But even though the battles are bitter and hard fought, he leaves his opponents be once he obtains his goals. On Titan and in Wakanda, once he secures the stones, he teleports away and leaves the Avengers scrambling. Some fans might be wondering why Thanos decided to spare his foes, rather than kill them.
Marvel Studios' Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding spoke about Thanos' mindset in these moments, revealing why he was willing to leave them alive despite wielding the power of the Infinity Stones.
"The plan of getting all the Infinity Stones is putting [Thanos] in the position of being so powerful that he is sort of calmer, more single-minded, and more reasonable," Meinerding said. "He is not necessarily worried about killing the heroes. As long as he ends up with the stones, he can accomplish what he wants to."
This reasoning takes for the character, who is less concerned with the concepts of vengeance and fury, and more so focused on the task at hand; balancing the universe.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has spoken at length about Thanos' importance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, addressing the challenge of building up this villain over the course of multiple films.
"Thanos has been lurking in the shadows with a desire to obtain these Infinity Stones, which has played a big part in our other films," Feige said in Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years. "We've introduced the Tesseract, revealed to be the Space Stone; the Mind Stone, which came out of Loki's scepter and then went into Vision's forehead; and the Time Stone: the Eye of Agamotto that Doctor Strange wears is an Infinity Stone itself! And of course the Guardians dealt with the Power Stone."
"So these storytelling devices that we've seeded into every film will continue to play a part and come together," Feige continued. "We've been teasing this for six years. That's a long time to tease something cinematically before paying it off. Thanos has to be the greatest villain in our movies."2comments
The fact that Thanos isn't driven by rage is what makes him so unique in the MCU — he wasn't wronged or betrayed, but he serves a higher purpose. We'll see if his dedication to the cause comes back around to haunt him when Avengers 4 premieres in theaters on May 3, 2019.