Thanos says to Iron Man,

You are not the only one cursed with knowledge

Does this imply that Thanos is very knowledgeable as well like Iron Man?

I didn't quite get those words of Thanos.

  • 2
    "Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most/Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,/The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life." bartleby.com/18/6/11.html
    – StuperUser
    May 4, 2018 at 12:50
  • 2
    Yes, Thanos is one of the most accomplished scientists in the universe. But that's not what he's talking about...
    – Mazura
    May 4, 2018 at 20:13
  • I can't believe no one else has picked up on this. It's at least in part a reference to what Tony learned at the end of "Civil War" (Bucky murdering his parents) and Tony's determination to get past it ("My only curse is you").
    – Rachel
    Aug 21, 2018 at 17:25

3 Answers 3


Does this imply that Thanos is very knowledgeable as well like Iron Man?

Yes. Thanos has wandered across the galaxy for centuries. So, it is possible that he has acquired knowledge in many areas including how to rule the galaxy (by using the Infinity Stones).

What does Thanos mean when he says this to Iron Man?

Knowledge can be a burden after a limit. If you have knowledge of too much (or everything), you know the truth about many things and that can be depressing. So, knowledge can be a curse which is shared by both Thanos and Iron Man.

Iron Man got to know the fate of world during Age of Ultron (after which he created Ultron) and Thanos is just fulfilling it. So, it is also possible that both had the knowledge about the fate of the galaxy and loss of dear ones it will cause. This could be a depressing truth. Therefore, Thanos said that knowledge is a curse shared by both of them.

  • 18
    When you say Iron Man got to know the fate of the world, I thought that what he saw was an illusion Scarlett Witch showed him to push him into action. May 4, 2018 at 11:57
  • 2
    The keeper(guide?) of the Soul Stone referred to being "cursed with the knowledge" of those who sought the stone when T visited as well. The wording similarity likely isn't a coincidence.
    – T.E.D.
    May 4, 2018 at 23:58

Thanos: Stark.

Stark: You know me?

Thanos: I do. You're not the only one cursed with knowledge.

I took that two ways:

  • Thanos knows Stark through the events of The Avengers, when Stark foiled Loki's attack on New York; and Thanos may have known more about Stark from Loki's research (and may have known about Stark before the battle due to Loki's research, and later because Loki had access to all of Hawkeye's knowledge).
  • Thanos also "knows" that what has to be done to set the universe right is to eliminate half of all the beings that are alive. He regrets that all those people must die, and that he, being the only being with the will and power to eliminate them, will be the one to kill them. To paraphrase Loki, Thanos is "burdened with glorious purpose."

Since nobody provided the real answer, he knows because he has just acquired the Soul Stone.

One of the Soul Stone's powers in the comic is it reveals information about a person you can see, called the "Light of Truth." This is likely a hint to one of the stone's powers, since we see it do very little on-screen.

Thanos knows who Stark is because he can literally see into his soul now.

  • 3
    The comics universe is not the MCU though - a number of things are very different, so there's no guarantee anything from one follows into the other
    – Dave
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:15
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    Yeah they're different but it's pretty clear that was what happened. He has no reason to know who Stark is outside of that. Stark isn't important on a galactic level.
    – Crossfiyah
    Jun 14, 2018 at 0:30
  • 6
    Thanos sent Loki to New York, where the Avengers defeated the Chitauri army of Thanos while it was under Loki's command, and where Loki failed to retrieve the Space Stone for Thanos, also losing the Mind Stone at the same time. If you think Thanos doesn't know who each of the Avengers is, in detail, then you have underestimated him greatly...
    – Dave
    Jun 14, 2018 at 0:36

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