So, most people have noticed a flaw in Thanos’ plan.
When you have unlimited power to alter time, space, and the literal fabric of the universe, why is your endgame goal to destroy half of it? You literally have the power to double everything. Not enough food? Double it. Not enough shelter? Double it. Not enough space? Double it! Or infinity-ise it. They are the infinity stones after all. It’s right in the name.
Comics Thanos didn’t have this problem. Comics Thanos was doing it because he wanted to get laid. Ok, I know it’s more complicated than that – he was absolutely infatuated with someone who really couldn’t care less about him and wanted to be worthy of their love. I don’t like that trope in any of it’s forms. It’s annoying, and it can be boiled down to “he wanted someone, they didn’t want him back. So he did a stupid.”
Despite how much I hate the reasoning, it was, at least, without gaping holes. People do ridiculous things when they’re sure they’re in love, after all. Men especially are kind of famous for doing stupid things to impress women, even when the woman has made it clear that nothing they could possibly do will make them want to get with that man. Check out any current discussion on incels (that’s not written by incels) to get the gist of it. I’m not saying the writers changed it because of the incel stuff, especially since the incel discussions started rising after they’d wrapped on filming, but I am going to say it’s probably better that they didn’t drag Death into the MCU given all that’s going on. It’s just a bit of good luck on their part.
I’d wager that the more likely reason they didn’t go with the ‘Thanos madly in love with Death plot’ is just because it’s too messy for the MCU. The MCU has an advantage over other movie franchises in that theres so many different characters that it could keep pumping out movies til it’s long surpassed James Bond, but it also has the disadvantage that it does have to keep these stories contained to 3 hour bites (give or take on the time). They have to be able to both at least somewhat stand alone, or maybe work as a two-parter, and work together as a growing ensemble. That’s not easy on the big screen. That’s not even easy on the small screen. And Death, well, she’d make things messy in that regard.
These are things that could definitely change in the future, of course, but I’m really glad they aren’t going there right now. I like the current level of stuff going on. It’s a lot, but not too much to function.
So, instead of infatuated to the point of committing genocide to impress a lady Thanos, we get ‘I’m your REAL Jesus’ Thanos. And I like this Thanos. I think he’s a stronger character for it. I also don’t think that the complaint everyone’s had is necessarily a plot hole. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to be. Whether or not the writer’s thought of it, well, that’s why this is a fan theory.
See, while I know making everything infinite is a possibility, I never questioned Thanos’s logic and follow-through within the movie and I never expected him to diverge from his plan.
That plan, in short, is to wipe out half of life in the galaxy as the ultimate way to stop overpopulation. Well, half of certain kinds of life, it seems? Since wiping out half of all plant and food-source life would kind of defeat the purpose, unless it was just a space issue. Plus there’s the matter of the populations he already destroyed parts of. Given that Drax was dusted, it seems that he included them in that group. Or maybe he just specifically chose Drax even though it was supposed to be random. It does seem like he specifically spared Tony after all – so maybe Drax was the trade? Since Dr. Strange could’ve been randomly spared or dusted since he was part of Earth’s population. But I digress. (Though can I digress for just one more second – what if he accidentally dusted someone who was transporting a bomb that is now going to crash and blow up a much larger portion of the population than intended? Does he even care? There’s so many more questions that warrant more discussion than ‘why didn’t Thanos just infinity everything?’)
We know that Thanos has been doing his ’round them up and kill half’ shtick for at least since before Gamora was a toddler, and long enough before he adopted her to raise an army that adhered to his cause. So, at least two decades. It’s clear he’s been doing it for longer but for actual countable years, at least 20. We know he’s only started gathering Infinity Stones within the last one to two, after he got that gauntlet of his, which he got because Loki slacked at his job. Well, the job he stole from his adopted daddy, but it was still his job while he was there and he slacked on it. Technically we don’t know when exactly Thanos took the Power Stone, but it was definitely after Guardians of the Galaxy, and most likely after Volume 2 since there’s no mention of Xandar being half-slaughtered in that movie (and, given what he did to the Asgardians, he definitely didn’t stop with his full time job just because he had a side hustle now). So, basically, there was a rather large span of time between his decision to be his version of a savior and his chasing down of the stones.
There was an even longer span of time when you also factor that he’d come up with this solution while Titan was still…alright. It was green, it’s wheels-of-tech-stuff were still in the sky. They were trying to find solutions because their planet was too over-populated to feed and care for everyone, and that was when Thanos came up with his brilliant plan. To halve the population of his own planet. His own people.
They didn’t listen, and they were destroyed. Everything he knew, everything he cared about. All rubble now, all dead.
So he set off around the galaxy to enact his plan by force, and, as far as he seems to be aware (as far as we know), his plan has been working. He tells Gamora that her people are happy now, and that no babies are starving to death. From where he stands, his plan has worked. And, when people didn’t listen to him, they perished. So his plan is necessary.
Yes, when a sane person takes a moment to think ‘how can we solve the overpopulation problem,’ we can come u p with a number of solutions that don’t involve mass murder, especially when given the powers to make adjustments to the very fabric of the universe. There’s also the possibility of addressing these civilizations before they reach that point. Though, there’s also the chance that he also tried that, depending on how long he’s been doing this. I mean, just take a look at humanity. We’re literally destroying our planet at every turn, and all our best minds are telling us to knock it off, and yet we refuse. America right now has a president that wants to undo any and all progress that’s been made towards taking better care of the planet. Whether you believe in Climate Change or not, ruining your soil isn’t going to be good for growing food and it’s hard to raise healthy kids when your water supplies are filled with lead.
Thanos is determined not to let other races meet the fate of his own. He has decided that he’s the hero everyone in his galaxy needs, even if they don’t deserve him (or even remotely want him). And Thanos has proof, in his own eyes, that what he’s doing will fix all overpopulation problems. After all, you can’t exactly ignore half of your population being murdered by a giant purple alien and his army, and that alien calling himself a savior? Oh that has to be fun, dealing with the religious zealots afterwards.
You know that saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?
Thanos’ system has been working for him. Why should he try something different? Something untested, something that could result in all these planets turning out like his own planet at some point? Or maybe even cause something worse to happen.
This isn’t a defense of Thanos. Thanos is a dick. Thanos needs to go down and I can’t wait to see everyone end him. You do not get to kill the best Disney Prince (maybe…most likely…ok, I mean c’mon guys this isn’t the first time someone has physically ‘killed’ Loki and Thor’s only mostly sure he’s actually dead this time) and dust the most adorable Spiderman we’ve ever had.
I’m just analyzing Thanos as a thinking, feeling. fallible being. He has a trackrecord of reasons to stick to his plan, and absolutely no proof that something new will work. His lack of considering alternatives isn’t a plot hole – it’s a character trait. It’s who Thanos is. He’s decided that he’s a savior, and he knows what’s best.