Thanos is, for a good reason, the most iconic MCU villain and one of the most iconic Marvel villains in the comics in general. He spent a good portion of his screen time chasing for Infinity Stones, and he did some truly vile things in order to get them. Thanos sacrificed everything to get the stones and erase half of all life in the Universe, and then, when he was done, he simply destroyed them. For someone who craved ultimate power all that much, a lot of fans are wondering, why did Thanos destroy the Infinity Stones?
Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones because their purpose was fulfilled, and he no longer had use for them. He was also afraid that he, or someone else, might be tempted by their power and abuse them in the future. He also knew that the Avengers would forever look for the Stones in order to reverse the Snap, and by destroying them, he made sure that the Snap was irreversible. Thanos was all about balance, and having so much power under the control of one individual was a significant imbalance in the Universe, which ultimately led him to use the Gauntlet to destroy the stones themselves.
Now that we’ve covered the reason why Thanos destroyed the stones, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Thanos sought Infinity Stones to make his purge faster and easier
Thanos had one goal: he wanted to eliminate half of all life in the Universe to prevent resource depletion, wars, and famine. He believed that everything should be perfectly balanced but also noticed that overpopulation leads to the extermination of life in general. To preserve all life in the Universe, somehow illogically, he had to eliminate half of it.
At least, this was the logic that he used. Thanos first started genociding species across the Universe by hand. He used his Chitauri army to lay sieges on entire planets in order to kill half of their populations but soon realized that life was too common in the Universe and he wouldn’t be able to bring balance in time. It would take too long.
This is when he found out about the Infinity Stones, a powerful artifact that offers the individual that has them in the possession nearly unlimited power over reality. Infinity Stones were hard to collect, and Thanos had to go as far as to sacrifice his adoptive daughter in order to get them.
Then, after he snapped the Gauntlet and half of life in the Universe vanished as if it had never existed, he retreated to the farmhouse and used the Gauntlet to destroy the stones. Why? Why go through so much trouble to get them and then destroy them?
Thanos never really wanted power, he had enough of it
Even without the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos was one of the most powerful individuals in the Universe. He knew what it felt like to have power and what he could do with it. He also knew how dangerous it was if the power fell into the wrong hands.
Thanos never wanted to rule the Universe. He wanted to balance it, and after he made sure that the Universe was balanced, he destroyed the Stones.
Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones because their purpose was complete, and he was afraid that someone else, even himself, might abuse them in the future.
Such powerful weapons would prove to be an incredible imbalance, as one individual would possess enough power to destroy the entire reality. Even though Thanos never really craved power, he couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t eventually become tempted by the idea. He used the Gauntlet on two occasions to purge half of life and destroy the Stones.
Additionally, Thanos was aware that the Avengers would be forever hunting him because of the Stones, looking for ways to reverse the Snap. By destroying this reality’s Infinity Stones, he ensured the Snap was irreversible.
After Thanos’ purpose was fulfilled, he decided to retire to a farm, and ironically enough, his location was discovered when the Avengers noticed an explosion of power due to the Gauntlet being activated. Thanos was killed on the spot, but there was no turning back for the Stones. At the times when the Avengers confronted Thanos, they were unaware that the Stones were destroyed.
How did the Avengers get the Stones if they were destroyed?
Even though Infinity Stones are nearly omnipotent, they have one serious limitation. Each reality, or Universe however you like it, has only one set of Stones, and different sets of Stones from other Universes won’t work on Earth-199999, where the MCU takes place.
But if the Stones were destroyed by Thanos, how did the Avengers manage to reverse the Snap by using Infinity Stones?
The key to answering this question is time travel. Infinite copies of Infinity Stones exist within the multiverse, but each set works only in its native reality. In other realities, they are no more powerful than you’re regular paperweight, and this is something that we’ve seen in the ‘Loki’ series.
Avengers, however, clearly had access to the Infinity Stones native to Earth-199999. The Avengers retrieved the Infinity Stones from Earth-199999 but from different points in time before they were destroyed in the first place, and this is why the Infinity Stones worked, and this is also a reason why Gamora from the past became stuck in the current timeline.
After the Stones were used to reverse the Snap, they also had to be returned to their proper place in time without exception; otherwise, the current timeline would be altered beyond repair.
And even though we’ve seen Avengers making some drastic changes to the past, it apparently didn’t affect the current timeline all that much. Go figure. And no, Infinity Stones of Earth-199999 shouldn’t make an appearance in future movies because, by returning them to their proper place in time, they were once again eventually destroyed, and their status is also listed as “destroyed.”
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