I’ve held out on this post for a while now, mostly because I knew any post I wrote about Avengers: Infinity War would necessarily contain a bunch of SPOILERS. This is definitely a movie I don’t want to spoil for anyone; however, in the wake of some potentially leaked concept art for Avengers 4, I think it’s time to bite the bullet.
So if you still haven’t seen the film, it is everything it’s billed to be. It’s action-packed, yet manages to give all of its heroes individual time to shine. The villain is compelling, well fleshed out, and a definite challenge. It’s well worth the ticket price.
Having said that, if you still haven’t seen it, go do that now.
Alternatively, you could read this non-spoilery post on my upcoming writing projects.
The bottom line is that this post contains DEFINITE SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War, POTENTIAL SPOILERS for pretty much every film afterward, and PROBABLE SPOILERS for any MCU movie you’ve not seen leading up to this.
You’ve been warned.
OK, so let’s get down to it.
I think everyone knows the premise of Infinity War. The trailers certainly made it clear. Thanos wants to assemble the Infinity Stones so that he can wipe out half of the universe, you know, for the greater good. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy must band together to stop him while Thor goes shopping for a new weapon.
He snaps his fingers like Gamora promised in the previews and half the universe became dust in the wind. I still remember the hush of the theater and the feeling of disquiet as we watched Thanos snap his fingers and escape. Minutes later, people began fading away from existence. The stunned silence continued on through each shocking demise and through the single midcredits scene, where two more of our heroes perished.
Frankly, it was awesome in the sense that the word was intended to be used. It ranks as one of the best movie cliffhanger endings I’ve ever seen.
We know that some of these deaths will be reversed, if indeed those who vanished with half the universe actually died, because some of those characters have movies coming out later! Some have speculated that they might even be trapped in the Soul Stone dimension. The point is that their deaths could be reversed with another Infinity Snap.
But what about those who died prior to the Infinity Snap? If Marvel wants to be consistent and keep up the stakes, those who died apart from the Snap wouldn’t be revived in a Reverse Infinity Snap, but does that mean they’re gone for good?
Let’s take a look.
Xandar. When Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy, he tells them:
“There are six stones out there. Thanos already has the Power Stone because he stole it last week when he decimated Xandar. He stole the Space Stone from me when he destroyed my ship and slaughtered half my people.”
Thanos’ modus operandi is to destroy half the population of a planet, but the destruction of Xandar happened off-screen so we have no way of knowing the full extent of the devastation. If only half the population remained in the wake of Thanos’ destructive heist, that means only a quarter of its population remains in the wake of the Infinity Snap!
Nova Prime. We haven’t seen the Nova Corps since the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, but we know the Power Stone was stored in their vaults on Xandar. Guardians 2 made it clear that the Stone’s location was common knowledge. Whether Glenn Close’s Nova Prime and Nova Corps survived Thanos’ decimation of the planet is anyone’s guess.
Rhomann Dey. The first Guardians of the Galaxy ended with Rhomann returning home to hug his family after the Guardians defeated Ronan and stopped the destruction of Xandar. We’ve no way to know if Rhomann or his family survived either the decimation of Xandar at Thanos’ hand or the Infinity Snap.
Loki. Loki is dead and will likely remain dead. He died at the hands of Thanos himself as comeuppance for losing the Tesseract, the Scepter containing the Mind Stone, and the Chitauri army during the Battle of New York in the first Avengers movie. Loki’s death scene was grim and, frankly, overly long. It definitely felt like Tom Hiddleston’s swan song. And his brief transformation into a hero completed his character arc nicely.
Nevertheless, he has been seen in set photos for Avengers 4. Thus far, these look like flashback scenes. Of course, it could be something more like time travel which would make it possible to make Thanos a liar for promising Loki there would be no resurrections this time. Even so, this would be a Loki from an alternate timeline with his own character arc to fulfill.
Heimdall. Heimdall gave his life to send a warning to Earth. He will also likely remain dead since he too died directly at Thanos’ hand. Also, he only had enough magic left for that one last Bifrost bridge, so that seems significant.
The Asgardian Refugees. In an interview with the student body of Iowa City High School, Joe Russo was asked if there were any survivors amongst the Asgardian refugees aboard the Statesman when Thanos attacked their ship. After all, Thanos’ MO is to exterminate only half of a population, which lines up with what Thor told the Guardians of the Galaxy. Russo replied:
“There certainly were survivors- Thor does say to the Guardians that he slaughtered half his people- prior to the start of that scene escape ships were deployed for asgardians- including Valkyrie.”
Which brings us to…
Valkyrie. When asked specifically, “Valkyrie lives?”, Russo replied. “Yes.” So it has been confirmed that, while she wasn’t onscreen during Infinity War, Valkyrie survived the attack on the Asgardian ship.
Korg and Miek. The fates of these two fan favorites from Thor: Ragnarok is unknown. They did not appear in Infinity War. It’s possible that they escaped the destruction of the Asgardian refugee ship with Valkyrie, but we have no way of knowing whether they survived Thanos’ snap. The Russos said that revealing whether they survived would be too spoilery, but Korg is voiced by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi so we figure he’s probably safe.
The Collector. The fate of the Collector is unknown. His onscreen death was an illusion created by the Reality Stone. We know that Thanos got the Reality Stone from Tanileer Tivan but we have no way of knowing whether Thanos actually killed him or whether he faded with half the universe later.
Gamora. Thanos sacrificed his daughter to obtain the Soul Stone. Since this happened before the Infinity Snap, my first instinct would be to say she’s a goner; however, a child version of herself continues to haunt Thanos afterward, so it’s possible her fate is aligned with those who vanished with the Infinity Snap. Maybe. She has NOT been confirmed for Guardians Vol. 3.
The Vision. The Vision dies twice in this film. Once when the Scarlet Witch destroys the Mind Stone and then again when Thanos uses the Time Stone to bring him back so he can rip the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead.
There is a slight possibility that Vision isn’t quite dead. Banner did say thst Vision was more than the Stone and it is also possible that Shuri backed up his AI when she was attempting to remove the Mind Stone prior to Corvis Glaive’s sneak attack. Ultron was never truly dead until all copies of him were eradicated. Even so, reversing Vision’s death would lower the stakes significantly.
Paul Bettany did let slip to Collider that he will be involved in filming Avengers 4 and we now also have a set photo from the film, but he could simply be there as context for a scene in the past.
In our next Avengers post, we’ll look at those who perished by the Infinity Snap and what it means for the rest of our heroes.