It’s hard to isolate a single Thanos scene from the Avengers movies that didn’t ultimately become a meme or iconic in one way or another, but one scene that truly displayed the depth of his character was when he sacrificed Gamora at Vormir to gain the Soul Stone. We’ve seen Thanos winning, losing, fighting, blowing stuff up, and then, ultimately, we’ve seen him crying. Since Thanos is a villain, numerous fans have been wondering why was Thanos exactly crying when he killed Gamora?
Thanos was crying because he had to sacrifice Gamora to obtain the Soul Stone. He was crying because she was the person he loved the most in the world, and he had to give her up to accomplish his genocidal plans. The fact that he was still willing to pay the price proved that he didn’t love her enough. Still, Thanos was visibly distressed and in mourning, and it was all because he had lost his daughter.
Now that we’ve covered the source of Thanos’ heartbreak, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. Thanos is a complicated character, and most of the time, fans aren’t exactly sure whether to agree with him or hate him. If you’re interested in our perspective, keep reading!
Thanos loved Gamora like a daughter, she held a different sentiment
Thanos first hand saw what a lack of resources does to a civilization, even as advanced one as Titan was, his homeworld. He proposed a solution to deal with it, but he was called a madman mostly, and his projections weren’t taken seriously enough. His worst fears came true when Titan got destroyed, not by a natural calamity or some external threat, but by overpopulation. It was destroyed from the inside, and the civilization quickly descended into chaos, leaving nothing behind save for a barren hellhole.
This inspired him to start his “crusade” all across the Universe. He was “saving” civilizations by eliminating half of the life on certain planets and conquering the places. One day, he happened upon Zehoberei civilization. His Chitauri army quickly dealt with the aliens, and this was when Thanos met Gamora. At the time, she was a small girl, and at first, she tried to hide from the Chitauri with her mother. She was discovered, of course, but offered some resistance which greatly impressed Thanos, and we all know Thanos was mostly impressed by power and determination.
The good impression that Gamora left on Thanos did not extend to her parents, and they were killed. Thanos learned Gamora all about balance. He adopted her and treated her as his own flesh and blood. He enhanced her and taught her all the skills needed to become “the most dangerous woman in the galaxy,” but Gamora was growing increasingly rebellious toward her adoptive parent. And the worst part was Thanos respected that as well.
As we’ve mentioned before, Thanos valued strength and domination. He would not settle to have his child meekly obey, so the fact that Gamora broke off from his philosophies did not decrease his love for her.
Soul Stone sacrifice proved that Gamora was Thanos’ greatest love
Thanos was successfully acquiring Infinity Stones, but one remained hidden from him, the Soul Stone. Gamora, unfortunately, found the map and promptly burned it. She went as far as and asked to be killed if she was ever in danger of revealing its information to Thanos.
But Thanos knew that Gamora ultimately did not share his sentiments, and he knew that she was attached to her sister Nebula enough that she would not stand to see her killed, and he was right. Thanos threatened Gamora with Nebula, and she revealed to him the location of the Soul Stone.
The two arrived at the desolate planet of Vormir, where Red Skull greeted them as the unfortunate Stonekeeper. This was highly suspicious to Thanos as he went to great lengths to acquire other stones, the Soul Stone and Vormir seemed almost too easy, and he was right.
Red Skull told him that to acquire the Soul Stone, he needed to sacrifice the one being he loved the most. And at first, Gamora was incredulous, perhaps a bit relieved since she doubted that Thanos ever loved anybody except for his cause. But when he turned around, she saw the terror and tears in his eyes, and with Red Skull’s help, she realized that she was the one being that he loved the most, his adoptive daughter.
The acquisition of the Soul Stone turned out to be the hardest, as Thanos had to sacrifice everything to obtain it. And this is why he was crying because he had to sacrifice Gamora. We must also consider that Thanos was hoping to make the Universe a better, more sustainable place for everyone, including Gamora. The day he had to kill her to achieve this, part of his drive and determination died with her.
Gamora’s sacrifice further strengthened Thanos
When the Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, and Dr. Strange later capture Thanos, Mantis reveals to them that he is, in fact, in mourning, and this is why he seems to be weaker than his usual self and less determined.
Nebula quickly figured that his mourning paired with the lack of Gamora, must mean that he killed her to obtain the Soul Stone. Star-Lord started punching Thanos, which broke Mantis’ calming effect that she had over him, and Thanos was reminded that he had truly sacrificed everything to get where he is now and that giving up now, giving up his cause would meant that Gamora died for nothing.
No matter how the story eventually ended, Thanos did manage to wipe out half of the life in the Universe, if only briefly.
And this is the story of why Thanos cried when he killed Gamora because he loved her.