There’s a memorable exchange in Avengers: Infinity War when Thanos and Iron Man have their big confrontation. The Mad Titan reveals that he’s familiar with Tony Stark and appears to respect the armored Avenger as an equal, albeit one he has no problem with killing for getting in his way. It’s a smart scene that plays up the similarities between the characters, but it does raise one question: how does Thanos know about Iron Man?
A few answers have been put forth already, but an alternate version of the sequence may hint at another. In the below compendium of Infinity War‘s bloopers and deleted scenes, there’s a behind the scenes look at a slightly different conversation between Thanos and Tony. When Stark asks the villain how he knows who he is, the Mad Titan replies: “I know your soul. It is much like mine – cursed with knowledge.”
See for yourself in the video below at the 1:54 mark.
In the context of Thanos, the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the choice of the word “soul” was meant to evoke the Soul Stone. As such, could the Soul Stone have given the villain the ability to peer into Tony’s soul, which is why he appears to know and understand him so intimately without having met him before?
It’s certainly a possibility, as it’s worth remembering that Red Skull seemed to have a similar experience when he first encountered Thanos and Gamora on Vormir, immediately knowing their parents. He explained to them that it’s his “curse to know all who come here.” Seeing as he’s the guardian of the Soul Stone at this point, it stands to reason that this ability comes from the gem and could have been passed on to Thanos when he takes the Stone.
Then again, this hint only comes from a deleted scene from Avengers: Infinity War, so perhaps it shouldn’t be counted at all as it’s based on a non-canon source. Either way, let’s just hope Avengers 4 provides some more concrete answers.