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- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Thanos (Marvel).
|“||I am... inevitable.||„|
|~ Thanos’ most famous quote, and his (2014 self) final words before his death at the hands of Tony Stark/Iron Man.|
|“||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. But 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’ speech |
|“||You could not live with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to me. I thought by eliminating half of life, the other half would thrive. But you've shown me that's impossible. As long as there are those who remember what was, there will always be those who are unable to accept what can be, and will resist. I'm thankful, because now I know what I must do. I will shred this universe down to its last atom...and then, with the Stones you have collected for me, create a new one, teeming with life, that knows not what it has lost, but what it has been given. A grateful universe.||„|
|~ Thanos vowing to destroy and then rebuild and take over the universe.|
Thanos is the main antagonist of the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He served as the overarching antagonist of The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and as the main antagonist of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
He was an extremely powerful extraterrestrial warlord who commanded two massive armies known as the Chitauri and the Outriders, as well as a small group of fanatical followers known as the Black Order.
He formed an alliance with Loki to invade Earth, and later forged a partnership with Ronan the Accuser to destroy Xandar - both in exchange for the deliverance of two powerful Infinity Stones, only for the pair to end up failing with their tasks before betraying Thanos afterwards. He was also indirectly responsible for the creation of Ultron as his supplying of the Mind Stone to Loki is what gave Ultron free will to rebel against humanity in the first place. He later obtained all six Infinity stones, fought with the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy and successfully wiped out half the life in the universe. His actions would ultimately be undone, however, after the Avengers successfully retrieved the Infinity Stones through time travel. Soon after, an alternate version of Thanos from the past time traveled to the present in an effort to destroy the Avengers and this time erase the whole universe in order to create a new one, but he was defeated and erased from existence once and for all.
In The Avengers, he was portrayed by Damion Poitier. In the rest of the MCU, he was voiced/portrayed by Josh Brolin, who also played Dr. William Block in Planet Terror, Tom Chaney in True Grit, Derek Bates in Into the Blue, and Cable in Deadpool 2.
|“||In all my years of conquest, violence, slaughter, it was never personal. But I'll tell you now, what I'm about to do to your stubborn, annoying little planet... I'm gonna enjoy it... very, very much.||„|
|~ Thanos gloating to the Avengers that he will destroy Earth out of spite against them.|
Being as one of the most notorious warlords in the universe, Thanos is extremely arrogant as he merely smiled when The Other told him challenging the Avengers is like courting Death. He even was unfazed when Ronan threatened to kill him with The Orb, despite knowing well that the Kree was already very powerful even without the Stone, displaying only anger over his betrayal. Thanos also confidently smiled when he decided to collect the Infinity Stones personally. He also called himself "generous" when discussing the traits Gamora inherited from him, a further sign of Thanos' delusions.
He is capable of extreme ruthlessness and cruelty, finding children that he can raise to be assassins and forcing them to watch as he murdered their families and destroyed half of their respective races (just like he did to Gamora and Nebula). This makes him an exceptionally intimidating individual, easily striking fear into those who are his allies even if they hold considerable abilities and powers, with Ronan the Accuser showing visible signs of fear in his presence and Loki doing so at the mere mention of him, as well as being able to command the Chitauri army unchallenged.
Thanos is extremely unforgiving and intolerant of failures, with a loathsome nature and tendency to torturously punish any failure; The Other warned Loki that he would know a new kind of pain if he did not give them the Tesseract, something which visibly scared the God of Mischief and made him more determined than ever out of fear of Thanos' power. Even though Thor had not yet known about Thanos, he could still sense Thanos' easy control over Loki as being absurd due to Loki's arrogance. This side of his was shown further when Thanos furiously threatened to bathe the stairways in Ronan's blood if he failed to deliver the Orb, something which scared one of the strongest Kree into submission, and forbade Gamora from rescuing Nebula when the latter fell into a trap whilst on a mission in the Cloud Tombs of Praxius. He even arranged for Nebula to be painfully tortured in order to coerce Gamora into revealing the location of the Soul Stone.
Thanos is also manipulative and hesitant to trust, sending Ronan to retrieve the Orb for him and not telling him that it contained an Infinity Stone. He keeps a low profile, lurking in the shadows and making others do his work for him. However, after both of his alliances backfired, he shows that he is fully capable of taking action himself, as he decided to hunt for the Infinity Stones himself. During his hunt of the Infinity Stones, Thanos is described by the Russo Brothers as becoming almost a "holy warrior" who only kills when necessary. This is shown by the fact that while he did ruthlessly kill Loki for failing him and attempting to kill him, he gave him a rather merciful and quick death despite having earlier threatened him and spared Thor nothing more but a brief grin and didn't bother to show outright mock when cruelly announcing Loki's true death. While Maw stated that Thanos would like to "have his fun" with Hulk when the gamma beast attacked him on the Statesman, the Titan remained focused when fighting and beating the Hulk. This is later displayed repeatedly when he merely incapacitates his opponents when fighting on both Titan and Wakanda. He also massacred nearly all of the Dwarves to put their king Eitri in a trauma after cutting off his arms.
Thanos has little to no regard for his followers, even his adopted children, showing absolutely no empathy when Ronan killed The Other and referring to Gamora as his "favorite daughter", even with Nebula present. Interestingly, he even remained unfazed after seeing his own death in the future because he's content that he eventually succeeded in his plans. He remained calm even after learning of Maw's death and was not fazed by the death of all the Black Order, although given he said Maw did his mission anyway, it is implied he may feel gratitude for their loyalty and respects their efforts. While Thanos' charisma makes him able to inspire complete loyalty to most of his adopted siblings, he is not flawless in his ability to fake parental affection and to the children he dislikes, he inspires no love, as he is despised by his own "daughters", Gamora and Nebula. In contrast to this, there are several times in which Nebula and Gamora attempt to compete for their father's love and attention; a good example of this was when the past Nebula attempted to prove her loyalty to Thanos after seeing her future self betray Thanos, although this could be interpreted as attempting to stay alive. Thanos has proven to have absolutely no care for Nebula, as he had no qualms removing 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 and always punishing her for failing. He even went as far as to cruelly and ruthlessly torture her and seems to have zero respect for her skills as a fighter, going as far as to say that he did not want to waste time killing her. Despite this, Thanos is capable of loving as he took an interest in Gamora after seeing her fight against her captor and decided to spare her and even went as far as to shield her from the massacre of the Zehobereis, teaching her on his views of balance. He grew to genuinely care for and deeply love Gamora as his child. Thanos held her abilities above all others and favored her above all of the other adopted children, to the point that he entrusted her to find the Soul Stone and was visibly disappointed by her lie. He was even deeply saddened for having to kill her to get the Soul Stone and mourns and feels severe emotional pain for her death that Mantis was able to feel. Additionally, before his original death, Thanos appeared to show some semblance of regret over the way he treated Nebula when she admitted that he wasn't a liar, which drove her to tears before mourning him.
It has been revealed that Thanos once had a kinder and more benevolent side to himself, as he cared deeply for his planet and people even though he was shunned for being deformed, as he tried everything he could to convince the governments of his planet to do what he suggests. The fact that they refused to accept his proposal and called him insane for it is what made him who he was in the present 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 believed 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. He is also shown to have an honorable side, as even though he was angry for Ronan causing him to lose Gamora and returning empty-handed, he was still willing to fulfill the end of their deal by destroying half of Xandar's population to nab the Power Stone. He even extends this to his enemies, sparing Iron Man when Doctor Strange gave him the Time Stone. In fact, while manipulative, he is known by his children to be a person who never lies, something that even his most estranged daughter Nebula confirmed.
Surprisingly, he is also shown to have a sense of empathy towards his opponents. This is first seen when Star-Lord attempts to kill Gamora due to the promise he made to her, but thanks to the Reality Stone, the ammo was transmuted into bubbles; it is then that Thanos says he likes Quill for his willingness to kill Gamora when the situation called for it. When Scarlet Witch was forced to kill Vision to destroy the Mind Stone, he actually sympathizes for her loss, comforting her and telling her he has experienced the same kind of sadness when he killed Gamora, but later reversed this with the Time Stone before killing Vision to nab the Mind Stone, much to Scarlet Witch's distraught.
However, when Thanos' past self learned that the Avengers have utilized time travel (through the usage of the Quantum Realm) to retrieve the Stones and undo the damage he did in the original timeline, he realized that the remaining half of the universe's populace wouldn't accept the future that he envisioned whether he succeeded or not because they can never forget about the losses of their loved ones he killed. As such, Thanos became enraged and came to the conclusion that the universe was ungrateful for his deeds, and decided that he would use the Stones to destroy the entire universe and recreate it in his own image so that everyone will be grateful for his actions. As a result, he abandoned his ideals of balance, honor and empathy as he gloated to the Avengers that he would enjoy personally tearing the Earth apart out of spite against them for interfering with his plans, implying that he has become more depraved and ruthless in nature for the sake of his own ambitions. Despite this newfound depravity after learning the truth, he appeared to treat Nebula better after seeing his future self show regret for his harsh treatment against her. This is demonstrated when he immediately releases the chain Ebony Maw had around Nebula's neck and gave her the chance to prove her loyalty despite learning of this eventual betrayal.
Thanos' arrogance proved to be his downfall, as when he seemingly defeated and taunted Iron Man after nabbing the Stones in order to wipe out all life in the universe, he realized too late that Iron Man already obtained the Stones and used them to disintegrate Thanos and his army at the cost of his own life. Although clearly distraught at how he failed at his goals and that he is now paying the price of it, Thanos found solace in the fact that he was able to sit down and enjoy the sunrise one last time without being hindered and silently accepted his fate with dignity.
Powers & Abilities
- Titan Physiology: As a mutated Titan, Thanos possess immeasurable levels of strength, reflexes, durability, regenerative healing, and endurance as well as near-immortality. He is frighteningly powerful, able to effortlessly intimidate, overpower, severely harm, and even potentially kill beings as powerful as Loki, who is almost on par with Thor, and Ronan The Accuser, who was among the strongest Kree, Thor at full power, and Hulk. He rules the Chitauri and Outrider army unchallenged. Korath has fearfully said he is the most powerful being in the universe, although Ronan was confident that he could kill Thanos with the power of the Orb. Nevertheless, Thanos displayed no sign of concern after Ronan threatened him. Gamora also blatantly told Nebula she doesn't know if killing Thanos is possible. Thanos was also shown to be fully confident in being capable of collectively harnessing the full power of all six Infinity Stones with the use of an Infinity Gauntlet, a feat that no other being has ever survived. This was proven correct when he was able to handle the use of all six after finally completing the Infinity Gauntlet.
- Near-Immortality: Like all Titans, Thanos himself is also nearly immortal and has existed for a very long time. Some people even believe that Thanos cannot be killed. The only confirmed methods capable of killing him being Stormbreaker and the power of all six Infinity Stones, as Thor was able to cut off his head and Iron Man killed him with the Stones.
- Superhuman Strength: Thanos holds incalculably extraordinary, godly levels of superhuman strength, to the point that he is capable of easily wielding all six Infinity Stones with the Infinity Gauntlet, a feat that no other being has survived, making him one of the strongest beings in existence, if not the strongest. Thanos could effortlessly break the highly durable containers of the Infinity Stones, as he casually crushed the Tesseract and later the Eye of Agamotto in a single hand, which was protected by an extremely powerful spell. He was also capable of effortlessly breaking out of Groot's vines and it took the combined efforts of Doctor Strange, Drax, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Mantis to keep him restrained, and even then, he still showed great resistance. Upon waking up, Thanos was quickly able to break out of the restraints and regain control of the Infinity Gauntlet. He also was still casually able to clench the Infinity Gauntlet when restrained by countless Eldritch Whips by Doctor Strange's replicas. Thanos is so strong that beings of lesser but still higher superhuman strength and resilience pose no threat or challenge to him, such as Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Gamora, as Thanos proves by effortlessly stopping Black Panther's full charge with a single-handed choke hold and knock him out with a punch, overpowering Spider-Man with one hand casually and being able to effortlessly break out of his web and use it to pull him to Thanos, effortlessly restraining Gamora with a single hand and later throwing her off a cliff in Vormir with little effort. He also could overpower Iron Man in his nanotech Mark L Armor with little effort, with his strength being more than sufficient to easily tear apart the armor with his bare hands, and he was able to effortlessly break Iron Man's sword in half and then stab him with it. Even when Captain America used all his strength, which was vastly augmented by his determination, he was only just barely able to hold back Thanos’ gauntlet hand and the Mad Titan proceeded to effortlessly knock the Super Soldier out with a single punch. Even beings of the highest levels of strength and resilience such as Hulk, Vision, and Thor do not pose much threat to Thanos, as Thanos effortlessly beat Hulk to a bloody pulp and Thor, with Thanos going as far as to threaten that he can easily crush Thor's head and kill him anytime he wants, and lifted Vision off the ground with one hand, who was powerless to break free, and quickly ripped the Mind Stone from Vision's extremely durable Vibranium forehead. Lacking the Infinity Gauntlet did not prevent the 2014 Thanos from being capable of overpowering Thor and Captain America in raw strength without much effort, as he was easily able to pummel Thor enough to cause him to severely bleed and bruised and steadily overwhelm him when he tried to use Stormbreaker to gut open his chest, with only Captain America's sudden mastery of Mjolnir preventing him from doing so and was firmly holding back Thor's attempts to stab him with Stormbreaker despite being electrocuted by the electricity surrounding the mighty axe and even with Mjolnir further enhancing Thor's strength and Captain America restraining him, he was still able to overpower their combined might eventually. He even broke Captain America's shield with mere brute strikes from his sword and could easily knock Mjolnir from Rogers's grasp with a single blow and lift and send him flying and before Captain America was able to use Mjolnir, Thanos rendered him near entirely powerless, easily badly incapacitating him with a single punch. Even Captain Marvel using all her cosmic power to augment her strength had to put it all to ensure Thanos could not close his fist and showed trouble overcoming him. The only time he was significantly injured was against the fully-empowered Thor wielding Stormbreaker, a weapon reputed to be the strongest of all of Asgard's weaponry, and this was while he was distracted, and even still, Thanos quickly regained control over the Infinity Gauntlet afterwards and was still strong enough to survive using it at the scale needed to wipe out half of the universe, although he did enter a catatonic state for a while due to performing such a feat while considerably injured. His strength also extends to his legs, as he was able to jump a tremendous distance to avoid Doctor Strange's rays with a single leap.
- Superhuman Speed, Agility, and Reflexes: Thanos, despite his size, possesses incredulously swift and incredibly superhuman levels of speed, agility, and reflexes, as he was able to easily 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. While Thor managed to land a blow on Thanos after Thanos had just beaten Hulk, Thanos easily kicked the God of Thunder away before he could attack again. 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 was even able to react to the extremely agile Spider-Man's attacks, eventually getting a grip on him and pinning Spider-Man down. He was also able to effortlessly pummel Iron Man in hand-to-hand combat within seconds and break his sword and stab him before he could react and casually catch Black Panther mid-charge with a single hand and could react to the extreme speed of the bullets fired by Winter Soldier and War Machine and Okoye's thrown spear to easily blast it away. The 2014 Thanos was able to easily keep pace with and even beat Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, with him being able to move faster than Iron Man's strongest armor could react while blocking his repulsors and casually toss aside Rogers as well as swiftly pummel and disarm Thor before he could react.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Thanos has displayed an extremely strong regenerative healing factor, capable of quickly recovering from even the most severe of wounds as long as his head is not cut off. Mere moments after being damaged by Iron Man slightly, he was completely healed upon arriving on Wakanda. Even when Thor dealt a severe wound to his chest with the devastatingly powerful Stormbreaker, by the time he was "admiring the sunset" at an unknown place, he had completely regenerated, although the wounds of using the Infinity Stones would take a long period of time to heal and he did not manage to heal it at all until he was killed.
- Superhuman Durability: Thanos has incalculably extraordinary, godly levels of supernatural resilience and durability, rendering him capable of easily handling the Infinity Stones with the Infinity Gauntlet without any strain or harm done to himself, even surviving the power of all six without harm, something that none who have attempted have ever survived. Thanos' durability makes him almost impossible to be visibly injured with regular gunshots doing absolutely no harm to him, as shown when he remained completely unfazed by shots from the Winter Soldier, with even firearms and melee weapons of among the highest caliber doing very little harm to him, with him only barely flinching after being shot by Star-Lord and slashed by Drax's knives and managing to parry Drax's knives and Doctor Strange's Eldritch Sword with his bare hands without suffering any damage. He is also able to effortlessly endure and shrug off attacks from beings of among the highest levels of superhuman strength as if it was nothing, as he was completely uninjured by punches from Spider-Man, which barely staggered him, remained completely uninjured by full-powered blows from Iron Man's Mark L armor, with even the sharp blades of the armor only inflicting a slight cut on Thanos' face, with him going as far as to mock Iron Man for only being able to draw a little drop of blood, and he was even barely fazed and completely uninjured by blows from Hulk or a fully-empowered Thor. Indeed, Thanos' durability is great enough that it took an attack from a fully-empowered Thor wielding Stormbreaker, a weapon so powerful that it was considered the most powerful in Asgard's history, to finally wound and harm him when the blade got lodged directly in his chest and even though Thor caused Thanos visible pain by twisting the ax deeper, Thanos retained 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. Even after being in a weakened state, Thanos was once again able to survive using the Infinity Gauntlet to destroy all the Stones, although it worsened his injuries. The 2014 Thanos was able to take blows from Captain America using Mjolnir, including lightning attacks, with no injuries despite being knocked around and staggered by them. In addition, he once again shrugged off Scarlet Witch's energy attacks despite her having grown even more powerful than last time and was even able to last long enough when Scarlet Witch used her full power to try to crush him for him to order his army to fire on her. After which, he was still able to take a beating from Captain Marvel without any significant damage.
- Superhuman Stamina: Thanos has displayed vast levels of superhuman stamina, as he proved capable of exerting himself at full capacity for tremendous periods of time even while pressured, as shown when he endured fighting repeatedly in Titan and Wakanda against the likes of the Avengers, Guardians, Black Panther, and Okoye without once showing any signs of fatigue and even after being severely injured by Thor stabbing and then twisting Stormbreaker into his chest as deep as he could, Thanos retained enough stamina to activate the Infinity Gauntlet at the scale needed to wipe out half of the universe and although he was exhausted enough to enter a catatonic state briefly, Thanos quickly recovered and was still able to warp away and only moments later had fully recovered from any exhaustion he underwent. The 2014 Thanos was able to engage in a prolonged battle for the Infinity Stones, overpowering the efforts of any hero he had faced, and in the end only being stopped by Iron Man causing his death with the Infinity Stones.
- Supernatural Powers: After equipping the Infinity Gauntlet into his left arm, combined with his already extraordinary physical constitution and raw power, Thanos gained the potential to safely harness the supernatural powers and dominion over all aspects of existence possessed by all six Infinity Stones should he add them to the Gauntlet, with the more stones Thanos inserts into the Gauntlet, the more power he gains. Upon acquiring all six stones, Thanos becomes nearly omnipotent and even gained the power to force living beings to just die without hesitation or resistance no matter if they were powerful or not. This was seen when even with a severe injury, he killed off half of life within the universe with just a snap of his fingers, making him the most powerful entity in the universe. It is notable that Thanos seems to completely master all the powers of the stones just after only shortly acquiring them, apparently showing he had full understanding and knowledge of the powers of the Infinity Stones, making him nearly invincible as he can easily and seamlessly switch between the powers of the stones and can even combine them.
- Energy Absorption and Warping: Combining the Power and Space Stones, Thanos is able to absorb energies he was exposed to and transform them into something else, as he could absorb the explosive energy of Iron Man's missiles, and redirect it at the Avenger as a single concentrated beam of fiery energy.
- Terrain Manipulation: Combining the Reality and Space Stones, Thanos can manipulate the terrain at a great enough scale to be able to pull the surface of Titan in order to force Doctor Strange closer to him.
- Space Manipulation: After inserting the Space Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires the stone's complete control over space. His mastery and understanding of its powers allows him to achieve a wide plethora of liberal but potent capabilities and is not limited to simply opening portals, although it remains the most useful ability that he acquired as he can now effortlessly travel to anywhere he desires without needing to use any other transportation, even able to achieve interdimensional travel without aid now, as he easily warped to Knowhere, Titan, and later Wakanda by casually opening a portal and he can also take others with him, as he warped not only himself but also the entire Black Order after having the Power Stone slowly blow away the Statesman and can also forcibly warp others along with him with ease, as he effortlessly took both him and Gamora despite her resistance to his ship and later Vormir, as well as being able to use the portals to influence other locations without directly being there, doing so to send the Power Stone's energies to the moon and then send the pieces through the portal, with his precise control over the portals even allowing him to remove an object attached to him if he so desires, as he removed Stormbreaker from his chest upon warping away from Wakanda. He could create compression forces strong enough to create singularities that sucks up anything within close proximity, as shown when he summoned a devastating vortex that gathered up all in it's path and sent it at Doctor Strange, which Strange could not block and was forced to transmute it into a multitude of blue butterflies to repel it, funnel the kinetic force of oncoming projectile attacks to make them harmless and then gather them and redirect them, as he harmlessly funnel the kinetic energy of Iron Man's projectiles before sending it back at the hero, create force fields that can easily disintegrate bullets, as he easily destroyed multiple shots from War Machine, and even has the sufficient skill to alter the space between molecules, allowing him to make others intangible and just as easily make them solid again, as he easily phased Hulkbuster through him and stone before making him solid again to trap him. Thanos was also able to skillfully use the Stone as a powerful form of telekinesis, warping the fabric of space around objects in order to manipulate and move them with a single gesture. He was able to instantly freeze Loki mid-stab with ease, effortlessly crush the guns on War Machine's armor, knock down Falcon, and produce force fields powerful enough to repel the energy of Scarlet Witch as a means of defense. His Space Stone induced telekinesis was so strong that he was able to telekinetically pull the shattered fragments of Titan's moon across space to rain down on the attacking Avengers during the Battle of Titan.
- Reality Manipulation: Upon acquiring the Reality Stone and inserting it into the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over reality, allowing him to warp the very fabric of reality itself to be whatever he desires, as he himself boasted to Gamora. He has shown to have a full understanding and mastery over the Reality Stone's powers, surpassing even Malekith, capable of using it to warp reality to such a degree as to create highly elaborate physical simulations and illusions of false realities over a wide range of influence, as evidenced when Thanos was able 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, which was so convincing that the illusionary self of Thanos can be physically interacted with, with Gamora being able to fight and even kill the false Thanos. He later conjured another illusion to Doctor Strange, showing the planet Titan in its peaceful prime, in a time before it became an uninhabited wasteland. He can make himself invisible using the Reality Stone, as he first spoke to Gamora unseen before revealing himself shortly after undoing the illusion. Thanos can also use the Reality Stone to warp and transmute matter and object into anything he desires, even being able to do this to living organisms, as he effortlessly incapacitated Guardians Drax and Mantis by temporarily warping their physical bodies, splitting Drax's body into pieces and turning Mantis into still-conscious strips of flesh. While he did this by sending a beam from the Reality Stone, he can also silently do this and without needing to fire a beam, as when Star-Lord reluctantly attempted to execute his teammate and lover, Gamora, to prevent her capture by Thanos, the Titan silently transmuted his Quad Blasters to harmlessly fire bubbles, before transforming the weapon itself into bubbles, and would later do the same to Gamora's dagger on Vormir to prevent her committing suicide. Thanos can use this very effectively in combat, as evidenced when he fought in Titan and Wakanda, transmuting a field of ship wreckage into a swarm of bats to attack Iron Man. He can also manipulate the earth with the stone, spawning a cage of stone pillars to trap Black Widow and pulling the surface of Titan itself to pull Doctor Strange into his hand. Upon completing the Infinity Gauntlet, thus reaching the highest level of power the Reality Stone can exert, he became able to warp reality to such an extent that he was even able to cause the bodies of others to turn to dust at a global scale, even while severely injured, causing the victims of his genocide to disintegrate to ashes, with just a snap of his fingers.
- Energy Manipulation: After inserting the Power Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over the destructive force of the universe, giving him vast energy-manipulating powers. Due to his strong understanding of the Power Stone's capabilities, Thanos was able to use it for more diverse and versatile capabilities, with the Stone becoming one of his most versatile and often-used in combat for its destructive potential. Thanos' control over the energy of the Power Stone can allow him to infuse it into the Gauntlet, with it being strong enough to shatter a gateway to the Mirror Dimension sent to him by Doctor Strange. With a single gesture from the Gauntlet, Thanos is able to manipulate and specifically unleash the Stone's power to charge objects with unstable energy, causing them to overload and violently detonate. Thanos makes common use of this ability due to its versatility and combat potential, as he is able to control the time and size of the detonation, whether instantly or slowly as Thanos used 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 used the Stone's energy and versatile destructive powers to devastating effect, violently and instantly detonating a ruined spaceship fragment that was dropped on him by Iron Man. He can even exert such powerful energy that it was even powerful enough to rip apart the surface of Titan's moon with its sheer power. Thanos can also unleash tremendously powerful blasts or waves of the Stone's explosive energy, applying powerful concussive force or outright destroying objects with its volatile power. A wild shockwave of energy was able to knock out Star-Lord, Drax and Nebula instantaneously, with all three individuals having great superhuman resilience, while a few concussive waves were enough to effortlessly repel attacks and blast away the majority of the opposing Avengers during the Battle of Wakanda. The Stone's energy could also be concentrated into direct beams of power with enough power to be capable of cleaving through structures with ease, forcing back a shielded Iron Man, and heavily damaging the Avenger's armor with a single point-blank blast. Thanos could also use the stone for more subtle applications, such as exerting the energy upon others to torture them. During the Attack on the Statesman, Thanos utilized the Stone to torture an injured Thor, pushing the Stone into his head and causing the Asgardian excruciating pain using its energy. Used together with the Space Stone, Thanos also brutally tortured Nebula with its power, by telekinetically pulling her mechanical components apart while exposing her to the energy of the Power Stone. With the Power Stone, Thanos can also negate and redirect oncoming energy attacks, as he easily prevented Black Panther from using his kinetic energy pulse and redirected it to the earth when he struck the latter to the ground.
- Time Manipulation: After inserting the Time Stone into his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over time. Quickly completely mastering the Time Stone's powers, while using it similarly to Doctor Strange's method, although he does not need Eldritch Magic and simply needs to clench the Gauntlet to activate the Time Manipulation Magic, causing the same symbol of the Eye of Agamotto to appear in the palm of his Gauntlet's hand and similarly conjuring said symbol as he uses it. His skill is shown to be far more refined than Doctor Strange's, as Thanos has the skill needed to rewind time with the level of finesse needed to truly recreate an object, even one as powerful as an Infinity Stone, while simultaneously resurrecting a being and keeping some from being affected by it, 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 also keeping the Avengers from being affected to prevent them from trying to stop him, whereas Doctor Strange could not truly recreate the stolen pages of the Book of Cagliostro with the Time Stone, although this may have been aided by the fact that the Time Stone was amplified by the Gauntlet already having 4 other Stones. At the height of the Time Stone's powers, with the Infinity Gauntlet having been completed, Thanos gains the ability to accelerate the time of living creatures at a global scale, even able to do this while badly wounded, with the victims of his genocide quickly aging and becoming decomposable brown corpses.
- Soul Manipulation: After inserting the Soul Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos acquires complete control over souls as well as life and death, giving him divine authority over souls and the right to decide who lives and who dies. With the Soul Stone, Thanos can detect and attack the souls of others, allowing him to identify the real one among mystical replicas of others and attack them, as evidenced when he was able to tell which one is the real Doctor Strange and disperse his duplicates with a single burst of energy, also pushing the sorcerer's astral form out of his body for a while. Upon completing the Infinity Gauntlet and greatly enhancing the Soul Stone's powers as a result, Thanos gained the ability to induce death by wiping the very souls of his targets at a global scale to the point that, even with a severe injury, he still was able to use the Soul Stone in conjunction with the other Stones to successfully wipe out half of the universe, erasing the victim's souls from existence. This catastrophic event even claimed the lives of most of the Avengers and all of the Guardians of the Galaxy, with the exception of Rocket Raccoon and Nebula. The Soul Stone also can conjure dreams for Thanos to recover from exhaustion and speak with someone he cherishes, as after wiping out half of all life in the Universe, the sheer energy required to achieve such a feat 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 fulfillment of his lifelong goal and admitting to her the great cost and sacrifices made to achieve it.
- Death Inducement: This ability is Thanos' most terrifying and yet the mightiest demonstration of his true power. After completing the Gauntlet, Thanos becomes able to use the powers of the Reality, Time, and Soul Stones at such a vast scale as to wipe out half of the universe with just the snap of his fingers, successfully achieving this even after being severely wounded by Thor using Stormbreaker. The victims of the universal genocide quickly aged before turning into a brown decomposing corpse, disintegrating them and erasing them from their physical existence.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Even in 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 exceptionally intelligent. Hence, due to Thanos' intellectual genius, he is among the most intelligent (if not the most intelligent) individuals in the universe. His intellect makes him incredibly lethal even without using his powers or fighting skills, as displayed by his ability to conquer many worlds. By simply using his manipulative and strategic skills, he indirectly causes the Battle of Xandar and Chitauri Invasion, both of which caused the formations of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers to fight their respective battles. All the while, Thanos remained effectively anonymous, so much so that even the extremely intelligent Iron Man was completely fooled into believing that Loki had no aid during his invasion, and with Doctor Strange initially not having Thanos on his 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 his intellect to play a very intricate game and has effectively used the Avengers as pawns without them even realizing it until Thor saw the vision. Thanos was even clever enough to be considerably superior to Loki himself, as he easily outsmarted him 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. Thanos is also highly perceptive, as he is not fooled at all by Loki and easily saw through Gamora's lies that she never found the Soul Stone.
- Master of Manipulation: Thanos is an exceptionally skillful and experienced master of manipulation, quite possibly the best manipulator in the universe, as without leaving his throne, with superb manipulations of powerful beings alone, Thanos was able to cause the Battle of Xandar and Chitauri Invasion, which were among the most devastating battles ever known. He even managed to manipulate someone as intelligent as Loki, who was famous for his manipulation skills, with ease by using his distaste for Thor and Odin. Thor has said that Thanos has been playing a very intricate game for years with such efficiency that he has effectively manipulated the Avengers as pawns for his plans.
- Master Tactician and Strategist: Thanos is an exceptionally accomplished strategist and tactician, with centuries of experience in using strategies, quite possibly the best master of tactical warfare currently in the universe. Thanos' mastery and experience in using strategy and tactics 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 great trouble all the while remaining anonymous. Thanos is even a far more skilled 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 and successfully finished him off. Thanos' strategical aptitude 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.
- Master Leader: Thanos is an extremely skilled leader, with a large amount of charisma despite his intimidating persona, inspiring absolute loyalty to the violent and powerful armies of Chitauri and Outriders and members of the Black Order. He is known for having easily decimated dozens of species with his powerful army, killing the Zenohebrei and Luphomoid species.
- Polymath: Thanos is also shown to be quite learned and accomplished in many subjects, such as math and science, with him thus being able to accurately predict that his people and planet was about to be devastated due to overpopulation, which he claims to be a simple calculus to him.
- Master Martial Artist: Thanos wielded supreme fighting prowess and millennia worth of fighting experience, easily the deadliest fighter in the universe. His style is shown to be fluid, as he first defends against his enemy before unleashing a devastating barrage of attacks. He was able to easily fight off and quickly force back both Doctor Strange using a sword made of Eldritch Magic, and Drax with his knives while his right eye was blinded by a web cotton, easily fight off and swiftly pummel Spider-Man with only one hand while his other hand was restricted by the Cloak of Levitation) and easily defeat and grievously wound Iron Man (despite Iron Man's nanotech Mark L armor and sword, which he easily disarmed and used to land the severe wound), with only Doctor Strange's intervention saving Iron Man from death. Additionally, Thanos easily countered Black Panther's charge by choking him with a single hand and then pummeled him to the ground with a single punch, as well as effortlessly defeated and knocked out Captain America with a single blow. Most impressively, Thanos was even able to defeat and beat Hulk (the former undefeatable champion of the Grandmaster's Contest of Champions) to a bloody pulp with ease with well-coordinated attacks, something Iron Man could only do after a long battle and a moment of distraction, as well as defeat a fully-empowered Thor without much effort. It was only with a sneak attack that Thor, armed with Stormbreaker, was able to land a severe wound on Thanos, but even then the Mad Titan was able to quickly recover. The 2014 Thanos was able to easily repeatedly knock around Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man while also using his sword, with him not only easily downing Rogers and Stark unarmed but even overpowering Thor upon being disarmed of his sword when he was armed with Stormbreaker and soundly pummeling him. He was also able to surpass and ultimately defeat Captain Marvel and could overpower both Thor using both Mjolnir and his axe and Rogers ultimately.
- Master Swordsman: Thanos was an extremely skilled swordsman, using a double-edged sword as his main weapon, with which he was able to easily fight off the combined assault of Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, including the latter's lasers, even when powered by Thor's lightning, before being disarmed by Thor and near-entirely pressure Captain America into the defensive and soon gain the upper hand and break his shield. He was also able to use it skillfully to deflect energy projections from Scarlet Witch and nearly managed to defeat her, pushing the sword dangerously close to her neck, forcing her to use her powers to disarm him. He can throw it with dangerous accuracy, even able to achieve a boomerang-like effect, as he accurately threw it at Thor and it quickly returned to him after he missed, hit the superhumanly fast Black Panther in mid-air and even outpaced Captain Marvel to Luis's Van.
- Torturer: Thanos is shown to be highly accomplished in many fields of torture, with his skills in torture being quite famous, as the Other implied Thanos can cause so much suffering to Loki that he would beg for pain itself. His mastery of torturing techniques allows him to inflict the maximum amount of damage without killing the subject, as 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 cybernetic implants, but he was casually able to avoid truly ripping the necessary implants apart in order to cause her severe pain without killing her. The torture was effective enough that Gamora fairly quickly gave in and told Thanos the location of the Soul Stone to spare Nebula from further torture.
Minions of Thanos
|Victims killed by Thanos|
- Thanos was originally much less of an openly malevolent villain than his comic counterpart but as of Endgame he began to display a personality much more akin to that of the comic book Thanos, including sadism and a desire to end the universe entirely after seeing that his ideal method to fix the universe would be rejected no matter how hard he tried - thus abandoning his previous ideals of "fairness" in regards to how he killed.
- According to producer Kevin Feige, Infinity War would explore Thanos' plans and motives, even saying "you could go as far as to say he's the main character".
- In the comics, Thanos was the master of the Infinity Gauntlet, which he used in the eponymous series in an attempt to court Death. He has no relationships with Loki nor the Chitauri, but he is nevertheless one of the Avengers' most historical foes. When he took a break from being a conqueror, Thanos was entrusted with the Reality Gem of the Infinity Gems.
- In the Amalgam Comics imprint, Loki's counterpart, L'ok D'saad served Thanos' counterpart, Thanoseid.
- The name "Thanos" is based on the name of the mythological Greek figure Thanatos, meaning "death", a reference to his obsession with Death.
- Thanos is clearly the Bigger Bad of the Avengers film series, as he is the one responsible for providing Loki with the Mind Stone and an army to invade Earth in the first film, and that the Mind Stone is what gave Ultron free will to rebel against the Avengers in the second film.
- Thanos is the only villain who has interacted with every major hero in the franchise; as he was responsible for the events depicted in The Avengers (which featured all the major heroes of Phase One) and is the mastermind behind Guardians of the Galaxy before going on to proceed in meeting them all in Infinity War.
- In Thor, which was released a year before The Avengers, the Infinity Gauntlet makes a cameo in Odin's vault. This one was for the right hand, but the one seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron was for the left hand. Producer Kevin Feige confirmed after the movie's release that there were two, and the one Thanos has is not the one from Thor.
- However, in Thor: Ragnarok, the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin's Vault was retconned to be a fake replica by Hela, Odin's firstborn daughter when she was walking through the vault, meaning that there truly is only one Infinity Gauntlet.
- The involvement of Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy was largely influenced by The Avengers director Joss Whedon; the early script by Nicole Perlman had Thanos appear as the Guardians' primary foe, but Whedon was convinced that he should be downsized. In addition, Whedon says that it was his idea to include him in The Avengers, but found him the most difficult character to write, ironically. He also helped Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn cast Josh Brolin as the character.
- Josh Brolin based his portrayal of Thanos on the performance of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.
- Thanos is one of the five villains of the MCU to actually succeed in his plans, as he finally collected all of the Infinity Stones and wiped out half of the universe's populace. The other ones are Loki (who took control of Asgard in Thor: The Dark World), Helmut Zemo (who has managed to split the Avengers apart in revenge for his family's demise in Captain America: Civil War), Surtur (who has managed to destroy Asgard), and Ghost (who has managed to obtain quantum energy to cure herself from a fatal disease in Ant-Man and the Wasp).
- Thanos appeared in a drawing by Thor in the non-canon web series Team Thor, which serves as a cross-promotion for Thor: Ragnarok, on a wall of pictures and information in an attempt to deduce who "the man in the purple chair" is, noting that he's "big", he's purple, and "he doesn't like standing up".
- At 29 minutes, Thanos has the most amount of screen time of any character in Avengers: Infinity War, beating Gamora (19 minutes), Iron Man (18 minutes), and Thor (14 minutes).
- In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos massacres half of the Zenhoberi race and states they are now filled with "children that see clear skies with full bellies". However, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora's rap sheet states she is the last remaining member of her people. When the Russo brothers were asked about this during a Q&A, they only asked in return whether you believe Gamora or Thanos, implying one of them is not telling the truth.
- Though it is possible that the rest of the Zenhoberi died after Thanos visited the planet.
- In 2019, to celebrate the release of Avengers: Endgame, Google implemented an Easter egg where, if Thanos was searched, users could click on an icon of the Infinity Gauntlet and make half of the search results vanish into dust. Clicking the Gauntlet again resulted in it using the Time Stone to bring all of the lost results back.
- Various promotional and conceptual artwork, as well as merchandises, depict Thanos with his original Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame, despite not actually wearing it in said movie as it was damaged and left on Titan II.
- He does wear the Iron Gauntlet that was crafted by Iron Man, however, albeit for a short amount of time.
- Marvel Studios did a cross-promotion with the video game Fortnite, resulting in Thanos appearing as a playable character in the game. In Avengers: Endgame, Thor, Korg, and Miek play Fortnite.
- Thanos being beheaded by Thor is a reference to the recent death of Thanos in comics when Gamora beheaded Thanos in Infinity Wars Prime #1.
- Thanos being Iron Man's personal archenemy in the MCU lies on Thanos' original appearance as an Iron Man villain back in 1973.