Despite Thanos’ ridiculing utterances to Thor in Avengers: Infinity War, what would have happened had the God of Thunder attempted to kill the Mad Titan by going for the head? The Asgardian had every right to be enraged after what Thanos had done to him in the first scene of Infinity War.
After the loss of his brother, Loki, and many of his people, he went on a frantic search for a new weapon, taking the full force of a star in order to forge Stormbreaker. Even though Thor came the closest to mutilating Thanos than any other Avenger, Thanos still mumbled “You should have gone for the head.”
Thanos was first hinted at in the post-credits scene of The Avengers, where it was revealed that Loki was following his orders. It became clearer and clearer that his abominable threat to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was only going to get worse as he neared the Infinity Stones, making him an even more formidable adversary. There were numerous MCU films presented in Phases 1-3, and as Thanos became more powerful, it forced MCU heroes to unite on a massive scale that has not been seen before in order to prevent his reign of terror.
Even though they had all of Wakanda on their side, the Avengers were unable to defeat Thanos in Infinity War because they lacked the planning and resources. Tony and Steve couldn’t communicate, and there wasn’t much of a strategy in place. Ultimately, this led to their failure, as Thanos successfully sheared his fingers and effectively wiped away 50% of all life forms in Infinity War before things were then set to correct in Avengers: Endgame. When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor’s decision to go for Thanos’ head promptly in Infinity War would have drastically altered the course of events.
The sentimental result of the Infinity Saga was launched with a bang in the opening sequence of Infinity War. After defeating the Hulk and killing Heimdall with a spear, Thanos finally strangles Loki to death in Infinity War. By this point, Thor had lost both his mother and father as well as his evil sister. A heartwrenching Infinity War detail in the Thor: Love & Thunder trailer further proves Loki and Thor’s newfound relationship, which had been working on repairing itself by the end of Thor: Ragnarok.
While still reeling from the loss of his loved ones, Thor heads into the battle in Wakanda with an unwavering desire for revenge. Seeing Thanos suffer outweighs the potential of his rational thinking, so he didn’t go with the head right away; he wanted to enjoy defeating him.
Even though Thor had made mistakes along the way and learned from them, the attempt on Thanos’ life that failed was his most significant arc. Thor’s hubris stemmed from his belief that he was capable of taking on any challenge. He craved the sensation of defeating Thanos one-on-one as retribution for Heimdall and Loki, played by Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston, respectively.
But when it didn’t work out, he blamed himself to the core and had to bear the weight of his own introspection. As a result, in Endgame, he spiralled into a deep depression and alcoholism, turning to Stormbreaker as a bottle opener when he no longer felt worthy.
Endgame is a direct result of his failure in Infinity War, and he learns and grows as a result. After learning that Steve is worthy of Mjolnir, he becomes more self-aware and even smiles when it’s revealed that he is. He’d have ruined the entire plot of Marvel’s Love and Thunder with one simple mistake: killing Thanos when he had the chance.
Avengers: The Third Dimension Thor Fights Thanos with Stormbreaker
If Thor had defeated Thanos, the course of his story might have been very different. It’s possible he’d just continued his old ways if he’d never gone on his introspective journey to become the kind of hero he really wanted to be. To put it another way, he may have felt more pressured to rule New Asgard than to appoint Valkyrie as King because of this.
And since he’s shown in Endgame and the Love & Thunder trailer that he’s curious about who he really is, his rule over New Asgard could have been detrimental to his character development as well as to Valkyrie’s fresh take on the character.
If Infinity War hadn’t happened, there would be no Endgame, and thus all the arcs of the original six Avengers would have been erased. However, Steve could never go back in time and spend time with Peggy because of Tony’s and Nat’s sacrifices. Clint would not have become Ronin, and Hawkeye may have been a completely different show or even cancelled, given that the show’s entire objective was to show him mourning the loss of his best friend, Nat.
Because of the loss he suffered in Infinity War, Bruce may not have felt as compelled to merge himself with the Hulk as he did. It’s difficult to imagine any other outcome for these characters, given how satisfying their endings have been so far.
Despite the fact that Kang is currently the MCU’s next big bad, he could have replaced Thanos if an alternate Avengers 4 had been made. That means Avengers 4 would have to bring an even greater threat (which Kang definitely is) to wrap up the original six arcs since Thor going for the head in Infinity War wouldn’t have resolved any of them, and the cast would be more than prepared to leave their roles by then.
It would have been difficult to pull off the same strategic plan for an alternate Avengers 4 as Thanos was taunted for years before his big battle, and it likely would have felt repetitive and too far gone.
That Avengers: Endgame had lasting ramifications for some adored MCU characters means that the introduction of new heroes was a lot simpler. The absence of Tony, Nat, and Steve leaves the MCU with a void that must be filled. We wouldn’t have seen the need for new Avengers if Thor had taken Thanos’ head instead of letting him fall to his death.
With them gone, Shang-Chi, Sam as Captain America, Yelena, and Moon Knight, to name a few, have made their debuts with ease. The Marvel Cinematic Universe would be even more crowded if the original six had all lived to see the present day.
If Thor had killed Thanos in Infinity War, the two-part finale of MCU Phase 3 would not have been possible. To wrap up a colossal franchise like Marvel’s Infinity War in two films was a perfect way to wrap up a decade-long story. A combination of these factors, as well as Captain Marvel and Ant-Man & The Wasp’s release within a year of each other, meant that the Infinity Saga finale was anticipated like never before.
This would have had a significant impact on the MCU’s Phase 4 line-up, which could have led to criticisms about not letting certain aspects die and move on. However, the MCU would still have been a success with Thanos’s one-part finale.
It’s clear that the Infinity Saga might have gone in many different directions based on such a brief remark from the Mad Titan. It’s possible that if Thor hadn’t been so consumed by hatred, he could have ended Thanos’ reign of terror once and for all, but his plotline wouldn’t have had the same impact.
After all, was said and done, it was for the best that Avengers: Infinity War played out the way it did, in terms of both wider storytelling and the best possible start to MCU Phase 4.