Thanos proved why we were right to fear him from the start. He established why he is called the Mad Titan. We came to know that he is the greatest villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, period! He literally fought almost everyone!
Throughout the film, only Rocket was the one who did not face him at all (Good for him!). But what’s amazing is that even though Thanos slaughtered half the population, he didn’t make unnecessary kills when it came to The Avengers.
Thanos left a trail of dead starting from Heimdall and Loki. He killed those two Asgardians as they played smart against him and Thanos could not let that pass. After that, his kill count was dramatically slowed down.
He did beat the crap out of everyone, but he only sacrificed his daughter for the Soul Stone and murdered Vision for the Mind Stone. An important point to notice there was that as he started to get the Infinity Stones, he didn’t really feel the need to kill because his ultimate goal might have achieved that for him.
The Avengers came very close to taking him down, particularly at two major instances. That angered the Titan, but still, he left the Avengers beaten down in despair after he got what he wanted, which was the Infinity Stone at every instance.
But with all that power, you would certainly question that why would Thanos leave the Avengers alive when he certainly had the chance to kill all of them. The survival of heroes could certainly mean that they may muster the strength to beat you in the future.
But he was the man of his word when Strange bartered Tony’s life for the Time Stone and he even left Thor alive after he snapped Loki. He wasn’t the psychopathic villain that we all thought he might be.
But the real reason to not kill the Avengers both on Titan and in Wakanda has been revealed as Marvel Studios’ Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding spoke about Thanos’ mindset in the various battles that he was in. He gave us the reason to why exactly Thanos left the Avengers alive even after having the power of the Infinity Stones:
“The plan of getting all the Infinity Stones is putting [Thanos] in the position of being so powerful that he is sort of calmer, more single-minded, and more reasonable. He is not necessarily worried about killing the heroes. As long as he ends up with the stones, he can accomplish what he wants to.”
Obviously, why would Thanos feel the need to kill the puny insects like Black Widow charging at him with a stick and a plan to head scissor him when he actually has the Infinity Stones. He’s got more important things to do, like bringing balance to the Universe!
But still, if he would have slaughtered every last one of those heroes then they would not have been able to re-assemble for Avengers 4, but then we would not have a reason to be hyped for.
Kevin Feige talked about the importance of Thanos and the major challenge to build his story arc through multiple films. He said:
“Thanos has been lurking in the shadows with a desire to obtain these Infinity Stones, which has played a big part in our other films. We’ve introduced the Tesseract, revealed to be the Space Stone; the Mind Stone, which came out of Loki’s scepter and then went into Vision’s forehead; and the Time Stone: the Eye of Agamotto that Doctor Strange wears is an Infinity Stone itself! And of course the Guardians dealt with the Power Stone.”
“So these storytelling devices that we’ve seeded into every film will continue to play a part and come together. We’ve been teasing this for six years. That’s a long time to tease something cinematically before paying it off. Thanos has to be the greatest villain in our movies.”
Thanos in all terms is certainly amongst the best movie villains in all genres. He may be omnipotent, but at the same time, he is more empathic and human with a motivation that is extremely relatable. We need more bad guys like him and Killmonger in Hollywood!