Avengers: Infinity War goes to a lot of different places with a variety of superpowered people, yet if there’s one character who remains at the heart of this story, it would undoubtedly be the villain of the tale, Thanos. And since Guardians of the Galaxy star Gamora is just about the only character in the MCU that the Mad Titan has any affection for, it only follows that their twisted relationship sits at the emotional core of the film.
The movie brings us the sad conclusion to Thanos and Gamora’s long-running saga when the tyrant throws his adopted daughter off a cliff in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. But what’s more, Infinity War goes back in time to show us their first meeting, in which the purple despot takes the young orphan under his wing after conquering her planet.
As co-writer Stephen McFeely says in the commentary track for the film’s home video release, the two of them have “an abusive relationship,” and it certainly starts that way, with McFeely and co-writer Christopher Markus finding unnerving significance in this genocidal flashback sequence.
“How does a man like Thanos go about adopting anyone? Does he go to an agency? Does he have to fill out a form? No, he kills half of everybody else on the planet and then you’re his,” Markus says.
“We’ve always had this scene from the very first draft. It changed slightly, but it was always, ‘He destroys her world, and he takes her as an orphan,’” added McFeely.
Markus goes on to explain why Thanos chose to adopt this spirited little girl and the psychological sway he quickly develops over her.
“There’s something he sees in her and there is something she sees in him,” Markus said. “He is a protector. Even if he created the danger, he is providing a way forward for her that does speak to her inherent nature.”
Indeed, even throughout the grim events of their latest movie, it’s implied that some part of Gamora still cares for her former guardian, and it’s precisely because Thanos still loves her that he feels driven to kill her. All in all, it’s a pretty messed up situation then, but if you wish to pay witness once more to how the pair’s complex relationship begins and ends, Avengers: Infinity War is out now on Digital HD, and coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD on August 14th.