The cinematic epic begins with Thanos exaltedly delivering the prophetic words, “I know what it’s like to feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail all the same. Dread it, run from it, destiny still arrives. Or should I say, I have…”
At his first inception, Thanos appears to be a gold-armoured planet-destroyer. His first utterances in Infinity War suggests the same. However, it is not nearly as simple a despotic oppression as it is a deeper congressional concept of our very idea of deities.
Thanos, however, is not one who does not carry the genes of the ‘human life force’. He isn’t a mad Titan destituting of the crux of humanity. He isn’t all intellect like Ultron either, he has a heart.
What separates us, humans, from absolute pragmatic determinants? The closest answers we have are impracticality. Foolishness. Obstinacy. The instinct of attachment.(?)
Why do we not throw away a half-broken piece of trinket? Why do we care about our older belongings so much over newer ones? Why do we continue to support a cause we know that will fail? Why do we shun from offing that life-support switch on our parent who is under permanent ventilation? Why do we take our predicaments here on earth so seriously? Why do we hold on to things so stubbornly even though nothing is ours to really own? Why do we love someone and tell them they are our forevers when, infact, there isn’t such a thing?
The ‘humanity’ (in dearth of a better word to use) achingly and annoyingly stomps a full-vector collision against the ‘wisdom’. (Again, for lack of a better word to use)
Thanos strives for this ‘wisdom’. Or rather, he has, all his life, from the days of destruction of his own planet, Titan.
Thanos acquires this besotted ‘wisdom’, literally, in Vormir. It is here, he has to let go of all that is ‘human’ in him. He has to sacrifice “a soul… for a soul”… It is not the mere sacrifice of Gamora, it is the detachment of Thanos’ only loved one, his only crux of ‘humanity’. It is his own soul that has to be oblated. It is only in the subsequence of that does Thanos finally become a God. An infinite element, that is bounded by no strains of emotion; a Titan with the pragmatic goal to “perfectly balance” the scales of the universe. “As all things should be…”
The journey of Thanos is our manual of understanding the very genesis of servicing faith. He truly becomes a God, unlike what Loki had said in his dying moments, “you will never be a God”. Loki, contrary to Thanos, had never possessed the ‘wisdom’ nor the “strength” to understand what true omnipotence means. Loki craved for himself a “tower on top of which he would sit and rule meagre lifeforms beneath”. That is not what a God would want. A God doesn’t care for a golden charade. Thanos doesn’t care to bother with anyone. He wills to provide a fresh start to a melting cone of existence. He convictionally knows where the universe is heading otherwise.
He wants to set the the weight on an equal threshold, not too right, neither too left. But quite literally, at the centre.
Consequently, the Avengers and the world of ‘life’ stubbornly opposes this seemingly cerebral definition of “balancing the universe”. Tony Stark doesn’t conform to the idea of being killed for the sake of the higher majority, no matter how “right” it is. Sure, the earth may run out of resources, the society may be irreversibly viceful, but hey, earth is closed today, because we’ll do whatever we can on our own terms. That’s it. We don’t care if you’re God. And, yes, we don’t need Noah either.
Gamora is Thanos’ humanity. The core of emotional compassion, which he found and cherished and held dearly, right from the middle of one of his destructive annihilating processes. He found Gamora while destroying her home planet. He recognised her bravery. Afterall, she stood right infront of him, asking, “Where is my mother?” He took her for his own. Ironically, even though recognising the ‘human’ courage in a petty lifeform and thereby choosing to adopt her, he didn’t stutter from his ambition of obliterating all things human. (A child, a mother, a father, a son, a daughter and a lover, he destroyed them all equally)
Eventually, Gamora too, had to be shredded. Nothing can stand in his clear-determined goal of creating fruitful peace for all lifeforms… Only this has to come at the cost of… Life.
Is Thanos right in sending a flood of destruction to resurge a purer existence? The reality of that is impossibly hard to accept. But hey, reality can be anything. For a God, it’s a simple equation. A refreshed version of the universe is always the way to go over an impure one. It’s even simpler for him, because he’s not within the confinements of any reality. He’s got the infinity stones. He can rest.
P.S. – This is in regard to all who are unhappy about the plot concerning the soul stone. For people who are saying the Soul Stone’s origin is bland. The intrigue surrounding the soul stone appropriately mirrors the thematic dynamic of Thanos and his major difference with the Avengers. While our heroes scramble for their emotional attachments, Thanos realises his envisioned ideal.