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Although Bruce Banner restored every victim of Thanos' Snap back to life, an alternate Thanos brought his armies through the Multiverse from his reality to the Avengers' prime timeline along with 'his' version of Gamora.

This Gamora then turned against 'her' Thanos, helping the Avengers and their allies. The effects of Iron Man's use of the Infinity Stones disintegrated the alternate Thanos' forces.

However, Tony Stark never met either variant of Gamora, and was presumably unaware of her defection from Thanos' army. Is there an in-universe explanation as to how Gamora escapes being associated with Thanos and thus likewise disintegrated?

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    feels like a plot hole, tbh
    – enorl76
    Jun 19, 2023 at 1:43
  • Maybe it's because Rocket told him about Gamora (and how she changed), so he decides to let her live as he may think of similar redemption to Nebula (who he spent a long time alone with whilst in space post-snap) Jun 21, 2023 at 15:34
  • Are you implying that Tony Stark would have literally needed to know every single individual who died in the snap in order to be able to bring them back? It's either that, or we're clearly allowing some leeway between what a character thinks of and what happens - thus rendering the question moot as to what Tony needed to have known in order for his use of the stones to work the way it did.
    – Flater
    Jul 24, 2023 at 16:20
  • I'm not sure what we're thinking the plot hole here is. She wasn't a part of Thanos' army when Tony used the stones. By what mechanism would she be eliminated? Clearly it's possible to achieve relatively vaguely defined things with the stones, like "bring back everyone Thanos eliminated with the infinity stones", even though Banner/Hulk had absolutely no way to have direct knowledge of the vast majority of individuals that fall under that description.
    – Cubic
    Jul 25, 2023 at 9:18
  • She didn't fall under the subset of people that Tony wanted gone, so she wasn't affected. That's all there really is to it.
    – Cubic
    Jul 25, 2023 at 9:19

3 Answers 3

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From all we can see about how the stones work there's no reason to believe Tony would've needed to know anything about Gamora. His goal was to destroy Thanos' army, she wasn't part of that army, that's it, end of story.

Just compare with the previous use of the infinity stones:

Thanos eliminates half of (sapient?) life in the universe: This worked, even though obviously Thanos didn't make a list of hundreds trillions of people to eliminate. He didn't need to know anything about who he was going to eliminate, not even that they existed. He wished for it, and it happend.

Banner/Hulk returns the people eliminated by Thanos: This worked, even though obviously Banner/Hulk didn't have a list of everyone Thanos eliminated. He didn't need to know anything about the people he was going to bring back, not even that they existed in the first place – he just wished for it, and it happened. We see that while using the stones he has a clear sense of what exactly his wish is achieving and what not (as he realises that Black Widow can not be returned, which is the bigger problem writing wise albeit needed for plot convenience).

Tony Stark eliminates Thanos's army: This worked, even though obviously Tony Stark didn't personally know everyone in Thanos's enormous army. He just wished for it, and it happened. At the time, Gamora had already defected and thus didn't fall under the set of people Tony Stark wanted to eliminate, so she wasn't. Tony Stark didn't need to know that she defected, was ever part of Thanos's army, or even that she'd ever existed in the first place. He made a wish, and the result he wished for was achieved regardless of his personal knowledge in the moments before using the stones, exactly like it worked every other time the stones were used to achieve something.


As to the mechanism of how this worked, I don't believe there's an explanation in movie canon. Maybe in the instant of using the stones their wielder becomes temporarily omniscient and simply knows every single minute detail that they'd need to know to achieve what they set out to do in addition to being granted the power to do it. Maybe the stones themselves form an omniscient wish-granting collective. I'm not a comic book reader myself, but I expect the comics will have gone into (probably internally contradictory) detail about the mechanics here.

The important point is that regardless of however the stones work mechanically, clearly they are not limited to the personal knowledge of their wielder when it comes to accomplishing whatever they're being used for, because otherwise none of the things we see the stones being used for would've been possible.

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    I can live with this answer. Since Gamora had effectively defected from Thanos' army by the time Tony made the snap... therefore the stone's criteria probably evaluated and returned a no-op for Gamora, but beings like past-Nebula probably wouldve dusted had she still been alive.
    – enorl76
    Aug 5, 2023 at 22:36
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In Avengers II: Age of Ultron, we see that the Mind Stone contains a complex structure that resembles a brain/computer that Tony is able to use to make an artificial intelligence. All three snaps involve the snapper doing something that is somewhat simple to describe in broad strokes, but in actual practice require very complex determinations. It is reasonable to conclude that the role (or perhaps one of the roles) that the Mind Stone plays in these snaps is translating the snapper's high-level wish into details required. The Mind Stone sees that Tony wanted Thanos to be defeated, and it knew that Gamora was no longer on Thanos' side, so it didn't dust her.

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Tony Stark knew about Gamora. Remember the scene in Avengers: Infinity War where Nebula told others that Thanos went to Vormir with Gamora but came back without her. Then Quill who realized Thanos has killed Gamora got angered and attacked Thanos after Tony had told him to stay calm.

Why did Stark tell Quill to stay calm? Because he knew Quill was in a relationship (or at least in love) with Gamora (Quill was nervous about Gamora's fate prior to the incidents). A good guy is in a relationship (or is in love) with the step-daughter of a mad villain. So Stark had realized that Gamora, unlike her step-father, is a good guy. So he decided to not dust her away when he snapped.

Update: Another possibility is that Tony Stark didn't wish to wipe out Thanos and his army when he snapped. But he wished to wipe out any villains who were in the area, which Gamora wasn't one of them.

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