Thanos accomplished his quest to bring balance to the Universe in Avengers: Infinity War but the price of that was too high. Thanos lost everything when he sacrificed Gamora, but in the end, he was satisfied with what he had achieved.
His life’s goal was achieved but in lieu of that, he was damaged permanently and there’s no coming back from it. You may think that he won fair and square, but he just barely walked out alive. Thanos fought with everything he had and was finally able to sneak in a victory, but it took a huge toll on him.
Right at the end, Thor stuck Thanos with a lethal blow to his chest, but as we saw at the end of the film, there was not even a scar of that left. So that blow turned out to be totally non-lethal. But still, Thanos walked away damaged for life. He will not be the same person as he was when we see him in Avengers 4. Using the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet not only destroyed the Gauntlet, but it took a major piece out of Thanos as well.
Collider hosted a special screening for Infinity War and then later after that, Directors Joe & Anthony Russo attended a long Q&A session. There they were asked about the physical price that Thanos ended up paying and here’s what Joe Russo had to say in reply:
“It’s evident. His daughter is an emotional price, but the physical price is – you’ll see it if you pause your DVD – right before he uses it to go back into the portal away from Thor while he’s got the ax in his chest, his arm is burnt to a crisp. So the physical price is the extreme power that it took to enact his plan, he paid for physically, and when he sits down on the steps at the end of the movie you can see that it actually carries up into his neck and onto his face.”
The Russos were then asked whether the broken Infinity Gauntlet was reusable, and Uncle Joe had something very specific to say there:
“[Thanos’] arm is f**cked up and anything attached to his arm is f**cked up.”
But the talk goes on it came to a point where Russos talk about the power of the Stormbreaker compared to the Infinity Gauntlet. So even if the Gauntlet was reusable, Thor might certainly not make a mistake the second time.
“Joe – It certainly has the ability to counteract the Infinity Gauntlet.
Anthony – I think that key moment, though, is that Thanos was caught off guard. He literally just didn’t know the power of what was coming at him. I mean, maybe he could have used the Stones in a different way had he understood what that weapon was, but it came out of nowhere.”
Well, hearing this we can be certain that even Thanos would be ready for an attack of that scale in Avengers 4. But we have to know that when the Avengers end beating Thanos for good, it will be a weaker and damaged version of him. Thanos will have never been beaten in his prime and even if the films were about the Avengers, Thanos will go down as the unbeatable villain in the MCU history.
Sure there were many instances where the Avengers could have taken down the Mad Titan, but he was the one that ultimately emerged victorious. So, it is the win that counts, and it is the win that made Avengers: Infinity War a Thanos movie more so than an Avengers movie.
Hopefully, this won’t happen in Avengers 4. It comes out on May 3 and it will presumably star Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Renner Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Tessa Thompson, Evangeline Lilly, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Katherine Langford, Stellan Skarsgard and Brie Larson.