When Thanos snaps his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War there's a terrible cost to be paid for the act of "balancing" the universe. Not only do people vanish into dust, but Thanos himself pays a physical toll with his left arm injured and the Infinity Gauntlet badly damaged, too. One would think that Thanos can easily fix the damage thanks to the power of the Infinity Stones, but according to the film's directors that may not be the case.
As part of the Vudu Viewing Party for the Marvel Cinematic Film that released on digital last week, the Russo Brothers answered fan questions about Infinity War on Twitter. One fan asked if the Mad Titan would be able to heal the damage to his arm the way he healed from Thor's chest strike with Stormbreaker as well as if he could use the Infinity Stones to fix the Gauntlet. Turns out, that answer is maybe.
"Perhaps, but there is a cost to using the power of the Stones," the directors said.
The idea that the use of the Stones come with a cost is something that Infinity War made no secret of. Even in acquiring stones there was warning that each had a price, specifically the Soul Stone which Thanos had to sacrifice Gamora in order to obtain. It would make sense then that actually using the Stones would have a cost as well and immediately post-snap, fans see that. But even if Thanos could use the power of the Infinity Stones to repair the gauntlet and heal his arm the directors have said that some damage Thanos sustains is permanent. In the audio commentary to Infinity War, Joe Russo directly mentions the damage to the Gauntlet and Thanos' arm and notes that Thanos does sustain some permanent damage post-snap.
"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," Russo said.
Of course, that permanent damage could be more emotional than physical. After the snap, Thanos is briefly sent into the Soul Stone where he speaks with a young Gamora, admitting that the cost of his actions was "everything". While many interpreted that as Gamora living on inside the Soul Stone, Joe Russo clarified in an interview with ComicBook.com that it was a spiritual representation meant to illustrate Thanos's guilt.
"The power that it took Thanos to click his fingers, he's so dramatic that if you look closely at the film and the damage of the gauntlet," Russo said. "You look closely at the very last scene, it damages his arm dramatically. And that moment when he clicks his fingers sends him into this ethereal plan inside of the Soul Stone where as part of his quote unquote hero’s journey in the film, he has one last moment to convey a sense of guilt about what he's done. It illustrates what a complicated character he is. So, to clarify, it's a spiritual representation of her and obviously that's something that the Soul Stone has power to do. But really, it's there to illustrate his pain and his guilt. I wouldn't read much more into it beyond that."
Even if the physical damage is permanent, that doesn't mean things can't be undone in another way. The Infinity Stones themselves likely remain unharmed, meaning the Time Stone could be used to travel to a time before the Snap, something many fans think may be a part of the story in Avengers 4.2comments
What do you think about whether Thanos can heal himself or not? Let us know your take in the comments below.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available to own on Digital HD ahead of its August 14 premiere on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. Avengers 4 opens May 3, 2019.