There’s little doubt that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is chock-full of violent, ruthless megalomaniacs. It just so happens though that Thanos fared more successfully in this role than any other villain we’ve seen before, with Avengers: Infinity War concluding with the Mad Titan acquiring all six Infinity Stones and completing his mission to eradicate half the universe’s population.
Accomplishing this genocidal feat, however, was not without its emotional cost for the despot, who faced the challenge of having to sacrifice someone he loved to attain the Soul Stone. Lucky for him, possibly the only living being he had much affection for was right there with him on the planet of Vormir when he was informed of this price, and so with tears in his eyes, the intergalactic conqueror reluctantly throws his adoptive daughter Gamora to her death.
The dark irony of this sequence is that Thanos essentially proves his love for the Guardians of the Galaxy star by murdering her. After all, it’s an underlying assumption that seekers of the Soul Stone would be unable to bluff their way through this trial by killing someone that they only claimed to have feelings for. And if you need further evidence of the Mad Titan’s sincerity, we now have a new theory which suggests that Gamora wasn’t the first sacrifice made in order to gain the stone; she was just the first to be genuinely loved.
In an image posted to Reddit (above), we see the lifeless body of Gamora lying at the foot of the cliff from whence she was thrown. What’s more, circled in the top-right of the still are what appear to be patches of blood, presumably from previous sacrifices. If this is indeed the case, then this implies that this site has been visited by other power-hungry figures looking for the Soul Stone, yet none were able to meet the demands for obtaining it, either because they were only willing to sacrifice those they didn’t love, or because they truly loved no one.
As the menacing center of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos’ twisted feelings for Gamora add a sinister layer to the drama, while making the concluding genocide a bittersweet achievement even for the brutal tyrant who orchestrated it. Now that the character has nothing left to accomplish and no one left to love, it could be interesting to see where Thanos goes from here when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.