Gamora Imbalances The Universe
Of course, Gamora's survival would immediately open the door for her potential escape. In the Infinity Gauntlet arc that heavily informs Infinity War, that's actually what happens: after the straight-up escape of Drax and Silver Surfer, the souls of Adam Warlock, Gamora and Pip the Troll were transferred into new bodies by Warlock, with the trio proving essential in stopping Thanos. In the MCU, there's no Warlock (yet) and Gamora seems alone, but a similar escape could have major ramifications.
If Gamora is truly alive inside the Soul World, then it extends that she essentially bypassed Thanos' finger snap and the erasure of half the universe. It's a different dimension, outside of anything in our universe, and presumably impermeable to the powers of the other or combined Stones - she couldn't have been killed. That's good for her, but life-saving for others: if Gamora escapes, she then imbalances the universe.
Thanos' goal in Avengers: Infinity War isn't one of extreme precision. His electing to halve the universe's population is only symbolic, with no greater purpose to an exact 50%. But that was what he moved to do at the film's finale. To have Gamora emerge having existed before and returned again works against whatever horrific life equation has being played. The Infinity Stones granted something, and yet they didn't do it. Whether it has a simple personal effect on Thanos, which given the extreme lengths he went through to achieve his goal may be enough, or something more omnipotent, Gamora's return shifts the ending of Infinity War just slightly enough.
What Gamora's Return Could Mean For Avengers 4
Assuming we don't get a metaphysical impact from the imbalance, though, Gamora's return could still be game-changing. It's been pointedly stated since Guardians of the Galaxy that she's Thanos' favorite daughter, and in Infinity War that gave her the greatest connection to the Mad Titan. When he's done the deed, he visits her to bask in that victory, highlighting a co-dependency to their abusive relationship. Were Gamora to return, she'd be a pointed weapon in the second stage of the conflict (which we know still centers on Thanos)
To see what may be in store, it's worth turning to the comics. While Marvel films tend to carve out their own narratives (see Bucky as White Wolf), the various plot threads usually have a clear connection to the source (Infinity War is bits of Gauntlet, War and Infinity), so they're very useful for informing future plots. Crucially, in Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos' daughter proves essential in his defeat. The only distinction here is that it's Nebula: she starts the story a tortured prisoner of Thanos, then breaks out and steals the Gauntlet, only to become an even more maniacal villain, eventually taken down by a consortium between Thanos and the Avengers.
There's still scope for Nebula to fill that role in Avengers 4 - her trussed up in Thanos' ship in Infinity War is a clear reference to her imprisonment in Gauntlet - but given all the groundwork laid for Gamora, she'd be a much more suitable candidate for this arc, or at least part of it. She may not go full villain, but if one of the surviving heroes is going to claim the Infinity Gauntlet for themselves, it would make most thematic sense for it to be her.
Gamora isn't just the person Thanos loves most, she's also his greatest weakness. She was the biggest emotional barrier in his quest for the Infinity Stones, and a sign that his conviction hides conflict (something Star-Lord definitely does not believe). We've found the method by which she can survive Avengers: Infinity War, but what's really important is that, for this story, she's the key to stopping the villain.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019