A4D Wiki
Marvel Cinematic Universe character
First appearance The Avengers (2012)
Last appearance Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Created by Jim Starlin
Portrayed by Josh Brolin
Damion Poitier (The Avengers)
Aliases Dark Lord
Affiliation The Children of Thanos
Ronan the Accuser
Children Corvus Glaive (adopted son)
Cull Obsidian (adopted son)
Ebony Maw (adopted son)
Gamora (adopted daughter
Nebula (adopted daughter)
Proxima Midnight (adopted daughter)
Nationality Titan

Thanos is a character portrayed by Josh Brolin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. In the films, Thanos is known as "The Mad Titan" and seeks to collect all six Infinity Stones to stabilize the overpopulation of the universe.

The character was the central antagonist for the "Infinity Saga" of the MCU, having appeared in five films, from his introduction in a post-credit scene in The Avengers, up to Avengers: Endgame. In 2018, Thanos was described as "hands down" the best villain of the MCU.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Feature films

Thanos had minor roles in his first three appearances in the MCU, including two post-credit scene appearances in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, respectively, with a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy in between the Avengers movies. The first major appearance of Thanos came in Avengers: Infinity War, followed by Avengers: Endgame.

Fictional character biography

Thanos appears in various Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

  • Thanos first appears during the end credits of The Avengers as Loki's mysterious benefactor. He's portrayed by Damion Poitier (credited as Man #1). For his subsequent appearances, he's portrayed by Josh Brolin via motion capture.
  • Thanos makes an uncredited appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, which introduces him as the adoptive father of Gamora and Nebula. Thanos makes a deal with Ronan the Accuser to destroy Xandar in exchange for the Orb, only to be betrayed when Ronan vows to come for Thanos once he's destroyed Xandar himself using the Power Stone that had been contained in the Orb. In addition to Brolin for providing performance capture, Sean Gunn stood in for Thanos on set. Thanos was originally going to have a larger role in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Joss Whedon felt that the character needed to be threaded more gently.
  • Thanos makes a cameo appearance during the credits of Avengers: Age of Ultron, donning the Infinity Gauntlet and deciding to retrieve the stones himself. Brolin reprises his uncredited role.
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos begins his crusade to collect all six Infinity Stones and bring balance to the universe by erasing half of all life from existence after his people on Titan wound up extinct. He first takes the Power Stone from Xandar (shown off-screen) before intercepting the surviving Asgardians on the Statesman to take the Space Stone that had been in the Tesseract. He kills Heimdall and Loki, and sends his children, the Black Order, to Earth to retrieve the Time and Mind Stones for him. Thanos destroys the Statesman, then heads to Knowhere to retrieve the Reality Stone from the Collector before Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax and Mantis try to stop him. He captures Gamora and tortures Nebula to make Gamora reveal that the Soul Stone is on Vormir. On Vormir, Thanos and Gamora encounter Red Skull, who tells Thanos that he must sacrifice someone he loves to retrieve the stone. Thanos kills Gamora to do so. On Titan, Thanos encounters Doctor Strange, who engages him along with Tony Stark, Peter Parker, Quill, Drax and Mantis. Nebula joins the fight after escaping captivity. Thanos overpowers them all and Strange eventually gives up the Time Stone to him to save Stark's life. Thanos heads to Wakanda to retrieve the Mind Stone in Vision's head. To stop him, Wanda Maximoff destroys Vision to eliminate the stone, but Thanos uses the Time Stone to undo Vision's destruction and rips the Mind Stone out of his head to complete the Gauntlet. He is then confronted and wounded by Thor, but manages to snap his fingers, decimating half of all life in the universe before teleporting away to another planet.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, Thanos gets ambushed by the surviving Avengers on his farm. They learn he destroyed the stones to prevent anyone from reversing his actions. Thor kills him in his anger. Five years later, the Avengers use the Quantum Realm, where Scott Lang had been trapped, to go back to various points in time and retrieve the stones from the past, in the hope that their fallen allies can be brought back. In 2014, Thanos becomes aware of their plan and sends past-Nebula to the future to bring him and his army there. Thanos arrives just as Banner uses the gathered stones to restore those who were decimated. Thanos attacks the Avengers and decides to use the stones to destroy the entire universe and remake it in his image. The recently resurrected heroes arrive along with reinforcements to help them face Thanos and his army. Stark steals the stones from Thanos and snaps his fingers, wiping him and his forces out of existence.