5

In the 2018 battle in Avengers: Infinity War where Thanos acquires the Time Stone, we have Thanos vs. Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Nebula, Spider-Man and Mantis. We are led to believe that the only reason they are unable to beat Thanos is because Quill loses his cool and because Thanos is wielding all but one of the Infinity Stones.

Yet,

In the 2018 battle with Thanos three weeks after the events of Infinity War, on his "retirement planet" (the Garden), we have an arguably superior force of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hulk, and Rhodes all in peak form against an unarmed and unarmored Thanos (with zero stones) who is weakened and injured already -- not to mention that he no longer has any motivation to live. But he holds his own for a surprisingly long time. (Until he is eventually beheaded.)

Why is Thanos able to hold his own? Does it have to do with whatever his natural characteristics/powers are and/or are there other plotpoints at work?

... besides the needs of the movie to offer some excitement here, of course.

  • 4
    Related, borderline dupe: How did Thanos beat Hulk so easily? – Jenayah Apr 29 at 17:23
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    He's immediately restrained and killed at the beginning of Endgame. Did you mean at another time? – Azor Ahai Apr 29 at 17:35
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    @AzorAhai: I would question the "immediately restrained and killed". It actualy lasted surprising long if you ask me. – ThePopMachine Apr 29 at 17:38
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    @ThePopMachine What are you talking about? They blast him, then cut off his hand. Then kill him after interrogating him briefly. I guess, are you asking: How did he survive Captain Marvel's blast? – Azor Ahai Apr 29 at 17:45
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    @ThePopMachine Yes? – Azor Ahai Apr 29 at 17:49
29

Thanos doesn’t hold his own on the Garden.

He’s immediately restrained, and without any need for Mantis’s powerful psychic manipulation (which, let’s not forget, sent a Celestial to sleep, but couldn’t apparently knock Thanos out back on Titan). Captain Marvel puts him in a headlock, which he is initially unwilling or unable to break from. He’s further restrained by Rhodey (and perhaps Hulk?) holding his arms.

The heroes immediately go for his gauntlet (by chopping his hand straight off), and see that the Stones aren’t in it. After that, it becomes an interrogation, not a fight. I think Thanos manages to shake the restraint off, but he stays on the floor.

Once Thor decides the interrogation is futile, he immediately chops Thanos’s head off, with no apparent defensive reaction from ol’ Purple Chops. He had already been nearly killed in the act of ensuring that his life’s purpose couldn’t be reversed, so he’s both in poor physical shape (as we see when he climbs the stairs to his shack), and has nothing to fight for. He was done, and ready to die.

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    I figured it was harder for Mantis to knock out someone who was fighting her vs. trying to sleep. – Azor Ahai Apr 29 at 23:45
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    Don't forget to mention that Thanos is quite clearly in a very poor state. He can't even walk up the stairs one at a time, can't pick up his bag easily, etc – Valorum Apr 29 at 23:45
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    Pretty sure that he got out of the restraint because he was punched by one of the Avengers (I'm thinking Hulk or Thor?), who accused him of lying when he claimed that he had destroyed the Infinity Stones. – user45266 Apr 30 at 5:57
16

The Avengers weren't going for the kill, at least at first. When they go in, they don't know what Thanos has done with the stones, so they need to interrogate him. Captain Marvel attacks Thanos with a small blast of energy which he was able to avoid by deflecting it with the gauntlet. After this, the Avengers quickly restrain him, chopping off his hand to prevent him from using the gauntlet.

Thanos doesn't fight back at all. He has, quite literally hung up his armor because he accomplished what he wanted to and doesn't need to do more. Because Thanos wasn't fighting them, there was no need for the Avengers to blast him with all their strength.

  • 6
    I think he was using his armor as a scarecrow, in fact. – zibadawa timmy Apr 30 at 2:30

protected by Community Apr 30 at 1:23

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