Why Thanos Was Right
September 27, 2022
What if Thanos’ goal was not to solve overpopulation but to prevent the eradication of his universe? In Loki, Miss Minutes plays a propagandistic video to shed light on the multiversal war that was the catalyst behind the formation of the TVA. One of the scenes, a vast battle, showcases a star-shaped edifice belonging to the planet of Titan, Thanos’ home world. During Avengers: Infinity War, Star Lord says that the planet’s gravity was all over the place, not to mention that it was deserted and destroyed. According to Thanos, starvation caused all this. But how could hunger level a planet like the Death Star? It can’t. But a multiversal war can. Titan was ground zero for the multiversal war, which Thanos fought in. Need more proof of Thanos’ knowledge of the multiverse? In Avengers: Endgame, when past Nebula interacts with future Nebula, Thanos is not surprised of the existence of time travel or the multiverse, nor does he flinch when his future self gets decapitated, likely because he did the same thing to other versions of himself during the multiversal war. Thanos saw the destruction of his home world and people before his eyes and vowed that it would never happen again. He began searching for the person who began the multiversal war, believing that whoever started it either still exists in his universe or will exist eventually. So, he kills half the universe. Why? In the hopes of either killing this perpetrator or erasing him from existence by killing his ancestors. Killing a small percent of the universe wouldn’t achieve this goal. Killing all life would go against it; he wants to spare this universe from destruction, not cause it. After Thanos snaps his fingers, he blinks out of consciousness, wakes up in a “soul world,” and talks with the younger version of Gamora.
It is possible that during this interaction he gained cosmic awareness (a quality only seen in Strange Supreme and Infinity Ultron from What If) that confirmed his hopes. He killed He Who Remains’ (the Kang variant from our timeline, the sole victor of the first multiversal war, the ruler of the TVA) ancestors, preventing him from ever existing, thus stopping another multiversal war. Having achieved his mission, he retires on a farm and destroys the Infinity Stones, stopping anyone from resurrecting He Who Remains. A small issue arises with this theory, however. If Thanos erased He Who Remains from existence, why do we see him at the end of Loki? As he explained in his villain monologue, He Who Remains knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen. Like Thanos, his original goal was to prevent another multiversal war, which is why he created the TVA in the first place (to prune variants of himself). So, He Who Remains, knowing that Thanos will kill his predecessors and himself, sets the entirety of Avengers: Endgame into motion.
To understand how, we have to dive into He Who Remains as a character. He is a genius from the 31st century who discovers time travel (which as we know from the MCU, requires the Quantum Realm). In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we see a city in the Quantum Realm, which was rumored to be Chronopolis, Kang’s HQ of sorts. Then, when Scott Lang gets bailed out by a rat in Avengers: Endgame, he says that “time works differently in the Quantum Realm.” This line is later echoed by Mobius when he describes the TVA to Loki. Could the TVA be in the Quantum Realm, or does He Who Remains have such a mastery of it that it allows him to copy its effects somewhere else in the multiverse? Either way, it does not matter. What does matter is that Janet Van Dyne experienced the normal flow of time when trapped in the Quantum Realm. Yet, with Scott, five years passed in five hours. He Who Remains purposely bent the Quantum Realm, or the Quantum Realm copy, to accelerate time around Scott Lang. Scott’s ‘discovery’ that time could be manipulated led to Tony Stark inventing time travel a millennium before Kang. This allowed the Avengers to bring everybody back–including He Who Remains’ ancestors. Without knowing it, they saved their greatest foe. But is he their greatest foe? As stated previously, He Who Remains wanted to prevent another multiversal war. By stopping Thanos, who also wanted to prevent another multiversal war but went about it wrong, he actually succeeded at having “peace in our time” (if time is eternity). Eternity is a long time. Personally, I would not want to live forever, especially if I were all-knowing. Seeking a way to end his suffering, he decided to let Sylvie decide the fate of the universe. Would she kill him and start another multiversal war or take over his work? She chose revenge. I rest my case.
The two greatest foes of the MCU are morally right. By creating the TVA after the devastation of the first multiversal war, He Who Remains prevented the possibility of another. It wasn’t until he asked Sylvie, a hero, the same question (eternity and peace or revenge and war) that the multiverse began to crumble once more. Similarly, after the first multiversal war, Thanos sought to prevent a sequel. He decided that the best way to go about this was to kill the man responsible for it in the first place. Not knowing who had started the war, Thanos opted for genocide under the umbrella of solving overpopulation, fearing that his “cursed knowledge” of the multiverse could lead others to start an incursion. Unbeknownst to him, his success hurt his cause, but his cause was morally correct. Thus, He Who Remains and Thanos gave up their personal experience to attempt and save the lives of infinitely many people. Good is subjective. Yet no matter how you spin it, they are right.
Also, I am certain my opponent will ask, “Why didn’t Thanos use the gauntlet to double the resources of the universe?” Well, because he had bigger problems to deal with. But also, say his true motive was to solve overpopulation. The infinity stones do not create matter. In Infinity War, when Thanos leaves Knowhere, everything that the reality stone “created” reverted back to normal. The same applies for the other stones. They do not create, they change. He could not have doubled the resources of the universe if he wanted to.