Many would agree that Avengers: Infinity War was actually a better film overall as compared to Avengers: Endgame. That’s because it had a much solid plot than Endgame did. But both of those films had one thing in common, and that is a very astounding end to the story. Endgame left us with satisfaction, but Infinity War ended with a strong gut punch! Thanos snapped half the population of the entire Universe out of existence. He wanted everyone to go out with fair judgment of the Infinity Stones, and that’s why he didn’t kill anyone except for the necessary individuals.
But a new theory suggests that among the survivors in the Universe, Thanos actually spared 3 lives that he promised he would. Endgame showed us that the person who snaps could actually have any wish fulfilled while snapping (except bring back the Soul Stone sacrifice). Hulk wished to restore all the lives that Thanos took and Tony wished for every follower of Thanos to get disintegrated. So Screen Rant suggests that during his snap, Thanos thought to kill half the population at random except for Tony Stark, Thor, and Nebula.
Thanos was about to kill off Thor right in the beginning of the film but Loki prevented his death. He wanted Thanos to spare Thor’s life in exchange of the Tesseract. So, Thanos being a man of his word went back without killing Thor. The same happened later in the film when Thanos was threatening to kill Nebula for the location of the Soul Stone. Gamora agreed to give it if Thanos stopped. And then the final promise Thanos made was to leave Tony Stark alive in exchange for the Time Stone.
Infinity War did establish Thanos as a noble warrior, but this theory may be disproven with Endgame’s Thanos. There was nothing noble in the way Thanos fought in Endgame. He was about to unleash an entire army on Captain America, Thor & Iron Man. Then, he rained fire on the Avengers and his own army as well. So, when it comes to saving his own life, Thanos isn’t noble. We could believe that Thanos would not have changed much in 4 years. So, he would not have left everyone alive. Rather, he would have left them for judgment, and all three of those turned out to be lucky.
Still, Thanos is the best villain MCU could have ever had and the reason for that has been illustrated in the Art book. Avengers: Infinity War — The Art of the Movie explains that Thanos exactly knew how to use the Infinity Stones. The book wrote:
“They’ve [Infinity Stones] been misused by people who didn’t understand their true power. And now that the real master of them, Thanos, has shown up we can see what they actually do,” Markus said. “The problem is, as you can imagine, as you gain control over these things, your story just goes haywire because why are there any stakes for the man who can control time, space, reality, your mind, your soul and power? He can reset as many times as it’ll take. So you have to build in a lot of bumps in the road or maybe keep one stone away from him for long enough in order for the thing to have any dramatic structure at all.”
Here’s what Kevin Feige had to say about the greatness of the Mad Titan:
“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.”