Prior to the release of Avengers: Infinity War back in 2018, Marvel fans had been treated to an array of different villains, all with their unique strengths and weaknesses. Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of team had not faced anybody nearly as powerful as Thanos, however, with the Mad Titan wreaking havoc during both that movie and its sequel, Avengers: Endgame.
It’s a hard one, but we’ve managed to identify the 10 worst things Thanos has done across both the events of Infinity War and Endgame. We now take a look at the deeds that helped him become the MCU’s most-formidable foe to date, putting the likes of Loki, Hela, and Killmonger to shame along the way.
10 Killing Loki And The Asgardians
What better way to demonstrate Thanos’ insane levels of power than have him kill the MCU’s previous bad guy, Loki, inside the first stages of Infinity War? The trickster had found a way into our hearts despite being a villain at his center, but his life and our hopes for him continuing to fight alongside brother Thor, is extinguished within the opening stages of the movie.
Thanos kills Loki with minimal fuss, too. He’d already wiped out the majority of the Asgardians (thankfully Valkyrie, Korg, and Mitch had already found ways off the ship) before he mercilessly chokes the God of Mischief after he had chanced his arm at murdering the titan. Given how popular Loki was, this was a bold move. But it’s one that pays off, with Thanos immediately showing audiences what he’s all about.
9 Murdering The Collector
Thanos was continuing his hunt for the Infinity Stones when Gamora, Star-Lord, and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy come across him in Infinity War. They’re convinced they’ve managed to kill the villain off when Gamora stabs in the neck but it all proves to be a ruse, with the Titan using the Reality Stone to trick the team into seeing only what he wants them to see.
In between provoking Star-Lord to kill his daughter, it’s revealed that Thanos has already slaughtered the Collector, played by Benicio Del Toro. Standing in a cage, he then blurs into nothing but fire as the scene of devastation is shown. A ruthless move.
8 Sacrificing Gamora
Given Thanos is a psychopath determined to eliminate half of the entire universe, it seems unfathomable that anything would stand in his way. But for a moment, just a split moment, he seems hesitant to continue his quest when Red Skull informs him he must make a sacrifice if he is to achieve the soul stone on Vormir.
The prospect of losing Gamora hurts — but not anywhere near as much as failing to acquire the stones would. He, therefore, shows little mercy to the person he treasures most, taking her hand like a father and child and flinging her to the death, welling up once the deed is done. This showed to audiences that nothing would prevent him from achieving his goal: not even his own child.
7 Undoing Vision’s Death
Poor Scarlet Witch. As if killing the love of her life wasn’t bad enough, she has to watch Vision die all over again when Thanos uses the newly-acquired time stone to reverse her attempts to keep the Mind Stone from him.
Scarlet Witch knows that, by killing Vision, she ends the Mad Titan’s hopes of performing the snap and wiping out half of the entire universe. It takes an emotional toll on her as she murders him, thinking the job is done and that her lover’s sacrifice has saved everybody. Except it hasn’t. Thanos is downright ruthless as he reverses time and takes the Time Stone for himself, beating Elizabeth Olsen’s character down after doing so. Ouch.
6 Performing The Snap
If we were ranking Thanos’ actions from not-evil to pure evil, then the snap would be sitting top of the podium. Finally the possessor of all of the Infinity Stones, he survives a late attack from Thor to put his fingers together and perform the act that would leave the world in ruins for the next five years as a result.
What’s worse, is that he even mocks Thor with the now infamous ‘you should have gone for the head’ line. The villain then gets out of Wakanda and is not present for everybody witnessing their loved ones die around them. He’s also not present on Titan itself, where Iron Man and Nebula are powerless to prevent the likes of Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Drax from turning to dust. As endings go, Infinity War’s is definitely an emotional affair.
5 Encasing Eitri's Hands in Rocks
Eitri is played by Peter Dinklage in Infinity War. When we first meet him, he’s hiding out of fear that Thanos had come to wipe him out after murdering the rest of his friends and family. Eitri manages to keep his life by agreeing to make the Mad Titan the Infinity Gauntlet — but does not escape unharmed.
Thanos, somewhat unnecessarily, encases the character’s hands in rocks — meaning he would be unable to make any weapon that would compromise his chances of victory. Imagine that, satisfying the titan only to end up being the loser in rock, paper, scissors for the rest of your life? It’s a cruel act and one that leaves Dinklage’s character handicapped when it comes to helping Thor make the Stormbreaker weapon.
4 Destroying The Stones
At the start of Avengers: Endgame, the team learn of Thanos’ whereabouts when he uses the Infinity stones to destroy the Infinity stones at a place known as ‘the garden.’ The team don’t know that, however, and take the Mad Titan by surprise by launching an attack on his location and chopping off his hand.
Thanos is left reeling from the pain but takes great pleasure in revealing to the team how their one and only hope of undoing his snap has now gone. The Stones have been reduced to atoms, meaning the likes of Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Black Widow are left heartbroken. The laid-back nature of his words ultimately proves too much for Thor, who snaps and beheads the villain by wielding his Stormbreaker weapon. And, given how evil Thanos was, it’s a decision that the rest of the team do not protest about.
3 Torturing Nebula
When Thanos sees Nebula malfunction, showing footage of her older self talking with War Machine, he immediately subjects his daughter to pain and torture by accessing her memory files. It is here that he learns that, in the future, his plan succeeded and he was able to acquire all the Infinity Stones, overcoming the Avengers and snapping his fingers together to turn half of the universe to dust.
But the worst thing about his discovery is how he treats Nebula. Despite Karen Gillan’s character doing nothing wrong—to this point at least—he enjoys subjecting her to pain. It’s no wonder Nebula would eventually change sides in years to come if that’s how he treats her...
2 Attacking Avengers HQ
Thanos, knowing full well that the Avengers are hatching a plan to beat him to the Infinity Stones in the past, calls for drastic action. Furious at this and livid at the prospect of potentially failing, he launches a blistering attack on the team’s compound by using the 2014 version of Nebula as a means of infiltrating the team.
He commits an act of pure evil when he drops bombs galore on the HQ, taking the Avengers by surprise and giving them no chance to bask in their achievement of performing the snap. He then goes head to head with Thor, Iron Man and Captain America—nearly killing the former—before the snapped victims join the fray. Before his own dusting, however, he still commits one more villainous act...
1 Sacrificing His Own Side
You can tell somebody is well and truly evil when they are prepared to throw others under the bus if it means their own plan succeeding. And Thanos does exactly that towards the tail end of Endgame, ordering his team to propel fire in any and every direction in the hope that it would prevent the Avengers from succeeding in managing to keep the Stark gauntlet out of his reach.
To think that thousands of people were probably killed when he instructed Corvus Glaive to release fire. Not that he cares, however. But his decision proves fruitless in the end with Tony Stark performing the ultimate sacrifice in order for his side to win the battle of all movie battles.