Gamora: [about Thanos] “The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal: to wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with a snap of his fingers — [snap] — just like that…”
Infinity War’s campaign for summer box office dominance has launched, leaving countless heroes and villains in its wake. The Mad Titan Thanos took on the combined might of The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Asgard, and Wakanda to acquire the Infinity Stones and complete the Infinity Gauntlet.
Thanos espoused a belief that the universe needed balance. He believed that the only way to spare the universe from want and need was to kill half of the living so there are enough resources to go around. Thanos’ good intentions paved a familiar road with these five deaths.
Last Chance: here there be spoilers. Too late, you peeked.
Played by Paul Bettany
Cause of Death: Energy Overload (first), then decapitation (second)
Vision: [Convincing Scarlet Witch to kill him] “You could never hurt me. I feel only you.”
Fans knew Vision was going to die. His existence is tied to the Mind Stone embedded in his head, which made him a major target for Thanos. Several of Thanos’ acolytes severely injure Vision in an ambush. The Avengers bring him to Wakanda to attempt separating and destroying the stone without killing Vision.
Thanos cuts a swath through the Avengers despite their best efforts. Vision convinces the Scarlet Witch to destroy the stone and him rather than risk Thanos getting his hands on it. She complies and kills her lover, thwarting Thanos’ plan until he uses the Time Stone to rewind time to right before Vision’s death. He tears the Mind Stone from Vision’s head and completes the Infinity Gauntlet
Why this death?: Vision has been part of the MCU since his first appearance as the A.I. Jarvis in Iron Man. Vision’s death removes one of the oldest MCU alumni and leads directly to another death on the list. Bonus points for being the only character in the movie to die twice.
Played by Idris Elba
Cause of Death: Impalement
Heimdall: [last words] “Allfathers, let the dark magic flow through me one last time…”
Infinity War starts minutes after the post credit scene of Thor: Ragnarok. Thanos and his cult have slaughtered an Asgardian refugee ship, leaving only Thor, Loki, Heimdall, and Hulk alive although several pivotal characters are MIA. Three gods and an enormous green rage monster are unable to stop Thanos, who prepares to kill the Hulk.
Heimdall uses the last of his magic to summon the Bifrost Bridge and teleports Hulk to Earth so he can warn them about Thanos. One of Thano’s lieutenants responds by stabbing Heimdall with with a spear, killing him instantly.
Why this death?: Heimdall is the unsung hero of the Thor series who has protected Asgard even when Thor and Odin weren’t around. He sacrificed his life to send a warning to Earth in the hope that The Avengers could stop Thanos.
Played by Tom Hiddleston
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Loki: [last words] “You…will never… be a god!”
Loki was out of options with Thor defeated, the Hulk hurtling to Earth, and Heimdall dead. He gave Thanos the Tesseract, which contained the Space Stone. Loki apologized for his previous failure in The Avengers and pledged his undying loyalty to Thanos. As he spoke, the eternal trickster pulled out a dagger and tried to assassinate Thanos.
Unfortunately, Loki has become predictable.
Thanos grabs Loki by the throat and mocks his version of undying loyalty. Thanos slowly strangles Loki and snaps his neck to make sure he’s dead.
Why this Death?: Loki was the MCU’s greatest villain and the threat the Avengers first assembled to fight. Killing Loki gave Thanos that extra bit of menace, showing that he could effortlessly kill the Avengers’ original foe and implying that he is much stronger. Loki has faked his death before, but the focus on his final scene leaves little chance of a resurrection.
Played by Zoe Saldana
Cause of Death: Ritual Sacrifice
Gamora: [after a speech calling out Thanos] “Tears? Really?”
Stonekeeper: “They are not for himself.”
Thanos: [Tearfully] “I’m sorry, little one.”
Gamora: [realizing what’s about to happen] “No! This isn’t love!”
Infinity War shows Gamora’s backstory as Thanos’ adopted daughter. We see him comfort her as his forces slaughter half her planet’s population. She knows the location of the Soul Stone, which Thanos forces her to reveal to save her sister Nebula. He forces her to take him to the Stone’s location where they encounter the Stonekeeper aka The Red Skull.
The Stonekeeper reveals that the only way to get the Soul Stone is to sacrifice something they love. Gamora is ecstatic, thinking Thanos is a heartless monster that loves nothing but himself. Tragically, Thanos loves his adopted daughter and throws Gamora off a mountain to obtain the Soul Gem. He’s sad, but he has a Soul Gem.
#1 Half the F***ing Universe
Cause of Death: Infinity Gauntlet-enhanced fingersnap
[Thanos has Thor’s axe embedded in his chest]
Thanos: “You should have gone for the head. [snaps his fingers]”
The heroes, gods, and monsters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe weren’t enough. Thanos completed the Infinity Gauntlet and snapped his fingers, killing half the living beings in the Universe. The survivors are forced to watch their friends and families dissolve into ash. And don’t think star power is enough to save them.
Captain America sees the Winter Soldier fall to ashes right in front of him. Black Panther, Falcon, and The Scarlet Witch follow suit. Every Guardian except Rocket Racoon dies. Even Spider-Man, the face of Marvel Comics, dies in Iron Man’s arms sobbing that he doesn’t want to die.
The post credit scene makes it worse as we see Nick Fury and Maria Hill driving through NYC when half the citizens disappear like something out of the rapture. Empty cars kill countless people while planes and helicopters fall from the sky. And then they realize they’re dying too.
It’s a bleak ending with the only ray of hope being a message sent by Nick Fury to Earth’s Mightiest Hero: Captain Marvel. And as for Thanos? He’s shown on a hill watching the sunset and wondering if all the death was worth it.