Will Thanos Snap His Fingers In Infinity War?
Luckily for the heroes in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos can't make good on his finger snap threat straight away because, unlike in the comic, he doesn't have all of the Infinity Stones. From the trailers, in the early portion of the film, Thanos only has two Infinity Stones - the Power Stone and the Space Stone - and will spend most of the movie battling for the rest (specifically Vision's Mind Stone and Doctor Strange's Time Stone). If the logic in the comics holds up, as powerful as Thanos already is, he doesn't possess omnipotence yet, so he can't wipe out half the universe until he has completed the Infinity Gauntlet. Threatening the instant annihilation of half of all living beings is just that - a threat - until Thanos can put all six Stones together. Without the Infinity Gauntlet at full power, the big-chinned despot is just a strong villain, not all-powerful.
Of course, the number of ingots he does already possess - later TV spots have shown him with four Infinity Stones - mean he can still wreak havoc, and presumably kill any Avenger that gets in his way. In fact, it may be that when Thanos boasts he can snap his fingers and they would all "cease to exist", he's referring specifically to the superheroes trying to stop him. But as emotional as that would be, given all the setup, Thanos snapping his fingers to kill a lone hero or two would be a bit of a letdown.
Indeed, Thanos' bid for all six Infinity Stones - and by extension the finger snap - is being established as the end game of Infinity War. We've seen both Vision and Doctor Strange, holders of the final two Stones, under attack, and the entire third act battle in Wakanda is centered on a final stand to stop him. Clearly, if there is a finger snap, it's the movie's finale, and so the question then becomes something bigger: who wins the Infinity War?
Could A Finger Snap Be Infinity War's Cliffhanger?
While it's not got exactly strong grounding from the comics, a popular fan theory is that the snap will come as a big cliffhanger for Infinity War; despite the Avengers' best efforts, Thanos gains the six Infinity Stones, snaps his fingers and wins. Cut to black.
It would be a massive departure from the traditional MCU happy ending, yet would be fitting for such an epic event and, crucially, lines up with what we know is coming next. Avengers 4 was originally announced as Infinity War - Part 2, and while its title has since changed, it is still continuing the same story; if there's a space for a cliffhanger in the MCU, it's with these back-to-back productions, with Avengers 3 directly setting up its sequel. That's doubly true as the interim films, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel, are set before Infinity War, meaning they can tell their stories without having to account for devastation. Considering how dangerous a snap would be - even if, thanks to the existence of the Infinity Gauntlet, any damage can be undone - it seems that if it happens, it'll be at the very end.
All that said, it's not like a Thanos victory is the only outcome. In Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos inadvertently causes his own defeat and loses the bejeweled glove to Nebula. Whether or not the movie Nebula does the same, the possibility of one of the heroes taking the weapon - and either undoing Thanos' wrath or succumbing to the power - feels fitting. There's more than one way to use a completed Infinity Gauntlet.
One thing's certain: by threat or by realization, Thanos snapping his fingers will play a pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War. Whether it truly means the end or is something the Avengers can undo the damage of is what fans are waiting to find out.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019