Thanos Different Names in Infinity War & Endgame:
Avengers: Infinity War was a much better film than Avengers: Endgame plot-wise. You won’t feel this right after you watch Endgame because the 3rd act of the film leaves you really overwhelmed and totally satisfied. But later when you have a realization about the plots of Infinity War and Endgame, then you’d realize how strong a film Infinity War was throughout, and how many loopholes did Endgame have. One of the big differences in Infinity War and Endgame was Thanos.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos was more meaningful and we totally loved him, while in Avengers: Endgame, Thanos was more Thanus! What I mean by this is that yes he was the same guy from a different timeline, and he was much stronger than the one we saw in Infinity War, but he was still different. This version of Thanos hadn’t been through everything that Thanos from Infinity War had been through after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy. He was nowhere close to accomplishing his quest for the Infinity Stones.
So for these two different versions of Thanos, the creatives even had different names attached to them. In The Art of Avengers: Endgame book, concept artist Wesley Burt reveals that “He [Thanos] was always referred to as Warrior Thanos, as opposed to the Philosopher Thanos that would be in Infinity War.” So, Philosopher Thanos & Warrior Thanos really do have a cool ring to it! These two names describe the two different Thanos’ quite well.
From here on, we’d call Infinity War’s Thanos the Philosopher and Endgame’s Thanos the Warrior. Infinity War was told from the perspective of the Philosopher. He was established as the greatest villain in the MCU. But you cannot say that the Warrior was equally great in Endgame. The Warrior actually brings back the villain problem that Marvel was facing for the better part of Phase 1 & 2. Let’s see why Philosopher was better than Warrior.
Endgame gives us a gut punch by actually killing off Philosopher right in the beginning of the film, but then later brings Warrior into the story with a mere coincidence. Warrior was actually tough to beat for the big three just like Philosopher was. But the difference between the two is compassion and their ultimate motives. Philosopher was such a great villain because he was the hero of his own story. Moreover, we saw that he actually had a forgiving nature and was a man of his word. He spared the lives of the people in exchange for the Infinity Stones. Something changed in Thanos in the last 4 years, which is why he turned into the Philosopher from the Warrior.
His motivation was to save the Universe by providing the balance it needed. But Warrior came in to obliterate the Universe and start a new one. Ultimately it came down to the cliché overused plot of this decade, which was a restart through Universal genocide. Now you do understand why Warrior wants to do that, but doing this makes Philosopher’s motivations in Infinity War completely pointless. Philosopher was trying to achieve perfection in through balance. He wanted the Universe to get better as it is. He could have done what Warrior did in an instant, but he didn’t.
Since Warrior was different, he felt like someone we don’t really know. Take for example the Scarlet Witch V Warrior scene. Wanda says you took everything from me, and Warrior replies with “I don’t even know who you are.” This scene is good for a laugh, but we haven’t spent enough time with Warrior care about him. Then this is followed by a cowardly move as Warrior orders to rain fire on his own troops. Philosopher would not have done that.
I know this post was about the names, but I just wanted to bring up how different the two Thanos’ were in Infinity War and Endgame. I played coy just like Marvel played with us when they made us believe that we’d see a villain with the quality of Philosopher in Endgame, but what we got was the Warrior. But then again, they had to show how the Warrior wasn’t inevitable. So, we’re okay with it.