While Avengers: Infinity War offers only fleeting glimpses of what Titan used to look like when there was still a fully-functioning society based there, it’s pretty apparent that the days of blues skies and greenery are well and truly over, with only a barren wasteland now to be found on Thanos’ home world. But what exactly happened?
Well, if the Avengers’ latest foe is to be believed, destruction came as a result of overpopulation on the planet, with the region’s inhabitants failing to heed the Mad Titan’s warning that genocide was necessary to ensure a sustainable ratio of people to resources. Then again, this same movie makes it abundantly clear that Thanos is kind of a bad fellow, and if a character evidently doesn’t see the immorality in eradicating half the universe’s population, then surely it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to suggest that he might not be above telling a few lies, either.
Sure enough, a new theory on Reddit accuses the purple tyrant of just that, while offering an alternative account of how Titan came to ruin. In short: Thanos did it. User Comiccow6 starts off by setting the scene and contemplating a couple of mysteries spawned by the planet’s desolate state.
“In Infinity War, Titan has been knocked off course, and [its] gravity changed significantly. Also, the world is mostly barren desert decorated by crumbling buildings. It’s never explained how either of these phenomena happened to a lucious world that apparently died from a lack of resources.”
The Redditor then draws inspiration from the comics to argue that it wasn’t just overpopulation that caused the fall of Titan.
“The answer is that Titan died a much different death. In the comics, Thanos was exiled from his home planet, and returned to destroy in in a nuclear bombardment. While the comics may not be the best resource when talking about MCU Thanos, I think they have this event in common.
Thanos was exiled from Titan for suggesting his 50/50 genocide. He later returned with an army in tow, and nuked Titan with enough force to decimate the world and knock it out of orbit. They didn’t accept his help, so why should he save them?”
While Infinity War co-director Anthony Russo himself has characterized Thanos as an unusually principled villain, Comiccow6 backs up their theory by picking out examples of hypocrisy in the despot’s behavior, concluding that his twisted sense of self-righteousness is a form of self-delusion for a dude who’s really just plain evil.
“We already know that Thanos ignores his rule of “balance” when it suits him. He slaughtered every dwarf but Eitri after the Infinity Gauntlet was forged. If he did that just out of practicality, imagine what he would do to a population that spurned his philosophy and exiled him for it. Thanos is an emotional guy, and he doesn’t take betrayal lightly.”
Finally, the Redditor says:
“When explaining his past to Dr. Strange, Thanos lies not just to get Strange to give him the Time Stone, but to justify his own atrocities. He does the same thing to Gamora, who has been established as the last of her species. Thanos’ method of peace does not work, and Thanos knows this. However, if he accepts that fact, he has to accept that he butchered his people and countless others not out of kindness, but out of enjoyment.”
While the circumstantial evidence of this post certainly leaves room for doubt, this could well make for an intriguing direction to take the character in that really brings out the madness of the Mad Titan while hitting home the insidious nature of his uncompromising vision. Indeed, though Avengers: Infinity War did an admirable job of making this genocidal conqueror seem strangely sympathetic, Comiccow6 has managed to make a compelling case for one path that next year’s Avengers 4 could take if the Russo Brothers wanted us to really hate this guy by the time the final fight kicks off.