Thanos the Abuser

thanos loves gamora

I watched the new Marvel movie ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ a few days ago, and I have a few thoughts about its main villain Thanos, and his relationship with his “adopted daughter” Gamora.

Beware mild spoilers for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’!

movie-avengers-infinity-war-thanos

Thanos is a galactic conqueror, traveling from one inhabited planet to the next, killing half the population of each planet in a misplaced attempt to end starvation.

On some of these planets he recruits new followers, and sometimes he “adopts” children, to train them into loyal killing machines.

gamora sad

Gamora was one of these children, and the most talented among them.

As a child, she was often set up in competition with her adoptive sister Nebula, and each time Nebula would inevitably lose, Thanos would replace parts of Nebulas body with robotic replacements to “improve her” so that she might one day “be good enough”.

marvel nebula abused

To my mind, Thanos would classify as both a physical and physiological abuser of the worst possible kind, one which Gamora eventually escaped.

Yet at one point in the movie, without going into too much detail, the universe itself judges Thanos’ feelings for Gamora to be real love.

How?

thanos sitting in his chair

I think this shows the difference between action and intent.

If he truly did love her, and maybe even Nebula, he may have just intended to raise them with a strict hand to make them able to take on any threat. This is, after all, a universe with space-pirates, killer robots and hulks.

But his actions were so incredibly overblown in relation to his intent, that he did far more bad in raising these girls than good, if any good at all.

gamora stars

I think Thanos did love Gamora. But I also think he was such a broken individual that he had no concept of how you treat people, or how you handle problems.

After all, his answer to the problem of people suffering was to murder half of all people.

Thanos The Abuser

And worst of all, there are real people who actually treat their kids much like Thanos treated “his daughters”.

Picking favorites, punishing inadequacies and using verbal and physical harassment.

And if these parents were asked if they loved their children, they could truthfully answer “yes”.

 

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I have written a post about each of the Marvel movies that has been released since I started this webpage, and I am planning to continue as long as there are interesting things to write about there.

This one got a bit heavy, but if you want to read something more light-hearted and optimistic I have also written about how Thor: Ragnarok and Dark Souls share some Norse DNA and why I want more movies like Black Panther.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

20 thoughts on “Thanos the Abuser

  1. Sadly, you are right that there are such parents. We hear and read about the most horrid cases of child abuse and neglect over and over. I live in hope that one day these things will be a dim distant, and soon forgotten episode in our dark history.

    • There should almost be a system where you would have to have a license to raise a child, but I don’t know how we could make that work in practice :/

      • We have adopted children. The process we had to go through put us literally through the wringer from the get go. Values, beliefs. discipline, financial capacity, time management etc etc etc. I remember thinking at the time that how come no-one else has to go through this as preparation for having a family ?

  2. Infinity wars had cinema release here yesterday so I have not seen it yet, but waiting with excitement. I think all Avenger movies are good, but according to IMDB, it has been rated high.

    • It is really good 😀
      Not the place I think a newcomer should start, but after ten years I think they have earned a bit of navel-gazing.

      I’m planning to make a list of MCU “essentials” as my monday blog-post, for people who has not seen any of these.

  3. Excellent point. I’ve struggled with how to phrase this one talking about it because it’s an abusive relationship and not love. Maybe it’s just that Thanos truly believed he loved her?

    • I think that is it.

      I have seen people argue that he started loving her because she was a really talented killer, but I think that is only half true.

      Thanos is known as The Mad Titan in the comics, and I think the Russo brothers really focused in on that “mad” part, and showed us a representation of a truely insane individual, who belived that he was doing the right thing for the universe, and for Gamora.

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  5. This is a really good analysis. It’s similar to what I was trying to get at talking about Thanos’s macro-scale motivations, but it’s as important if not even more so with regard to Gamora personally.

  6. Your’re right, Thanos is a real piece of work. He was broken and abusive, but he loved Gamora and somehow was able to instill love between Gamora and Nebula. I can’t believe how this movie has stuck with not only me, but everyone I’ve talked to who has seen it.

    • It is sooo good!

      Really cool how they made the villain the protagonist.
      Not the first movie that does that, but I always find it interesting when I see it 🙂

  7. -SPOILER WARNING-

    Love the post! When Thanos was forced to give someone he loved up for the soul stone I immediately found him far more interesting. I have not read the comics so I can only judge him based on the movies that have come out, but he reminds me a lot of Zaheer from Legend of Korra. Like Zaheer they had “good intentions” but totally went about it the wrong way. I think he did love Gamora, but his way of loving was so unorthodox (and just wrong) that he didn’t know any better. I’m not defending him or anything, but for a character like him to feel a deep and complex emotion like love makes him much more dynamic, imo.

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