Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo has confirmed that the cataclysmic snap of the Infinity Gauntlet permanently damaged not only the Gauntlet, but Thanos as well. The epic team-up has just been released on Digital HD, with a host of special features still to come on the Blu-ray release, and the audio commentary for the movie offers a wealth of behind-the-scenes details and clarifications.
In the above still from the end of the movie, you can also get a clearer look at the aftermath of the snap. The Infinity Gauntlet is warped and damaged, and Thanos' left arm is badly scarred. However, the Infinity Gauntlet is not completely broken, as Thanos quickly uses it to teleport away from Earth after carrying out his ultimate goal.
At this moment in the audio commentary for the movie, Joe Russo comments, "See there, with his Gauntlet and the arm, the power that it takes to use all six Stones is significant, and clearly damaged the Gauntlet and damaged Thanos permanently." The Infinity Gauntlet was forged by the dwarf Eitri in the star-powered forge at Nidavellir, since only a very rare and powerful vessel could possibly contain all six Infinity Stones (which, as we learned in Guardians of the Galaxy, are so devastatingly powerful that ordinary beings cannot hold them without being vaporized). However, not even the Infinity Gauntlet could withstand the power of all six Stones being unleashed at once without sustaining some damage.
This detail is significant, because using the Infinity Gauntlet is one of very few ways that the results of the finger snap can be undone (which, despite the Russos' insistence to the contrary, is almost inevitably going to happen in Avengers 4). The Gauntlet contains the Time Stone, which can be used to turn back time, and the Reality Stone, which can be used to transform the universe at will. But if the Gauntlet was severely damaged by the snap, it's possible that it can no longer be effectively used to channel the power of the Stones.
In the comics, Nebula uses the Infinity Gauntlet to restore the universe to the way things were 24 hours ago, undoing the finger snap and restoring all the disappeared people to life. In Avengers 4, things probably won't be that easy. Set photos have shown the actors recreating the Battle of New York from The Avengers, indicating that the remaining heroes will need to go considerably far back in time in order to repair the damage that Thanos has done.
As for Thanos himself, he was last seen retiring in peace in a humble countryside home, moving stiffly due to the injuries inflicted on him by using the Infinity Gauntlet. A weakened Thanos is good news for the Avengers, who were unable to defeat him at full strength (though Star-Lord is kind of to blame for that), but may be able to overpower him in Avengers 4 - especially with a little help from Captain Marvel.
Avengers: Infinity War is available now on Digital HD, and will release on Blu-ray and DVD on August 14th.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019