There is no shortage of epic moments in Avengers: Infinity War, but few have left fans confused or have ignited as much debate as Thanos' snap and the subsequent meeting with Gamora in the Soul Stone. The trailers for Avengers: Endgame hint at how Thanos' actions have affected the universe, but they've yet to truly show the impact its had on the Mad Titan himself.
A new fan theory supposes that Thanos might have been on the wrong side of the snap, but he managed to worm his way out of the consequences he brought on the universe.
[Avengers Infinity War] Thanos was snapped in the Decimation. What happened to him gives credence to the soul stone universe theory from r/FanTheories
It's clear that Thanos is still alive in the universe — not just from the quick shots of his armor and hand in the first Avengers: Endgame trailer, but also from the comments made by directors Joe and Anthony Russo. The Mad Titan's actions have affected everyone, including himself.
"These are characters and a story moving forward where Infinity War happened," Anthony Russo said. "The entire universe experienced the same fate, and has been brought together by this experience."
As for Thanos, he's taking a load off after achieving his goal.
"He’s succeeded in the thing he has set out to do," Joe Russo said. "He’s done. He did it. He’s retired."
But now the directors are dealing with an entirely different challenge, as they're including the biggest threat Thanos has likely faced in the MCU: Captain Marvel. Addressing the introduction of a character as powerful as Carol Danvers, they spoke about the balancing act they have to play as storytellers.
"It's always a concern of ours about overpowering characters, because the reason that people relate to these characters is their humanity, and that they’re flawed," Joe told CinemaBlend. "And the reason we love working so much with Captain America was that he was limited, and his heart was his superpower, you know? So we're all acutely aware of the dangers of having an overly powerful character. [But] we like sensitive storytelling, so… we found a thoughtful way through it."
"That's what kind of fires us up, I think, on a storytelling level, to be honest with you," added Anthony. "Because when you do have powerful characters, you have to work that much harder to find their vulnerabilities and complexities. And Joe was mentioning on a storytelling level… and keep the stakes high!6comments
"Because that’s where those characters are vulnerable. And actually, that makes for great drama, and you run in that direction. As storytellers, that's been one of the most fun things we've had working with these characters is figuring out ways into them where they are vulnerable and they aren't all powerful."
Avengers: Endgame premieres on April 26th.