When Thanos arrived at Titan Dr. Strange said "You look more like a Thanos" as if he had seen him for the first time. On the contrary Dr.Strange went ahead in time to see the possible outcomes and he must have seen Thanos in it. Is this a movie plothole?

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    Can you provide more details (use spoiler markup if necessary)? It would help to answer the question if we fully understood the context of the comment... I seem to recall Dr. Strange saying something else before he said "You look more like a Thanos".
    – onewho
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 13:34
  • From what i can recall, he exclaimed "you look more like a thanos" when he first saw thanos om titan, as if he didn't know how thanos looks like Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 13:36
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    "He must have seen Thanos in it." Must he have? Unless the movie explicitly showed you the futures Strange looked into, you don't know what he actually "saw" or experienced in this process. Was it like watching millions of high-def movies? Or a scrambled movie channel? Was it like feeling the strings of a guitar vibrate as you strum them? Was it an emotion? Standard trope for prophecy/future sight, even those actually from the real world, is that there is vagueness and limits involved. Perhaps he only saw a shadowy blob for Thanos, maybe everything was allegory and symbolism, who knows? Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 7:10
  • This question seems to presume that no one ever says anything witty or clever in the MCU and instead must fully mean what they say. It's hard to find any scene (with anyone but the baddies in them) where this is even the case.
    – Flater
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 17:52

8 Answers 8


So, we can now easily check to see if Dr. Strange said anything to Maw when he arrived and the answer is no, he doesn't ask if he's Thanos. Maw makes it clear that it is the children of Thanos that have come to take the stone. This is further clarified in the ship when Strange is held by the surgical needles. Therefore, the answer that he thought Maw was Thanos at any point in time is definitely not correct.

The correct answer could be that he thought the GOTG were somehow Thanos initially, but Strange is a smart guy and none of those people are even remotely Thanos, plus Thanos had already sent Maw after him who proclaimed as mentioned above that the children of Thanos essentially do all his work for him, so he probably thought that they were WITH Thanos. This makes more sense anyway as the general conversation goes when Spidey is caught by Starlord at gunpoint; i.e. "we're the Avengers man!" Therefore, this answer is also likely not correct (although closer to correct than the top answer).

The only answer I can come up with is that Strange is breaking the 4th wall, something that a master of the mystic arts could possibly do, and is referring to Cable. This would be well-within the realm of the self-deprecating humor of Deadpool and acceptable to Marvel, because they would want to maintain that Brolin was always Thanos and not Cable.


I can't find the exact quote, but I believe this is in reference to the initial arrival of Bruce Banner and then Maw. When Bruce first lands on Earth he warns that Thanos is coming, soon after Maw arrives in NYC. I think (and this is the quote that I can't find) that Dr Strange asks if Maw is Thanos. So in the scene, you mention Dr Strange is making a callback to this initial confrontation. This is also supported by Thanos's line after Dr Strange speaks:

Dr. Stephen Strange: Oh yeah. You're much more of a Thanos.

Thanos: I take it that Maw is dead. This day extracts a heavy toll, still he accomplished his mission.

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    I had assumed they were referring to running into the guardians from when they arrived on Titan. They ran into the guardians, assumed they were thanos/his men, and fought. After they cleared it up Thanos showed up and strange said his line.
    – Marie
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 15:59
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    That's a good point, could easily be a reference that.
    – Lewis
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 18:12
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    No offense but I don't know why this answer is upvoted so much. Sure it answers the title as written but the OP is saying that he saw the future already so he should already know what Thanos looks like. Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 1:44
  • @KodosJohnson Probably because it feels like it completes the loop when someone who made a gross mis-identification previously would later comment when the actual person showed up. Interestingly (or perhaps strangely? :P), Strange's line still works even if we accept that he recognised Thanos from glimpses into the future.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 15:10

I don't think he was actually surprised by Thanos's appearance; in-universe, it was probably just a bit of banter. You mention that this was an exclamation, but I recall it being said rather calmly.

Of course, the Doylist reason is that it amuses the audience. If he's seen Thanos some 14 million times, even saying that as a joke doesn't make sense. On the other hand, maybe it was necessary to get that one future where they defeat Thanos...

  • I like this one, because that line just seems like a clever way of saying "There you are!" or acknowledging that this was the person who was originally expected. Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 17:22

The name Thanos has meaning itself. Thanatos was a god of death and Thanos is a derivative from that name. Thanos (and Thanatos) both translate to "death" in Greek. One might expect a bad guy named "Death" to look the part. In the movie Dr Strange finds that to be the case for Thanos.


I believe that it was a Cable/Deadpool joke. Since Josh Brolin plays both Thanos and Cable, Doctor Strange (and the Russo brothers) is (are) taking a shot at Deadpool 2 by saying "oh, yeah. You're much more of a Thanos..." (than a Cable).

  • Deadpool 2 was released after Infinity War.
    – A J
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 4:02

Thanos is a Greek slang word meaning "immortal". Strange was either patronizing or acknowledging his power.


Dr. Strange might’ve been breaking the 4th wall referencing how Thanos used to be cgi in the post credit scenes.


That was my thought: that it was a dig at Deadpool, saying Brolin is much more 'Thanos' than 'Cable'. Just a guess though - someone should asked Benedict Cumberbatch!

  • Hello! Welcome to Movies & TV Stack Exchange. This answer currently looks like a speculation and more like a random comment. Can you expand it to a proper sources ideally with some citations? Otherwise, it might get converted to comment or deleted.
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 18:32

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