There were many surprises in Avengers: Infinity War, most of them deeply depressing. But one of the more unexpected was the way in which the Russo Brothers turned Thanos from the two dimensional purple baddie he’d been in the MCU to that point into a genuinely complex and interesting character. Their stated aim for the movie was to make him the centre of it; even though he’s the villain he goes on a warped version of the hero’s journey. Plus, his Malthusian philosophy kinda makes sense if you skate over the murdering billions of innocent people part.
The ways in which he’s not a traditional movie villain were outlined by users on Reddit recently, who began listing moments when he surprised them. First and foremost is that he never delivers a moustache-twirling monologue or launches into a violent rage during the film. In fact, he displays a remarkable amount of self control throughout, never raising his voice and treating his plan like a burden he has to bear rather than a way to achieve self-glorification.
One particular moment was called out as evidence that he’s actually a considerate space tyrant, too. If you recall, in one scene, Gamora mentions that she hates his throne, so he respects her wishes and sits on the step to chat with her, demonstrating a genuine love and kindness for his adoptive daughter. Admittedly, that’s just before he throws her off a cliff to get the Soul Stone, but he feels really, really bad about having to do that.
Users also point out the moment late in Avengers: Infinity War where Thanos tells Scarlet Witch that he understands her pain at losing Vision, only for her to angrily respond that he could never understand. The Mad Titan seems a little hurt that people consider him merely a monster without feelings or remorse. Then again, if you don’t want to be considered a remorseless monster, maybe lay off the planet conquering, mass killings and wiping out half the sentient life in the universe? Plus, he killed Spider-Man, and there are some lines you just don’t cross.