the cliff. Thanos sternly looked over the cliff and mourns over Gamora's death. A light burst out that briefly knocked Thanos out but once he awoke from a river-like environment, he found the Soul Stone in his right hand and inserted it into his Infinity Gauntlet.
- "You have my respect, Stark. When I'm done, half of humanity will still be alive. I hope they remember you."
- ―Thanos to Iron Man.
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 commented that he accomplished his mission nevertheless. 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.
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 explained how he planned 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.
However, Star-Lord maneuvered through Thanos' 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.
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.
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.
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. Thanos was able to pull him to his hand before he could react. Thanos admitted he was impressed by Strange's mastery over Magic but soon realized he'd removed the Time Stone after crushing the Eye of Agamotto and tossed him aside.
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 he 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.
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.
However, Doctor Strange intervened, offering the Time Stone in exchange for Stark's life. Thanos agreed but reminded Strange to not attempt any magic. Despite Iron Man's vain attempt to stop him, Strange manifested the Time Stone from a star and let it float to Thanos, who then inserted the stone into the gauntlet, leaving him with only one more to collect. Suddenly, Star-Lord appeared out of nowhere and began shooting at him but Thanos remained completely uninjured and simply left for Earth.
- "You should have gone for the head."
- ―Thanos and Thor
Having obtained the Time Stone, Thanos then proceeded to use the Space Stone and arrived on Wakanda with the intention of retrieving the final Infinity Stone, the Mind Stone. However Thanos found himself confronted not only by the forces of Wakanda, but also fractured teams of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, as Thanos stood single-handedly without fear and after briefly staring at his enemies, calmly walked toward them as they began their attempt to attack him.
Even with all of his army of Outriders now destroyed, Thanos with the nearly complete Infinity Gauntlet proved 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 and negated the monarch's attempt to use his energy pulse upon choking him before punching him down to the ground to redirect it.
Thanos then calmly sends the 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 the Winter Soldier soon after with a single shockwave of energy, stopping Okoye's Sonic Spear and easily sending her flying through the air, trapping Black Widow with large concrete walls and then easily breaking out of Groot's vines before incapacitating him as well.
As he approached Vision and Scarlet Witch, Captain America desperately attempted to buy time as much as he could and, much to Thanos' shock, was able to land a few hits on him with his Wakandan Shields and block his Infinity Gauntlet hand, but it was only temporary as Thanos swiftly dispatched the Super Soldier with a single punch. Now free of distractors, Thanos tries to retrieve the Vision's Mind Stone when he sees Scarlet Witch attempting to destroy it. Thanos tried to stop it but Scarlet Witch was able to push him back, although he slowly charged through the beam but it is too late as Scarlet Witch successfully destroyed the Mind Stone before he could get to them.
Rather than angrily killing the girl for her hindrance of his goals, Thanos sympathized with her tearful sacrifice of Vision to destroy the Mind Stone, however he did not have any time to mourn. Activating the Time Stone, Thanos turned back time and reversed Scarlet Witch's actions, restoring both Vision and the Mind Stone. Before Scarlet Witch 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, harnassed infinite power and control over the universe.
- "Did you do it?"
"What did it cost?"
- ―Gamora and Thanos
Moments after the Infinity Gauntlet's completion, Thor arrived on the scene and struck Thanos with a large lightning bolt. Thanos fired an energy beam from all six stones in response; the Asgardian responded by fully charging and throwing Stormbreaker with all his might, which directly cut through it.
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 discomfort, Thanos taunted Thor that he should have aimed for his head, and before his stunned opponent could react, he snapped his fingers. The energy surged from the Gauntlet with a blinding light flooding the battlefield.
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 young Gamora once again. Thanos grievously told her that he had finally completed his mission. When Gamora asked "what did it cost?", he became solemn in his demeanor and 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.
As half of all life across the universe began to disintegrate as a result of his actions, 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 in satisfaction, content at his victory.
- "Little one, it's a simple calculus. This universe is finite. Its resources, finite...if life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs 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
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 searches 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 about 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.
Despite Thanos' reputation, he does seem to care about his children, since they are the only thing he loves in the world, especially Gamora, since she is his "favorite daughter", she will inherit his throne, although he sometimes shows it in an extreme manner such as him turning Nebula into a cyborg to make her stronger. When he learned from Doctor Strange that Ebony Maw is dead, he stated the quest for the Infinity Stones "extracts a heavy toll" and when Nebula gloated he should have killed her, Thanos claimed it would have been a "waste of good parts" even though he would have indeed been better off killing Nebula because she would have eventually tried to kill him with all her cybernetic enhancements. Despite caring for his children, he does seem to have high expectations for them, as Maw stated there would be "judgment" if he failed Thanos. He also seems to display a soft spot for children, an example being when he met Gamora. Even though Gamora claimed Thanos killed her parents in front of her, in reality, he gently kept her from being a part of the random genocide of her people by having her focus on balancing a dagger he gave her.
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 on all planets to be a righteous cause, seeing himself a righteous soul who is doing what is necessary to save all the civilizations of the universe, 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 choosing 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 take his genocidal motives as a pretext to eliminate potential foes who could be able to exact revenge on him. Indeed, he kept his intent to make his genocide as random and dispassionate as he intended, resulting in the survival of several members of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy who had done everything they could to stop him.
Powers and Abilities
Thanos is an immensely powerful Titan, feared throughout the galaxy as one of the most powerful beings in the universe. He is able to overpower powerful 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.
Titan Physiology: Thanos possesses much of same physical constitution and abilities from his extinct species. Despite his large size, Thanos possesses incredible superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes that allow him to overpower and severely injure beings as strong as Vision, Hulk, and Thor, but also even smaller and highly agile individuals as well, such as Loki, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and Iron Man in his Mark L Armor. In addition to his physical power, Thanos is effectively immortal and does not age beyond his prime, as he reigned for thousands of years without any change to his power or appearance.
- Immortality: Thanos is effectively immortal, having reigned as a galactic warlord for thousands of years. His immortality also seems to make him unkillable by most means, as Gamora told Nebula that killing Thanos may not be possible. It's been known 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.
- 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 ultimately overpower Hulk during his acquisition of the Tesseract.
- 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 withstand the surprise attacks by Hulk, 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. Notably, he survived a blow to the chest from Stormbreaker even after Thor pushed on the axe to exacerbate the wound, though it did cause him to briefly enter a catatonic state. Thanos himself mocked Thor for failing to target his head, indicating that such a blow is what it would take to kill him.
- 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, 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. He was able to effortlessly punch Captain America before he could react while he was blocking Thanos' 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' helmet, Thanos soon effortlessly kicked him away before he could react. He has also 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 superhuman levels of agility far greater than regular humans despite his large and muscular body, as 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 close combat within seconds and swiftly pummeling Iron Man in his Mark L Armor in close quarters combat.
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.
- Nigh-Omnipotence: With all six Infinity Stone in the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos gains nearly omnipotent levels of 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 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' 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 efficiency, 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' 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 Conversion: 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 capabilities.
- 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' 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 shattered 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, warping 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.
- "Reality is often disappointing. That is, it was. Now, reality can be whatever I want."
- ―Thanos to Gamora
- 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 more advanced, 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.
- Invisibility: With the power of creating illusions, the Reality Stone granted Thanos 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, 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. The dimension seems to change to fit the form that Thanos most wanted to see, 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 Soulworld, 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. Gamora takes on an appearance of when Thanos first met and adopted her, telling her of his final fulfillment of his lifelong goal.
- 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 was able 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.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Even at his youth, Thanos was deemed a genius among his kind. 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 was not only successfully used Loki as a pawn without the latter realizing it for a long time, but he was also able to successfully predict his attempt of assassination and countering it. 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. He even accurately predicted that Titan would be destroyed by overpopulation.
- Master Tactician: Thanos is a outstandingly 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 experience. Thanos' tactical 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 human beings 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 "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' 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. 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 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, 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, Thanos convincingly pretended that he was close to death before revealing that he will still live and can still accomplish his mission by 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 Combatant: Thanos is the most extraordinary fighter, with a millennia worth of fighting experience. Thanos' supreme combat skills supplemented by his physical prowess enable him to overpowered even the strongest opponents. Under his tutelage, the Black Order, including Gamora herself became extremely formidable fighters. He effortlessly beat Hulk to a bloody pulp, single-handedly defeated and beat Thor, effortlessly restrained Gamora before she could react, casually fought off both Doctor Strange using a sword made of Eldritch Magic and Drax with his knives, effortlessly slammed Spider-Man with only one hand, easily fought off and quickly defeated Nebula wielding her batons, and easily pummeled Iron Man in his Mark L armor. He even 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 knocked out Captain America with a single blow. It was only an attack from Thor using Stormbreaker to land a severe blow towards Thanos.
- 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 used it to wipe out half of the universe, although he damaged the Gauntlet in the process due to doing so while griveously wounded but it remained functioning nevertheless.
- Switchblade: Thanos carried with him a two dual blades knife during the Massacre of the Zehoberei. Upon seeing the young Gamora fighting one of his soldiers, she gained the Titan's interest. He took her aside and used his red and silver switchblade to teach his beliefs on balance by symbolizing it with balancing the knife on his finger and asked her to do the same. Gamora kept the knife over the years and eventually used it against Thanos' illusion.
- Scepter: When Thanos possessed the Mind Stone, he placed it inside the Scepter. He gave it as a weapon for Loki for his coming invasion to Earth. However, Loki lost possession of it during the Battle of New York, as such Thanos lost an Infinity Stone.
- Tesseract: Containing the Space Stone, Thanos sent Loki and his Chitauri army to invade Earth in order to collect it, however the Avengers stopped the invasion. Years later, Thanos tracked the Tesseract in the Statesman, where Loki kept it secretly. By torturing Thor, Loki gave up the Tesseeract to Thanos, who crushed it in order to abstract the Infinity Stone.
- 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 borrowed Corvus Glaive's weapon and used it to impale Heimdall, killing him.
- 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.
|Appearances for Thanos|
In chronological order:
- 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.
- While sitting down to rest at the end of the film, Thanos' armor can be seen on display in front of his hut. This is a reference to Thanos using his armor as a scarecrow after the events of The Infinity Gauntlet storyline.
Behind the Scenes
- Thanos' presence in The Avengers was kept top secret until the release of the movie.
- Damion Poitier was credited as "Man 1" despite actually playing Thanos.
- Josh Brolin was uncredited for his appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Thanos is one of the few characters who are played by different actors in different films. The others are James Rhodes, Howard Stark, Bruce Banner, Fandral, and Red Skull.
- It was Joss Whedon's idea to reveal Thanos as the true villain of The Avengers, but ironically he considered the villain too difficult to write.
- Thanos was the main antagonist in Nicole Perlman's draft of Guardians of the Galaxy: Whedon asked Thanos' role be downsized and Gunn agreed.
- Joss Whedon assisted James Gunn with the casting of Thanos.
- Josh Brolin took inspiration from Marlon Brando's performance as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now in his portrayal of Thanos.
- Joe and Anthony Russo considered showing Thanos' backstory in Avengers: Infinity War, but ultimately decided that it was not necessary. His backstory is instead explored in the tie-in novel Thanos: Titan Consumed.
- Greg Rementer and Keil Zepernick were stunt doubles for Josh Brolin in the role of Thanos.
- Joe Russo states that: “What I think is interesting is he’s sort of a cult figure, Thanos. He’s a world-conqueror like Genghis Khan. He’s been moving throughout the universe conquering worlds. He destroys half of a planet because that’s his goal – to bring balance to the universe by destroying half of all life. He then collects orphans from each race that he’s conquered. These are called the Children of Thanos. Some of them, like Gamora and Nebula, have broken free from the Cult of Thanos. His cult of personality. Others, like Ebony Maw, celebrate and are the greatest acolytes of Thanos."
- Christopher Markus states that "[Thanos] is unbelievably powerful without the Stones. I think [the group on Titan] would've been very disappointed to get the glove off him and find he was still beating the living daylights out of them."
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Guardians of the Galaxy
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The Avengers
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Directors Compare Thanos to Genghis Khan
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude
- ↑ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ Captain America: The Winter Soldier Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ The Avengers Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.20: The One Who Will Save Us All
- ↑ Thor: Ragnarok Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ How Avengers: Age of Ultron Nearly Killed Joss Whedon
- ↑ James Gunn on Twitter, 2 December 2015
- ↑ Guardians of the Galaxy press con in Singapore - James Gunn on GoTG and the MCU
- ↑ Josh Brolin Talks Thanos’ Love for Death, Future Appearances, Character Comparisons, and More
- ↑ Why Avengers: Infinity War Won’t Show Thanos' Backstory, According To The Russos
- ↑ Thanos’ MCU Backstory To Be Revealed in Tie-In Novel [Updated
- ↑ Infinity War Spoilers: Screenwriters Go In-Depth on Making of Film