Disclaimer: This question is very similar to another (Did Thanos pick them on purpose or was it random?) but I have some caveats I'd like to discuss and/or clarify. Hopefully this won't be closed as duplicate. At least not immediately. I will address the answer to this other question in my question.

When Thanos snapped his fingers with the fully decked Infinity Gauntlet, many died. However, if we look at certain encounters, there seems to be a correlation between interactions and exclusions from the culling.

I'd like to postulate that Thanos, consciously or not, let certain individuals live. During the movie we see that Thanos is not a mindless murderer without empathy. He shows demonstrable love for Gamora (albeit to her demise), and does not slaughter needlessly after achieving small goals, but rather retreats.

Let's look at some individuals who survived the entire movie.

Steve Rogers

Captain America went against Thanos in a one-on-one, wrestling with Thanos' left hand in order to prevent him from closing it into a fist. We see Thanos punch Steve aside, but afterwards, we see Steve with only a tiny scratch, handsome as ever.

I postulate that Thanos developed a modicum of respect for a seemingly regular human with what must, from Thanos' perspective, seem like a minuscule improvement in physical strength compared to other humans.

Steve Rogers was not included in the culling.

Tony Stark

On Titan, Thanos and Stark engage in a brutal one-on-one, after Thanos has incapacitated the rest of The Avengers present on the planet. In this fight, we see Stark fight with tremendous skill, but ridiculously outmatched in the end For the first time, his suit is left permanently ruined by single combat.

Stark sits down on a rock, realizing he is completely powerless, having spent all his resources; suit, body and all. He visibly resigns himself to the loss.

After all of this, Thanos doesn't deliver a final blow. He explicitly expresses his respect for Stark.

Tony Stark was not included in the culling.


Consciously or not, Thanos is not included in the culling. I will not make an elaborate case for why this is. At the very end, we see him smile, but judging from the fact that he went back to a ruined planet (Titan) to look at the devastated remains of his home, completely alone, it seems like a temporary rest after a few days of hard work. Pure speculation of course, but he seems to have a further plan.

A man with work to do isn't going to submit himself to a 50/50.

Answer to a similar question

A good point made in this excellent answer to the other question I mentioned in the disclaimer, was that he has no reason to kill any particular member of the Avengers. They weren't able to stop him as a group when he had some Infinity Stones. They certainly pose no threat decimated one way or the other, when he has all Infinity Stones.

This is why I bring up the idea that he may have spared individuals subconsciously. Perhaps a lingering feeling of respect prevented him from killing certain individuals?


Is there anything to suggest that Thanos may have spared certain individuals, either consciously or subconsciously?

Or likewise, is there anything to suggest it truly, truly was purely random? (That is, despite the "he has no reason to care" argument.)

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    I'm sorry this is a duplicate of the other question in the absence of any evidence which we don't have. As such, you're expressing and asking for opinions. I won't hammer close it as a dupe but it is opinion based. – Paulie_D May 4 '18 at 22:17
  • @Paulie_D - While I interspersed some opinions in there, my question isn't asking anyone to speculate. I'm asking if there is anything else that suggests that the culling wasn't entirely random. The existence of such things wouldn't be an opinion, but fact, if presented. – Alec May 4 '18 at 22:23
  • ...and there isn't anything to suggest it or the interwebz would be all over it. An answer of NO seems the only likely non-opinion /speculative answer. The opinions would be about whether something is suggestive or not. – Paulie_D May 4 '18 at 22:27
  • Of course, if the answer exists, it exists on the Internet. But that's true for all questions and answers on this site. Why should that invalidate mine? You argue that a "no" would be the only likely answer. I'm very open to "no" being the right answer, and feel free to post it, but it will probably be removed for speculation. – Alec May 4 '18 at 23:04
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    @Paulie_D Not opinion based anymore as endgame makes it clear you have all the control you want/can muster. While it's speculative whether he explicitly omitted Steve and Tony (unlikely for Steve, more so for Tony assuming the deal with Dr.Strange included the snap), the main question whether he'd be able to is certainly not opinion based (anymore). – Frank Hopkins May 3 '19 at 10:30

Let us linger on your thoughts a bit...

Perhaps a lingering feeling of respect prevented him from killing certain individuals?

Based on the movie:

  1. Thanos has utmost respect for Gamora's boyfriend Peter when he decided to shoot Gamora since Star-Lord has so much love for Gamora that he decided to kill her (with much hesitation).
  2. Thanos has respect for Scarlet Witch when she voluntarily kills Vision to prevent Thanos from getting the Mind stone.

End result of these two: Turned to dust

Consciously or not, Thanos is not included in the culling.

Based on my other answer in other question, I still believe Thanos' motivation was to prevent overpopulation and considering Thanos is the sole survivor in his planet, there is no need of disintegrating himself... Which is why the planets where the culling already happened must be unaffected and why the half of Asgardians who escaped must still survive and so... (but this is my opinion)

Based on the director's visit though... Thanos was part of the selection and he just happened to live...

You can ask if he allowed himself to be apart of that random process. He does have a very interesting look on his face. When we come back to him after the snap before he disappears, a look of surprise.

So Thanos was included in the culling...

Is there anything to suggest that Thanos may have spared certain individuals, either consciously or subconsciously?

Again in opinion terms, IF Thanos wanted to kill certain individuals, he could have taken out certain characters who could cause real harm to him such as Thor and left the weaklings alive...

So to answer your question:

NO, I believe the disintegration was truly random

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    What about his promise to Doctor Strange to spare Tony? – IronSean May 7 '18 at 15:21
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    He did spare him immediately after he promised he would. He left them on the planet. He did not promise that he would spare him for ever. – Marie Jun 28 '18 at 17:00

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