In Avengers: Endgame, we can see Thanos claiming to have destroyed the Stones:

NATASHA ROMANONFF: Where are the Stones?

THANOS: Gone. Reduced to atoms.

BRUCE BANNER: You used them two days ago!

THANOS: I used the stones to destroy the stones. It nearly killed me. But the work is done. It always will be. I am... inevitable.

Avengers: Endgame

He had reduced them to atoms but, is there any canon information about how he actually did it?

He used the Stones against themselves but, did he use some special mechanism?

  • 7
    Snapped his fingers, I expect
    – Valorum
    Oct 17, 2019 at 7:24
  • 1
    How did Thanos destroy the Infinity Stones? Very carefully. Oct 17, 2019 at 11:25
  • he didn't destroy them , he reduced them to atoms, it has been confirmed that the stones still exist in a form within the MCU
    – Richard C
    Oct 17, 2019 at 11:54
  • @RichardC I thought Steve brought back the Stones to where they caught them. So is it not right? Aug 9 at 22:31
  • @EtackSxchange the stones post blip are destroyed. Steve had to return them back to where they were taken from so the snap could happen and the timeline not be broken. So at the end of endgame after Steve leaves the stones are destroyed.
    – Richard C
    Aug 24 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


He used the Infinity Gauntlet with the Infinity Stones in it to destroy the Stones. Not only is this the way he uses to use all the Stones at once but we have physical evidence that this was the case. When the Avengers go to Titan II in hunt for Thanos after they detect the Stones are used again we see the toll it has taken on Thanos. We see now, his left arm has been amputated or destroyed, probably when the Gauntlet was destroyed, destroying the Stones. And we also see he has burn marks all the way up the side of his body to his head. This is evidence that he destroyed the Stones/Gauntlet whilst wearing them because he had a left handed Infinity Gauntlet.

Thanos on the floor showing his amputated left arm Thanos with burn marks on his face
Click images to enlarge.

As for how he activated it, well, there is one rule in universe and that is he has to make a fist to do so.

“As you can imagine, when you have a gauntlet that has nearly unlimited power, and every time you use it you can do what you want ... we wanted to create small physical rules that would allow people to hang in a fight with him, so the idea that he had to, you know, close his fist to use a stone was the bare minimum that allowed us to have a fight,” McFeely said.

“So that every choice they're making, you'll notice in that last minute of fighting, is to keep him from closing his fist. From Peter webbing it to the cape wrapping around it,” added director Joe Russo.

ComicBook.com, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Writer Explains the One Catch Behind Thanos Using the Stones

And of course we also know to perform a major action with the Gauntlet one would appear to have to snap their fingers, or at least all the known cases we have of it, people have snapped.

Gamora: If he gets all six Infinity Stones, he can do it with the snap of his fingers, like this.

Avengers: Infinity War

Considering the scale of the action he probably snapped but we don't know exactly if he did, or if making a fist in this case was enough.

  • 1
    Wow, this whole time I figured snapping was just an affectation, a symbolic gesture while more mentally-oriented powers drove the stones' power. And you've just made me realise that this makes no sense, because it was literally people holding Thanos's fingers apart that prevented him (for at least a little while) from achieving his goals. So obvious in hindsight. But I hadn't thought of it ^_^ It's interesting because he had no problems using the stones individually (ish) without "hand gestures" before that. Oct 31, 2019 at 23:56
  • Thanos looks like Gul'dan from 2016 film Warcraft in the picture. Aug 25 at 20:18

He snapped!

The clue lies in the way how the Avengers found out where Thanos was in Avenger: Endgame.

Thanos used all the six stones twice in Avengers: Infinity War, second time during the snap, and the first time minutes before the snap while he was trying to block Stormbreaker.

RHODEY: That's cute, Thanos has a retirement plan.

STEVE: So where is he?

ROCKET: When Thanos snapped his fingers, Earth became ground zero for a power surge of ridiculously cosmic proportions. No one's ever seen anything like it... Until two days ago. [A hologram of a planet pops up, with a shockwave visibly traversing the surface] On this planet.

NEBULA: Thanos is there.

NATASHA: He used the stones again.
Avengers: Endgame

Following Rocket's words, power surge following Thanos' first snap and the power surge detected on Thanos' farmer planet were the same.

So, we can eliminate the fact that he used all the stones but didn't snap. It is therefore highly likely that he performed the snap again to destroy the stones.

  • 1
    I don't think this is strong evidence that he did snap. The power surge comes from the amount of power being used and what the Stones are doing, not from the action he does to activate the Gauntlet.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 17, 2019 at 8:41
  • @TheLethalCarrot Thanos says: it nearly destroyed me. I mean when he last used all the stones (without snapping), nothing happened to him. So, only something as powerful as the snap could injure the mad Titan. Thus, I think it was a snap
    – Shreedhar
    Oct 17, 2019 at 8:45
  • Right but the snap just activates the action. It's the action and the power that creates that nearly destroyed him.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 17, 2019 at 8:47
  • @TheLethalCarrot I assumed that the power surge was the combination of the snap and the power used by the stones. I may be wrong though. Therefore i included the part where he used all the stones' power to stop strombreaker, but it did not result in the same power surge because it lacked the power surge of the action (i.e, the snap)
    – Shreedhar
    Oct 17, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    FWIW I think your answer is good, I just think the reasoning you use to get there is a bit out there. The quote is here or at least that's a source for it. See the tweets within.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 17, 2019 at 9:10

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