Why Did Thanos Kill Half the Universe in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?

Thanos Snap
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In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos’ snap of the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Infinity War was a defining moment that shocked audiences worldwide. The Mad Titan’s decision to wipe out half of all life in the Universe left fans reeling and questioning the motivations behind his ruthless actions. While Thanos believed he was saving the Universe, pretty much everyone else saw him as a genocidal madman. But what was Thanos’ goal in all of it? Unlike most other villains, Thanos never planned on keeping this vast power, and he simply retired after killing half of everything. Due to this, we decided to explain Thanos’ motivations. Let’s see why did Thanos kill half the Universe in Avengers: Infinity War.

Thanos killed half of the Universe because he thought he was bringing balance to the Universe. Thanos had first-hand experience with what happens when population growth goes unchecked and eventually rises so high that limited resources can’t measure up to the demand. He believed that by eliminating half of all lifeforms, he would be able to bring balance to the Universe and stretch the limited resource, making them more lasting.

Now that we’ve briefly covered why Thanos wanted to wipe out half the Universe, it’s time to analyze the details. If you’re interested in the true reasons behind Mad Titan’s conquests and his stubborn race with the Avengers to acquire all infinity stones, stay with us and keep reading!

Thanos’ backstory in the MCU reveals much of his current motivations to bring balance to the Universe

Even though Thanos’ MCU version differs from his comic version, his backstory and origin remain somewhat the same. Thanos was born on the planet Titan. He was different from the rest of his species. He was considered to be a genius from the start, and the prosperous society of Titan nourished his ambitions both when it came to his mental and philosophical state and his physical state.

Despite being like a utopia, Titan was faced with an inevitable crisis that most societies would face at one point. The overpopulation was leading to the vast depletion of limited resources. Thanos warned the leader of Titan and proposed a cruel plan to regulate the population. He was laughed at and mocked. He was called a madman, which he often referenced. But he was ultimately proven right when Titan transformed from a utopia to a barren wasteland.

Thanos on decimated titan

This strengthened his resolve, and ultimately Thanos, in his head, thought that his plan to eliminate half of the living things in the Universe was the right way to take in order to save the Universe. Why would 100 % of all living beings suffer when 50 % of living beings can flourish?

What happened after Titan collapsed?

Thanos did not mourn his home world for long. After the destruction of his home planet, Titan, Thanos quickly moved on and began to focus on his plan to bring balance to the Universe through brute force. He traveled to numerous worlds and decimated their populations in an effort to save them from overpopulation and depletion of resources. Despite being seen as a bloodthirsty conqueror, Thanos did not view himself in that way. He saw himself as a just and impartial force of nature, willing to do whatever it took to save the Universe.

Thanos Galactic Conqueror

Although Thanos succeeded in bringing balance to the worlds he visited, his strategy proved to be inefficient and too slow. It took too long for these planets to recover and thrive after he decimated their populations, and there were far too many biological lifeforms to eradicate. This realization led him to come up with a new plan that involved using the Infinity Gauntlet to manipulate reality itself. By doing so, he could achieve his goal more quickly and efficiently.

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Why did Thanos kill half of the Universe?

Thanos killed half of the Universe to stop resource depletion and to balance the population that was driving the Universe to ruin. He strongly believed that if biological life can grow unchecked, eventually, the resources will run out, and everybody will face a painful and slow death. His method consisted of decimating races and planets one by one until that proved too slow and inefficient. By snaping the Infinity Gauntlet, he achieved what he had strived for most of his life in a single moment. He brought balance to the Universe, but the price was too high.
Thanos was driven by his own experience at Titan, so he knew what kind of scenario this would lead to if someone didn’t take drastic measures and started controlling the population and resources.

Thanos Infinity Gauntlet

Ultimately there have been several fan-made theories regarding better approaches that Thanos could assume. He could have tripled the resources available, but that wouldn’t work. It would lead to an even bigger population boom and would likewise require constant use of the Infinity Gauntlet – an object far too dangerous for a single person to control.

Thanos’ approach to the issue was faulty as well, and even though his goals were presented as rational and just (at least in his own mind), he was far more bloodthirsty about it than he ever needed to be.

Why didn’t Thanos keep the Infinity Gauntlet?

Thanos was never power-thirsty like your regular garden-variety villain. He already had unimaginable power at his disposal even before he attempted to assemble all Infinity Stones. He had already conquered numerous words and assembled countless armies to do his bidding. Thanos never kept the Infinity Gauntlet because he never meant to rule the Universe.

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He simply wanted to balance it. This is why he ultimately destroyed the Infinity Gauntlet. The primary reason was that Avengers could steal it through various means and reverse the snap. The second reason was that Thanos realized that no one should have that kind of power, not even himself.
After snapping half of Universe’s life, he retired to a life of a simple farmer because he already had everything.

As you can see, Thanos’ approach to overpopulation was a gross oversimplification of the true problem and eventually led to many more problems. His approach was simple and effective but with incredibly dangerous consequences in the long run. He destroyed half of the Universe to spare the resources. It was never about the power for himself or about cruelty for cruelty’s sake. He simply believed he was right and just in his destructive cause.

How many people did Thanos kill?

Considering that Thanos aimed to decimate half of the population in the entire universe, the number is likely uncountable. However, some dedicated fans of Reddit did the math, and the number may shock you. According to the post, during the snap, Thanos killed 4.05*1036 people. Yes, that’s a very big number and quite difficult to comprehend for our understanding of numbers and population.

The same post also gave us a confirmation of why Thanos sought the Infinity Stones in the first place. He realized that he wouldn’t be able to kill that many living beings single-handedly since, according to other calculations, it would take him 63 billion years to kill all of them without using Infinity Stones.

And this pretty much sums it up, Thanos is, at least in fiction, among the worst killers. We won’t say the worst since there are beings out there who managed to destroy entire universes.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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