Alright, so in Infinity War, when Thanos obtains the reality stone, it is evident that he is able to shape reality in whichever way he wants. This is shown when Gamora is able to kill his duplicate, and with ease, he is able to bend reality to bring himself back and make Knowhere burn.

My question, then, is why did he fight the avengers during the Wakanda fight scene instead of, say, turn them all to stone like he did to Drax? Also, if the reality stone is able to shape reality, wouldn't that give him any powers he wants, rendering he other stone useless?

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    I don't think the reality stone is that powerful. How I interpreted the scene was, he didn't bring himself back and make Knowhere burn with the stone. He made Knowhere burn through other means, and then used the reality stone to create an illusion of a non-burned Knowhere with a fake Thanos in it, and he made himself invisible. The most reality-bending thing he did with the stone was turning Starlord's blaster into a bubble gun. Everything else was an illusion. Commented May 9, 2018 at 22:59
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    @DarthFennec You should post this as an answer.
    – JKreft
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 13:41

6 Answers 6


If you're talking about the scenes that take place after he comes to earth, we could say it was hardly a fight. One by one all of the avengers were quite simply beaten by Thanos and the only ones he had to even remotely fight was Wanda and Thor.

  1. Egoistic Thanos: Thanos already had 5 stones, he was already extremely powerful, he didn't really think of the avengers as a roadblock, he just wanted the 6th stone. So he didn't feel the need to put in that much effort though it would have ended things quickly. I feel that's the thing with major villains. They have so much at their disposal and don't use much of it.

  2. Finale would be mehh: With the reality stone, he could just driven the avengers crazy. Or simply turned them to stone (for temporary time of course) but is that what we would have liked to seen ? The protagonists falling down like blocks ? Thanos has crazy power and to be honest, if he wanted the 6th stone, he would have got it in around 0.0098 seconds. I guess that's just not how movies are done. I feel the reality stone was not used to level out the fight till the end because that makes a better scene than Thanos altering reality (just an opinion though).

I typed the exact same question and typed it out before deciding not to post, dont know why.

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    I definitely get the impression that Thanos is enjoying the last moments of the fight, the finishing touches of his master plan as one savors the last bite of a delicious meal
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 16:59
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    Yeah, unfortunately, it comes down to it being a conundrum of this being fictional entertainment and the infinity stones just being too damn powerful. It could've been permanently over in an instant but that's not a story anyone wants to hear. Similarly, Dr. Strange could've just closed a portal on Thanos' hand (or head) like 100 times to cut it off and get the gauntlet. Or freakin Peter could've just not punched him in the face...
    – xr280xr
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 18:03
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    ...anyway. Chalk it up to Thanos just being a pretty lazy guy I guess. I mean it took him how many movies to get off his ass and go get the stones himself (which was super easy for him) in the first place? Thanos seems like he just finished a hard workout at the gym and doesn't really feel like doing anything.
    – xr280xr
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 18:03

Both good answers from Anu & eztephen - but just to elaborate on the writers intentions, they answered this very question in the audio commentary for Infinity War, stating that they saw the reality stone as an impermanent solution when used , the extent of it's power being mainly illusory as opposed to permanently changing the nature of reality in any given situation.

They also note that Thanos avoids murdering other characters unless absolutely necessary and in the specific case regarding the Knowhere encounter, one of his aims is to try and re-establish a connection with Gomora. As such, he knows that killing Quill, Drax or Mantis would only alienate her further, which is why he chooses to dispatch them using the reality stone, the effect of which is neutralised as soon as he escapes with Gomora via the tesseract powered wormhole (as Drax and Mantis are instantly able to pull themselves back together.


You are right that with the reality stone you can bend the reality based on you likeness. If you want to bend the reality on a planetary scale using the said stone, will be able to. But note that using an infinity stone alone has it's limits. If you want to bend the reality on a galaxy scale or universal scale, you gonna need the other stones to empower the reality bender stone.

Also, note that each infinity stones depend on one another to fully reach their universal range and full potential.

Time Stone empowers the Reality Stone. Reality Stone empowers the Soul Stone. Soul stone empowers the Mind Stone. Mind Stone empowers the Power Stone. Power Stone empowers the Space stone. And last, Space Stone empowers the Time Stone.

Together, they form the Infinity.

See the reference here: Infinity_Gems

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    I think a better plot point would've been, once you have more than one stone, you must have all the stones to unlock the full power of any stone. You could choose to have the power stone by itself and wreck havoc, but if you want to wreak havoc AND have travel ability, then both are severely diminished. Locality is important, a stone on the same planet as another should diminish its power and would be a reason to hold two stones in close proximity to each other.
    – enorl76
    Commented Aug 15, 2018 at 18:58
  • @enrol76 i agree with you, it would be a better explanation as to why he cant use each of those stones as he acquires them !
    – Anu7
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 9:28

There was nothing wrong with Thanos's strategy in Wakanda as he won quite easily

In constrast with the fearsome battle with Iron Man, Doctor Strange et al earlier in the movie, Thanos hardly breaks stride here as he dispatches the final obstacles preventing him completing the set of Infinity Stones.

The exceptions are Scarlet Witch (whose own powerful magic enabled her to oppose Thanos briefly) and Thor (who possessed the element of surprise and a unique Thanos-killing weapon).

The reality stone is powerful, but Thanos's plans require ABSOLUTE power

Using the Reality Stone alone would certainly have sped up Thanos's intention to cull half of all life in the universe. However, while other infinity stones were beyond his grasp, he might be defeated - or his actions reversed (for instance, by the Time Stone).

By acquiring all of the stones, Thanos acheives absolute power. This means that the effect of the 'snap' is immediate, universal, and irreversible.

These arguments are covered in much more detail here.


Infinity War directors answer that:

“We sort of used it as an impermanent solution to things,” screenwriter Stephen McFeely said.

“It’s illusory,” Joe Russo added. “It creates illusions.”

Indeed, while Drax and Mantis quickly returned to their natural forms after Thanos left their presence, the effects of the villain’s universe-changing finger-snap will last at least another nine months, until Avengers 4 hits theaters.


Another answer for that is:

Even if that were possible, the Stones wouldn’t work in that universe or wouldn’t be able to come back. It was established in the comics very firmly that each set of Gems or Stones and their respective tool to use them only works within the universe in which they were created. There is a council of Evil Reed Richards wherein three of them from different universes gained the Gauntlet and the Gems only to not be able to use them to do anything else outside of their universe. There? They’re gods. When trying to take over the rest of the universe? The Stones and the Gauntlets are so much paper weights.



Does no one here remember what Dr. Strange was famous for in the comics? He knows bending reality better than Thanos' ability with the Reality Stone. There was even a hint to Dr. Strange's abilities when Thanos demonstrated the power of the Reality stone. There is no way Thanos couldn't no more with the Reality Stone than Strange could already do even without one. I don't think the Time stone is (or is the only) fake stone Thanos has.

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    "There is no way Thanos couldn't no more with the Reality Stone than Strange could already do even without one." Please explain what this means. I honestly do not know what you are saying, much less how this answers the question. Also, keep in mind this site is about Movies and TV. Comic books are, by definition, off-topic. Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 10:22
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    What Doctor Strange can do in the comics has absolutely no bearing on what he can do in the MCU. You offer absolutely no proof that the Time Stone or Reality Stone are fakes.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 11:22

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