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In Avengers: Infinity War we see Thanos using the Reality Stone to manipulate the scene in the Collector's establishment on Knowhere. While Gamora's initial impression was that The Collector was held captive after his interrogation, we then see the facade removed and all we see is desolation and destruction.

That leads me to ask what actually happened to The Collector? I know from within the source material both him and his brother (The Grandmaster) are nigh immortal beings.

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    Killed by Thanos, I presume. He's immortal but not invulnerable
    – Valorum
    Nov 18, 2019 at 12:33
  • 1
    the Collector got..... collected ...... by Death!
    – Shreedhar
    Nov 21, 2019 at 8:11

2 Answers 2

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The Collector is still alive after the events of Avengers: Infinity War.

In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022), it is revealed that the Guardians of the Galaxy purchased Knowhere from the Collector, and are in the process of refurbishing it (emphasis mine):

Nebula: Ever since buying Knowhere from The Collector, we don't have time for trivialities like Christmas. This place needs a lot of fixing up before it's livable.

James Gunn (director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vols. 1-3) confirms the same (emphasis mine):

Although the Guardians are sometimes heroes, they work as mercenaries & it brings in a fair amount of money. So after Thanos attacked Knowhere they bought it from the Collector. It was a burnt out husk & they’ve been rebuilding it.

- @JamesGunn tweet

They've bought Knowhere from The Collector, that's their home base now -- all of those things are important to Vol. 3.

- James Gunn Talks 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' and His Future With Marvel (Exclusive). Entertainment Tonight

The Collector has never been confirmed to be dead after Infinity War. Nebula and James Gunn said that the GotG bought Knowhere from the Collector directly, and not from his heirs or someone else, implying that the Collector is still alive to consent to the transaction. A dead man can't sell his possessions, since he can't consent to the transaction.

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    @Valorum The Collector has not been confirmed to be dead. The dialog says the GotG bought Knowhere from the Collector directly, and not from his heirs/estate/someone else. A dead man can't sell his possessions since he can't consent to the transaction. Taking into account all those facts, I'm leaning towards the Collector still being alive to sell Knowhere. He probably escaped from Thanos with Cosmo (who is also still alive). Nov 28, 2022 at 1:54
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The film certainly implies that he is dead but we never see a body. However, according to the actor, Benicio del Toro, The Collector survives Avengers: Infinity War. As this is the actor though it is in no way official.

I think he's alive. Yeah... I think that, you know, I think he's alive. You're talking to him!

Cinema Blend, An Avengers: Infinity War Character Who Might Not Be Dead After All

However, in The Road To Marvel's Avengers Endgame - The Art Of The Marvel we also have some production stills for a deleted scene which shows Thanos and the Collector talking. It is then possible that Tivan wasn't killed but was "persuaded" into giving up the Reality Stone.

The still from the book

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  • It seems unlikely that Thanos left him alive. His contempt is pretty evident.
    – Valorum
    Nov 18, 2019 at 12:57
  • @Valorum Yeah I doubt he is alive, just saying it's possible he might be.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 18, 2019 at 12:59

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