Although Phase 4 is already over, and Phase 5 began in the MCU with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – heck, even though we got Kang the Conqueror now – Thanos still remains the most notorious epic supervillain in the history of the MCU.
He was almost emotionless on his quest for power and delivering ‘balance’ to the universe, as he liked to say, by wiping out half of all living things in existence with a snap of his fingers. The one time we see any emotion from The Mad Titan is on the planet of Vormir in Avengers: Infinity War, where he sacrificed his one true love – his stepdaughter Gamora.
A tear rolls down Thanos’ face, indicating that he genuinely cares for Gamora, but fans aren’t really convinced. Well, I’m here to put your mind to rest – yes, Thanos did really love Gamora, and there’s undeniable proof of it in the movie. Here’s everything you need to know about their relationship and the sacrifice of Gamora at the hands of Thanos.
How did Thanos meet (and adopt) Gamora?
We learned the most about the relationship between Thanos and Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War – the same movie where he sacrificed her life to obtain the Soul Stone. Gamora was Thanos’ stepdaughter, along with her stepsister, Nebula.
However, Gamora was Thanos’ favorite due to the fact that she always excelled in training and beat Nebula every time their stepfather pitted them against each other in a fight. He saw Nebula s nothing but a lab rat on whom he conducted experiments with bionic enhancements. But, Gamora was another story.
As we saw in the film, Thanos met Gamora while he and his armies were decimating her native planet, wiping out half of its population. Instead of placing Gamora in line with the other people on the planet, Thanos took her aside and explained his theory of balance by using the double-sided blade, giving it to Gamora to try and balance it.
He clearly saw something in Gamora – a fighting spirit, perhaps – and decided to take her under his wing and raise her as a stepdaughter. Not only did he raise Gamora as a stepdaughter – she became one of his best assassins, prolific in every single part of the job.
But, Gamora never really liked what she had become. She didn’t like what Thanos was doing to Nebula, either. Despite their differences, Gamora cared for her sister and hated seeing her being tortured by Thanos. But, simultaneously, she never let Nebula win in her fights – because she was scared of losing and having to go through what Nebula was going through.
And then, despite being Thanos’ favorite, Gamora felt trapped and emotionally abused by The Mad Titan, which is why she eventually escaped his clutches and sought a life of her own. It inadvertently put her on a path to meeting Peter Quill and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Why do fans believe Thanos never loved Gamora?
Now, despite Avengers: Infinity War essentially claiming that Gamora was the only thing in the world that Thanos loved – other than the power he so desperately sought under the guise of ‘cosmic balance’ – some fans aren’t buying it. Why is that so, you might ask? Well, it’s not that hard to figure out.
First, Thanos adopted Gamora by killing her mother, wiping out half of her planet, and then literally abducting her at such a young age. Sure, he raised her as his daughter – but he raised her to have another cold-blooded assassin in his ranks, turning her into one of his best.
He tortured her emotionally every step of the way, forcing her to always fight with her stepsister. Every time they had to fight, Gamora was essentially given a choice; either beat Nebula and then watch as he tortured her with bionic experiments or purposely lose and risk having the same experiments done to her.
She always chose the first and beat Nebula repeatedly, and every time she watched Nebula get tortured, it destroyed her. Nebula definitely got the worse end of being physically tortured – but Gamora was tortured psychologically and emotionally as well.
Fast forward to Avengers: Infinity War, when Gamora was already with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thanos lured them to Knowhere. He first manipulated Gamora to come there so that he could kidnap her.
Then, once there, he used the Reality Stone to act as if Gamora had killed him, watching her completely break down emotionally, only to reappear to say something like – ‘you see, I knew you cared about me!’ And then, he forced his biggest love – Peter Quill – to pull the trigger on her instead of letting Thanos take her, just to prove a point.
He took Gamora back to his ship, back to Nebula, and tortured her until Gamora broke down and revealed the location of the Soul Stone to him. And, as icing on the cake, he takes Gamora to Vormir and literally sacrifices her to get what he wants.
How – just how in the world – can all this happen, and Thanos still love Gamora? Well, as it turns out in the MCU, he DID actually love her.
Did Thanos really love Gamora?
So, after all, that being said about the relationship between Thanos and Gamora, there’s still one crucial piece of evidence that The Mad Titan actually loved his stepdaughter. In fact, she was his one true love.
When Thanos and Gamora came to Vormir – the planet where the Soul Stone was located – they were greeted by Red Skull, who explained to Thanos how he could obtain the Soul Stone.
The only way to get the Soul Stone was to sacrifice something or someone. But, not just anything or anyone – it had to be their true love. If they sacrificed what they truly, deeply loved, they could obtain the Soul Stone.
We see Thanos let out a tear before grabbing Gamora’s hand and tossing her down the cliff. Fans say that he evidently loved only power and not Gamora, but the fact that he actually got the Soul Stone proves that he genuinely loved her.
Had he not, the Soul Stone would not have presented himself to Thanos. He knew that it was the only way to achieve his goals in the end, so he sacrificed the only one he ever truly loved.
In his own twisted way, just like he thought that he was actually saving the universe by murdering billions and billions of people, animals, and all other forms of life.
Although that love was absolutely toxic, and the way Thanos treated his ‘beloved’ daughter was torture to her, he really did love Gamora. And, seeing that she broke down in tears after ‘killing’ him on Knowhere, Thanos realized that, despite hating him in so many ways, Gamora couldn’t help herself but love him as well. And I thought my family was bonkers…