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Who Should Kill Thanos in Avengers: Endgame?

Place your spoiler-free bets.


Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy

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We are nine days away from the official release date of Avengers: Endgame. Despite leaks we are still speculating, and probably will be until the lights dim on the first showings. We hope that Thanos will be defeated, but the question remains how? And if someone takes Thanos’s advice and aims for the head, the question also stands: who will be the Avenger who takes out the Titan for good?

Let’s preface this by saying that Marvel will probably have Tony or Thor be the one to kill Thanos, and if it’s Tony I’m going to be mad. Not because I dislike Tony, but because it would just be a completely un-earned moment for the character. Yes, Tony has been aware of the looming threat of something lurking in the cosmos, but he’s already had his big emotional showdown with Thanos. He’ll get a big send-off and a big heroic moment or several in Endgame, but he doesn’t need to kill Thanos. He needs to achieve catharsis some other way

I feel the same way about Steve potentially taking down Thanos, and I’m a Steve stan through and through. Steve hasn’t even had Tony’s level of awareness of the Thanos threat; he’s been focused on the Earth and what’s happening there. He should get to help take down Thanos, and I’m sure his death may come at Thanos’s hands, but he doesn’t deserve the right to kill Thanos.

Thor has the most to gain by taking out Thanos, and not only because he didn’t aim for the head. Thanos massacred half his people, then murdered Loki and Heimdall in front of Thor while he could only watch. That’s the type of grief that earns a moment where Thor is able to not go in for the final taunt but rather ends it all quickly, before Thanos can snap again.

However, Thor had his shot. As awesome as a scene where Thor takes Thanos’s advice would be, he hasn’t also quite earned the pay-off in the same way.

Similarly, Carol Danvers, as much as I adore her, also shouldn’t be the Thanos killer. Carol has been off defending the cosmos, and while the Snap cost her dearly in the form of the loss of her close friend Fury, to have her show up for one movie and then take out Thanos would feel highly un-earned. I want her to be key to defeating him, but we need someone who’s had a stake in the game for a while to be the one to end it all.

However, if Okoye is the one to do it, I certainly won’t complain.

Ultimately, there are two characters who deserve the Thanos-killer title. One is dead, but we all know that could change in Endgame somehow. The other survived, and is by far the most righteous candidate to bring Thanos down.

Nebula and Gamora, the daughters of Thanos, were abused and mistreated at his hands for years. Gamora’s mother and people were murdered by him. Nebula was built and re-built by him. Thanos pitted them against each other and tortured them, and ultimately killed Gamora for his own power hungry ambitions. If anyone deserves to kill Thanos, it’s them.

Ideally, they would team up to take him down, but we don’t know if Gamora will be resurrected. The honor falls to Nebula, a villain turned semi-ally who has now lost everything at the hands of Thanos. Trapped on Titan with Tony Stark, she saw the Guardians turn to dust moments after finding out her sister was murdered. If anyone has earned the right to take down Thanos, it’s her. In the comics, she plays a pivotal role in this respect.

It also makes the most narrative sense. They’ve been hammering home the idea of Gamora and Nebula moving past their trauma, and Nebula’s mission since Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been to find Thanos and kill him. It would wrap up her arc perfectly if she was able to take out her monstrous adoptive father once and for all, for Gamora and for herself.

However, Marvel might decide to go the “easy” route and have an Avenger—either Tony or Thor—be the Thanos killer. This also assumes that Thanos will die, though I’m unsure of any other way to neutralize him as a threat. There’s much we still don’t know, and won’t know until we sit down to watch the movie ourselves. Until then, place your bets on any inter-office death pool on if Thanos is a goner and, if so, who will be the one to ensure he doesn’t Snap again.

(image: Marvel)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.