Thanos is a fixture of Marvel, both within the comics and in the stories of their cinematic universe. Over the course of nearly 50 years, Thanos has been built as not only one of the most terrifying and destructive Marvel villains, but one of the more intriguing and thought-provoking bad guys as well.
After his popularity skyrocketed over the past couple of years with his prominence in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, most were probably left with a multitude of questions regarding Marvel’s quintessential supervillain. Taking into consideration both his comic book and film incarnations, here are 10 of the most confusing things about the Mad Titan, explained.
10 Deploying Incompetent Armies
For one of the universe’s most powerful beings, obsessed with collecting the universe’s greatest treasure, Thanos sends some wildly incompetent lifeforms to do his bidding. From the Chitauri to the Outriders, it seems as though he’s more than comfortable sending mindless armies at the opposition in hope that they’ll wipe out enough to make things easy for him.
Although he could wipe out a majority of his enemies fairly easily, he would rather sacrifice countless of those in these armies just to clear a path for him to get right to what he’s after.
9 Entrusting Loki With the Mind Stone
In every version of the character, his main mission is to collect and put to use the Infinity Stones, or Infinity Gems if you’re looking at the comics. However, as seen in the first Avengers film, he was willing to deal out the only stone he possessed to Loki in order to get the Tesseract.
An even bigger question might be how Thanos acquired the Mind Stone in the first place. Clearly, he must’ve thought that it was worth it in order to collect another stone, but obviously, that’s not how things went down. It’s crazy to think that he would ever consciously give one away, especially to someone like Loki.
8 Road to Villainy
One thing that has always left Marvel fans puzzled is Thanos’ journey to being the biggest villain in the universe. He was born into a peaceful family, his own brother even serving with the Avengers at one point.
The simple explanation for why Thanos turned to the Mad Titan is that he possessed the DNA of the Deviants and Eternals, which made him a powerful and dangerous being. His fixation with death grew and once the personified version of death, Mistress Death, was introduced, the purpose of his existence was basically set in stone and his psychotic ways became more and more apparent.
7 Chilling Calmness
Another strange aspect of the Mad Titan is the calmness he usually carries. For being described as mad and psychotic, he approaches most things in an eerily level-headed manner, always able to calmly explain his intentions. Considering what those intentions are, it makes that calmness, accompanied by that signature grin, even more disturbing.
6 Hesitation With the Infinity Stones
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, many were left wondering whether or not Thanos could’ve handled some of his battles with more ease. During Guardians of the Galaxy, the Collector gave a detailed breakdown of the Infinity Stones and how, at one point, they were used to destroy entire civilizations.
When he acquired the Power Stone from Xandar, he should’ve been able to crush anyone in his path. That may have happened for the most part, but he was still bested on more than one occasion despite ultimately coming out victorious. Either Thanos didn’t know the extent of power that each stone had or chose not to exercise them.
5 Trust in His Children
Despite carrying out a vision of his own, Thanos entrusts a good deal of the work to his “children.” Instead of doing things his way, and by himself, he trusts the Black Order to retrieve the stones for him. It seems odd for someone so concerned with executing their own plan, but it can simply be explained by how loyal his children are to him. Although his relationship with Gamora and Nebula was beyond complicated, the loyalty of the rest of the children of Thanos allowed him to outsource most of the work in collecting the Infinity Stones.
4 Love for Gamora
Out of every aspect of Thanos that doesn’t really make sense, his love for Gamora is probably the most confusing. Although he raised her from a child to “the fiercest woman in the galaxy,” Gamora clearly always held contempt for Thanos for what he did to her planet.
As nonsensical as his love for her is, it was clearly real and showed a small sense of compassion in him. While the rest of his “children” were clearly used as a means to get what he wanted, Gamora was someone he actually cared about. Why she was the only one of his children that warranted love is still unclear to this day, but it at least helps shed some light on a different side of the Mad Titan.
3 True Intentions & Desires
A constantly confusing element of Thanos has always been his true intentions and desires. While it’s clear that he truly treasures the Infinity Stones and the idea of a balanced universe, his plan was always to simply settle down after the work was done.
In the comics, at least, it was evident that Thanos killing off half the universe was a ploy to earn the attention of Mistress Death. With that storyline absent in the films, Thanos just intended to snap away half the universe so he could finally, peacefully “watch the sunrise on a grateful universe.” It just seems as though a being with his drive to commit an act so deadly would desire something more in the end.
2 Disinterest for Ruling
In all of Thanos’ delusions, none involve him ruling in the end. As much as he wants the universe to fit his design, he has never had a plan to rule over that universe. It’s honestly bizarre that Thanos has never wanted to specifically control those he defeats, but it almost, in a weird way, explains just how sadistic and insane he really is. It also scarily demonstrates that all of his actions were done with the idea of what he considered to be universal betterment in mind, and not just the selfish desire to be on top.
1 A Flawed Plan
Thanos’ plan to wipe out half the universe in order to balance and preserve life has always been flawed. While he considers resources to be finite and that the overpopulated universe will eventually wipe those resources out, he never seems to consider the other solutions to that problem.
With the power of the Infinity Stones, Thanos could easily have just increased the number of resources throughout the universe instead of wiping out half the population of living beings. The only real explanation for why Thanos never considered this method of saving the universe is his natural desire for death and need to be proven right.
Thanos may have been the MCU's biggest villain but there's a surprising amount that remains unclear about him, which we try to clear up.