Why Thanos waited

Six years. That’s how long it took between audiences’ first glimpse of Thanos hovering in the shadows during the mid-credits scene of The Avengers and the game-changing destruction he rained down in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War. So…what’s with the delay? Why didn’t the eight-foot-tall alien warrior take things into his own hands even sooner?

It turns out there’s a good reason for why Thanos waited so long, and Infinity War co-writer Stephen McFeely explains it below.

LRM Online pulled a quote from Stephen McFeely, who co-wrote the script with Christopher Markus, off of the Avengers: Infinity War commentary. (The film just hit Digital HD and comes to Blu-ray later this month.) Here’s what McFeely said about Thanos’s timetable:

“The catalyst for the whole movie was when Thanos figured out where the Soul Stone was because he captured Nebula on his ship [after she went after him at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2] and rooted around in her brain and found out that Gamora knew where the Soul Stone was…

Normally you want, you know, your inciting incident, the catalyst for this to maybe be on screen and maybe be first. But given how we wanted to approach the story we buried it to basically the midpoint. And, you know, again, it keeps you off balance, but it’s definitely there.”

Seems like he’s kinda throwing Nebula – a torture victim! – under the bus a little bit there, but his quote does actually answer the question of why Thanos didn’t take matters into his own hands earlier on the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline.

But this idea reminds me a little of a conversation about Game of Thrones and who was technically responsible for starting The War of the Five Kings. Was it Catelyn Stark kidnapping Tyrion at the inn? Jaime Lannister for pushing Bran out the window? Someone else entirely?

In Infinity War, who was ultimately responsible for Thanos’s “snap heard ’round the universe”? Nebula, for cracking under torture? That seems unfair. Gamora, for sharing the secret information with her sister in the first place? Eh. I’d argue it goes all the way back to Thanos for kidnapping them and raising them the way he did. The devastating events of this movie begin and end with him…well, at least until Avengers 4 (theoretically) undoes some of that damage.

Avengers: Infinity War hits 4K and Blu-ray on August 14, 2018.

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