15

We know that Thanos' plan was to

instantly destroy half of all life in the universe

His plan doesn't appear to apply to lower or non sentient life forms

if it did half the trees in the final Wakanda scene would have disintegrated too

Does his plan apply to all beings more powerful than himself?

  • 2
    If they’re more powerful than him, could it affect them? – Adamant May 3 '18 at 1:19
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    By the end of the movie, are there any beings more powerful than Thanos? (That we know exist in the MCU, that is?) – Harry Johnston May 3 '18 at 2:27
  • @Adamant It could in the comics, for what it's worth. – Harris May 3 '18 at 14:46
  • 1
    @HarryJohnston We saw The Watchers in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Not sure if those count as “more powerful”. – Stevoisiak May 7 '18 at 1:35
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    @Endgame, the odds against that are astronomical. – Harry Johnston Dec 8 '18 at 9:32
17

According to Marvel producer Kevin Feige Thanos' 'finger snap' resulted in the destruction of half of all life in the universe, not just higher beings.

Q. Are half the animals dead? Are half of the horses gone? Half of the ants?

Feige: Yes! Yes. All life.

Kevin Feige Still Won’t Tell Us All Marvel’s Future Plans

  • 3
    All Life... Well with of 1/2 everything your problem doesn't go away, you just reduced the total number.... I mean unless you don't eat things that are alive? – Skooba Jul 10 '18 at 13:02
  • @Skooba - Yup. That's what I thought too. – Valorum Jul 10 '18 at 13:30
  • @Skooba, depends whether the problem is food supply or living space. In most cases the food supply could presumably be brought back up to pre-finger-snap levels fairly quickly anyway. – Harry Johnston Jul 10 '18 at 21:51
  • gut flora too? 10 minutes after the snap everyone still existing is gonna need to take a massive potty break. – Kevin Milner Jan 10 at 17:15
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    @KevinMilner - Well, if you're gonna break it down that far, why not keep going? Technically all the mitochondria in your cells are captured bacteria - if you killed half of every living being's mitochondria, it would probably be fatal to the organism as a whole. Thus, the only things that would still be alive in the universe would be half of the single-celled organisms. – Darrel Hoffman Mar 5 at 15:21
12

Thanos' plan was

destroy half of the life forms in the universe because of over-population and lack of resources.

In that, there is a distinction.

If he deleted all the trees, he would be removing resources leaving the living in the same problem.

So...

he erased creatures that use up resources without giving back. So trees and non-sentient life are safe, and lower-life forms are okay because they serve a purpose to the biosphere. But humans, as well as other "dominant species", are what are causing there to be limited resources and must be forcibly reduced.

But when you get to things of a "higher order", you're generally talking about unique entities; such as the personification of "the Universe" and "The Beyonder". Since they are unique, you really can't wipe out "half"--which is...

...probably why Rocket lived as he is a unique creature onto himself.

The only race I could think of "higher" than Thanos would be the Watchers, in which case, it is likely they too were culled.

I guess a lot of it depends on what you call "higher order"...

  • 7
    I'm somehow on Thanos's side. – SovereignSun May 11 '18 at 15:45
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    @SovereignSun I think that was the point-- like Killmonger and lots of others, Thanos is a "good intention [make limited resources go farther] taken to an evil extreme [just slaughter lots of people]" type of villain. – PlutoThePlanet May 11 '18 at 15:55
  • 8
    Except, now that poor cannibal culture is robbed of half its resources. Did you think about that Thanos? No, you only ever think about your self! – Möoz May 15 '18 at 3:23
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    .. probably why Rocket lived as he is a unique creature onto himself. ~> That's wrong. Groot was last survivor of his race (said by Collector) and yet he died. – I Love You 3000 Jun 23 '18 at 21:32
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    @TheWasp the Collector never says that. The line is "I never thought I'd meet a Groot." There's no implication that there's only one Groot. – OrangeDog Jul 10 '18 at 13:15
8

The new trailer for Avengers: Endgame gives us an in-universe confirmation and a bit of a distinction from Kevin Feige's quote...

[Natasha Romanov] Thanos did exactly what he said he was gonna do, he wiped out fifty percent of all living creatures.

The distinction of creatures is an important one as it it defined as animals. So this is why all the trees and such are still standing. It also leaves room for unicellular organisms to remain.

  • I am not a biologist, but from my quick search, unicellular organisms do not seem be classified as animals, and therefore could be excluded from a definition of "creature". – Skooba Dec 7 '18 at 13:39
  • 1
    In other words Thanos just screwed over the remaining creatures. Kill off 50% of all creatures that are involved in propagation of plant species - especially plants that are eaten by other creatures - and you have a recipe for environmental collapse. – Peter M Dec 8 '18 at 12:18
0

The-One-Above-All (hyphens) is the Primal Entity of the Marvel Multiverse. As often as people want to pit Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet against other beings, only nigh-supreme cosmic beings generally have any chance against their combined power.

The Living Tribunal

But the-One -Above-All trumps all other powers in the Marvel Multiverse. It has supremacy over all things and has no equal save itself.

The Infinity Gauntlet is nothing in the face of its overwhelming capacity. This is one of its depictions as Above-All-Others from Thanos: The Infinity Finale #3. The One-Above-All is apparently responsible for the existence of all life in the Multiverse and possibly beyond, and is the master and sole superior of the cosmic overseer and arbitrator known as the Living Tribunal, whose faces, embodying equity, vengeance and necessity respectively, are in perfect alignment with one another as it passes judgment. While Thanos has few equals or betters while he wears it, the Infinity Gauntlet is one level of Infinity lower than needed to be a threat to The-One-Above-All. Even Thanos knows this and has done his very best to not bring himself to the focused attention of this Entity above all others.

  • Can you present any evidence that The-One-Above-All exists in the MCU? This related question about whether the MCU is in fact part of the Marvel comics multiverse never got a definitive answer. – Harry Johnston Dec 9 '18 at 5:05
-1

Based on the precedent of the comics, he doesn't have the power to delete the truly cosmic-level entities - not that any of them have been )or will be) seen in the films.

Part of the problem is that while there are any number of beings of cosmic or universal power in the Marvel Universe, only a couple of the relatively weaker ones have been explicitly introduced in the films.

Dormammu is incredibly powerful, but he's nothing compared to, say, beings like the In-Betweener or the Living Tribunal. It'd be an argument whether or not the Celestials are more powerful than a Gauntlet-powered Thanos, but it'd be close. The Watchers are very powerful in the comics, but save for a cameo, we've no hard data about them in the MCU.

The truly cosmic entities joined the various fights against Thanos in the comics, but I don't recall any of them being destroyed or Snapped by him (corrections accepted). If we use that as a standard, it suggests that he doesn't have the power to delete them in the filmic universe either.

I suspect they won't be used in the movie, so the question will remain unanswered It'd take too long to explain who they are, not to mention we want to see the heroes win, not a literal deus ex machina where some totally new bunch of beings swoop in and save the day.

  • There's no good indication either way but there's no reason to assume that Thanos' 'snap' didn't work on every form of life in the universe. – Valorum Jul 10 '18 at 13:32
  • I based my assumption on the comics, which seemed a good start. The hypothesis is that Thanos can only affect being whom he is more powerful than. So ants, trees, accountants, would all be subject to his power, while the "upper level" cosmic entities would not. He is certainly on par with some of them and their power, and can stand toe to toe with them in battle, and defeat, possibly even kill one, but not so powerful that he could wish one into the cornfield. – VBartilucci Jul 10 '18 at 13:39
  • "It'd be an argument whether or not the Celestials are more powerful than a Gauntlet-powered Thanos, but it'd be close." If we are referring to comics, I believe a few celestials joined in on trying to fight Thanos (w/ all 6 stones) and were soundly defeated - along with beings like Galactus and Eternity. It wasn't close. – enumaris Dec 8 '18 at 0:33

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