“Thanos will return,” reads the teaser at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but what’s less clear is what sort of state he’ll be in when he next graces our screens. Having completed his mission of exterminating half of all life in the universe, the ending to the recent ensemble action flick left the Mad Titan with nothing to do but rest, and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe. But what if things aren’t going quite as swimmingly for intergalactic conqueror as you might think?
In a new video from YouTube channel Webhead, Ryan Walsh tackles the various theories regarding the notion that in the wake of the genocidal snap, Thanos is in some way either dead or dying. This is an idea that has taken various forms in recent month, but many relate it to the mysterious sequence that comes immediately after that universe-altering event.
To the despot’s visible surprise, he suddenly finds himself in a strange new realm where he has a quick exchange with the younger version of his adopted daughter Gamora. While the film itself doesn’t spell out where this place is, co-director Joe Russo has seemingly confirmed that both Thanos and Gamora are inside the Soul Stone at this point. It is for this reason that some fans have speculated that the villain is at least temporarily dead, serving as the first victim of his purging of the universe.
Walsh, however, isn’t really buying this theory, arguing that the Soul Stone sequence is meant purely as an emotional moment that further confirms Thanos’ love for Gamora. What’s more, the video makes the case that the conqueror was never truly at risk of being a casualty of his own snap, pointing out how Thanos previously speaks of the event’s aftermath with the assumption that he’s going to live. On top of that, while the fair and balanced philosophy of the tyrant might suggest that he wouldn’t exclude himself from the effects of the snap, Walsh reasons that Thanos views himself as a god-like being above all other life, and thus not subject to his own rules for the universe.
All that being said, the video also suggests that the events of Avengers: Infinity War may not have left Thanos in the best physical shape. Joe Russo has already implied that the damage done to both his arm and his gauntlet at the end of the film could be lasting. Furthermore, Walsh observes how the character is limping in the final scene, and how early promo art for Avengers 4 frequently features Thanos in his armor, meaning that he may be more at risk of harm. Indeed, from the sounds of things, we could well be seeing a more vulnerable version of the Mad Titan when the highly anticipated sequel comes out on May 3rd, 2019.