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In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, (specifically The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy), Thanos is seen in a throne floating above a desolate asteroid field.

Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy sitting on his floating throne

This seems really impractical. Even though Thanos is a superpowerful being, it seems like he would want... well, stuff around him. There's nowhere for ships to arrive, for him to purchase new heralds after certain accusers kill them, for him to store any infinity gems, or to do anything but float on his throne.

Why does Thanos appear to headquarter himself in such an odd place in these movies?

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It is absolutely impractical to house yourself in a flying throne sitting in the middle of nowhere. The floating throne is likely a cinematic shout out to Thanos and his obsession with the Infinity Gauntlet as depicted in the comics.

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In the canon Marvel Universe #616

Thanos gathered the Infinity Gems to have sufficient power to impress Death and convince her to acknowledge his existence. In love with the personification of Death, Thanos would create a giant citadel structure composed of the ruins of thousands of worlds and millions of lives. He would shape a giant citadel from those ruins and planned to rule what was left of the Universe from this post with his beloved, Mistress Death. It is this structure floating in space, the throne is likely hinting at. Note the starscape and asteroid field.

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In the Marvel Cinematic Universe #199999

  • Given the immense capabilities the collected Infinity Gems would give Thanos, there was little need for him to have, use or need any technology. If he had the entire gauntlet with all of the Infinity Stones, he would be able to warp reality at his whim to create whatever resource he needed.

  • With complete mastery of space and time, he could bring most people directly to him, create any tool he could conceive of, go anywhere or any when he desired. He could impart an atmosphere to an asteroid or a meeting place as he saw fit.

  • In the movies, it is hinted he does not have the entire Gauntlet so he still uses proxies to do his bidding. As to the appearance of the room, we are not informed as to whether it is ACTUALLY in space. It could be a very realistic hologram. Everyone is breathing, talking and unaffected by what would be the rigors of deep space. So to assume it IS space may not be completely correct. We simply don't have enough information to make any useful conclusions.

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  • Thanos is often depicted in a thoughtful pose sitting in a throne. He's usually sitting in the ruins of some great civilization where he has sought information, technology or resources in his quest to improve himself and his already prodigious capabilities. Occasionally, he may have led to the demise of that civilization.

  • When he isn't in a throne, he's in a command center of his personal spacecraft, contemplating his next conquest or his role in the universe. For a nihilist, he spends a lot of time in deep thought.

  • Sitting in a throne, contemplating the universe is a thematic perspective of this villain. It is not unreasonable to expect some dramatic license when showing him for a movie-going audience unfamiliar with him. It makes him appear more dramatic than showing him in a room full of machines and alien technology.

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Most likely because he expects to have the Space Stone soon, and for show. What better space to intimidate and order people could there be then space? Also, Thanos has been shown surviving a vacuum, such as when he blasts a hole in Thor´s borrowed ship in the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. The Chitauri priest was shown surviving the vacuum, as were the other Chitauri. But most likely, the space-y stuff is just a hologram or something.

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