Since the release of Avengers: Infinity War, the Internet has been filled with Marvel fans mercilessly blaming Peter Quill for the events of the movie. However, upon further analysis, Thor is much more to blame for the movie’s tragic ending. Warning: Major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War lie ahead. Read at your own risk.
The scene that many Marvel fans cannot seem to look past is the fight against Thanos on Titan when Quill seemingly messed everything up upon discovering that his girlfriend Gamora had been killed. He attacked Thanos out of pure aggression and rage, ruining the entire attack the team had planned out to take Thanos’s gauntlet. However, as Doctor Strange had revealed, it would have made no difference, and the only way for the heroes to win was for Tony Stark to survive and for Thanos to be given the Time Stone. Even though Quill’s act of rage was extremely inappropriate and should clearly not be forgotten, he is not to blame for the events that conspired at the end of the movie. Thanos would have gotten away with the Time Stone either way.
Instead, there is one character who is to blame for letting Thanos get away with his plan: Thor. At the end of Infinity War, when Thanos finally had all of the Infinity Stones in his Gauntlet, Thor heroically came into the picture, hurdling his newest weapon Stormbreaker straight into the chest of the Mad Titan. However, as Thanos himself said, Thor “should have gone for the head,” as Thanos was still able to snap his fingers and escape, accomplishing his dastardly plan.
The big question fans have been asking has been, “why didn’t Thor go for the head?” Additionally, why didn’t he go for Thanos’s arm? Well, as it turns out this wasn’t a plot hole, and instead an intentional decision from Thor. Here is what director Joe Russo had to say on the matter.
“I would argue that the fan base could be equally upset with Thor, who chose to throw that ax into Thanos chest and not his head. Because he wanted to tell Thanos that he got his revenge… Had he gone for a kill shot, that snap would not have happened. These are choices that characters who are feeling immense pain make and hopefully, the audience can learn to empathize with those characters because they can grow through stories. Stories can teach us things and that we should try to see every choice from the perspective of the character that made the choice.”
Clearly, Star-Lord was not the only one who was thinking with emotion rather than logic. Thor knew the power that Thanos had with all six Infinity Stones, but he didn’t care. All Thor cared about was rubbing it in Thanos’s face that he had won and that he was stronger. This was certainly not the first time that Thor let his emotions and ego get the best of him, as it has been a major character trait for the god of thunder since the first Thor movie. However, this was the first time that Thor’s selfish actions resulted in the death of trillions of innocent people.
The big difference, however, between Thor’s actions and Star-Lord’s actions is that Thor actually could have stopped Thanos. As Doctor Strange revealed, Thanos would have won the fight on Titan regardless of Star-Lord’s act of rage. However, no matter what Doctor Strange and the rest would have done, it would not have stopped Thor from hitting Thanos in the chest rather than the head. They would not have been able to reach Thor in time to tell him to actually go for the head, making Thor’s selfish actions practically the universe’s destiny in the eyes of Doctor Strange.
This doesn’t mean that Star-Lord is off the hook, as his irrational actions, despite being completely natural and understandable, still seemingly put the universe at stake. However, the actions of Thor himself did doom the universe. Like Star-Lord, Thor only thought with emotion, wanting to avenge the ones he had lost, yet Thor’s actions managed to have a much larger impact on the future of the universe.
As Joe Russo said in his interview with ComicBook.com, we will see more of Thor’s guilt play out next year in Avengers 4. Surely, Thor feels remorse for his selfish actions, and he rightfully should. As hard as it is to be mad at the lovable “pirate angel,” Marvel fans really should cut Star-Lord a break and instead hold Thor accountable for his actions.