THE AVENGERS Ending Explained [SPOILERS]

by     Posted 1 year, 345 days ago

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[This is a re-post of our article from last week.  However, since there will be plenty of people who are seeing The Avengers for the first time this weekend, we wanted to re-post it for those who didn't understand the brief scene from the middle of the end creditsAlso, make sure you stay till the very end of the credits.]

If you stayed seated during the credits of The Avengers (and by this point, you know you should for a Marvel movie), you may have had some questions about what you saw. It’s a scene, or rather, a moment that plays strictly to the comic geeks in the audience. But what about everyone else? If you were left confused by what you saw, hit the jump for an explanation. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD (Obviously)]

[Seriously, turn back now if you haven't seen The Avengers. I'm telling you the ending.]

the-avengers-ending-thanosAfter The Avengers have defeated the Chitauri army by sending a nuke into their mother ship, we see their leader talking to a mysterious figure. The Chitauri leader says that the humans are not to be underestimated, and to face them would be “to court Death itself.” And then the mysterious figure turns his head and we see Thanos, The Mad Titan, smiling. Cut to black and the rest of the end credits.

So who the hell is Thanos?

If you were unfamiliar with the character, you were probably left wondering, “Who is that purple gentleman and why is he grinning?

I’m going to say right up front that I haven’t read any comics with Thanos, and my information comes from the Marvel Wiki. I’m going to hit the major points about who Thanos is and the threat he poses.

Like any comic book character, Thanos has had a long and convoluted history in the Marvel Universe. Thanos first appeared in Iron Man #55 (1973), and so lots of weird shit has happened in the almost forty years since he’s been around. He’s literally already out there since he’s a member of a cosmic race known as The Eternals, but he’s born “misshapen and monstrous”, especially when compared to rest of his race of pretty people. From there, Thanos has one consuming passion that runs almost pretty much through his entire story:

He is obsessed with Death. So when the Chitauri leader says that to fight The Avengers would be “courting death itself,” it gives Thanos a smiley face.

Comics being comics, death isn’t only a concept; it’s a literal being. From the Marvel Wiki:

Growing in power and infamy as he traveled the universe, Thanos once met Death itself, as it appeared to him embodied in a female form. Thanos was infatuated with the being, and endeavored to make himself worthy in order to earn her love in return. With an army under his command, he nearly destroyed his former home of Titan, declaring himself its ruler. He then sought out the powerful Cosmic Cube [known as the "Tesseract" in the movies], and a number of Earth’s heroes assembled to confront him.

the-avengers-ending-thanos-infinity-gauntlet-odins-vaultLet me take a break to say that I don’t know if Marvel is using this storyline as a premise for The Avengers 2. With all of their movies, Marvel has constantly had to wrestle with how much they can take from the comics and how much they have to cater to mainstream audiences. Now back to Thanos…

In addition to his Death fixation, Thanos is also known for being the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet. You may have caught it at Comic-Con a couple years back, or possibly you’ve seen it in some behind the scenes set photos from Thor because the Gauntlet is in Odin’s vault. So what’s the big deal about this weapon? Again, from the Marvel Wiki:

Mistress Death believed that there was a cosmic imbalance in the universe – that there were more living than there were dead. As a result, Death resurrects her loyal servant Thanos, who is appointed the task of killing off half of the population of the universe. Not only is Thanos’ power augmented by Death, he is granted access to the Infinity Well, where he realizes the power of the Infinity Gems. After much plotting and scheming, Thanos wrestles the gems from their owners and gains mastery over Power, Mind, Space, Reality, Time, and the Soul.

And this thing is sitting in Odin’s vault, which, as we saw in Thor, ain’t exactly fool-proof. I’m not sure if this will be the new MacGuffin, but Thanos without the Infinity Gauntlet is like Captain America without his shield or Thor without his hammer. The weapon is inseparable from the character. Also, Marvel didn’t trot it out at Comic-Con, and sit it next to Asgardian helmets and Captain America’s shield simply because people like shiny things (I mean, they do, but that wasn’t the only reason).

Looking ahead to The Avengers 2, Thanos’ Death-obsession and the Infinity Gauntlet are the two things you should currently keep in mind because Marvel put them on the table. There are other elements from Thanos’ history Marvel could try to weave in such as Adam Warlock or the Infinity Watch, and I’m interested to see how complex the studio is willing to make the movies. No matter the level of complexity, Marvel has apparently announced the villain of The Avengers 2, and now you know a little bit more about him.

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*Also, credit where credit is due: Latino Review reported Thanos would be in the movie back in May 2011.




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  • Dodge_hickey

    Stop posting stuff like this! It’s starting to piss me off/…

    (saw the film a few weeks back)

    • Eric Nixon

      Who cares what you think? This is for people who are just now seeing the movie and want to know more. If you don’t like it, just keep scrolling down the page until you see you do wan to read. Hell, it probably took more time to type your whining than it would to just ignore the article altogether.

      • ClarkKent2o6

        But… then no one would see just how awesome he is..!

      • Dodge_hickey

        Whoa! I am totally offended by your totally original comment!

        (sarcasm by the way, decided to put this in there in case your childlish brain tried to come up with something else “original” )

        I posted because all I see is this article, Avengers at the top of the box office or something else Avengers related…no other film site went overboard like this!

      • BassGlenn

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    • Ryder

      Um nobody twisted your arm to open this comment. Only trolls will open up an article they hate so they can comment on how much they hate it.

      • Thraxxus

        well said! “Hmm let me read this article so I can post how much I hate it. because everyone on the net is hanging on what I think about this”. Some people just think that their opinion is soooo damn important. news flash dodge_hickey… noone gives two shits about what you think of the movie, whether you liked it or thought it went overboard. We all pretty much just want people like you to keep their comments to themselves because you mean, well.. nothing.

  • Brandon Avery

    What do you think of the list I compiled?

    Iron Man 3……………………………2013
    Thor 2……………………………….2013
    Captain America 2……………………..2014
    Black Widow/Hawkeye……………………2014
    Shield……………………………….2014
    Ant-Man………………………………2014/2015
    Black Panther…………………………2015
    The Incredible HULK 2………………….2014/2015
    Dr. Strange…………………………..2015
    Guardians of the Galaxy………………..2016
    The Incredible HULK 3………………….2016/2017
    The AVENGERS 2………………………..2016
    Thor 3……………………………….2017
    Captain America 3……………………..2017
    Iron Man 4……………………………2017

    This would be lovely for the future. Plus if The Avengers are going to face Thanos they definitely need to power up!

    • Max Blackmon

      What about Spider-man will he be in Avengers 2

      • Ur mom

        Sadly, no. Cuz Sony owns the movie rights of Spiderman. Chances are they won’t negotiate, cuz the reason they made The Amazing Spiderman is so they can extend their rights more longer. :-/

    • Alex

      IM3 and Thor 2 I’ve heard is coming out next year, with Cap 2 in ’14.

      I really doubt that Disney/Marvel is willing to wait until 2016 for Avengers 2. If I had to guess they’ve already started working on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out in ’14 at the earliest or possibly 2015.

      I’d like to see a SHIELD movie with greater focus on Fury, BW and Hawkeye.

  • John

    This posting (and now reposting) of Avengers “news” is really starting to get annoying.

    • Brandon Avery

      The fact that you took the time to make this post is getting annoying. Just don’t read it and keep scrolling douch bag!

      • Dodge_hickey

        @Brandon Avery :The fact that you took the time to make this post is getting annoying. Just don’t read it and keep scrolling douch bag!

        I agree with John, it is getting repetitive and annoying!

      • John

        @Brandon
        You are free to have your own opinion, no need to attack others for having a different point of view.

        …and what do you know? They’ve just posted ANOTHER box office article about the Avengers. And of course it won’t be the last.

        This is honest criticism for Collider: I really enjoy Steve’s interviews and a lot of other features. But no other website has posted this much on the Avengers – at this point it feels as though you are just trying to get more clicks/page views with these articles.

      • SP1234

        This is exactly why I went to see Dark Shadows! Nothing against Avengers, absolutely loved it, but the constant reporting on here is getting too old, too fast.

      • Jesus

        @SP1234 Did that actually make sense to you? “A website I frequent reports on a movie too much so I went and saw a bad comedy attempting to capitalize on the ‘winning formula’ of Burton and Depp”? Really? So when CNN talks about the American debt too much, do you go and drown a turtle because it’s green like money but has nothing to do with finance? I’m just wondering, because it seems you like to make arbitrary connections that then dictate what you do. Should we fear for turtles?

  • Chris Olivier

    I think the Thanos scene is a teaser for Marvel Studios’ upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, which Kevin Feige has recently commented on being in the works.

    • Jesus

      Yeah, I think Guardians is now inevitable. And I think additional proof of that is that the animated Avengers series just introduced them in their last episode. If that’s not Marvel priming kids to recognize one of their most obscure branches I don’t what it is.

  • Mavro

    Thanos comes from the Greek word “Thanatos” which means “Death.”

  • Black Adam

    If you want to read up more on Thanos, check out The Thanos Quest and The Infinity Gauntlet. Jim Starlin and Ron Lim did the former and the latter was Jim Starlin, Ron Lim and George Perez. Good stuff!

  • Nomad

    As I recall, after the infinity gauntlet saga, the infinity gems were assigned to individual keepers (Warlock, Dexter, etc) to prevent a single person or being to possess them all collectively. How is it that they are attached again to Thano’s glove and in Odin’s vault??

    • Jesus

      Why are you assuming the Marvel Movie universe takes place after the infinity gauntlet saga?

  • Dannyboy3030

    Pick up Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.’s run on the Eternals. Amazing story arc and artwork

  • Ian Dalziel

    Aah! Thanos! I thought it was the Super Skrull, it was such a very Kirbyesque ‘Negative Zone’ type scene – and the Avengers (and Fantastic Four) came up against the Skrulls (and Kree) often – if I recall correctly one of my favourite Avengers series was the Skrull war way back with Neal Adams art…. suddenly I feel rather old.

    This comment comes from Christchurch, New Zealand – the down town of which rather resembles a city that had one of those colossal superhero battles, there is not much left standing since the big earthquakes and we are still getting large aftershocks (and lots of little ones) almost 2 years later – interesting times – and I am surprised no one is making movies in the rubble, oh that’s right, we still aren’t allowed in…

  • Ian Dalziel

    Thanos! I was thinking it was maybe the Super Skrull…

  • boss

    in avengers 2 bring characters like scarlet witch, quicksilver,black panther and falcon cause they need more muscle to beat thanos.

    • Tenebrous

      Falcon will be fairly useless. T’Challa can bring resources and the ability to deal with canon fodder to the table, but that’s about it. Pietro and Wanda would be useful, assuming they use the Ultimate incarnations of the characters as the basis, seeing as that Pietro is much faster and capable of dealing damage to superhuman beings, and that version of Wanda isn’t ridiculously overpowered.

      They’ll definitely need Strange to deal with Thanos. Prior to the loss of of his Sorcerer Supreme title and abilities, I would say that Strange could take Thanos down with a few quick spells. He was on ridiculous levels of power and was doing combat with Eternity, Shuma Gorath, Dormammu, The In-Betweener, and the Living Tribunal even commented on how surprised he was by Strange’s power levels.

      Pym will be useful against Thanos, assuming they give him both growing and shrinking abilities.

      They’ll definitely need the Guardians, assuming Thanos controls the Infinity Gauntlet. The Inhumans might also be necessary.

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  • justin foley

    guardians of the galaxy would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!! star lord was one of the best characters ever(when written by abnett and lanning)

  • daddycardona

    I think that instead of Thanos they should be focusing on Galactis or whatever his name was that fantastic four haves to face. Also they should add X-Men and other groups in this fight with other enemies. I am also wondering though a DC group if they are going to make Justice League. that would be awesome. Also have the fight JLA vs Avengers that would be awesome too.
    Lastly, for all those people that posted on this site negative stuff, next time don’t come to this site. This is a great article, don’t forget that Ryu and Ken from street fighter can beat Thanos according to the first Marvel VS Capcom

    • thedude

      That movie would be 9 hours long guy…

  • Galactis

    How bout workin the Silver Surfer back into the mix? Any thoughts?

  • mindmenglish

    if FF involved who will play human torch?

    are SS n galactus dead?

    like to see Thaonos pimp smack hulk n thing
    like in the comics. of course spiderman can bring hulk down
    not defeating him thou

  • roscoeg

    OMG plz put the surfer in AV2 I would sell my soul to see him and galactus done correctly lol

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  • mindmenglish

    thanos 1st then big G

    cuz thanos is weaker than G

    of course human cops can put thanos in lock up :>

    thanos can t handle mini earthquake :>

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    I never usually have the possibility to see something like this.. Good stuff.

    Hawkeye Leather Vest

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